Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wattenberg, Words, and Tags

My friend DK has been migrating his blog, limeduck, from blogger to wordpress. As DK works in marketing for a software company, some of what he says technically about blogs/web programs goes over my head. However, he recently posted on tagging and tag clouds, which struck a chord. While not completely familiar with the technical programs that generate these, the idea of categorizing and classifying data, words, and concepts hits the librarian/researcher bone in me. I do enjoy how DK brings in simple everyday examples: he put a Walt Whitman poem through a tag cloud program, creating a new artistic interpretation in the process.

Inspired by this post, I rediscovered and played with Martin Wattenberg’s and Marek Walczak's amazingly cool, engaging, and simple, yet profound web artwork, The Apartment (2001). TO EXPERIENCE -- Click on the following url and then click on the blinking and word apartment to launch and just start typing in words (nouns, verbs, etc.):

Sample Apartment, From

See more of Wattenberg's work
here. (I also recommend Sand Shrimp and Shortcut). I’ve heard this local IBM researcher-cum-artist speak and he is really smart and nice. Caution! The Apartment is extremely interesting and fun and you will likely spend a long time playing with it. Be sure to look at the constellation of apartments (all apartments) and click around! You can sort the apartments by vision, story, intimacy, secrecy, etc. Each is a discrete poem/creation in itself.
From "The Apartment" statement:

Viewers are confronted with a blinking cursor. As they type, rooms begin to take shape in the form of a two-dimensional plan, similar to a blueprint. The architecture is based on a semantic analysis of the viewer's words, reorganizing them to reflect the underlying themes they express. The apartments are then clustered into buildings and cities according to their linguistic relationships....Apartment is inspired by the idea of the memory palace. In a mnemonic technique from a pre-Post-It era, Cicero imagined
inscribing the themes of a speech on a suite of rooms in a villa, and then reciting that speech by mentally walking from space to space. Establishing an equivalence between language and space, Apartment connects the written word with different forms of spatial configurations.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Art for Sale: 20x200 and PRC Auction

Apparently, between Bruce's school and work, I've been swamped. I am sharing the below 2 bits until I can muster up a topic post.

The sleepless (sleepy?) Jen Bekman has just launched another brilliant idea, 20x200 - editions of 200 for $20 each. I just scooped up 2, and it was so easy and quick, it was scary. One mag states that she wants this to be the gateway drug to the artworld. I say Jen, you've succeeded! For me, as someone who works in a non-profit with a non-profit salary, I do buy some, but not a lot. This allows me to buy more! It also will be a great idea for presents.

Speaking of non-profits, you can help support the PRC and what we do by buying a piece of art at our benefit auction. You can "buy it now" on the silent auction right now, bid on the live on the evening of October 27, or if a $75 ticket is more your speed (it's a great party with an open bar and tons of yummy food), than by all means snap one up. Click here for the online catalogue and here for info on the event and tickets. Now, enough with the shameless promo (hey, it's our largest fundraiser of the year)-- off to work to help hang 170 works in silent auction.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Random list post

So sorry for the long absence! We've been covered up at the PRC with the benefit auction and Bruce started school last week. I am exhausted, thus a random list post is in order.

- Over on the Soth blog, another discussion has ensued; this time it's about art and education. Helping Bruce research graduate schools, applying, and now his attending, especially as an older MFA student, keeps such ideas fresh on our minds. I am crafting my response as we speak.

- The new issue of PDN is refreshing and excellent. The fine art photo issue unpacks the gallery mystery (budget breakdowns are all!), profiles several curators and editors, and tackles digital versus traditional print collecting. It just hit the PRC library, thanks to our friends at PDN. It's so good, in fact, I plan on getting my own copy to use in my upcoming class talks/visits/lectures.

- At the following link you will see Bruce's new set of wheels and graduate school residence, a 1991 westfalia vanagon. Although some of his classmates and our friends think it's wacky, I am wholeheatedly behind the idea! Plus, it's a real 'bute.