Archive for 2010

Color changes things

Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943. Reproduction from color slide. Photo by Jack Delano. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Back in 2006, the Library of Congress organized an exhibition titled  Bound for Glory: America in Color that showcased little-known color images taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI).

Made from color transparencies taken between 1939 and 1943, these images change the way we see the past.  I mean, there’s just so much more color.  As silly as that seems to say, it makes these photos intimate and relate-able in a way that I haven’t felt before.  The black and white images of this era neutralize the bright colors and patterns in the clothing, signs, and wallpaper.  It makes it seem like this time wasn’t so long ago.

The photographs depict the effects of the Depression on America’s rural and small town populations, the beginning of the nation’s subsequent economic recovery and industrial growth, and the country’s great mobilization for World War II.

According to Wikipedia, these slides would have been some of the first of their time, as the chronology of the development of color transparencies look like this:

  • 1936: Agfacolor (transparency film)
  • 1940: Ektachrome (slide film)
  • 1942: Kodacolor (color negative process for still photography and later motion pictures)



there is a book of these images too.

Royal NoneSuch Gallery: Alula Closing Reception

On Saturday we spent a lovely mid-day over at Royal NoneSuch Gallery for the closing party of Alula Editions‘ tenure there with Jason Jägel.   They spent their time working out imagery and refining their printing techniques.  Having just pulled the test prints for their first edition the day before, the results look pretty exciting.



Jason manned the tables.


Helena from Alula Editions


Cinderblock living wall

So smart!  Best use of affordable materials I’ve seen in a while. Found at Garden Hortica on 7th in Old Oakland.


Our Chinese tcpsndbuf Error

A couple weeks ago we noticed in Virtuozzo that we were getting a lot of tcpsndbuf “Black Zones”.  Thankfully, it wasn’t taking down the server, but it was disheartening.  Checking our bean counters the failcnt (the last number) was huge:

tcpsndbuf        192296     192296    2867477    4096277  151117486

Why was it happening?

After a little research into what a tcpsndbuf is and why this error might arise, it turned out that most people have this problem when tons of emails are being sent out all at once.  If you think this is your problem, check your mail log to see if anything’s fishy.  Look at what was happening email-wise at the time of the “black zone”.  Here’s a post about tracking down a rogue email script.

Another reason this might happen is when large files are being downloaded simultaneously.

Tracking it down

First we checked the mail logs to see if one of our clients had a script that was spamming, or sending out newsletters to a giant email list or some other nefarious plot was at hand.  No dice, they’re good citizens.

Next we checked the bandwidth usage and noticed that one domain in particular was using much more than usual (like 20 times what it usually uses per month).  This site was a blog that ran a weekly feature tracing a single song through all its manifestations being covered by other artists.  Each post had 5 – 10 mp3s. Now we were getting somewhere.

Checking out their apache access logs it turned out that these audio files had been discovered by a website in China.  There were tons requests for the audio files with no referer, originating from an IP in China, or from the site itself.

Fixing It

I’m not trying to hook China up with free Xiu Xiu mp3s so here’s how we stopped them.  Basically we set up an .htaccess file that rejected requests for audio files where the referer didn’t at least have our domain name in it, or that came directly from the offending site.  Here’s the code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} /audio/.*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*theDomainInQuestion.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} .*the\.incomingIP\.fromTheChinese\.site.*
RewriteRule .* – [F]

The problem with this method is that it’s pretty strict.  Because it will refuse any downloads that don’t come directly from the domain, this means it will deny links from an RSS feed too.  You could get around this limitation by changing line 3 to something like:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^$ [OR]

which would prevent requests from no referer, and then tweak it from there, adding more [OR]s to block specific sites.

In consultation with the site owners we decided this strict method was fine.  We added a notice to each post in their RSS feed explaining the problem and notifying readers that the audio files were available on the site.

Congolese Dandies

Apparently there is a new trend in the Congo: gentlemen, in both appearance and action.  The Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (SAPE), which roughly translates to a society of elegant people that have an ambiance about them, has a dress code restricted to 3 colors and encourages pacifism.


a sampling from our travels on the hot coast




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Yum Yum

The latest meal I made for our weekly *family* dinner. Includes a summertime favorite of mine from childhood: Strawberry Yum Yum!

WordPress “Error establishing a database connection”

If you have the misfortune of experiencing the white screen of doom featuring the simple words “Error establishing a database connection” on your WordPress site, this post might help you troubleshoot.

The Simple Fix

Most people on the internet seemed to have this problem because their wp-config.php database info was incorrect. From the WordPress Forums:

This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can’t contact the database server at localhost. This could mean your host’s database server is down.

* Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
* Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
* Are you sure that the database server is running?

If that’s indeed the problem then you’re in luck, just put the correct database name, database user name, and database password in that file.  Make sure your database host is ‘localhost’ or figure out what is via your hosting company.  Or hassle your hosting company to fix their mysql server.  Here’s the part of wp-config.php you’ll want to change btw:

// ** MySQL settings ** //
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘*****_wrdp1′); // The name of the database
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘*****_wrdp1′); // Your MySQL username
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘*****’); // …and password
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’); // 99% chance you won’t need to change this value

The Hard Fix

Unfortunately this wasn’t my client’s problem.  We are the hosting company and everything was working fine; her db user could connect and had the correct privileges, etc.  After a little tracking down, it turned out that somehow the ‘siteurl’ option for her WordPress installation had been deleted.  This value is also what resides in the “WordPress address (URL)” field under “Settings” on the backend.  Note: don’t delete that.

I went into her database in phpmyadmin, found the table ‘wp_options’, and searched for ‘siteurl’ in the ‘option_name’ field. It was indeed empty so I entered her domain name- ‘http://’ and all- into the ‘option_value’ field.  Viola.

Here’s the sql is you don’t roll GUI:

UPDATE ‘wp_options’ SET option_value=’’ WHERE option_name=’siteurl’

Value of Art: Enrique Martinez Celaya

“A meaningful life consists of a person struggling to make real, in the world he or she encounters at birth, the imaginary personage who constitutes his or her true self.  The reason art matters is because it’s a testimony of this struggle.”

-Enrique Martinez Celaya, in Guide, 2002
  found in Works and Conversations, #19

Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Things You Should Know

Oliver and I are thinking about fiscal sponsorship for TPG again and this time around we’re trying to learn as much as possible about the process before we invest our time in applying.  I thought I would share what we’ve learned about how it works and what one should think about in choosing/applying for fiscal sponsorship.


1. What is it?

Fiscal Sponsorship allows organizations, individual artists, projects, or companies that have a non-profit mission to align themselves with a designated 501c(3) non profit organization and apply for grants and accept donations under their umbrella.

Why do people do it?
Many times it is simply too costly or time consuming for fledgling organizations or projects to set up legal non-profits.  Fiscal Sponsorship allows organizations to learn the ins and outs of grant writing and test out whether a non-profit structure is a good fit for them.  Sponsoring Organizations can create a bigger impact when multiple projects are pursuing their mission.  They can also mentor and assist smaller organizations  who may grow up to be big kid non profits. ..And I’m pretty sure some of the organizations see the profit they make through their administrative fees as a plus.  This is more the case when they have over 50 sponsored projects (Tides Center, Fiscal Sponsorship Field Scan, pg10.)  I’m not knocking them; they are providing a valuable service for projects that otherwise wouldn’t be able to get grants and it does take time and work to oversee the sponsored projects.

2. Different Financial/Legal Models

There are different ways that fiscal sponsorships are legally set up.  According to  “Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways to do it right” by Gregory Colvin, the three most widely used fiscal sponsorship models are:

Model A: Direct Project
In this model, the Sponsoring Organization assumes all legal and fiduciary responsibility for the project.   The sponsored project becomes, in essence, part of the sponsoring organization.  The sponsoring organization maintains control over the project and all funds that pass through the project, not just funds that are donated to the project.   Often in these cases the sponsoring organization takes care of payroll, benefits, and disbursement of all money.  As they are responsible for the project, they may weigh in and have control over the direction of the project as a whole.

Model B: Independent Contractor Project
In an Independent Contractor relationship, the Sponsoring Organization still usually has ownership of the results of the project, but the project itself is treated as a separate legal entity.  The organization, in essence, is contracting the project to do its work for them.  The “work” I am talking about is the actions of the project that fulfill the sponsor’s mission.

Model C: Preapproved Grant Relationship
A preapproved Grant Relationship is one where the sponsoring organization and the sponsored project are completely separate entities.  The organization approves the granting process and the fact that the project is pursuing aims that fulfills its nonprofit mission.  Once it receives the funds, it re-grants the money (less its fee) to the project.  Financial and legal responsibility stays in the hands of the project.

I found this chart on wikipedia especially helpful:


3. Fees

Most organizations charge between 5-10% of the funds that pass through them.  Some will charge up to 15%, especially for government grants that have a lot of red tape to deal with.  The average, according to The Tides Center, is 5.6% for non governmental grants and 7.7% for governmental grants.  Most of the ones I have found in the Bay Area for Arts organizations range from 6-10%.

Some places require you to be a “member” of their organization in order to apply to be fiscally sponsored.  These prices are usually up to $200/year.

4. Which organization to apply to?

The most important factor for the majority of organizations when deciding whether to sponsor a project is alignment of mission.  In most cases, it simply works best for both parties and makes the most sense if the two groups share the same goals.

Though there are some national sponsors (like Fractured Atlas or NYFA), the second most important factor for most organizations is geographic location.  A sponsored project should take location into consideration as well if they want to take advantage of non-profit sales tax exemptions.  If they do, they need to be in the same state as their parent organization.

5. What can they do for you?

Every sponsor has a different program for their projects.  Each offers different benefits, like advising on grant applications, legal stuff, and organizational/business development, discounts to events or classes, different promotional opportunities, different ways that they are able to accept donations (like credit card processing, monthly billing of donors, whether they can deal with non-monetary donations, etc).

They all also have different ways of handling the money.  Some will cut you a check on demand, some on a regular basis, and a few have online tools to manage your account.  Most will make you provide documentation for how the money is being spent.   All these things are good to take into consideration when deciding who will be the right fit for you.

6. Size of their Sponsorship Program

One last thing to take into consideration is the number of projects that an individual organization sponsors.  While on one hand, the larger the number the more familiar they may be with how sponsorship works and they may have more tools and benefits as a result.  But on the other hand, many granting organizations and foundations will only accept one application for a specific grant per organization.   When there are 2000 projects under one umbrella, the chances are higher that you may find some conflict in this area.

So! In conclusion.
Some non-profits are very cautious about fiscal sponsorship arrangements and prefer to have a lot of control over the projects in order to ensure legality.  (I’ve read one critique of this process likening it to money laundering.)  But some are much more laid back.  It seems every organization takes their own view on how it should work.   The Tides Center sums up it’s review of Fiscal Sponsorship practices with the view:

As evidenced by the findings of this report, the array of policies and practices
employed by fiscal sponsors is wide ranging. From large to small,
sophisticated to naïve, and focused to broad, there clearly is no “typical”
fiscal sponsor. What is clear, however, is that there is a growing number
of organizations involved in fiscal sponsorship with increasing project
loads. Few of these organizations feel confident that they are “doing it
right” and, due to the complexities of the law and tax codes, there is good
reason for that lack of confidence.

Go out and be sponsored! Maybe?
Here are some resources to find sponsors in your area.

Fiscal Sponsor Directory

National Network of Fiscal Sponsors through the Tides Center

Foundation Center: A comprehensive listing of websites, guides, and publications about fiscal sponsorship.  They also have a web video explaining fiscal sponsorship.

How to keep calm and stay positive in competitive market

Lauren Venell shares some simple steps to stay productive and keep positive for any sort of creative worker.

Nice Art! How Much?

David Kestenbaum (from one of our favorite podcasts: Planet Money) interviews Edward Winkleman about art pricing and how it’s done.

People and Places: A Symposium of Public Practices

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29th - 30th, 2010
7:00 – 9:00pm, FREE!

Ann Chamberlain, Untitled Installation 2, 2006. Ink on graph paper, fifty sheets, 8.5 x 11 inches.

A two-day symposium in honor of former SFAI faculty member and artist Ann Chamberlain, People and Places launches a sustained inquiry at SFAI into contemporary public practices. Pursued in conventionally artistic or increasingly hybridized, permissioned or nonpermissioned, and publicly underwritten or privately supported ways, the work of cultural producers in the public sphere is ongoing.

People and Places is structured around a series of open-ended questions relating to this vital strain of cultural activity: What does it mean for a contemporary artist to work in public settings or to solicit exchanges with the general populace? How do notions of “generosity” as a mode of social interaction, of “storytelling” as a project of collective history, and of “community” as a way of defining common ground inform creative strategies of public engagement? How are such negotiations located in particular places and enacted within particular social and political contexts?

Taken up by practitioners who work with people and places in a wide variety of forms and approaches, these questions will inform three moderated conversations: Defining Community, Practicing Generosity, and Telling Stories. These conversations will culminate in a roundtable discussion.

Andrea Bowers, Glen Helfand, Jessica Hobbs, Walter Hood, Helena Keeffe (TPG #11), Julie Lazar, Malcolm Margolin, Jeannene Przyblyski, Pedro Reyes, Susan Schwartzenberg, and Natasha Wheat

SFAI  Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133
Free and open to the public

Anthroptic in Australia!


Our very first piece, Anthroptic by Ethan Ham and Benjamin Rosenbaum, has made its way into the permanent collection of Australia’s National Portrait Gallery and is being shown in “Present Tense: An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the Digital Age.”  Technical Curator Michael Desmond introduces some of the ideas behind the Portrait Gallery’s winter (or summer here) exhibition:

The National Portrait Gallery exhibition Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age considers the alliance between portraiture and technology and investigates how different ways of imaging reflect how the individual is perceived as well as how the various mechanisms of imaging that are used to manipulate that perception. Present Tense includes examples of the informal and immediate digital snapshots made with mobile phones; images recorded with sonograms that reveal faces that cannot be seen by the unaided eye; 2D and 3D portraits generated exclusively from binary code; and the more expected videos and manipulated photographs.


It is a wide ranging show, with works from Justine Khamara, Julian Opie, Rineke Dijkstra, and Loretta Lux among them.  Maybe the cast of “Work of Art” should have taken a trip to go see this show before their less than stellar look at portraiture in their first show.

The show will be up until August 22nd for anyone visiting Parkes, Australia this summer!

What to do: Oakland Underground Film Festival: Local Shorts Showcase

It’s FREE! It’s easy to get to! There’s fun eating and drinking places around!

With short films ranging in subject matter from Narcolepsy to Eating to Disasters in 2087, it is sure to be entertaining.


FRIDAY JUNE 18th – Local Shorts Showcase
Doors open 7:30PM – Films 8:30PM

elfmädchen Dir. Mirka Morales 16 min
PAISLEY’S TALE Dir. Harmony Nichol 9 min
DOWN ON THE FARM Dir. Alfonso Alvarez (6 min)
POPP Dir. Imelda Picherit 2 min
LAUNDRY Dir. Danielle Katvan 4 min
OSA: OAKLAND’S GEM Dir./Prod. Jenny Chu 15 min
ROUGH DEMO Dir. Donte Harrison AKA Dr. Cyclops (4 min)
WASTELAND Dir. Kathleen Quillian (3 min)
GOLLY THE RAINMAKER Dir. Yoram Savion (6 min)

Biz Ladies: Hiring Interns" class='title'>Biz Ladies: Hiring Interns

A great article (especially the end part that Grace writes) about hiring, working with, and planning for interns in your business.


This is a space to share your thoughts about the piece, your feelings about the 3D aspect to the piece, or whatever else this piece made you feel or think about.


Here’s what we wrote as an introduction to our subscribers:

Every season there is a moment that we fall in love.  We build relationships with these pieces as we produce them and work intimately with the artists.  This connection sometimes starts as early as the proposal or as late as the interview, but without fail, we fall.  This season, it was during a very rainy March evening over margaritas.  When Matthew Cella brought out a 3D sketch that he’d been working on for us to look at, our eyes crossed, we blinked, and that’s when we knew.

Map (256 + 128)3 requires you to actively look.  It throws you into a whirlwind of visual confusion but rewards your struggle.  Don’t give up if you don’t see the delicate, layered, and buzzing forms at first; it usually takes a little while for the 3D figures to appear. But when order arises from Cella’s neon “nastiness”, we get giddy with the ability to see differently.

Matt Cella is a maker.  That evening in March the table was covered in sketches, shrinky dinks, temporary tattoos, books, plastic and metal samples. In addition to creating the new collage for your print, he also designed the logo for the glasses, the golden ticket certificate, and hand carved the stamp for the edition numbers on the back.  When we called him to ask for the font he used for the certificate he laughed and said, “yeah, a font would be nice”; he had hand drawn the letters pixel by pixel.

Michael Bianco touches on this attitude towards making as he connects Cella’s work to the theories of the Japanese craft philosopher Soetsu Yanagi.  He notes that Cella embodies the role of a patern-maker by adorning his physical creations with distillations of his visual world.  The main difference is that Yunagi’s surroundings were natural whereas Cella’s world is a digital recreation.  We’re very fortunate and proud to feature Matt’s work.

Displaying works on Metal or Glass

Matthew Cella shares his favorite ways to display works on metal or glass:


Place it on a small shelf
This is my favorite way to show metal pieces. Take a thin, 4” x 12” piece of wood and wrap it in white felt. Attach 2 small brackets to the bottom of the shelf and install it on the wall. Then lean the art on the shelf against the wall. Although the piece is not heavily protected, this display method enforces the physicality of the piece, and offers it for further investigation by the viewer.
All of these materials can be found at your local hardware and fabric stores.


Mount it on a wall with Stand-Off hardware
This is the most modern way to display the art, and is found mainly in the commercial sign business. Stand-Offs are hardware that space the piece off the wall and hold it into position. There are many different kinds of Stand-Offs available, but the preferred type is one that just grips the edge of the metal, without having to drill holes.

Sources (We in no way endorse these companies or receive compensation for these referrals):

Frame Pegs:

Edge-Grip Stand-Offs:

If anyone has additional sources, please leave them in the comments!

Annotated Links: Matthew Cella

Game Influenced Art, Digital Interventions, Boy Culture Art


Ross Campbellpixelated ceremonial masks, bit type, and digital flora.  I think he and Matt might be art cousins.

Andrew Venell – an artist working with the chaos of information, social anxieties, and the digitally mediated world we live in

Takashi Murakami -  video games, boy culture, super flat, and tons of color:

Murakami’s style, called Superflat, is characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images involving a character style derived from anime and manga. Superflat is an artistic style that comments on otaku lifestyle and subculture, as well as consumerism and sexual fetishism.

Tony Bechara – abstract, almost color-field paintings all done in small pixels.  They vibrate your eyeballs.


Colin Henderson – clearly influenced by the 8 bit aesthetic, this UK designer creates patterns and illustrations/collages

Cory Arcangel – a artist/programmer who performs actions and interventions in photoshop, in video games, on websites, and within the art context in a playful manner

Pixel,  is an insightful short documentary by Simon Cottee that explores the world of pixel art, animation and chiptune music.

Code is the New Craft by Mike Bianco

As both a curator invested in contemporary art practices, and as a potter of almost twenty years, I often find myself asking “What does ‘Craft’ mean anymore?” Craft is often considered a four-letter-word in the “big A” art world, and relished in the neo-DIY movement, but is rarely theorized anymore in relationship to our current cultural climate. As a result, I often find myself musing about the two supposedly disparate practices of “High Art” and “High Craft” and the aesthetic interconnections between them. Whenever confronted with this dichotomy I return to the seminal craft philosopher Soetsu Yanagi and his analysis of art and craft in his book The Unknown Craftsman.


For Yanagi – the founder of the Japanese Arts and Crafts, or Mingei movement, of the early 20th century – hand-crafted objects were the way to re-connect industrialized society with the natural world. First published in English in 1972 during the birth of the microprocessor, the book’s chapter Pattern formulates Yanagi’s manifesto: How pattern is derived, what constitutes both a good and bad pattern, and the ability for pattern to provoke in man a full capacity to perceive the beauty of the natural world. His argument is hinged on the question: “Why have painting and pattern separated? The same cause underlies the idea that divides art and craft: the growth of individualism.”

Yanagi’s question is based on the notion of a “Viewpoint,” a human perspective that allows the artist to distill the beauty of nature into a more refined pattern. When using the example of translating a bamboo leaf into a “mon” – or Japanese crest-  Yanagi creates his theory of pattern based on some of the following principles:

*A pattern is both true to nature and artificial.

*Pattern is nature plus a human viewpoint, and the viewpoint is what
gives content; All patterns are products of a viewpoint.

*Good pattern is frequently rather terrifying. And any good pattern has
an element of the grotesque.

*Pattern does not explain; it’s beauty is determined by the viewers

This theory of pattern underscores Yanagi’s entire philosophy of beauty, and articulates his perceived division between art and craft, individualism and collectivism. However, this system of pattern creates a problematic condition for both contemporary pattern makers and painters alike. Yanagi’s model for pattern production is fundamentally productive except for the variable value of the viewpoint. Yanagi’s post-industrial viewpoint has been diminished; our new viewpoint is post-digital.

For most inhabitants of the “developed” world, the simulacric lens of the computer, where all nature is synthesized into a simulation, has become the new viewpoint. Rivers have been traded for iPhone aps, expeditions for Google Earth, and communal banquets for cocktails in Second Life. And the basis of this digital sublimation is the highly skilled craft of code.

Emerging in 1801 from Joseph Marie Jacquard’s binary punched card loom, computer code has become the densest language mankind has invented to express the narrative of the world. Through it’s abstract syntax and consortium of disjointed symbols, code has created the algorithm to translate reality into a fragmented arena of spectacle that is as thin as a computer screen and as vast as the surface of the globe. If language precedes perception, then code has certainly shifted the “viewpoint” from the natural to the digital.


There is a new generation of artists and pattern makers engaging the structure of pattern from the post-digital viewpoint: Matthew Cella is one of them. Cella, like Yanagi, is nostalgic for the past; for the nature of his youth. The difference is the nature of Yanagi’s childhood is of rice paddies and Mt. Fuji, while Cella’s is comprised of similar subjects represented in the synthetic landscapes of Atari, Nintendo, and Sega. And what Cella does with digital nature is in practice no different than what Yanagi describes in the translation of an actual bamboo leaf into a pattern; he refines it into something more than the original could be. Furthermore, Cella – like Yanagi’s own desires -employs his patterns into utilitarian forms such as rugs. But the question remains: How, if at all, is Cella’s work bridging the craft/painting divide?

As programmer Charles Petzold states in Beautiful Code: “Code is just a smart kind of data – data designed to trigger processors into performing useful or amusing acts.”  One could almost think of this statement in terms of weaving: code is the craft of weaving itself, and the useful act which once produced blankets and baskets, now results in the infinite cloth of pixels that our eyes scour for information. And although Yanagi saw the technological as the bondage of mankind, in what way is this ever increasing craft of code – and all of it’s resulting patterns of pixels – creating a new utilitarian form, new unknown craftsmen, and bringing us together in ways Yanagi had originally only thought possible through our interactions with ceramics and textiles?

In many textile traditions, landscape and narrative are literally woven together through the production of pattern. The socio-technological changes of our world have shifted our forms of representation, transforming our sense of landscape-narrative from the geographic to the sociological. Landscapes and histories have been replaced by networks and communities founded on the craft of code. Perhaps Cella is presenting textile traditions in a new way. Each pixel of Cella’s work represents a collaged fragment of information. It is as if he has cut up the narrative textile traditions of the Pueblo, Celts, and Akan, and haphazardly stitched them back together with the digital pop-culture of the 1980s: The result is the fragmented quilt of the post-modern world.

I wonder what could be gained from a more comprehensive melding of the arts and crafts with digital production? Perhaps Comp-Sci programs could be more experimental within arts and crafts institutions rather than liberal arts colleges and poly-technical schools. Could dot-coms be more productive if they established micro-potteries and looms for their employees rather than ping-pong tables and bi-weekly office parties? In addition to programs such as Google’s local produce initiative, could companies find a qualitative improvement in their employees and product by supporting local artisanal practices? If we accept that our lives have become chaotic and fragmented – largely due to the digitization of our reality – then the incorporation of the ephemerally digital with the haptically crafted seems like a very interesting path to follow.


Mike Bianco is an independent curator and artist based out of Marfa, Texas, and is the recently appointed associate curator at Ballroom Marfa. Prior to moving to Marfa, Bianco was the co-founder of Queen’s Nails Projects, an offshoot of Queen’s Nails Annex in San Francisco. In addition, Bianco is also the founder of the alternative arts space The Waypoint, in Marfa, Texas. More recently, Bianco has been focused on developing his projects The California Arts Cemetery in Lone Pine, CA., and a contemporary ceramics residency in Marfa, Texas. For more information about Bianco and his work you can visit

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Lego Hello World
I wish all my printers were made of legos.

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google
Images from Life Magazine going back to 1860′s, hosted by Google

Coming Face To Face With The President
Well crafted story about an under-heard point of view.

In California, Pot Is Now an Art Patron
A new funding source for the arts – reaping big rewards and funding many projects.  It’s pot.

Notes on Portraiture in the Facebook Age

Celebrity Book Club: A List to End All Lists
Because, well, it’s sortof awesome.

Are "Artists' Statements" Really Necessary?
The pros and cons about that nemesis for most artists.

This to That
You tell it what you’ve got and it’ll tell you what to glue them together with.

Work of art: Online store for buyers, sellers
Not the TV show!  Kelly Lynn Jones from Little Paper Planes is interviewed on her project, gives us a cheat sheet to local affordable art resources.

How to make a Daft Punk helmet in 17 months