March 29, 2003

spring break

What I did on my vacation:

  • Walked around the neighborhood.
  • Worried about the world.
  • Got teeth cleaned.
  • Haircut.
  • New and used clothes: Gap and Goodwill.
  • Cleaned up website and weblogs - still some glitches, but I'm happier. (CSS rules - look ma, only one table!)
  • Figured out how to use the panorama tripod head.
  • Read aloud to my children.
  • Read to myself.
  • Wrote a little.
  • Cleaned less.
  • Laughed.

Posted by EGP at 12:55 AM

March 22, 2003


Sometimes you just need to laugh. Sometimes you make art. Or a mess. (We're painting/potato printing on tee-shirts this afternoon.)

Posted by EGP at 12:43 PM

March 19, 2003

another way to look at it

Even as the t.v. tells me that bombs are being dropped on Baghdad, I can read about it in the weblog of an Iraqi citizen.

Posted by EGP at 10:29 PM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2003


On Sunday there was a candlelight vigil in the little park two blocks from our house. I think nearly fifty people were there: friends, acquaintances, strangers, all from our community. All over the world, as it turned 7:00 where they were, people gathered to light candles and quietly demonstrate for peace.

When your children are young, you can never tell what will make an impression on them - you just do what you can and hope for the best. Today Piper (2 1/2) and I were walking past the park. Unprompted, she said to me, "We say peace. Daddy say peace. Mummy say peace. Benjamin and Thomas say peace. I say peace, too."

Posted by EGP at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)

March 14, 2003

paper prototyping

Paper prototyping seems like a useful, flexible, and efficient tool for testing any number of things - but I particularly like the idea of a software engineer or developer pretending to be the computer, while another person pretends to be the user. Maybe we could dispense with the technology altogether and just push pieces of paper across the table at each other? I love the playfulness, the highly serious silliness involved.

Posted by EGP at 10:23 AM

March 12, 2003

the thingness of light

fragments and phrases from the James Turrell lecture sponsored by the Mattress Factory and the Center for Art in Society at Carnegie Mellon

transcribed from notes written in the dark, while watching a video projection of the artist's talk which was going on in the filled auditorium next door... after a false fire alarm and flashing lights had emptied the building... so I never actually saw James Turrell tonight - just his image in light - one room removed.

please think of this as glimpses and suggestions...

The thingness of light

his early discovery that "I could sell colored air and blue sky"

the way we see light in a dream - the light itself has this thingness

we have prejudiced perception, thinking that hot is red and cold is blue, when the opposite is true. (Melting steel goes from red through blue to white as it gets hotter.)

light is a plastic medium

painting in three dimensions - hypothetical space

in early work the projected light itself became the source

light has always been a subject of painting, but I wanted to create a non-vicarious experience of light

if you isolate light from the outside

you see light holding the space

the thingness of light was finally coming to pass

the play of light with another light behind it holding the space

spaces within the space of the sky - read Saint-Exupery

truth in the light from a t.v. - walking past apartments and seeing the light from the t.v. coloring the space. different channels express different colors.

doesn't distinguish between natural and artificial light - you have to burn something to get light, and what comes out depends on what's being burned

you can only hold onto a color for 6-8 seconds and then it begins to fade - retinal fatigue.

the creation of indeterminate (not infinite) space

you can train someone to sense color through the skin

a John Cage concert in 1961 at Pomona College was instrumental in making him want to be an artist

matching sound quality to light quality

there never is no light, no sound

interested in creating work which triggers vision

when light is reduced and the pupil opens we see better, feeling color, we touch with the eye

cutting the architecture (rectangular opening in the ceiling) the volume of the sky comes right down to the opening

observatory in Jaipur, camera obscura effect

Tanizaki's book, In Praise of Shadow

a bath in a building in Japan where you become the source of light when you go into the water

being in a space that is itself seeing - being in a camera obscura

Roden Crater and directions to a construction crew: we're changing the shape of the top of this crater and by doing this we'll change the shape of the sky

challenging, because light doesn't scale - it falls off in proportion to the inverse square of the distance

but kept working at it and it began to work

when you lie down and look up, the shape of the sky changes - it's malleable

we make closure

not only can we change the color of the sky, we can change its shape...

Posted by EGP at 11:14 PM | Comments (2)

March 7, 2003

a new manifesto

World of Ends - What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else. by Doc Searls and David Weinberger (two of the Cluetrain authors), is worth reading if you get a chance. They may be stating the obvious, but they do it concisely.

(And of course the whole piece is in the public domain.)

Posted by EGP at 8:42 AM | Comments (1)

March 4, 2003

holiday observance

As the temperature rose into the forties, with no rain or snow, it was a good day to take a walk.

Exelauno Day is not much celebrated any more, though I remember hearing of it when I was in school. Of course, as a student who took the first semester of first year Greek three times before going on to a second semester, I never did read Xenophon. Still, exelauno means "I march forth," and I do have a weakness for puns, so there it is.

Posted by EGP at 10:41 PM

March 1, 2003

Marko Ahtisaari

Can't figure out a way to link to a particular entry on Marko Ahtisaari's weblog, but there is much good to be found there.

Particular likes: the entry for Feb. 13 about the economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, which reminded me, among other things, of the old Beyond the Fringe skit about Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore... "'Come in,' he said. I waited a while, to test the validity of his proposition..."

also: his thoughtful entries on Feb. 11 and 12 responding to the Clay Shirky article about power laws and their implications...

So, as readers on the web do, I prospected back from his blog address...

to the domain name,, which turns out to be "an open community of over four hundred people working in different fields of life including science, art, business, government and NGOs. Aula is a nonprofit cooperative that encourages professionals and enthusiasts from various fields to develop new projects together - for more innovative art, science, and technology, and for a better world, future, and quality of life." The group is based in Helsinki, but seems international. Some of the Aula projects run parallel to, or anticipate, or illuminate, conversations I've been having with friends and family about community, art, and technology. I followed links and read and even downloaded a design thesis, Story of Aula, to read on my laptop. "Forget WAP, think sofas."

Posted by EGP at 5:08 PM | Comments (1)

and somewhere in France

Not only does he write good prose, but he also takes wonderful pictures.

Now if only I knew why Dean Allen's site motto has shifted from "Intellectual Property is Theft" to "Minneapolis Delenda Est."

Posted by EGP at 12:42 AM