Short improvisations with everyday objects

While deinstalling Leaving Here, Being There, I had a hammer and access to some of my work. I learned a bit about what a hammer sounds like while sliding along a concrete surface. While learning, I recorded a short improvisation.

Concrete Audio:

Also, a few months ago, Erkki invited some music students over to our studio. Together we performed John White’s Drinking and Hooting Machine. I invite you to listen to a selection from that performance. The piece has a score based on each person’s phone number, but the performance is flexible as it is up to each performer to decide how long each tone will be and how large a drink they will take.

Drinking and Hooting Machine:

Find in maps

abandoned house

I’m starting to look for my next apartment, and I’m sick of doing the copy+paste dance to find out where craigslist postings are actually located. I wanted to be able to highlight an address on the page, hit a shortcut, and be taken to a map of that location.

After a quick google search, I couldn’t find any bookmarklets with the behavior I wanted. As a result, I took a few minute to write my own. The following is a simple bookmarklet that queries for the selected text using google maps. If nothing is highlighted, you will be prompted to enter an address.

Drag the following to your bookmarks bar:
Find in maps

You can take a look at the source code for the bookmarklet on github.

Now Here: Los Angeles

I just started my graduate education in UCLA’s Design|Media Arts program. I’ve been doing lots of things to prepare, including moving from San Francisco. When I first got here, I tried to get a feel for the city around me. In addition to hiking and seeing the friends in the city, I have been visiting locations that are part of Peter Lunenfeld’s Summer 16. The list includes four places ‘unique to southern California.’ Here are some photos.

Schindler House

Schindler House

It took about 45 minutes to bike out to the Schindler House. Along the way, I passed the Modern Institute for Plastic Surgery and Anti-Aging, where I spent a few moments getting my bearings.

Bradbury Building

Bradbury Building

I rode the bus downtown with Becky. After a quick stop in the lobby of the Bradbury Building—which was packed with people sketching—we grabbed a kimchi taco at Grand Central Market and toured some more of downtown LA’s historic architecture.

Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale

Forest Lawn Glendale

Becky drove us to Glendale, which would otherwise have been incredibly difficult to reach (or get around). The entire cemetery is crossed by wide roads that directly abut the burial plots. Artwork is presented in a bizarrely theatrical fashion. The stained-glass reproduction of The Last Supper stood out, with it’s literal unveiling to a booming narrator and dramatic music.

Museum of Jurassic Technology

Celluloid Dice

The museum is a collection of strangely presented, delightful artifacts. You should go.



I have a habit of picking up new things to try when I want to do things I could accomplish with the tools already at my disposal. This weekend, I spent a bit of time with ruby-processing. It runs everything in Ruby, and uses JRuby as a bridge to run Processing. I used it to visualize some data about web developers after parsing the original .xsl file into .tsv files and cleaning up the data using Python. I’m going to do quite a bit more work on the visuals above, but I wanted to put in a good word for ruby-processing now.

The first thing that I liked was that I wasn’t writing Java, a language lots of people seem to hate on, the source of which hate I am coming to understand as I learn about other languages. Ruby’s syntax is cleaner, even if it seems strange at times (welcome home ‘@,’ ‘$,’ and ‘:’ prefixes).

The next big improvement over vanilla Processing was writing the code inside of TextMate. This isn’t inherent to ruby by any means; I could probably write Java inside of TextMate. However, ruby-processing made it really easy to launch sketches I was working on, and also to edit them in real-time.

I also spent some time messing around with field on Saturday. It looks like really exciting software, with a lot of promise. Unfortunately, it bogged down and became unusable while running through the examples on their site. I’ll probably give it another go, but ruby-processing is letting me make what I want to for now (and that’s what is really important).