Don't think I've mentioned here before the throwaway poems. During the period when this seed was sending tendrils up through the earth in search of sunlight, I started a little creative game. I said to a few visual artist friends, "Are you ready to play a game? I'll send you words, you send me images to go with the words." I would place their images next to my words, and circulate the resulting booklet among us.
The rules were simple:
I must make the words, and you must make the images, in five minutes or less. Do not turn this into some kind of project.
When the final booklet arrives, read it once and throw it away: delete it.
This poem, which itself was not quite a throwaway poem (took more than 5 minutes to write), describes the throwaway poems, sort of. This one does contain an uncorrected typo, so that almost qualifies it: Get Today's Throwaway Poem
Today, I posted, on Amazon.com, a mini-review of Walter Murch's insightful book about the editing of moving pictures, In the Blink of an Eye. It's a great book both for practitioners of the craft, and for people who love moving pictures. The review is to be found here: Review of In the Blink of an Eye.
If you are anywhere near San Jose, CA,through January 9,2011, especially if you like Color Field paintings, the color qualities of light, or artistic deployments of technological innovation, you must give yourself a rare treat. Visit the Leo Villareal exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Modern Art.
Please do not take the pieces shown in the little YouTube interview, as beautiful as they are, to represent Villareal's whole body of work. His later pieces move beyond the flashing grid, and produce rich color fields in motion that change organically: lush and delicious.
Forget about the jargon above. If you think you'd like to give your soul a bath in sumptuous color, see the Villareal exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Modern Art.
When in Oakland, CA, you must visit the Institute of Mosaic Art, a color-saturated visual delight showing mosaic works in ceramic tile, glass, mirrors, and many other objects. Check out these resources to get a taste of the place:
Trailer for In A Dream - a Documentary about Isaiah Zagar by his son, Jeremiah Zagar. Isaiah's mosaic work appears on, in, and around, the Institute. Apparently, Isaiah still gives classes at the Institute. Isaiah's life provides another example of a thesis central to the small creations blog: that the exercise of the imagination and creative activity can provide a path to knowledge and to the integration of a personality. Apparently, in Isaiah's case, it opened a path from psychosis to mental health. No doubt his understanding wife was no small influence either.
Speaking of Bob
I mentioned friend-artist-philosopher Robert Edgar in a previous post,and it is long past time when I should have mentioned him again. Bob got himself some beefier hardware last fall, and--like a painter with a new set of top-quality paints and brushes, embarked on a creative spree that has accelerated over the last month. To see his video creations, waltz over to his vimeo site. If you are the sort who wants explanations for art, and a bit more Bob bio, see Robert Edgar's portfolio site.
Then, read this excerpt from Robert's portfolio site:
Robert's Simultaneous Opposites program loads a video file and initial parameters for loop length, center frame # of loop, and frames per second. The program uses these parameters to play through the loop away from and back toward the center, one frame at a time, simultaneously in opposite directions. The opposing movements through the video file fit together like a zipper.
The center frame between the two ends of the simultaneous opposites loop becomes a temporal focal plane, with the length of the loop a temporal depth of field. The flow of the original images is shaken down, and the surfaces and tendencies are brought forward as subject. Depending on how objects appear and move in the frames, one finds both new ways of noticing, and new contexts to explain how we notice.
Against the looping algorithm Robert deflects the automation with commands from a Fender MIDI Stratocaster. Audio is from the original video frames, as well as audio triggered and modulated by the Strat, during the Simultaneous Opposites' Engine's traversal of the source videos.
Of course I'm honored that the Schmap travel guide chose one of my photos to help illustrate their San Francisco attractions, but click the link to my photo to see whether you can guess why this is also amusing: Ghirardelli Square.
Mathematics beckons, but remains ever beyond. On occasion my cognitive hand closes around a mathematical concept as around a blushing peach. There is something deeply satisfying about grasping a mathematical principle. Math's sweet juice is a volatile nectar for the mind.
My brother's colleague recommended the NYT column of a mathematician who renders mathematical concepts into solid prose for laymen. I just read the April 18 post of this Steven Strogatz, It Slices, It Dices.
Steven starts by noticing, as I noticed in high school geometry, that mathematics' integral sign looks like the f-hole in a violin--and I am hooked. However, when Steven brings it home with "...a fitting coincidence, given that some of the most enchanting harmonies in mathematics are expressed by integrals" I am ready to be reeled in. I've subscribed to Steven Strogatz' NYT RSS feed.