Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year End Art Review

The following images are from work I came across in 2009. Click on the images to enlarge.


















Monday, December 28, 2009

Household Submetering Option


http://www.p3international.com/products/special/P4400/P4400-CE.html is a link to the site that makes this mini- sub metering device. I haven't tried it yet, but it seems like a great way to test and monitor household appliances to see if they live up to claims. Click on the image to enlarge.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gordon Matta-Clark and Place

A Sense of Place

It is occasionally interesting to consider the definition, use and meaning of common words and terms. This can be particularly useful when thinking about the built environment and art and even the intermixing of the two. I was reading an essay on the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, particularly about his cibachrome collage prints, when the concept of ‘displacement’ was invoked. I stopped dead in my tracks because the connotation seemed negative and the work does not. I thought it should be thought of as a replacement – a placing again, a relocation, as it were. His work is as much a call to mindfulness of place, of environment, as anything and as such it has to do with what is present, with what is (and in the case of his cuts in buildings what will soon not be) and with the call to see from a different perspective.

At any rate, here is a short trip through the dictionary for place, placement and a couple of prefixes.

What about your place?

re-
a prefix, occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion: regenerate; refurbish; retype; retrace; revert.

dis- 
a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force (see de-, un- 2 ); used freely, esp. with these latter senses, as an English formative: disability; disaffirm; disbar; disbelief; discontent; dishearten; dislike; disown.


place (plās) n.
1.
a. An area with definite or indefinite boundaries; a portion of space.
b. Room or space, especially adequate space: There is place for everyone at the back of the room.
c. The particular portion of space occupied by or allocated to a person or thing.
d. A building or an area set aside for a specified purpose: a place of worship.
e. A dwelling; a house: bought a place on the lake.
f. A business establishment or office.
g. A locality, such as a town or city: visited many places.
h. A space in which one person, such as a passenger or spectator, can sit or stand.
i. A setting for one person at a table.
j. The proper or designated role or function: the place of the media in a free society.
k. The proper or customary position or order: These books are out of place.
l. A suitable setting or occasion: not the place to argue.
m. The appropriate right or duty: not her place to criticize.
2.
a. The particular portion of space occupied by or allocated to a person or thing.
b. A building or an area set aside for a specified purpose: a place of worship.
c. A dwelling; a house: bought a place on the lake.
d. A business establishment or office.
e. A locality, such as a town or city: visited many places.
f. A space in which one person, such as a passenger or spectator, can sit or stand.
g. A setting for one person at a table.
h. The proper or designated role or function: the place of the media in a free society.
i. The proper or customary position or order: These books are out of place.
j. A suitable setting or occasion: not the place to argue.
k. The appropriate right or duty: not her place to criticize.
3.
a. A dwelling; a house: bought a place on the lake.
b. A business establishment or office.
c. A locality, such as a town or city: visited many places.
d. A space in which one person, such as a passenger or spectator, can sit or stand.
e. A setting for one person at a table.
f. The proper or designated role or function: the place of the media in a free society.
g. The proper or customary position or order: These books are out of place.
h. A suitable setting or occasion: not the place to argue.
i. The appropriate right or duty: not her place to criticize.
4. Abbr. Pl. A public square or street with houses in a town.
5.
a. A space in which one person, such as a passenger or spectator, can sit or stand.
b. A setting for one person at a table.
c. The proper or designated role or function: the place of the media in a free society.
d. The proper or customary position or order: These books are out of place.
e. A suitable setting or occasion: not the place to argue.
f. The appropriate right or duty: not her place to criticize.
6. A position regarded as belonging to someone or something else; stead: She was chosen in his place.
7. A particular point that one has reached, as in a book: I have lost my place.
8. A particular spot, as on the body: the place that hurts.
9.
a. The proper or designated role or function: the place of the media in a free society.
b. The proper or customary position or order: These books are out of place.
c. A suitable setting or occasion: not the place to argue.
d. The appropriate right or duty: not her place to criticize.
10. Social station: He overstepped his place.
11. A particular situation or circumstance: Put yourself in my place.
12. High rank or status.
13. A job, post, or position: found a place in the company.
14. Relative position in a series; standing.
15. Games Second position for betting purposes, as in a horserace.
16. The specified stage in a list of points to be made, as in an argument: in the first place.
17. Mathematics A position in a numeral or series.

dis·place (dĭs-plās') tr.v. dis·placed, dis·plac·ing, dis·plac·es
1. To move or shift from the usual place or position, especially to force to leave a homeland: millions of refugees who were displaced by the war.
2. To take the place of; supplant.
3. To discharge from an office or position.

re·place (rĭ-plās') tr.v. re·placed, re·plac·ing, re·plac·es
1. To put back into a former position or place.
2. To take or fill the place of.
3. To be or provide a substitute for.
4. To pay back or return; refund.

place·ment (plās'mənt) n.
1.
a. The act of placing or arranging.
b. The state of being placed or arranged.
c. The finding of suitable accommodation or employment for applicants.
d. Assignment of students to appropriate classes or programs.
e. The setting of the ball in position for a place kick.
f. A place kick.
2.
a. The finding of suitable accommodation or employment for applicants.
b. Assignment of students to appropriate classes or programs.
c. The setting of the ball in position for a place kick.
d. A place kick.

dis·place·ment (dĭs-plās'mənt) n.
1.
a. The act of displacing.
b. The condition of having been displaced.
c. A vector or the magnitude of a vector from the initial position to a subsequent position assumed by a body.
d. The weight or volume of a fluid displaced by a floating body, used especially as a measurement of the weight or bulk of ships.
e. The relative movement between the two sides of a fault.
f. The distance between the two sides of a fault. Also called dislocation.
2. Chemistry A reaction in which an atom, radical, or molecule replaces another in a compound.
3. Physics
a. A vector or the magnitude of a vector from the initial position to a subsequent position assumed by a body.
b. The weight or volume of a fluid displaced by a floating body, used especially as a measurement of the weight or bulk of ships.
c. The relative movement between the two sides of a fault.
d. The distance between the two sides of a fault. Also called dislocation.
4. The volume displaced by a single stroke of a piston in an engine or pump.
5. Geology
a. The relative movement between the two sides of a fault.
b. The distance between the two sides of a fault. Also called dislocation.
6. Psychiatry A psychological defense mechanism in which there is an unconscious shift of emotions, affect, or desires from the original object to a more acceptable or immediate substitute.

re·place·ment (rĭ-plās'mənt) n.
1. The act or process of replacing or of being replaced; substitution.
2. One that replaces, especially a person assigned to a vacant military position.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dignity Harbor - St. Louis

Just north of the Landing and east of the Artica site is an open field between the Cottonbelt Building and the flood wall. It is the site of Dignity Harbor. Shelly Finn, an old friend and St. Louis Police Officer on leave is the main organizing force behind the project. There are homeless folks who don't quite fit into some available programs and this place is for them. I plan to be doing some work in the next few weeks to make the camp a bit safer and healthier than it might be otherwise. My first project is to use donated pallets and scrap closed cell foam insulation to get campers' bunks of the ground. Other projects will follow as materials become available. Click on this image to enlarge and see the Arch and Lumiere Place in the background.

Artica 2009

Click on this to enlarge. This is the Cottonbelt Building just north of the Landing. The event was still being set up when I left and the cold was definitely impacting event participants. Small wood fires, a band or 2, chicken cleaning, a reading or 2 and other things were going on. But mostly, as far as I could tell. it was cold. I still don't know much about Artica, but the venue certainly is interesting.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Artica 2009


http://www.artica.org/wp/ is a link to an outsider art festival this Saturday from noon to midnight just north of Laclede's Landing. I don't know much about it other than it sounds interesting and there is some mighty fine graffiti up that way. There is also the start of a hobo camp call Dignity Harbor in this area and I'd like to find out a bit more about it and look for ways to help.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The St. Louis Beacon: Towards Sustainability

The 3 mini documentaries below are part of a project I did with the Beacon this past year. Lots of photos, tours of plants and my usual wanderings around the city became a part of this project. A special thanks to Puneet Kollipara, an intern at the Beacon and Donna Korando, the features editor there for working on this project and seeing it through.

Finally, a shout out to my old friend Bill, who encouraged and valued this kind of work.

St. Louis Beacon Parts 1-3





Sunday, December 6, 2009

uHome uCity

Although Boa is out of the mix the project is making and taking forward steps. I hope to remain involved in this project; it can be groundbreaking in every sense of the word. The latest news is that a market rate estimate of some proven low cost Platinum homes demonstrates that this can be done at less than 150/sf. With a bit more design ingenuity and hard work we can, perhaps, do even better.