Sunday, July 25, 2010
Yesterday, we drove up to Petaluma for the Rivertown Revival Festival. It was a free fest, where you end up just walking around, looking at people, drinking beer, eating different things, listening to music and soaking up some sun (what we in SW Louisiana call "this weekend.")
I first learned about the festival from Boing Boing's SRL shout-out. Survival Research Labs is not easy to describe (that's why we have wikipedia), but the performances are large robot dance-rodeo-fights with an emphasis on the art and expression of destruction, rather than efficiency. We watched the Big Arm, The Running Machine and The Chicken perform. The first performance was fun, mild and sans-Chicken. The second performance is captured in the video below. The Chicken is decapitated around 3:50. The video that leads into this blog post is of small, revival-dressed children running around happily cheering for The Chicken which is starting its warm up: The Chicken is ALIVE! They had a tough time watching the Chicken get picked-on and decapitated. I just hope they left before the Chicken was destroyed in the 3rd show.
What a fun day.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Yesterday, we were visited by what remained of the Broke Down Bus fellowship: Cabell and Katie Tutwiler. Cabell is one of my high school Literature teachers; it is because of him that I started my appreciation for The Canterbury Tales, Milton, Shakespeare, Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and many more.
However, he holds an incredibly special place in my heart. Mr. Tutwiler was the first person to fail me, like really fail me. 9th grade English - F - needs to be retaken. This was the only class I failed that year. Unfortunately, failing just one class was enough to concern me, but not change me. It wouldn't be until a year later when I failed almost every class in 10th grade that I changed my academic behavior.
But, it was an important first step. (The summer school make-up with Lee Dirks introduced me to the influential Nine Stories and 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.) I'm so fortunate to have had passionate, unique and caring teachers in my life like Mr. Tutwiler, who were brave enough to know that failing me was the best thing to do for me.
Do you celebrate the people who fail you? The ones who get you to be the better self you know you are capable of creating and being...
It was a lovely day with cheese, conversation, walking, Iko Iko, dialogue, happy hour, pelicans and picking fresh blackberries. I wish the bus and fellowship great adventures.
Monday, July 12, 2010
A little over 4 years ago, I was sitting in the sunny grass reading Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father. I thought the simple image of a good book in grass tells a story that I wanted to capture and share. I put it on Flickr. Just today, I've hit 100,000 views (not including me) on Flickr.
Not a big deal, but still makes me stop and go WOW. Don't get me wrong, I understand my photophiliac mom makes up the bulk of that - then other friends and family - then random blog readers - then random people through Flickr and search engines- then people who find the images as they are reused, etc. But there is something interesting in the sheer number of views.
The book in the grass story has held up well, being my 7th most viewed image with 201 views.
6th - Vaillancourt Fountain - it was on some message board about things that are ugly but still loved
5th - Yes, Birkenstocks - Mary in snow in her Berks
4th - lukens_lake_tickle -
3rd - endless nevada road
2nd - The Letter N (on a bench)
1st - knots rope swing tiburon (829 views) - I think this one ended up on a book cover in Italy or something... This one gets pinged every couple of days or so from Google or Yahoo!
This is cognitive surplus at work. I've seen the Sam and Tori whisper picture in at least three blog posts from people I don't know discussing new communications. Whispers and sharing are nice ways to communicate; I'm glad we're doing it more.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
OK, that was the fast, stated version. Feel free to move on. Now a bit more reflective.
I really wanted to see this TechnoCraft exhibit. Here's a piece from the description that explains why: Special attention is paid to the intersection of technology and craft that encourages an unprecedented level of user participation with profound implications for the future of design and experience making. This is what Clay Shirky is talking about in the must-read Cognitive Surplus. The exhibit talks about Modules, Hacks, Crowdsourcing, Platforms, Incompletes and Blueprints. I don't have a picture of Blueprints, because this is where I was told I couldn't take pictures anymore; fortunately, Threadless wonderful human being Cam Balzer has a picture of exhibit curator Yves Behar standing readably close to Blueprint. It is worth reading each description.
**OK, this is where I stop and bitch. WHY do you have an exhibit for "Hackers, Modders, Fabbers, Tweakers and Design in the Age of Individuality" but don't allow us to take pictures to mod, share how we like to share, or even store appropriately in our memory? This really annoyed me ... it is a HUGE TECHNOCRAFT FAIL. When will people realize that we are all "press" in respect of helping you promote the things you do? I would have loved to include relevant images on this blog and in my lectures. It would probably encourage a few people to go. Ugh. OK Back to positivity.**
The installations were really fun and fruitful. I can't sum it all up. But it made me appreciate how quickly we are headed to a new order. If you are in SF, go see this thing. It is cheap and relatively quick to experience.
+ Seeing Martino Gamper's 100 chairs. Seeing the 100 chairs in front of me really showed off how simple and everyday this movement is.
+ The Threadless cone - I heart Threadless and have for a while now (at least December 2006). Oh cool note. I saw this couple walking around wearing Threadless shirts. I told one of them, "I love that shirt! It is one of my favorites." She said, "He designed it" pointing to her companion. It was the very awesome Jesse Lefkowitz. (I love the shirt so much I wear it to Joe's Taco Lounge!) I also got in the Threadless Trailer (since they are smart, they allow pics) and they gave me one of the cool tour shirts (the light blue diamond shirt on the left; I'm wearing it now, since I had to remove my orange shirt.)
+ The PlayCraft assignment that was part of the exhibit. We got to run around designing our own postcards. (I grabbed a pic while hiding in the bamboo outside!)
+ Max Lamb's Pewter stool; Sam now wants to go do this - who wouldn't?
Anyway, this celebration is just one of many that shows how wonderful things are getting. More building, making, creating, helping, thinking, designing ... less consumption and passively having things shoved down our throats. Go check it out. Next ...
The Maira Kalman exhibit is truly beautiful as well (and just across the street from TechnoCraft). She is such a wonderful person to explore. The below description of her and the way she creates may be the ideal explanation of a perfect student for the program we are building. Seriously, if you are a planner, read this and see if you wouldn't hire this person immediately.
Again, I don't have pictures. Another museum exhibit that would rather I didn't share with you. Sheesh. I can highly recommend both The Principles of Uncertainty or if you are a writer and need a copy of Elements of Style (aka Strunk & White) I'd get the copy she illustrated. Her NY Times blog posts are where I first fell in love.
My head was swimming all day with possibilities. If you are currently in search of possibilities, go spend a day checking these out. (BTW - CJM is free Sunday, July 18th)
Today, we'll be having two Dutch Gouda cheeses. Uniekaas on the left, Orgouda Mild on the right, and crackers courtesy of our Swedish friends at Wasa. Freshly-oiled olive wood cheese board (dank u, Mom.) Grolsch in the fridge for half. Dutch chocolate cookies waiting for victory (or the unspeakable alternative.)
Hup Holland Hup!!! I've got my #9 jersey on - so I'm predicting a big day from Robin van Persie! Enjoy the game everyone.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I love you very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very much! (yes, 65 verys...)