Saturday October 25th 2014



Snail Mail My Email Inspires the Written Word

I’m a letter and card writer.  Though, as I spend more and more time communicating online, less and less do I send snail mail.  So this idea is interesting, and may in fact inspire me to create this type of expression more.

As its creators describe it: Snail Mail My Email is a month-long (July 15 – August 15), interactive community art project created by Ivan Cash which seeks to both share the warm-fuzzy feeling of receiving a personalized letter as well as inspire people to send their own snail mail. Anyone with internet access can partake by simply sending an email, after which the very same message will be handwritten and physically mailed to the chosen recipient anywhere in the world, completely free of charge.

So who do you want to reach out and touch?  You may not have the time, the inclination or the creativity to take it to the offline realm, but there are no more excuses with Snail Mail by Email. You can let the sentiments fly with nothing to lose, except a few keystrokes.  And you can see that the results are individual and creative.   I am going to try it, and will let you know what happens…if you do, please let us know too.   Thanks Ivan Cash and your international network of 134 volunteers from around the world. Brilliant.

images via Snail Mail My Email’s flickr stream 

Preston Moeller : Rubberband Chair

Preston Moeller designs playfully upcycled furniture.  During his tenure as a industrial design student  he created the ‘rubberband chair’ which earned him the $3,000 first prize in the Appalachian State University’s 6th Annual Chair Design Competition.

Constructed from a wire frame on which 65, 000 colorful rubber bands are bound, the seat looks like a Dr. Seuss version of furniture.

We love the idea of getting a bit of a bounce out of our day in front of the macbook pro.

See some of Preston’s other work over on Coroflot.


Debra Baxter’s Crystal Sculptures Aligns your Chakras…not

From the Hip : Alabaster, amethyst, smokey quartz, leather

Yesterday I came across Debra Baxter’s work on Google+, while checking out Gerrel Saunders.  He showed an image of crystal “brass” knuckles from 2009, which were intriguing.

Debra Baxter wearing : Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****)

Exploring Baxter’s site, I found her work from 2011 was just as engaging, if not as provocative.

It can be fascinating when an artist’s oeuvre is clearly about the medium they choose to work with, or not.  In Baxter’s case, interesting?  Absolutely.

Hoping Something Pure Can Last (Obsession Interrupted) : Petrified wood with crystals, alabaster, geode, snake skin, photo, plastic

The challenge becomes, how to use the materials in new and unthought of ways that encourage a new viewing of the medium.

I Saved Venus : Alabaster, concrete

As a jewelry designer, Baxter also has a unique touch.  Her sculptural works ask us to consider the surfaces and edges of hard substances that seduce us with their qualities of light, texture and solid mass, while carrying lots of cultural baggage.  She treads the territory without falling into the woo woo land of fairies and magic wands, by keeping us on our toes with presentation and distance.  After all, one might tend to disarm the room, let alone chakras, with this piece on.

Take Your Medicine : Sterling silver, quartz crystal

Top 10 post on : July 2011 – August 2011

Ranging from the musical and visual wonder of oscillating guitar strings to cameos carved from the creamy center of Oreo cookies, last month’s top posts are eclectic, though with one consistent thread, almost all of them are art oriented.

Thank you for continuing to surprise us with your enthusiasm and support.  This month, we will be doing a number of giveaways.  In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our readers’ favorites of the summer so far.   Stay tuned, stay gold and keep us in the loop while you are mixing it up out there.

1.  Guitar Oscillations Filmed From Inside by an iPhone 4

2.  Reuse Project of the Day Judith Klausner Orea Cameos

3.  Nicholas Kirkwood Keith Haring Capsule Collection

4. Video of the Day : Bashir Sultani Art with Salt

5.  Democratie Creative Street Art for the People to Play

6.  Pictures Speak a 1000 Environmental Disasters Beautifully

7.  Jer Thorp Data Visualization, the Long Tail & Connections

8.  Robotic Seagull Attracts an Actual Flock of Seagulls

9.  Get Cake Homie

10.  Kerry Howley Attracts & Repels with Hair Necklaces

image : sushaki





The Mona Lisa 6239 dots and 9 hours later

Thomas Pavitte couldn’t find a record for the most complex dot-to-dot drawing, using the iconic Mona Lisa as his muse, he decided to set one himself.

To begin he created an A0 poster with dots numbered from 1 to 6,329, and broke down the image.



The result is a visual nod to a classic, and a mathematical riddle solved.  To document the accomplishment, he took a time lapse video of himself connecting the dots over 9 hours.

Mona Lisa – 6,239 dot to dot drawing from Thomas Pavitte on Vimeo.

Thank you Jelena for the inspiration.  Via

Christopher Adams : Natural Selection at Hosfelt Gallery NYC

On view through Friday, 5 August, 2011 at Todd Hosfelt’s New York space is Christopher Adams’ exhibition, Natural Section. Presented as an installation of over 700 ceramic objects, the works:  play on the concept in biological speciation called “adaptive radiation,” in which a pioneering organism enters a relatively untapped environment, reproducing profusely while differentiating rapidly and extensively.  At the same time, the organism never departs too dramatically from the original form.

photo credit : DitMartian

Certainly we feel the presence of fertility when we see the installation photos.  And yet, something is not quite “natural” about it.  Nonetheless, the pieces are exquisite, and their ode to the ecologic world makes us wish we were in New York this week to see the Boston-based artist’s work.  Adams graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, where he majored in organismic and evolutionary biology.  It shows.

photo credit : DitMartian

Robotic Seagull Attracts an Actual Flock of Seagulls

Not sure what to make of this video of a robotic seagull which is powered simply by the motion of its wings.  The robot attracted an actual flock of seagulls during a test flight at TEDGlobal 2011, the annual five-day technology conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.  With obvious applications for policing and spying, the video of this device got us thinking about man’s increasing abilities to mimic nature, and perhaps disrupting its cycles in the process…thoughts?  Feel free to leave comments here or on our Facebook page.



Josh Boston : Let the Beat Ride

Josh Boston describes himself thus : I’m tall, I make stuff, I like words and animal metaphors.

He’s also good at ideas :

Let the Beat Ride was a one-night exhibit in San Diego that explored the relationships between sound, rhythm, human speech and how those are understood from a visual perspective.  

The results, created in partnership with Holiday Matinee, Sezio and Threadless, follow (click to see larger images), and we think they are brilliant, no?

BirdProject : Restore The Gulf Habitat Bird by Bird

It’s a little daunting sometimes, the sheer volume of things to be conscious of.  Global warming, the global economy, the state of the environment, the BP Oil Spill…remember that, the BP Oil Spill of April 20, 2010…and its aftermath?

It does seem to have dropped off mainstream media’s radar.  Nonetheless, designer Tippy Tippens designed a way for us to remember, and send some relief for habitat restoration.  She named it BirdProject.

“The idea for the birds began with the recurring thoughts of abstract bird forms – I was living in Brooklyn at the time of the spill, my hands felt so tied being so far away in addition to the restriction of regular Joe’s being able to help directly with the cleanup due to the need for expert care.”

So Tippens designed a subtle reminder of the fragility of nature.  Each bird shaped soap, which is black, contains a white, ceramic bird, handmade by Tippens, from Louisiana Clay.  The ceramic bird remains as a keepsake once the outer soap has washed away.

As Tippens points out:  Through the daily act of washing, you will eventually free the clean, white, ceramic birds inside – potent symbols of restoration and recovery. The soap is shaped to be cradled in your hand and is a powerful representation of all creatures affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster.

The soaps are made with natural, locally sourced ingredients: biodiesel glycerin, fair trade olive oil, aloe, activated black charcoal, with a light cypress scent, reminiscent of Louisianan bayous. They are made by Emily Manger Davis of Sweet Olive Soaps, a third generation soap maker from New Orleans.

50% of profits go to environmental cleanup and care for affected animals of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster.  The BirdProject was Kickstarted with a crowdsourced donation of $5919 which culminated in a donation of $1500 to Gulf Restoration Network and IBRRC on behalf of the first flock from BirdProject.

Kudos for the creativity and problem solving of the Bird Project.  Purchase the soap here.


Jer Thorp : Data Visualization, the Long Tail & Connections

Even after all this time, I’m still amazed at the long tail, and how likeminds find each other.   I was playing around with Google+, and came upon Jer Thorp, who is the data artist in residence at The New York Times.  As I clicked around, I came across an award-winning project he did a number of years ago called Petals, which I remembered for its elegant yet playful mashup of flickr pictures, and color concepts.  This got my attention, so I decided to see what he was up to these days besides his day job.

One of Thorp’s latest art projects is a collaboration with Random Number in New York. Data visualization is in full creative swing here as Thorp calls out the history of certain word usage in the New York Times.

Random Number’s descriptions follow:

This screen print visualizes the frequency of the words ‘red,’ ‘green,’ and ‘blue’ in The New York Times over two decades.

JER THORP RGB – NYT Word Frequency, 1981 – 2010 (2011)

 The data is arranged in three overlapping rings to represent each color, and can be read in the clockwise direction. 

The graph also includes names of organizations that were associated with the represented colors, providing a telling representation of their affiliations and color preferences.


JER THORP Hope/Crisis – NYT Word Frequency, 1981 – 2010 (2011)

In startlingly clear terms, this two-color screen print visualizes the frequency of occurrence of the words ‘hope’ (blue) and ‘crisis’ (graphite) in The New York Times over a twenty year period.

Thorp’s word selection presents a snapshot of recent news stories, laying out the interconnected and complex narrative of world affairs in the form of a timepiece graph.

Thorp’s work takes the appeal of infographics into the realm of art, as he reminds us of our shared immersion in concepts and words while presenting a gorgeous image to contemplate our connectedness.  And in a continuation of synchronicity, I see Thorp will be giving the keynote at O’Reilly’s Strata Conference in NYC at the end of September…I was just at their offices yesterday doing some user testing on a new product they are releasing soon…and on it goes.

Prints available here and here.


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