All posts for the month February, 2016

This week I narrowed down my subject matter since the topic is so big.


I am trying to focus on technology leapfrogging.  A concept that developing countries can utilized better technologies to leapfrog past the mistakes of the current industrialized world.  ie Cell phones in Africa instead of building a full scale telephony infrastructure.


I thought about maybe making a game as an intervention to illustrate the topic, kind of like chutes and ladders.  You could play as a developing country such as Uganda, with the objective of finding and putting into use a leapfrog technology which would advance you up the board (Cell phones) or laboratory meat production instead of CAFO meat production.  But there may be pitfalls such as trying a technology that requires a lot of research and development and be forced to put an old technology in place as a stop gap measure (textile manufacturing).


It’s just an idea at this point, but what the hey.

Also doing some reading on the Art for the anthropocene I was inspired while thinking of the projects detailed.


Here are some of my ideas



A grown exhibition trees and plants grown into a woven sculpture puts the human audience outside of nature looking in.  Meant to shine a mirror on the how humans see themselves and nature.
Maybe there would be an inner ring and outer ring.  The inner ring would be the “nature” part and the outer ring would be a mirror.  When the audience stands in the middle facing “nature” they are apart form it, and when they face the mirror they become a part of “nature”, as they truly are.


Casting (3d imaging and printing ) of human remnants in and around endangered ecosystems.  Casting of vehicle tracks near sea turtle nests. Four wheeler tracks in yellowstone national forest.


A giant block of lead in a 1 inch pool of water to highlight the presence of heavy metals and industrial waste in Flint Michigan

Coal Ash

A large coal structure placed in a flowing stream to illustrate the damage done to NC waterways by the suspension of EPA regulations and a critique of the McCrory Administration and his relationship with Duke Energy.

Just some ideas I have bouncing around right now.


My Group is going to be AV Craig and Jordan.


We talked about combining something with projection mapping and anamorphosis.

Initial ideas based around anamorphosis utilizing techniques of Andrea Pozzo


When viewed from the center of the end of the hall the fresco looks three dimensional, when view from the side you can see the anamorphosis.

Or something like this work from Felice Varini




We have also talked about using a scrim to cover one of the windows on the floor and projecting content on it to show something that could be happening outside. Like a man jumping from the ledge or birds flying away like a starling murmeration or pigeons taking flight.


We have also played around with the  idea of something more physical like this work from Patrick Hughs

Hopefully with some input this week we’ll have a better idea and can get moving on the work.



The most fundamental takeaway from the excerpt of the book Seeing is Forgetting, and I believe that there are many, is what Irvin says about his own practice.  He says:

            “We are past minded, in the sense that all of our systems of measure are developed and in a sense dependent upon a kind of physical resolution.  We tag our renaissances at the highest level of performance, whereas it’s really fairly clear to me that once the question is raised, the performance is somewhat inevitable, almost just a mopping-up operation, merely a matter of time.  Now, I’m not anti performance, but I find it very precarious for a culture only to be able to measure performance and never be able to credit the questions themselves.”


It is an interesting quote especially considering the time he was in which he was working.  With contemporaries such as Frank Stella or Mark Rothko.  The works of these artists were striving toward the finish of the ideas that Irwin was asking questions about, but rather than the finish of the idea of the depth and boundaries of the canvas. But Irwin was interested in the journey.  The exploration and the process itself was what he considered to be his art.  Although he admits that he had some work that was seen to its conclusion, he sounds almost bored by it.  It was the curiosity and the development of the processes that was exciting to him.  It was also during this time that people like Miles Davis were changing jazz to its highly improvisational form.  Something more about the process than the end result of what is now called jazz fusion.


The excerpt of Seeing is Forgetting was also a fantastic insight to that process that Irvin was so interested in.  When speaking about dots the author chose some fantastic quotes about how the painting “blushed, and you blushed back.” It would seem that this was about the answer to the question that Irvin was asking, but the author talked so much about the painstaking process of achieving it, and in a way implying that it was only the beginning of that inquiry because it led Irvin to the disk work.  Which he said was more about experiential rather than intellectual concerns.  Something evocative and emotional.



What does the Great Acceleration mean?  To the World, individuals, continents, countries, humans, animals, the future, the present.  How is it related to planetary boundaries if it is at all?

What is does the US Military think about the great acceleration? What is it doing to prepare for possible security concerns over food insecurity, or peak water?

What effect would a United States effort akin to the WW2 efforts (industrial solutions to help the war effort i.e. meat rations, or entire industries converted to weapons development) tackling these problems have on BRIC countries or other developing nations.

Why do we feel the need to tease out information about climate change rather than other factors related to the great acceleration?  Why not biodiversity, population growth, urbanization, energy use, ocean acidification, real GDP, or water shortage?

Is mushroom technology a replacement for trees in the packaging industry which makes up 50% of the paper industry? What about recycling plastic? Sonoco paper mill?

What is closing the loop and why is it important?

How do we store carbon?

What is embodied impact and how can we know for sure what things have what embodied impact? What role does it play in The Great Acceleration?

I was volunteered to research the topic of “The Great Acceleration”, but after a day or so of doing other research I mis-remembered what the topic was a started a google search on Global Acceleration which yielded some strange results

Planetary motion making you feel dizzy? I didn’t even know that that was a thing. Surely this wasn’t what I was looking for so I double checked my topic and found this…

 That ‘s more like it.  I had heard of the anthropocene, but the great acceleration?  I am surprised I hadn’t heard anything about it before,  I mean in those terms. THE Great acceleration. And it is THE great acceleration.  At first glance you can look at the graphs and see this crazy 90 degree spike in everything (well mostly everything).  Then I started wondering, is this for real?  Or just some smart person that is extra capable at putting graphs together to great effect.
NO, it’s definitely a thing.
 This website (link) had this great power point and some of the history of how the term of Anthropocene came into being it.
The ‘Great Acceleration’ graphs, originally published in 2004 to show socio-economic and Earth System trends from 1750 to 2000, have now been updated to 2010. In the graphs of socio-economic trends, where the data permit, the activity of the wealthy (OECD) countries, those countries with emerging economies, and the rest of the world have now been differentiated. The dominant feature of the socio-economic trends is that the economic activity of the human enterprise continues to grow at a rapid rate. However, the differentiated graphs clearly show that strong equity issues are masked by considering global aggregates only. Most of the population growth since 1950 has been in the non-OECD world but the world’s economy (GDP), and hence consumption, is still strongly dominated by the OECD world. The Earth System indicators, in general, continued their long-term, post-industrial rise, although a few, such as atmospheric methane concentration and stratospheric ozone loss, showed a slowing or apparent stabilisation over the past decade. The post-1950 acceleration in the Earth System indicators remains clear. Only beyond the mid-20th century is there clear evidence for fundamental shifts in the state and functioning of the Earth System that are beyond the range of variability of the Holocene and driven by human activities. Thus, of all the candidates for a start date for the Anthropocene, the beginning of the Great Acceleration is by far the most convincing from an Earth System science perspective.

This was a real eye opener for me since I thought I was pretty up to date on climate change and global current events.  So I began looking into other information about this concept of The Great Acceleration which led me to this website (which I found to be pretty amazing and well put together as an interactive website with the most horrible news you could ever learn goes).

After finding this site, I had me wondering why these specific indicators were chosen as representative of this potential existential crisis that humans were facing, and then I found this quote.

Other indicators could be added, particularly as new datasets come online. For example, rare earth elements, international trade, steel, Arctic sea-ice loss and renewable energies are possibilities.

Which tells me that this work is still being done, and if it is still being done then maybe there is hope.  Maybe there are possibilities to reverse some of the adverse effects that pose this existential risk to most of life on the planet.  The view was dim but maybe not as dark as I thought.  Perhaps most encouraging about what I am finding on this topic is that the really smart people who are studying this phenomena are looking at it with a holistic approach.  Taking all of this disparate data and putting it together in one place to see a more birds eye view, one that provides a greater context and allows for a look into the possibilities of ways to approach fixing the problems.  I find this is a better approach than looking at tipping points, which leads to a defeatist type attitude to one of the greatest problems humankind has ever faced.  With this approach one can see potential for designing solutions to individual problems like dams, paper production, transportation, or international tourism.  It also points out that global GDP is the highest it has ever been, and with global communication at its highest rate ever we as a world can work together to develop really great design ideas to solve this problems and maybe pull ourselves back from the brink.


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There are a great many things that can be said of F is for Fake.  It’s illusory, irreverent, pretentious, cheeky, ahead of its time, and mostly true.  Welles was playfully doing a very interesting thing with breaking the fourth wall with the audience, or even the fifth wall with filmmakers and critics.  Going further than just addressing the audience directly by looking into the camera (generating rapport).  He steps intentionally in and out of the intended shot to reveal Oz behind the curtain.

Dressed much like a magician, he coaxes the audience into the belief that what was true were illusions and what was illusory were true.  The pace of the cutting and changing of perspectives in the beginning were dizzying… confusing. Like the slight of hand he plays with the little boy, he sets the viewer up to disbelieve their own eyes and minds.  He goes so far as to tell the viewer that for the first hour everything he says will be true.

The facts about Elmyr (the forger), Irving (the faker), Howard Hughes (the recluse), and Reichenbach (the filmmaker?) are all true. But with some slight of hand, or a 1970’s version of misdirection (naked Kodar, if it is even Kodar), he begins a falsehood that leaves the viewer questioning everything that they have just seen.

I found the film to be a delightful commentary on the value of art (or all things we consider to have value), the truth, experts, critics, and the structure of storytelling in film, even if Welles is a self-proclaimed and otherwise proven charlatan.

To take a tip from Orson, I might make an aside…

Here is an interesting take by Tony Zhou from the Every Frame A Painting channel on vimeo talking about how ahead of its time this film really was.