Yesterday was a blur. We got into the space around 11 (Michele and Sarah) and Noon (Jeremy, after working 4 hours on other projects) and set about wrapping up some of the projects so we could start laying things out in the gallery. Technical difficulties ruled the early afternoon – trying to get video from animated gifs proved problematic. There seems to be no getting my Quartz Composer files out of that software and into video. Michele crashed her whole Final Cut suite and had to reinstall. But these little problems were not disasters, just challenges.
I put the whole video operation on pause for a while and went back to one of my globe projection drawings, translating from one projection view of the world into another projection drawing, layered and shifted. It is basically a globular projection of the world with a cylindrical (?) projection overlaid on it. But I drew the cylindrical projection in eight segments instead of twelve, so I had to interpolate the continents to work with the new divisions. I went back to that off and on over the course of the day and finally got it done by the time we left.
John Kim came by yesterday, and explained to Michele how his New Time (also known as Metric Standard Time) works, and how we can convert from our times zones (ICI time, Pacific Time, Eastern Time, India Time) to his Metric time. Its a little complicated, but she went back over all our time cards (we have been punching in and out each time we go to ICI) and filled in the Metric times for each stamp. We also had a skype visitation by Boris Margolin, who Sarah toured around the space via laptop. Boris and John’s New Time App was installed on Michele’s iphone, and tomorrow (today?) we will figure out how that one will be presented.
Several videos got output to DVD finally. Two simultaneous walks – in Munich and LA. A rotating lens reflecting the ICI courtyard canopy, two Foucault’s pendulums, again in Munich and LA, two days and two nights in Boston and LA, two cross country trips, and finally the stereoscopic videos made it onto DVD. There was a lot of testing projections for the 3d stereoscopic photographs, and we finally got just the right method of showing those.
We took a short break for dinner and got back to work. By the time we punched out, we had been there around 12 hours.
Here are some images from the past couple of days…
While Jeremy and I were at our crit group meeting, Sarah spent the morning transcribing and re-transcribing text from The Island of the Day Before using carbon paper. The process allowed for an ever evolving abstraction to occur, similar in concept (although not aesthetically) to the degradation that occurs after a document has been photocopied too many times. Today I will attempt to translate the final abstraction into legible text again, without seeing the original sentence.
Right now Sarah and I are printing photos that we have shot over the last few days, as well as some that Nicole has sent us. Nicole’s will be juxtaposed with mine and some carbon copied text. This is one she shot of our father describing his travels between timezones to her students.
Above is the result of an experiment we carried out at ICI today. We made 3d sterographic portraits! This is one of a sculpture in the garden at ICI.
Jeremy named The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco as a book that is influential to the ideas we will work with during the residency. I read the book years ago, and decided to re-read it, beginning on my journey from Boston to LA. I’m struck by the richness of the text, and have been marking passages I plan to excerpt for work at ICI. The humor, and ideas of parallel experience emerge as I read. Jeremy, Michele and I are busy with the work of collaborating, unearthing an archive, making interdisciplinary work, and planning an exhibition, simultaneously, and I can’t speak for them, but I am glad to have this text at my side to ground my thoughts and ideas.
We’ve received virtual visitation in the form of art work from fellow Risers Nicole Jaquis and Tim Devin today! Nicole sent two very striking documentary photos of her father visiting Hardiwar India, where Nicole lives. We plan to pair a print of one of the photos, (a shot of Marty, Nicole and Michele’s father, jet-lagged and asleep ) with an excerpt from The Island of the Day Before.
Tim Devin’s work arrived in the mail this morning. It’s a project called BBC Broadsides. These are posters that represent statistical maps with information about Los Angeles demographics and water supply. They will be posted throughout the city. Photos of the posters in the city will be exhibited at the 10/10∆8 Exhibition. More on Tim’s project, another version of which he completed in Boston, can be found here.
This morning at ICI we looked at grammar school film strips on a Dukane film strip projector and decided on a particularly apt frame to include in the exhibition. The film strip, entitled Space Travel A.D. 2000, includes a frame that shows a drawing of a boy on the beach and the caption reads “We know that the world is round, but we seldom sense that it really is.” Michele looks through the film strip titles in their cases below.
Today Sarah Rushford arrived and moved in to the Lab with us. Getting cozy in there. She and Michele did a tour of the facilities, and then hunted around the physical archive for some optical toys to play around with. They pulled some opaque projectors, a Super 8 Cartridge Projector (!), and some stereoscope viewers and slides. They started working on stereoscopic video… hope to get some of that working tomorrow.
I stopped by the art supply store to get a big beam compass so I could complete my Graticule drawing – the arc centers were going way beyond any tool I had around and the string trick wasn’t so precise. I also picked up some copper leaf. Will see where that ends up. Ran into some problems while drawing latitude – apparently you cant divide an arc into 9 segments using geometry. I spend a while stuck on that and did some research, then resorted to measuring the arc with a string, pulling the string straight to get a line, and dividing that line. Then I used that spacing to divide up the arc (transferred by divider). Whew. Drawing the latitude arcs is turning out to be slow, so I hope to finish that tomorrow.
Last night, after getting home from ICI, I started messing around with Quartz Composer and a plug-in for it called Rutt Etra 2.0.1, which is a digital version of the video synthesizer of the same name from the 1970s. It will basically create 3D scan-line renderings of images, with the Z-axis heights based on how bright parts of the image are. Took me a long time to figure out the simple syntax for Composer, and get anything to come out of it – but then, it was super easy to manipulate once running. Not sure yet what I will do with this effect, but I like it.
That last image there is based on the video I posted yesterday, of shadows on the fountain sculpture.
Michele and I spent most of the day working in the lab at ICI today, and doing a bit of research. I pulled a few books about longitude, mapping and a great science text called The Study of The Physical World that had some explanations of the different map projections of the world. I decided to try drawing one of these, using only a compass, divider and straightedge (no measuring). Actually, I wanted to draw only the graticule – the grid of latitude and longitude. Naturally, I started with the easiest to construct by hand – The Globular Projection. It’s basically two hemisphere views (as seen in old Atlases and earth science texts) laid out in circles tangent to each other. All was going great, until I had to figure out how to find the centers of the lines of longitude. Took me a bit to learn how to construct an arc that will pass through three given points, but once I had that down, it was on with the repetition. I still have the latitude lines to lay out tomorrow. I am hoping my precision gets better as this goes on – my lines were pretty fuzzy, and I had to improvise a couple of long compasses for the center points that went way off the page. String worked best.
Around late afternoon I noticed the light coming in through the trees was pretty amazing, so I went around the place shooting short videos wherever the shadows landed. Will work them into something else down the road I am sure.
Michele spent the day editing video that was shot over ten years ago on two different cross country trips (flying W->E in July 1999 and driving E->W in June 2000). She also remade the timecards to include a column for John Kim’s Metric Standard Time. We’ll have to wait for John to arrive to figure out the conversion.
I spent the afternoon at The ICI making our timecards and researching timezones.
Apparently The ICI is in its own timezone and calendar (note the Feb 24 stamp), while Rise Industries members are in Pacific Standard Time, Indian Standard Time, and Eastern Standard Time.
Over the next few weeks the whole crew at Rise Industries will be participating in a residency (some in person, some via mail/skype/phone/email) and show over at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry in west Los Angeles. We will be tracking the development of our various projects and excursions here of course.
Michele and I will start inhabiting their lab and gallery spaces this week, and get down to doing some research and interventions. Later this week Sarah Rushford will join us there, and we will be organizing information flows to and from the rest of our membership in order to get them involved. This whole undertaking will be experimental in a few different ways, especially as an experiment in modes of collaboration and attempts at cross-pollination of ideas. We shall see how it goes.
In the meantime, I have been tossing together some ideas and images related to our vague research directions of time and distance.
Since the Earth rotates at a steady rate of 360° per day, or 15° per hour, there is a direct relationship between time and longitude.
The vernal equinox itself precesses very slowly in a westward direction relative to the fixed stars, completing one revolution every 26,000 years approximately.
During the time needed by the Earth to complete a rotation around its axis (a sidereal day), the Earth moves a short distance (approximately 1°) along its orbit around the sun.
Therefore, after a sidereal day, the Earth still needs to rotate a small additional angular distance before the sun reaches its highest point. A solar day is, therefore, nearly 4 minutes longer than a sidereal day.
Locations (to date):
WGS84 48° 8′ 0″ N, 11° 34′ 0″ E
Los Angeles, CA, USA
WGS84 34° 3′ 0″ N, 118° 15′ 0″ W
Somerville, MA, USA
WGS84 42° 23′ 15″ N, 71° 6′ 0″ W
Boston, MA, USA
WGS84 42° 21′ 28″ N, 71° 3′ 42″ W
WGS84 29° 57′ 36″ N, 78° 9′ 36″ E
Here are some photos from our first day preparing for the upcoming Rise Industries residency at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry. We will be part 8 of the 100/10 (100 Days, 10 Visions) project series and plan to collaborate across time and space with our fellow Rise Industries members from around the globe.
Thank you Anna and Elaina for a great day today! Jeremy and I are so inspired that we haven’t left the studio since we got home.
For the past few months I have been learning how to say “I have to tell you something, but I don’t know how,” in several languages as an ongoing performance/video/installation project. This endeavor is proving to be both challenging and rewarding. I think there is inherent failure in it, but I recite the sentences in my head frequently to keep what I’ve learned, and will take Erika’s suggestion to make an MP3 of all my instructors/collaborators saying the sentence so that I can listen to the correct pronunciations and intonations on a loop while driving. I can now say this sentence in Japanese, German, Thai, Armenian, Korean, and Spanish – although with a slight American accent. I also learned Farsi and Hebrew, but have yet to memorize them. So far even with two years of Hebrew School under my belt (although 26 years ago) that was the hardest, and perhaps a bit disappointing to realize how little I retained from Hebrew School. Or perhaps just that originally learning Hebrew with a NY accent made perfecting the Isreali accent much more difficult than I anticipated. Gil was a patient, yet serious teacher, working with me to get the sounds right, but after over an hour (and a change of videotape) we resigned to the fact that certain sounds cannot be made by everyone. Video stills from each lesson with be added as the project continues… email me if you have a language to teach and want to participate.
video still from Japanese lesson with Takeshi Kobayashi
video still from German lesson with Rashad Navidi
video still from Thai lesson with Hataya Tubtim
video still from Armenian lesson with Maria Khachatryan
video still from Korean Lesson with John Kim
video still from Farsi lesson with Solange Petrosspour
video still from Spanish Lesson with Erika E. Reynoso
video still from Hebrew Lesson with Gil Barel
Early last month I stopped by Machine Project in Echo Park to check out the ship that was rumored to have been built inside (and through) their small storefront space. The opening was packed, with crowds spilling out onto the street, and as soon as I strolled in I could see why – there was in fact a rather large ship taking up most of the space inside.
The ship, an installation by Josh Beckman called Sea Nymph, served as the site for seven weeks of maritime themed programs. Events ran the gamut from crocheting jellyfish, to lectures on navigation or pirates (the hacking kind though I believe), to a puppet show about Moby Dick. Unfortunately, that ship has now sailed, as it was taken apart last weekend. So – if you have not yet seen Machine Project’s majestic sailing ship, you will have to be satisfied with these here photos and videos.
As per their usual mode, Machine managed to cram art/craft/academics/tech and pure joy into an ambitions project, and then stretch it out over a couple of months of interesting programming. Take this as a lesson – if you can get to the next seemingly crazy thing they put on in there, you be sure not to miss it this time.