Security Patterns – A Studio Visit Installation

Security Patterns - Studio Visit Install

I just put up an installation of work at Eyebeam for Studio Visits. This is work I have been producing over the last 6 months. The work is primarily old found books cut with the laser cutter, as well as some laser cut drawings.

FDIC Insured - Studio Visit Install

FDIC Insured - Studio Visit Install

The central piece against the wall is “FDIC Insured” a collection of 130+ cast off investment books from the Strand dollar racks, engraved with the logos of all of the failed banks of the Great Recession.

Before and After - Studio Visit Install

Along the left side is a piece called “Before and After.” I wanted to call it “Before and After President Reagan Lost His Memory” but that seemed a little overdetermined. So I just write it here. It is books from an 1982 and 1992 World Book enscribed with things that were (Free Love, Analog, Prisoner of War) and things that are (HIV/AIDS, Digital, Enemy Combatant.)

OMG - LOL Studio Visit Install

Sprinkled throughout are altered reference books. I like taking Dictionaries and turning them into memorials. It is kind of like putting an ironic inscription on a tombstone…

Security Patterns - Studio Visit Install

Security Patterns - Studio Visit Install

Along the right side of the wall are laser cut drawings of security patterns from the inside of security envelopes.

We have never had a year of peace - Studio Visit Install

GOOGLE & SPEED DIAL - Studio Visit Install

Style and Uniform Standards - Studio Visit Install

Eyebeam is currently closed to the public, but if you would like to see this installation you have two options. Contact me ( to set up a time to meet, or come by the Eyebeam Open Studios, which will be October 23rd and 24th from 3-6PM.

New Amsterdam Bike Slam in the New York Times

FDR Bikeway

The New York Times covers the New Amsterdam Bike Slam. We won hardcore. We proposed angle in parking, charging for street parking (!), bike ferries, multimodal transport, passive visibility through retroreflective coatings, secure centralized bike storage, a bike school bus (where a leader comes by and picks up all the kids on bikes and bikes to school in a posse), but best of all, we proposed a bike freeway:

But Team Amsterdam had more tricks up its sleeves. How about bicycle freeways? asked Carmen Trudell, a New York architect and City University professor. Imagine a bicycle speedway running under the shadow of Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, a rain-free place for athletic cyclists out on training rides or those who just are not going to go at a “Dutch pace.”

Our presentation was awesome, and we are going to work on turning it into a paper or video in the next month or so. Too many good ideas. Too many good collaborators. Shout outs to great collaborators Claire Weisz, Carmen Trudell, Shachi Pandey, Wendy Schipper, and Stefan Verduin.

I can’t wait for my dutch bike!

More from our presentation:

Manhattan bridge to FDR Bikeway

Direct access to the FDR Bikeway from the Manhattan Bridge

Angle In parking and Bike Lane

New York City has the most expensive parking lot parking, and the cheapest street parking: free!

Think about those 150 sq feet of pavement transported to underneath an appartment building. If the building is four stories high:that is two studio apartments we’re talking about. That’s $3000-$5000 per month! And the city gives it away for free.

We need to take it back for the 99% of city dwellers who don’t park a car on city streets, with angle in parking, a bike lane on every street far away from doors (my assistant was doored today even!), a special spot for short truck deliveries, and a spot at the end of each block for 10 minute parking so people don’t just leave their cars in the middle of the street to pick up take out or dry cleaning.

And of course, bike parking at the end of each block

Concept by BrightNYC team from the New Amsterdam Bike Slam (Michael Mandiberg, Shachi Pandey, Wendy Schipper, Carmen Trudell, Stefan Verduin, and Claire Weisz). All renderings by Carmen Trudell.

30,000 feet, the final frontier

I’m on an airplane to San Francisco as I write this, we are somewhere over southern Nevada. but I will post it when I land. I wait, despite the fact that everyone on this flight was given a trial voucher for an in-air wifi service that is partnering with the airline I am flying on. I took the card I was given, and listened to the instructions on how to activate service: it requires creating an account, signing up for the monthly service, though it was ambiguous whether you had to input a credit card. The salesman walked around to everyone in the waiting area and asked them if they had a “wireless enabled device” with them, and then offered them a card with a code on it. He was typical gregarious on-foot salesman, who approached people fiddling with their iPhones and asked them if they had a wireless device, and followed that with “oh, well, yes, you do have one!” as if he discovered that in the process of talking to them, and not specifically targeted them because they so obviously were twiddling with their iPhones.

It was a special introductory offer. Normally it is $12.95 per flight, and I assume there is a monthly price as well for the permanently plane bound business travelers, and once they have your information, how hard is it to cancel or get out of the system. The salesman’s aggressiveness couched in friendliness had all the markings of classic corporate addiction creation. It was not unlike the real drug dealer, for whom the first hit is always on the house. It is a standard business strategy, but it doesn’t make it any less repulsive. Just remember AOL. Ever try to use their introductory offer, and then cancel after that free month, or maybe even a few more months; they practically would not let you. And then they call you and call you to get you to resume service

I knew almost immediately that I wouldn’t use the service; i felt like the corporate dealer was trying to make a user out of me, plus excessive registration processes repulse me, and even my junk email account is beginning to get overloaded. Also it was a 9AM flight, and I had only slept 5 hours. So I slept the first four hours, and woke up surrounded by people doing the same meaningless things that the internet is so useful for. I am pinned in by a guy in a speedy round of iPhone IM’ing that seems to never stop (his active arm needs room and he keeps elbowing me in the side), a guy who is playing WoW, and exhibiting all the signs of that form of addiction (though doesn’t he know that 5 hours is not long enough for a meaningful quest!), and a guy who is intently looking at something, though I can’t tell what.

I’m not about to argue that there is something sacred about plane travel, or that it is peaceful in any way, but it was one of the places where we were temporarily removed from the constant daily bombardment of information. If only for two or five or twelve hours, we did not see any advertisements, did not have to respond to urgent emails in our inbox, could not waste our time IM’ing or obsessively browsing eBay. This border has progressively deteriorated, most notably with the introduction of personal TV screens on the back of each seat, which allow a flight of people to all watch their choice of hundreds of stations. In my experience only two thirds of these screens actually turn off, the others you dim down to a lower setting but they will not turn off completely.

There is a new bus service out of New York that has Wifi on all their busses. I like their busses not primarily for the wifi, but because the entire experience is an attempt to upgrade the bus riding experience. They are direct busses to Boston, Philadelphia, etc, with new clean seats, and the entire bus doesn’t smell like urine, and/or McDonalds. I have used the WiFi on those busses, but I like the power jack for every seat as much as the wifi.

But there is something different about the experience of flying pre-wifi and the experience of riding a bus pre-wifi. The airplane was always a place of continuous white noise from the ventilation, the hushed conversations, and the hum of the engines. It was almost like being crammed into a tiny seat at a library with a really really loud air conditioning system. Buses were more like being at a really loud restaurant full of people whose conversations you didn’t want to overhear; people talking way too loudly into their cell phones, having arguments with the person they were sitting with, or listening to music too loud so the sound escapes their cheap earbuds and leaks into the rest of the space. While the introduction of wifi has taken away one space that was free of perma-communication, it has actually tamed the far more obnoxious perma-communication on the bus.

Cell phones ringing on subway trains have to be the strangest rupture created by the growing reach of wireless networks. There are certain subway stations in New York that are close enough to the ground that they get reception. It changes from provider to provider, but I have had my phone ring, or seen other peoples phones ring in a number of stations. The ones that are most prevalent are Atlantic Pacific and Nevins Street on the 2/3 line, and Bleecker on the 6 line. There are others, but these are the ones that have stuck in my memory. The 2/3 platform at Atlantic Pacific has such good reception that I often will call my parents on the west coast from the platform as a way to pass the time waiting for late night transfers.

This all sounds benign, and mildly beneficial, but the rupture comes when the train is moving. When you pull into Atlantic Pacific, the door open and close, and right as the train starts moving someone’s phone rings. Loudly. They are startled themselves, and scramble to find it. At best they can open the phone and bark out a quick “I’m on the train! Going to lose reception. Call you back” as the train returns to the tunnel and the line goes dead.

A similar situation happens on the B/Q lines when they cross the Manhattan bridge. There is the surprise call phenomenon, but there is also this mass rush to check voicemail, or txt msgs. And on the evening commute home a very large percentage of the riders all pop open their phones and call their spouses, partners, children to let them know “I’m on the bridge, i’ll be home in…” whatever time corresponds to how many stops they have left.

My understanding is that the reason you are not allowed to talk on your cell phone during an airplane flight has nothing to do with safety and pilot/ground communications. My understanding is that you are either way too high to get a signal, so it is pointless, or when you are close enough to get a signal, during takeoff and landing, the plane is moving so fast that you are moving from cell tower to cell tower so quickly that it overloads the system. Your phone is asking the next tower to make a connection before it has even heard back from the last tower that it is closing that connection. Your phone does this regardless of whether you are actively talking. You can never maintain a connection long enough to actually have a conversation, and take this pattern and multiply it by a plane full of cellphones and multiply that by the constant flow of planes taking off and landing, and you get the makings of an unintentional Denial Of Service attack.

Add into this mix the TV/advertisement screens inside and outside the NYC cabs, the LED screens on subway stations, the LED billboards that have to increase driver crash rates, the cell phones and texting that do increase driver crash rates, in-dash automobile pseudo-computers, and the list goes on.

We are flying over Lake Tahoe, and will start the landing process soon, so I will have to turn off my computer. My stomach is grumbling despite the fact that I made my lunch for the flight, now that they no longer serve even pretzels without a price. Flying has never been a true pleasure. My high school physics teacher repeatedly bemoaned the rise of the casual flyer who did not get dressed up for the event. But even in the era that people got dressed up for the special occasion, it wasn’t because flying was peaceful, or fun. It was just one of the last spaces that was outside of the communication network.

Bike Slam begins – a big conference room @ NYU

The Bike New Amsterdam Bike Slam begins… We are all in a conference room at NYU. Time change means the Amsterdamers are all here early, and all the New Yorkers are on their way. Meets and greets, and a lot of smiles. more updates coming.

Please post any comments and suggestions to this post. The more ideas, the better.

And now… we begin

looking back on my calendar

looking back on my calendar

Its always weird to look back on my calendar and think about all the things that happened in the past. It seems strangely foreign in this form. I wonder if analog date-books and calendars have the same effect, or feel different? Do people keep calendars and date books (other than famous people who keep everything b/c it is part of their archive?) Maybe it is that the digital calendar allows you to go back so far so easily, and see things with such precision.

This is the REAL meme

This is the REAL meme

It is amazing to think that someone would get upset that they started a meme. And as lame a meme as a cat eating corn. Really?

And I’ll be honest: its a lame meme: animals eating obviously tasty things doesn’t do it for me. I’ve seen animals eat much much much weirder things. Like when we discovered Karlee (my family’s second irish terrier) had eaten an entire 64 count box of crayons. She pooped rainbow for three days.

Incidentally Marisa has suggested that is the origin of the "I Poop Rainbows" meme.

So its Karlee’s. This is the original. All the others are fake!

This Show is Closed: Install Shots

This show is closed… but I am just blogging install shots now. I did get the announcement out for the opening.  Just not the follow through. Sometimes things slip through the cracks.  Not sometimes… mosttimes.

Summer Reading” at Jen Bekman Gallery.

install view at Jen Bekman

install view at Jen Bekman

Vaporware: Retroreflective headband disguise

retroreflective headband

I think this is the new thing for celebrities. A retroreflective headband, or a retroflective hat. When the paparazzi pop their flashes on them taking a bat to their ex’s car, or doing drugs, or walking out of court after being arraigned for doing drugs… all they camera will record is a halo of a face. great protection. you can’t prove it was really that person. and anyway, it is unpublishable.

Plus its much more reasonable than Michael Jackson’s head to toe black getup he sported in Bahrain.

I have short hair now

Me with short hair

I have short hair. For reals. This is the first good photo of it. I also have glasses now. I feel simultaneously older, and also very young: the last time I had hair like this I was 13.

Though mom has responded:

the last time your hair was short was post-mohawk, senior yr at CG

your graduation pix are evidence….


Retroreflective Fabric Test

Relfective Fabric Test

This is an update on an ongoing project. I wrote this months ago, but forgot to post it. There will be more posts on new progress soon!

This is a photograph of a test swatch of retroreflective fabric. Alan Paukman and Jacob Melinger of Nikolai Rose helped. But the key producers were Bethane Knudson and the Oriole Mill.

The image doesn’t show it too well, but the threads definitely reflect nicely.

We have had a lot of trouble making it work. Bethane writes about the problems she encountered:

We encountered a number of challenges with using the 3M Scotchlite "yarn". The Scotchlite stretches and breaks when pulled from the spool. Our crew tried various approaches but the breakage continued. We then re-wound the Scotchlite onto a yarn package, called a cone. This allowed for an even release of the Scotchlite which the spool did not. However, having eliminated the problem of the spool, we encountered a new problem –going through the accumulator which feeds the weft to the rapier also stretched and broke the Scotchlite. We slowed the weaving machine down further and that helped but did not eliminate the problem.

While some of the problems in using Scotchlite might be resolved with further investment of time and resources, some cannot. The Scotchlite is not well suited to weaving on the industrial loom. While the Scotchlite has some stretch, it has no recovery — meaning when it stretches, it distorts and does not return to its original state. This would mean that as the garment is worn, the fabric will stretch and would return to its original state, except for the Scotchlite weft. The stretched Scotchlite would ripple, like a seersucker effect, and would eventually break. Scotchlite is too weak to be used as a warp thread and it not really strong enough to be used in the weft for a garment. The demand put on a garment — especially pants — is significant.

The other problem is that a pinstripe is, by definition, a line that runs vertically. Since we used the Scotchlite in the weft, the lines run horizontally. Because garments are cut with the grain of the fabric, the pinstripes will become pin-bands rather than pinstripes. (In some cases the fabric can be used in the horizontal orientation but this limits the length of the pant and alters the drape radically. The warp direction has the best drape.)