Archive for 2006


Sunday, December 31st, 2006

In mathematics counter-clockwise rotations are considered “positive”. (more…)


Saturday, December 30th, 2006

this image is creative commons.

Due to diminishing ressources recycling will get more and more important. Germany’s system of collecting waste, which includes the well-known “Gruener Punkt” is in principle a step in the right direction, however it could be improved if there would be an overall paradigm change in western waste societies to look at waste as something which could be creatively turned into something useful rather than leaving it as dead trash.

But to communicate this is not easy.

Art is – among others – used to make people to look at things in a different way. Besides e.g. Duchamps famous ready mades and other art museum works I think e.g. also some Folk art could be seen as an avantgarde of eco-art — and not just only because of its property of recycling “waste” materials. It is also its particular view onto the involved materials and subjects which is important.

Something like over 20 years ago there was a big story in the german magazine stern (I think it was stern, I can’t find the article right now) about Franz Gsellmanns Weltmaschine, which spured my interest in this art form and especially in what raw vision called visionary environments including the already mentioned Weltmaschine or e.g. Nek Chand – Figures from the Rock Garden, Chandigarh; the famous Palais Ideal or the Californian Watts Towers. (Raw Vision doesn’t list sofar Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village located in Simi Valley, California. May be because it got severely damaged in the last earth quake)

Anyways, California and especially Southern California has may be a special interest in recycling waste for geological reasons. May be it is because Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains are recycling themselves, or in other words the mountains “in their state of tectonic youth, are rising as rapidly as any range on earth… Shedding, spalling, self-destructing, they are disintegrating at a rate that is also among the fastest in the world.” according to John McPhee’s essay “Los Angeles Against the Mountains” in his book “The control of nature” . The architectural implications of that are indicated in this nice review on bldg blog.

I know it is exagerated to call California just by the above examples a hotspot for ecological and environmental influenced art. On the other hand: how many examples would one need so that it would become an arthistorical fact ? (see also hypothesis development)

So lets give one more (and more recent..:)) example of an (architectural) eco-art project in Southern California (which funnily wouldn’t be called art brut..:), namely: The recycling and demolition of the Wurms Building by Jason Middlebrook at Riverside Historic Downtown Main Street Mall.

From Jason Middlebrooks Statement:

“Over the course of a two week period I will gut the Wurms building of all it’s raw and reusable materials. Each day demolition and incisions will occur and material will be removed which will than be designed and built into furniture. During the two week process the furniture and objects will be displayed on the site. My goal is to save and reuse as much of the building as possible. I will approach the building in a radical matter, cutting, exposing and dividing. The name of the project, LIVE BUILDING will be cut in gigantic letters into the parking lot side. The end objective is to reduce the amount of debris that will eventually go into a land fill. The usable parts of the building create new objects that contribute to people’s lives.”

From Pat O’brians press enterprise report reflecting the opinion of authorities:

The notion of the Culver Center was to bring interesting, provocative, challenging arts, performance, theater, music to Riverside,” said Jonathan Green, director of UCR/CMP. “Rather than just bulldoze the building, we’re using this an opportunity to show that artists can be involved in a range of projects, not just hangings on the wall.

hopefully f.wishent tree

Friday, December 29th, 2006


The Java applet f.wish by boredom research (see also the interview on furtherfield)- is a graphical reinterpretation of the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees on folly.

At f.wish you can hang your personal and public wishes (e.g. for next year) onto a tree and read those of others (see above).

f.wish has a nice spongy letter-from-spring-gravity simulation (with the partial use of the traer.physics library for processing). Sean Carroll of the physics blog cosmic variance was just discussing physics and in particular gravity in games like this (partially physically uncorrect) game but also a Ninja game and the book “physics of the buffyverse” (seems to be similar in intention to this book) were topics in his post.

Another gravity game has a possibility to change directions while flying but no walls and thus you may get lost in space easily. And there is a dial which shows you how far you are lost.

James Blunt returns to Kosovo

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

sport fans of sport club Vëllaznimi, Gjakovë, Kosova

When discussing videogames in this old randform post, I was also mentioning examples where “virtual identities” where mingled with real war. It would be exagerated to see this already as a trend. Nevertheless I recently found a similar example of this mingling – however this time in marketing strategies, namely in the new marketing campaign “James Blunt returns to Kosovo”.

A lot of people think the NATO troops in 1999 brought peace into Kosovo and may be they did, however it is not clear yet how the conflict will end. But regardless of what the result may be – the main message of that conflict was sofar more or less: there seems to be no other solution than to fight violence with violence. The same old story. In a civilized “post war Europe”.

Where in fact – not only Kosovo – but the entire war in former Yugoslavia was a slap into the face of civilization. Sarajevo – city of culture and mulitethnicity – wiped out like nothing. Accumulated traumatas are again going to be distributed over generations. But back to the campaign.

James Blunt – whose marketing adepts were already quite extensively playing out his double identity of being a former soldier in Kosovo and likewise a heartful popsinger returns now to Kosovo according to this campaign.

Is this in order to make him more attractive following an old evolutionary paradigma that a warrior is guaranteeing a better fitness? Is this for giving more authenticity to his virtual identity? Make him more real?

As I already said may be the Kosovo mission was sucessful, despite the violence of the mission. This is one thing. It is something else which is leaving me with a stale flavour after watching the above video teaser, namely the citation of James Blunt (at least thats what I hear towards the end of the video, blame me if its wrong):

“….in Kosovo the issues were real….”


or was this just a Blunt-vs.-Bond joke by Blunt – sotosay a my-own-private-Kosovo, what I was hearing? a sudden ironic self-reflecting outbreak?

two ironic James Blunt cover versions:
->my cubicle and
->bloody cold.

(James Blunts original song)

choppppping shopping

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

for he knows who.

What? When? Where?

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

yesterday morning, near Berlin.

breakthrough of the year

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Just a short note: Science voted Perelman’s work (from 2001/2 — it took the math comunity quite a while to work through his papers :-)) breakthrough of the year.

oriental webdesign

Thursday, December 21st, 2006


Yes – I have a weakness for oriental architecture (see also this old randform post) and I admit – our website design is depite the 70’s wallpaper hanging from above rather a pure adaptation of this gorgeous site about the topkapi palace! Although this topkapi palace main page is lowbandwidth/cellular-phone-unfriendly programmed in flash – the music on the site should sound enough inviting for everybody to take a trip to Istanbul into serious consideration.*

* (don’t forget to bring something to drink with you if you plan a long visit at the palace, there are various temperatures in Istanbul)

Oriental architecture is influenced by Islam (like e.g. the calligraphy at the Taj Mahal)- a religion which has been lately under fierce discussion in the western world. Those who do not know so much about the Islam may get a better access to it by looking at Islamic influenced art: Universes in Universe– Art from Islamic influenced countries and regions, a project in collaboration with the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Germany.

deterministic walk

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

A couple of days ago at lunch I learned about this deterministic “model” for random walks. (more…)


Monday, December 18th, 2006


-> youtube link with electricpiano chopin
->new scientist video and here
->ants robot
->updated ants page