Things are going very well.

We students and teachers are making lots of stuff for the island.

I made something today that gives me great pleasure. I took a photo of one of the Lawrence Weiner manhole covers and made it a 3D texture in Second Life. Click the pic for full effect.

image: a shot of me in Second Life standing over my masterpiece: a texture of the Village manhole covers by Lawrence Weiner

Spam is the I Ching of our millenium.

I had a fan moment today. A friend of mine is working with a hiphop artist I really, really dig. I ran into them today and told the artist I liked his music. So fumbly, these moments. I tend to think back on the lack of eye contact. Why? To be seen; to speak; to see; to be heard. Which of them is the operator in these encounters with recording artists? To be present; to be in the presence of.

image: a glitch in my Second Life.


Josh Ott invited me to draw with him last night at Galapagos Art Space in Williamsburg. Josh has written a phenomenal live visual drawing program called superDraw which, surprisingly, I’ve never posted about before. At base it’s a drawing program: the performer draws with a Wacom tablet and the lines are transformed with beautiful effects, the list of which keeps growing and growing as Josh adds to the program. For some time now, it’s been capable of two performers drawing simultaneously, which is what we did last night, playing along with a phenomenal DJ (whose name I didn’t catch) and Mad EP — of Psychasthenia Society — who (dammit) I haven’t posted about before, either. It was thoroughly engaging and fun, like every time I’ve played superDraw with Josh. After much persuasion, it looks like I’ve talked him into considering porting superDraw to Max/MSP/Jitter. Anton discovered a relatively easy way to port Processing code to Jitter and we’re going to do a test port with part (all?) of superDraw — so clean up that code and send it over, Josh. 😀

The ever-engaging and delightful Chika played with the reggae/dance group after our set, with her increasingly engrossing textural, psychedelic visuals. Bravo, Chika. 😉

Things are trucking right along. Thanks to Stu Steele and Keni Yip from Polytechnic’s Computer Science Department, we’ve now got an excellent PC lab for our Second Life workshops. Josephine and I had a wonderful meeting with Pauline Oliveros, Will Swofford and Vonn New from the Deep Listening Institute and we all got very excited about having a Deep Listening workshop for our students next month. They’re all very keen to explore Second Life and its (mostly untapped) potential for aural environments. Yesterday Jos and I met with two teachers from Scotland, Sean and Katie Farrell, and it looks like they’ll be joining us in New York next month to teach SL skills to our students in person and (I hope) help us build the Kids Connect island.

Talking with Pauline, Will and Vonn about deep listening, aural environments and perceptual shifts, the shape of the Kids Connect island continued to coalesce and I thought of more exercises we could do there. Example: we ask the kids to make an audio recording of their home and/or neighborhood and take pictures of it. Using Photoshop or Gimp, they stitch the photos into a panorama; using Audacity, they edit and enhance their audio recording. In Second Life, they turn the audio and panorama into an audio/video installation, a slice of their lives for their counterparts in Amsterdam or New York to experience. This is not a new idea, of course. See:

On a related note, if you want to understand why some people stray from the mainstream and end up in the so-called “avant garde” read the profile of Morton Feldman in the latest New Yorker.

Extreme length allowed Feldman to approach his ultimate goal of making music into an experience of life-changing force, a transcendent art form that wipes everything else away. To sit through performances of the two biggest works‚ÄîI heard Petr Kotik’s S.E.M. Ensemble play the five-hour-long “For Philip Guston” in 1995, with phenomenal purity of tone, and the Flux Quartet play the six-hour-long “String Quartet (II)” in 1999, with tireless focus‚Äîis to enter into a new way of listening, even a new consciousness. There are passages in each where Feldman seems to be testing the listener’s patience, seeing how long we can endure a repeated note or a dissonant minor second. Then, out of nowhere, some very pure, almost childlike idea materializes. Most of the closing section of “For Philip Guston” is in modal A minor, and it is music of surpassing gentleness and tenderness. But it inhabits a far-off, secret place that few travellers will stumble upon.

Darrah and I are in roommate search hell. We’ve offered it to at least 5 people, for whom it was:

  • too far west
  • too dark
  • too small
  • too expensive
  • too I-already-found-a-place-sorry, mainly.

Bargh. If you know anyone cool who’s looking for a sublet starting around July 1st or a long term place, let me know.

In my desolation, frustration and boredom-nation, I cut a sketch out of my new sketchbook (thanks again to Ilan for the Rapidograph pen recommendation 🙂 and printed it on an iron-on.

image: a stick figure man, inverted, falling into the sea...or is he falling into the sky?

I’ll post a picture of the shirt later.


The shirt. The iron-on turned out great. I did a quick color correction on the photo to match the pink of the shirt but as you can see, it looks like I’m standing in a pink light.

image: a close-up of the iron-on on the shirt, worn by yours truly.