Thursday, June 29, 2017

" An artist imagines beyond the box" : Tal thought and humour : June and Aug 21, 2013

That's Tal's brain there in the left hand corner sending his imagination literaly outside the box and into the sky !

Here are some notes of his on the subject a few months later : 

"I was trained as an artist. I was trained to think as an artist. I haven't changed an inch! 

What is an artist? Thinking creativly and being like an artist ? 

It's being able to imagine beyond the box! 

It is more accepted now.

People that want to be an artist? Encourage them ! It could lead to them being on a Mayor's advisory council or to becoming a General in the new Army." 

This last reference to being a "General in the Army ( "small caps A" per TS )  was something Pop was working on intermitantly. 

Hospitalised in Manhattan, Kansas in the aftermath of his stroke, he spoke daily with his caregivers about his wanting to start what he called the green army which would only do "peaceful" work,   

Artists were high ranking generals in this army. 

With loss of his right parietal,  he offered this kind of wild dream-like  story daily. He may have heard someone mention the nearby base of Fort Riley, home to the "Big Red One" and incoroprated that into his waking conversation.

We knew he wasn't crazy or suffering from dementia, just had loss of the right parietal ! We consider ourselves lucky to have crossed the writing of Gazzaniga that explained this type of brain injury. So many neurologists just write off treatment or help for families dealing with this ! 

And his other admonition of "imagine beyond the box ? That brain sitting in the red cube but still able to soar outside of the constraints of his body and situation ? Beautiful!   
We have this drawing thanks to his caregiver and incredible companion, Jason Tracey. 

- Lissa on this very sunny, bright and dry day in Paris. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Flying Together ! Labodanse@Palais de la Découverte


Paris, May21 20172:30AM

We enter a round darkened space with a small group of seats in the middle. A "coach" , Matthieu Gaudeau with encouragment and laughter, gets our huge group moving in unison( felt like a 100 but maybe 50 ?) We circle the space in the dark, hand on the person in front of us. At first slowly moving, then gain some momentum. We switch directions. Having been a follower we are now leading someone behind us. We stop and turn to face the center of the room. Our coach asks us to toss an imaginary object to those on the opposite side who catch it and toss it back. Back and forth. Back and forth.

We are now one organism in this space. We take our places in the center of the room.

There is a lovely bird like image made up of points of light on a screen in front of us. Several people stand and sit down. First the left side then the right. And we figure out that we are moving the left and right wings with our mouvement. We try more fluid action like you see crowds doing in a stadium wave. This takes some practice! A large bird flys into view

We suddently understand that we are "flying" the bird ! Somewhat clumsily at first, but with better and better coordination as we all get into it. We fly!

In fact this "stimergy" seems to work best when one is aware of the partner on either side of you while orienting yourself to the image ahead.

A kind of a chaotic mass starts to appear and expand in front of our flying bird. Like magnetic particles separating into opposite poles. We learn that this image is created by our clapping together or using our voices in unison. I wasn't sure which.

So we are both flying the bird and creating the environment in front of the bird.

Two artists : quietSpeaker (Andrea Mancianti, Roberto Pugliese ) had been working with our movements to make the surrounding soundscape.

Mindboggling how this all came together.Altho there obviously was quite complicated technology involved, it disappeared and was at the service of the overall experience !

Oh it was over way too soon ! Everyone has an astonished look on their face as we filed out. Even Mattieu ! When I ask him if he had done this before he said no it was the first time for them too !

One thing that comes to mind is just how different this is from an oculus rift kind of experience where one is lost in ones own singularity.

There we were. Out in the world, working as one, flying as one. Just fantastic.

And that was but one of our experiences last night !

"Dreamers" the other installation was another thing all together !

Took me hours to ride home as I got lost once with so much adrenalin running around ! Paris looked like another planet last night !

Pop would have loved every second.

Labodanse@Palais de la Découverte

Thank you to Labodanse : Asaf Bachrach w/ his incredible team of artists for inviting me

Please check out their website that I have linked in up there. It is in french but I think we all know how to use the translation options these days don't we?

- Lissa

off to work on her Pop job with this new energy and inspiration. CAVS 50th Celebration Flying Red Line proposal here we come !

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friends of Tal: John Maeda

Today John Maeda is opening speaker on an online free conference entitled Design and Exclusion.

For those of you that don't know who John is, you might want to check out his website (the old one, still up and running !) :

Pop was always singing his praises from back in the day when he was a Fellow at CAVS.

When Jay Lee joined the Media Lab as artist in residence, Pop visitied on a regular basis. There was quite a fruitful exchange of ideas and inspiration between the artists at CAVS like Pop and the design and tech folks at the Media Lab across the street. Remember Pop's writing on Play, from that time, Jay ?

Someday my hope is that we will have an online "book" of the future with access to all of Pop's writing.

John Maeda is first port of call. His Reactive Books were favorites of Pop's and look like the starting place / ingredients for this book of the future.

Indeed Pop drew the outline of this project in an email that he sent me back in 2008, introducing me to Windsong, a friend he hoped I'd be able to collaborate with on his online "book" :

He wrote : "

I'm checking out soon a free download program that Ken Conrad in Seattle and David Wagner here in SF use for designing back and forth, talking and drawing which immediately appears on each other's laptop screens (meaning it's there in their and savable in their hard-drives as well as immediately accessible for working back and forth.

This might be a very handy ongoing tool for you and Windsong, beyond sitting next to each other---if this association comes to past working out for the two of you.

Here's George and Melanie's site. 
They use Google Software.which you can check out, right at the top on the site---a common addition for those using this using this program.

The letters spinning wildly around, following the path of mouse movements is the creation of Jay's mentor in the MIT Media Lab, John Maeda, now president of RISD. More about him later. Another program John once showed me, won my heart over to him. John's mother was an office typist in Japan, a wonderful homage to her memory, was the basis of a program that imitated the sound of a typewriter as you struck the computer keyboard, writing text.

Initially, I'd like to suggest you and Lissa considering the following:

I would very much enjoy having this early mouse trailing a line of type (on the airworks-studio site as a kind of homage expressing my feelings for John Maeda's wonderful work. It remains one of my favorite digital typographic design inventions.

A full screen/page width margins for all the writing which will appear on this site---not taking up so many pages as it would with a narrow column, however this might look nice as a design element..

I favor sans serif body text, with let's say something along the lines of Times Roman for titles , italic Times Roman introductory copy text, say, but I'm up for...???

Three separate sections: Kites (I've got a picture of Blackstone the Magician holding a big ring, ready to pass it over a levitating lady---the confluence pretty much of my life-long career, established at nine-years of age, my fascination with both stage magic and the magic of kites flying in the sky And my sculpture tends often to take the form of lines, tower-like, rising up into the sky, drawing attention as much to sky as to themselves. I've often described them as "ladders into the sky."

Finally , separate "chapters" for kites, sculpture; photography.and books and essays , fiction and non-fiction outside these three primary topics..???? "

So you see we have our work cut out for us. Windsong and I. Almost ten years on from that missive from him. I haven't forgotten and have spent many a late night trying to learn how to make these things. Incorporating these ideas using sound, visuals, interactive play and stimulus.

One of those wonderous life threads where we have no idea where it will take us but that we love following.

Thank you, all of you who have been sending Romig and I messages on the anniversary of Pop's passing this past week, three years ago.

Don't know if you noticed but he was up there in the night sky the previous week. In fine form she and I thought ! Lissa Tal's daughter in Paris