Two hours and eighteen minutes of big analog noise improvisations and compositions. Electroacoustic at its most joyous. 2CD set housed in finest chunky media packaging. First edition of 50 featuring double layer outer art with hand block print.
Pants that can comfortably hold a can of Pabst (or any beer, including the deluxe tall cans of Guinness Draught, which are so much better looking than the ugly draught bottles they came up with) in the back pocket are good pants indeed.
I just finished reading The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Holy hell. It's an excellent and quite exciting story, all true, of the chief architect of the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, and of the mass murderer who lived (and killed) nearby. The two men themselves never intersect. The author writes of becoming fascinated by these two men and their drive to accomplish what they did.
A favorite character of mine was that of Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed [the original plan for] Central Park, Biltmore, and others. He had a keen eye and concept of downplay, of wanting to create subtle effects on viewers that they would be unaware of. He hated straight beds of flowers. He lectured that it was far better to under-decorate than to over-decorate, and is quoted as saying:
Let us be thought over-much plain and simple, even bare, rather than gaudy, flashy, cheap, and meretricious. Let us manifest the taste of gentlemen.Olmsted did his work into his seventies, often plagued with terrible toothache, melancholy, insomnia, and persistent noise in his ears.
[Devil in the White City, p196.]
Another enjoyable artifact of The Devil in the White City is the stories of various elements that are commonplace today that can be traced back to the world fair. Pabst Blue Ribbon's blue ribbon, for example, came from it being judged america's best at said fair.
I really enjoyed this book. This work by Larson, along with the works of William Langewiesche (who often does great writing for The Atlantic) have given me a renewed fascination for and appreciation of nonfiction writing.
Another batch of Holga images are uploaded, focusing on some SLC shots.
Hopefully, pictures from last weeks party will be back in my hands soon.
!!! And, I have a Baby Holga coming. Two Holga labeled cameras. One using 120 film, and the new one using 110. I'm quite excited. Now I just wish they still made and processed disc film.
Kevin Altis covers what appears to be the official death of HyperCard. As he points out, HyperCard was never updated for Mac OS X, and hasn't been updated since 1998. There are successors and projects inspired by HyperCard, including PythonCard. But I just want to take a brief moment about my experience with HyperCard.
I never programmed in this environment, but it did introduce me to something very useful: HTML. Back in 1996, there were no real HTML editors on the market. But it wasn't obvious yet (to me) how to do it by hand. While looking around for one just to help me learn, I came across an HTML editor implemented as a HyperCard stack. It was great. I can't remember if it gave me any previews (HTML was pretty simple at the time - paragraphs, headers, lists, and images). All I remember is that it helped. From there, I graduated to briefly using SimpleText and then BBEdit Lite (and ultimately BBEdit). But that HyperCard stack remains in my head as where my personal experience with writing for the web began.
Any missed opportunities that you wish you could do over? As I look back on things that I wished we would have done differently when I was at Apple, I think one of the biggest missed opportunities, and it was on my watch, so I feel responsible and disappointed that we didn't do more with it, was Hypercard. It was created back in 1987 by Bill Atkinson, Apple's first software programmer. We could never figure out exactly what it was. We thought it was a prototyping tool. We thought it was a database tool. It was actually used by people as a front-end communications device for TCP/IP to connect the Internet to large Cray computers.I also remember some other article about a difference between Apple and Sun in the late eighties / early nineties was that Apple was still treating computers as individual boxes, whereas Sun realized there were networks connecting all the boxes together. While Macs have long had built in networking, it's certain that Apple could have put that to better use. And who knows? Maybe HyperCard would be driving the web instead of HTML and Flash.
We weren't insightful enough to recognize that what we had inside of Hypercard, essentially, was everything that later was developed so successfully by Tim Berners-Lee with HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). We didn't call it that. But essentially, we had all that hypertext, radio buttons and linking capability architected in the original Hypercard. In hindsight, I wish Apple had recognized that we had a huge opportunity to go take our user interface culture, and our know-how, and applied it to the Internet. I think we would have had a very different story for Apple during the 1990s. But that, of course, is hindsight.
Tonight, I am hosting the Luxury Spring 2004 launch event. Which is basically an open house at my apartment / studio, from 6-9:30 pm. The timing is nice:
It will be interesting to see how the event turns out.
The process of setting up has made me rather interested in running a gallery.
In the same package that contained my electric pine cone, last night, was also a new His Name Is Alive CDR, titled Brown Rice. To my knowledge, this CDR has primarily been made available at shows (with a hundred or so being made available to timeSTEREO mailing list members). It's been a heavenly listen, this instrumental gem:
Brown Rice, all instrumental except for some mixed-in recordings of baby talk, is mostly chaos, but it's chaos trying to organize itself. Celestial chimes and taps emerge from silence, cautiously trying to flow in the same direction; violins and saxophones eventually join them. A harp plays what could be the beginning of the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice," scrambled beyond recognition; once or twice, Defever's guitar can be heard paraphrasing "I Can't Feel at Home in This World Anymore."
[Smallmouth: Sounds Beyond Silence, Douglas Wolk, Seattle Weekly Jan 21-27 2004, viewed Mar 18 2004]
I was listening to it last night as I was finishing up a painting (my second painting this week, which makes them the first two paintings I've put on canvas in over two years) while a friend slept on my couch. It was very fitting, the sound being so dreamlike. The environment filled with various art projects and chinese takeout in disarray. Spools of wire on the floor. Windows wide open to the city, looking many stories down. Girl in blue blanket crunched up on couch. All very nice indeed.
Besides black spaghetti, another thing I never expected to have in my life is an electric pinecone. But I now have both, sitting in my apartment, waiting to be used.
I have Black, Squid-Ink Spaghetti. I am so delighted about this. And tomorrow night, we're having a delayed Ides of March dinner on St. Patricks Day, watching Richard III, which has nothing to do with Julias Caesar, except that it is a wonderfully dark Shakespeare film (but not quite as messed up as Titus). So all the dates, events, countries, and food are in the wrong order.
The last couple of years have felt fairly lax artistically for me, although a fair amount has been done. The Nostalgia Demon releases, La Mer / Storm Summer Girls and Bright Lights and Cold Wet Sand releases under the Eucci banner last year are two of my favorites in a long time, but they're the most painfully personal of all the Eucci material. I've never given them the advertising they deserve. Last year also saw the rising of aodl, where the noise focused side could bloom. I have few memories of 2002's achievements. And I haven't really painted since I left Fredericksburg two and a half years ago.
Until now. I have yet to really lay anything down to canvas, but there have been some other (and more fun) visuals done this year.
This spring is also launching with five releases between Eucci and AODL.
It's good to start spring off with a good wash of old and new material. Hopefully it will translate into a productive year.
Jon Udell talks about Component builders and solution builders, and compares the present situation with one he described in his [now legendary] BYTE cover story, Componentware. I've hung onto this issue and like to return to it on occasion to see if it has anything to offer me - either in terms of good concepts that have been forgotten, or patterns to avoid. It's nice to see Udell revisit the article and update the terminology.
I see no reason, however, that dynamic languages like Python are going to stay in purely in the solution (read: glue) camp. Perl, Python, and Ruby are all great for this situation and do far more than mere scripting. They're fully capable for real application building. But they can be the component providers as well. In the Python world, toolkits and frameworks like Twisted and Zope 3, are powerful component producers as well as consumers. Both Twisted and Zope 3 work well with internet protocols, with Twisted targeted towards many protocols and Zope targeted towards web based ones, and can put up the interfaces (non-user) to data and services, with all the rapid development benefits of Python. Zope 3 and PEAK also use strong component based principals to keep both the component builder and solution builder in the same language and in the same system, while still offering a decent separation of the two halves.