Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Austin City Limits

Hello again,

I have recently relocated from Evanston, landing in Austin, TX right on the hottest day of the year (112 F). It's a strange kind of dry heat here - not like Chicago's oppressive humidity. I'm going to be using this blog to track some of my experiences working with Habitat for Humanity (I am a construction crew volunteer for this year) as well as my usual interweb scourings.

I'm also starting to volunteer at the Yellow Bike Project, which happens to be about a quarter-mile from where I'm living. The people there are great; it reminds me a lot of the Recyclery in Chicago. There's the same interesting mix of gear heads, local riders, neighborhood kids and retirement-age volunteers at Yellow Bike.

True to form, I went in to do a general clean and lube and ended up breaking a spoke and shearing the cable adjustment nut on my front deraileur. Better in the shop than on the road, I guess.

Ausin reminds me of Minneapolis in some ways - a small city with a killer music scene, vibrant young (hipster) community, quiet, relatively horn-free downtown, and a LOT of cycling. Austin seems to have a one-up in the two wheels department: snow and cold are no concern. Still, the road quality leaves a lot to be desired, and there's nothing here like the Midtown Greenway.

Saturday was my first night - I stumbled on a sweet hip hop arts show at 5th and Waller, then made my way to a pretty sweet barn-flavored bar up on Rainey. On Sunday I checked out the Downtown area and visited UT's campus. Yesterday I had the most unexpectedly delicious cappucino from the Patika trailer, then wolfed down a veggie chili dog before rolling into Yellow Bike.

The town certainly has a lot to offer, and I know that I've only scratched the surface.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Digital Love

Back again...

Some new web-based stuff that's been floating around has caught my attention.

Particularly THIS**. (note - google chrome or other webGL-ready browser necessary)

After my first response, I realized that this sort of experiment is exactly the kind of realtime interactive art that Tale of Tales and That Game Company have been espousing.

Behind the genius of 3 Dreams of Black is a development process made completely transparent - the artists have fully documented how they realized the piece, the code is open source and can be visualized in real-time, and they've included a few toys and tools to experiment with WebGL and graphical manipulation. Awesome.

So we find ourselves one step closer to the"interactive poetry" That Game Company has propagandized, as well as the "punk economy" (re: Open Source) in Tale of Tale's manifesto. What's next?

For starters, Bjork's new album is being released incrementally, with an iphone or ipad app to accompany each song. While I dislike the (possibly inadvertent) marketing ploy for Apple products, the interactive apps look really cool. Plus, Crystalline is a killer track!

WebGL is exactly the kind of thing that the Graffiti Research Lab should snatch up. These guys have been behind some really interesting experiments in street-art-oriented technology, such as the eyewriter (which has a heartbreaking but inspiring origin story) and graffiti markup language - a file format used to store graffiti motion and position data.

Part of the power of WebGL lies in the potential for high-end graphics to be processed in the cloud, meaning that your meager little netbook may be able to deliver super high-res visuals. I myself am a little wary of the cloud - too much personal data floating around, what with the recent Sony hack...

But you can't hold back the future. And since we're one step away from iBrain implants, we might as well make something cool with it.

**(Thanks to Emily Rifkin for sending me the link to 3 Dreams of Black!)

Monday, March 21, 2011


I'd rather be an inconsistent blogger than an hourly twitterer (tweeter?). I've been working on a few projects related to my upcoming concert, and decided to use this page to give some account of my ideas and progress.

At the risk of over-hyping, this is easily the most ambitious project I'll have realized (if I can pull it off, that is).

Not being one to half-ass creative activities, and with a tendency to pursue ideas to the point of overkill, I've spent the last year or so planning out the performance. Granted, not everything is happening as initially conceived - the evolution of works is often much more important than the germinating idea.

Fortunately, I've had help from some very good artists, animators, composers and musicians. I hope you can make it on April 8th - should be interesting at the very least.