Allotropes of carbon

Eight structures made of carbon: diamond, graphite, Buckminsterfullerene, C540, C70, amorphous carbon, and single-walled carbon nanotube
Eight structures made of carbon: diamond, graphite, Buckminsterfullerene, C540, C70, amorphous carbon, and single-walled carbon nanotube

Using the same element (in this case carbon), different arrangements can result in wholly different structures known as allotropes.  From Wikipedia:

For example, carbon has 3 common allotropes: diamond, where the carbon atoms are bonded together in a tetrahedral lattice arrangement, graphite, where the carbon atoms are bonded together in sheets of a hexagonal lattice, and fullerenes, where the carbon atoms are bonded together in spherical, tubular, or ellipsoidal formations.

I love the permutations and simplicity and am imagining an art practice that restricts itself chemically.  It would be known as “Atomic Minimalism” and artists would restrict themselves to single elements, varying only their structure.

Walter Murch on blinking

In preparing excerpts for my video students, I found this lovely passage from “In the Blink of an Eye” by Walter Murch.

… It would be fascinating to take an infrared film of an audience and find out when and in what patterns people blink when they are watching a movie.  My hunch is that if an audience is really in the grip of a film, they are going to be thinking (and therefore blinking) with the rhythm of the film.

There is a wonderful effect that you can produce if you shine infrared light directly out in line with the lens of a camera.  All animal eyes (including human eyes) will bounce a portion of that light directly back into the camera, and you will see bright glowing dots where the eyes are: It is a version of the “red-eye” effect in family snapshots taken with flashbulbs.

If you took a high-contrast infrared motion picture of an audience watching a film… you would see a galaxy of these dots against a field of black.  And when someone in the audience blinked, you would see a momentary interruption in a pair of those dots. (pg. 70)

Pizza deliveries cataloged on Google Maps

Pizza delivery and military base

While looking at a grayed-out military base on Google Maps sent to me by a friend and visible above in the lower right-hand corner, I found a link to the above map.  It appears that pizza delivery driver Will Dockery and his fellow employees have documented their deliveries from October 20, 2008 until the most recent update on September 8, 2009.

I love the overlapping histories and trajectories; Dockery’s deliveries bounded by the forbidden zone of the military base.  What if every cell phones enabled a simple tracking of a behavior, overlaid on a map?  What if this kind of data were as ubiquitous as photography?

Holmgren’s permaculture principles as studio practice?

David Holmgren’s “12 Design Principles” are intended for permaculture, but seem completely applicable to a studio practice.

  1. Observe and interact – By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy – By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield – Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback – We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services – Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behaviour and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste – By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details – By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate – By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions – Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity – Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal – The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change – We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Via: Wikipedia

The very interesting has lots of random integer, Keno numbers, jazz scale, etc generators on their site.  My two favorites are:

Random location

Random Geographic Coordinates – plan a vacation this way? You can contact twiddy rentals to rent a beautiful place next to the beach, I have had awesome experiences with them.


Random Bitmap Generator – not that this is that hard to do with simple programming, but a nice and simple interface for those not inclined