Archive for the ‘practice’ Category

Snapshot from the early days of digital

Byte Shop in Mountain View

“What was the first piece of software you published?” I asked my dad as we chatted in my studio last week.

Around 1977, he wrote Texwriter, an early word processing software for personal computers that laid out and indexed pages. Texwriter ran on 8080 and Z80 computers with 64k RAM; the floppy disks could be purchased at Byte Shop in Mountain View or later via mail through Seymour Rubinstein’s nascent venture MicroPro International. In those days Mike Posehn worked at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and he offered Texwriter to the secretary of his group, who wanted nothing to do with it. Why would they, when they had a sophisticated typewriter capable of saving, modifying, and duplicating multiple pages at a click? And if a typewriter sounds anachronistic, well, the landscape at the Lab was truly exotic. The shadow of the Cold War still loomed, with funding flowing for the technological best-in-class — like an oscilloscope with a Polaroid camera fitted to take a picture of the screen. All data capture was analog, and these beasts had to be elaborately synced and whispered to if one wanted to get the slightest set of calculations off the ground. It was an analog world on the cusp of a new wave.

Augmented reality meets CNC

Augmented reality meets CNC

In the mix

October studio view

‘All those who follow this particular life meet in the night in dreams. Rumi said, “The prisoner is not in his cell. The king is not in his palace. The soul in the night is free.”‘ — Irina Tweedie

Work in progress


Loose notes

Some time ago, I dreamed I saw a whale breaching twice. Marine biologists have theorized that whales breach as a form of long-distance communication, or perhaps a bit of play. After writing down my dreams for many years, I can’t escape the sensation that both art and dreams encrypt far more information than we notice or admit. When I was growing up, two was my lucky number. Maybe it’s because my wonderful brother and I — my only sibling — were born almost exactly two years apart, both Gemini. And just two years before my start, in another idle coincidence, Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman published the first protocol for public and private key exchange, a duality in cryptography upon which so much future technology would be built. As ideas have meandered through my practice, I’ve often ended up at a sculptural dialectic — a ghost town in a new city, a freeway column in a library without books, and a neon flying buttress supporting the walls of a cave — as if to ask, from these antithesis what experiences might be produced? Lately I’ve been reading Dr Scott Sparrow’s writing on dreams. He mentions that wonderful quote from the Gospel of Thomas about one becoming two, and links this to the moment a dream arises — from a state of rest, an observer and observable world emerge. I was reminded that our eyes are never static as they gaze. Quite outside our control, they require roving motion to generate a kind of map which we call vision. Whether light or dark, heat or cold, noise or quiet, our senses perceive via difference. And in the absence of difference, as the yogis of time immemorial tell us, perception recedes and consciousness returns to stillness, the ocean as it were.