Creative People Are So Cool.

Yeah, yeah, I know we're supposed to be busy packing, moving, etc., but I was just looking at Wooster and saw this:

and wanted to share it cause I think it's pretty awesome. The artist, Jim Darling said this about the project:

"The area that I've been spending time in has multiple abandon buildings, which are amazing. Unfortunately it also has a ton of trash scattered between the buildings. I decided to clean up the area by dragging all the junk into one location and making something out of it. With a little help I pulled four beds, six tires, and a large amount of scrap into one consolidated area... The trash that was scattered everywhere, was transformed into one giant character who found a great place to relax."


Assateague Island

On Saturday, Jason, Yuki, and I went to Assateague Island. Assateague Island stretches 37 miles along the Atlantic coast of the Eastern shore. (It's basically one enormous dune.) Jason and I had been a couple times before, but we wanted to make one more trip out there as we know it will be a long time before we make it back, if we ever make it back to this area. Also, we really wanted Yuki to meet the ocean.  Well, it was definitely love at first sight!  She ran like crazy all over the beach, chasing seagulls and making friends. She loves sand and digs on command, so there was a lot of that, too. Jason and I took a more leisurely approach, relaxing in the sun and just enjoying the view and the free entertainment provided by Yuki! We saw the infamous wild horses again though I've become a bit disenchanted with them since the last time we saw them as I have since learned that they are actually an overabundant invasive species who have become a real problem for the island as they munch their way through precious plants vital to the sustainability of the rare coastal ecosystems. But still, they are majestic:
 And although we have in our near future the prospect of spending some serious time on probably more beautiful beaches with better waves, Assateague will always be special to us, and we will miss it. Oh, and for those of you who know what happened last time we went to Assateague, you will be happy to know that I am only mildly sunburned this time. No sunburn induced vomiting or swelling here! I told Jason yesterday that instead of referring to my skin as fair, I'm going to start calling it what it really is: unfair! 


Broke, Blind, and Balding

The other day I made a joke to Tracy that after two years of law school I am broke, blind, and balding. It was a cynical reflection on a time of immense personal growth; although, I am in debt, my eyesight has diminished, and my hairline is receding. But it's unfair to blame the bad results of these two years on law school, because they are just as much results of life as the good (of which there are many). In fact, I don't like to think of them as bad results, because, more than anything, I have come to see everything as parts of a whole. The bad and the good are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other. Life is like a roller-coaster, if you are holding on tight, worrying about when you're going to drop off of the next hill, you're not going to enjoy the ride. The only thing that we really get to choose is where to sit. Other than that, we're just along for the ride. It just took me a little time, courage, and trust to learn that lesson, just like it did when I was a little boy at Six Flags working up the muster to let go of the handlebar on the Texas Giant. Sure it's not a perfect simile, but nothing is. That is what I have come to love about life. The only way to describe it is to experience it. How do you describe something that contains everything? Being afraid of what comes next, and living a life based on that fear distracts us from the beauty of what is right now (which is a result of what was before). However, we should not forget that fear completely. It exists within us for a reason. The instinct to survive compels us to fear the inevitable and struggle against it to the end. Without this need for life, we would not survive. But we should be cautious, because the future will come, and if we spend all of our time looking toward it, we will miss the present. I feel lucky to have the ability to see beyond the need for my own survival and procreation, to try to see the needs of the world that we are a part of. This self awareness has given me a great sense of responsibility and privilege. I am thankful that I have the ability to move beyond my natural narcissistic tendencies and realize my place within the greater being in which I exist. Because, in the end, I am only here for a fleeting moment relative to a life which exists on a timescale that ceases to have any comprehensible meaning. It is the impermanence and fragility of life that makes it worth living. The world was here before us and it will be here after, and to not experience it and be a part of it while we are here just seems like a wasted opportunity. I realize that I am very fortunate to have experienced enough of the world and to have gained enough knowledge to see beyond myself. I owe this revelation in many ways to the many technological advances of western society and the modern age. Again, however, what was necessary to bring us to this point may consume us entirely if not tempered with self-awareness (by that I also mean awareness of ourselves as part of the world) and humility. I'm not worried about it though. I will do what I think is right, even if I might fail, but I will try to keep my hands up with a smile on my face the whole time, because eventually the ride will end. After all, it wouldn't be any fun if it didn't. 

"Because mankind can circumvent evolutionary law, it is incumbent upon him, say evolutionary biologists to develop another law to abide by if he wishes to survive, to not outstrip his food base. He must learn restraint. He must derive some other, wiser way of behaving toward the land. He must be more attentive to the biological imperatives of the system of sun-driven protoplasm upon which he, too, is still dependent. Not because he must, because he lacks inventiveness, but because herein is the accomplishment of the wisdom that for centuries he has aspired to. Having taken on his own destiny, he must now think with critical intelligence about where to defer." 
- Barry Lopez


Olga Mink

If you are bored, if you are not bored, go to vimeo or here and check out some Olga Mink

Here are a couple of favorites:

trespassing [part of Nature of Being] from Olga Mink on Vimeo.

The artist wrote:

This video is based on the idea how we memorise and connect data stored in parts of our brain. Intercontextual information is created within moments, memories, images sounds, that have occured in the past. The video touches the subject of how people share a single event together, yet experience "reality" completely different.

Sans Soleil from Olga Mink on Vimeo.

Wise is he who enjoys the show offered by the world.

-Fernando Pessoa


See, people DO care!

I got this from www.tweenbots.com

"In New York, we are very occupied with getting from one place to another. I wondered: could a human-like object traverse sidewalks and streets along with us, and in so doing, create a narrative about our relationship to space and our willingness to interact with what we find in it? More importantly, how could our actions be seen within a larger context of human connection that emerges from the complexity of the city itself? To answer these questions, I built robots.

Tweenbots are human-dependent robots that navigate the city with the help of pedestrians they encounter. Rolling at a constant speed, in a straight line, Tweenbots have a destination displayed on a flag, and rely on people they meet to read this flag and to aim them in the right direction to reach their goal.

Given their extreme vulnerability, the vastness of city space, the dangers posed by traffic, suspicion of terrorism, and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. Because I built them with minimal technology, I had no way of tracking the Tweenbot’s progress, and so I set out on the first test with a video camera hidden in my purse. I placed the Tweenbot down on the sidewalk, and walked far enough away that I would not be observed as the Tweenbot––a smiling 10-inch tall cardboard missionary––bumped along towards his inevitable fate.

The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, "You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”

The Tweenbot’s unexpected presence in the city created an unfolding narrative that spoke not simply to the vastness of city space and to the journey of a human-assisted robot, but also to the power of a simple technological object to create a complex network powered by human intelligence and asynchronous interactions. But of more interest to me was the fact that this ad-hoc crowdsourcing was driven primarily by human empathy for an anthropomorphized object. The journey the Tweenbots take each time they are released in the city becomes a story of people's willingness to engage with a creature that mirrors human characteristics of vulnerability, of being lost, and of having intention without the means of achieving its goal alone. As each encounter with a helpful pedestrian takes the robot one step closer to attaining its destination, the significance of our random discoveries and individual actions accumulates into a story about a vast space made small by an even smaller robot."