June 2003 Archives

Behind the typeface

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Monique TeSelle, a design loving type expert sent me the link to this quite spectacular little masterpiece: Behind the typeface:"Cooper Black", by Cheshire Dave. There appears to be only one of these little movies out there, but I would really love to see more of them. How can we convince Chesh to make more?... Maybe just email him... : )
I am going to watch it again now... Thanks Monique.


Just saw the sky and it is so incredibly spectacular and saturated and beautiful. There is a mark on one of the windows on the other side of the building. It was me, pressing my face against the glass, wanting to turn into a cloud of tiny particles that could forever just follow the sunset... It is comforting to know that one day at least a part of me will be just that. and maybe it will be two of me... one following the sunset while the other will rush around the planet just minutes ahead of sunrise.
Silly me, I think we all make the sunrises and sunsets the way they are already by just being part of this eco system, by breathing, by evaporating little by little, every day... an even more comforting thought.

Wo war ich denn?

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Where the heck was I while this band made all the albums with all the songs? How could I have missed a band that named themselves after one of my very favorite writers?... And it is not even the Rilke poems I love, but some of the short stories of which I do not even know if they exist in English... Oh dear, they do not even appear to be available in German... Hmm... Or do you know an English translation of "Die letzten"? Should I perhaps translate the story for here?... Once I get home, which might be tomorrow?...
Obviously "Rainer Maria" is not Rilke, but it is still a really good thing to not only stumble into a whole world of music I really like, but also to make it remind me of the literature on my shelf at home which I forgot that I actually really missed a lot.
Hmm... found via Leah, who has one of the best about her pages out there. (Though my favorite "about" page might actually be the one of rebecky. Who is neither forty, nor a , of course.)
Where is my about me page, you ask?... Wandered completely off topic now, haven't I? Hmm... let's be honest, this is a personal site, I can not just keep posting little stories with drawings... (though I am not going to stop that, promise.)



He was a writer, a poet, a magician. He knew all about the world out there. He set the limits for things. He directed the direction of things, events, history. He was the master of this herd, the chief of the flock, he was the herder of punctuation. He called himself the shepherd of ideas. Some others were giving him other names.
He would just blow their minds...
once he would actually start writing...

(Actions speak louder than words...)

watching the sound


Instead of dancing or even listening to the music, I sat on one of the plastic chairs and looked at the Sound. It was a beautiful wedding in Port Jefferson, the location was a really remote country club, high on a hill on the north coast of Long Island. There was a fun crowd and happy music and dance (and the food was quite excellent as well). I was glad that there was also the possibility to just get out onto the deck and to watch the hundreds of boats on the water between Long Island and Connecticut.
It feels as if my ability to express myself coherently is still on that deck, now staring at the stars. I somehow can not write much more now. Please forgive.
Congratulations to Ilana and Matt.



He left the bow and arrow at home, in the bushes, he did not want to be archer for a day. He would use his hands today, he would tickle the animals and people, not shoot at them. He would let them ride on his back, for miles and miles and miles and miles. He would carry them to places they did not know existed or to places they used to be afraid of, while they should not. These were his favorite places of all. Oh, this would be a day of pure joy.



It was a big deal. He knew that it was a little bit out there, he knew that some would not get it. It was okay. It was always a little painful at first. They always hit the guy who is in the first row, the guy who has the first idea, the guy who spearheads, who puts a stake in the ground, who comes up with something great. They laugh at first, they make fun at first, and before you know it they all just knew it all along. It worked with Mannahatta, why should it not work with Brooklyn? He just had to be in it for the long run, just keep on being the coolest guy in Williamsbourgh. Soon enough there would be more poeples believing that his name was the better name. Then those people, living on the edge, would start asking for cool looking stuff with the true name of the burrow... and bingo. He would then sue the hell out of them, because he had the idea, he was the one who came up with that name. And then everybody would want to meet the guy who was the first to recognize that the place was really called Bruklynn. And then they would come to him and interview him, the new hero of the city, him, Bowl Smiht. Yeah.

(view remix)

better coverage

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It was thursday evening when it occurred to me really. I was in a cab going just a few blocks from Astor place (this is where the Cooper Union is) to a restaurant on first Avenue and 6th, when I had to look up the address of the place in an email which happened to be on my PowerBook. I pulled out the computer to check on that address when I realized that the little street we were going through had full blown WiFi coverage. We are talking really good signal. I not only was able to check on that email I wanted to check anyway, I also just picked up a few more messages from the server. The name of the hotspot was Alex.
So it was just natural that I kept my PowerBook open during another taxi ride, this time all the way from the lower east side to the place where I just fell asleep, which was probably around 34th Street and 2nd avenue. But even during that time, we entered and left several areas of really good "Airport", or "Wifi" coverage. Just like that. Windows of coverage would open and close as we moved uptown, with typical taxi speed, with the cabbie making his jokes to an invisible friend on his cell-phone.
Oh, and there are clearly more open hotspots downtown, where the streets are tighter and where people might be more willing to share their bandwidth.
It is very similar in my building. I have a neighbor here who has an open hotspot and offers really good cable modem coverage. Further up, on the roof, there are three Penthouse WiFi spots, but they are all closed and private.
I will need to leave a note in the elevator, perhaps, once I will be able to spend more time at home.
Wait, I think wrote about this before. Well, almost.
nycwireless.net is a good source for free WiFi nodes in the New York region, btw.
Hmm... soon there will be reports about areas without coverage, I guess. ; )


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Mom said he had the prettiest antlers in the valley. "Just like dad", she said. But where was this now that all the other deer were laughing at him? Where was his now when he did not know what to do with this thing on his head that made the others either laugh or just run away. No cow would look at him, do bull would play with him. He was really considering leaving the valley for the mountains. He would just die in the snow, all by himself. This was pretty much his plan, until he ran into a strange cloud of voices and sounds. Then pictures appeared before his eyes. It all made him really sleepy at first.
Soon he would realize that he was able to hear and see things others would never even understand. Soon he would realize that he could hear conversations of hunters, miles, miles away from the valley. Soon he would have revenge. Okay, maybe just save the life of the prettiest cow in the valley.




Not only was it incredibly hot and humid yesterday, I also had friends visiting from Germany for just one day, just this one hot evening! And because they both need to smoke so much that they even brought their own little tabaco sticks from Germany, we had to find a place to have dinner with them outdoors. (A recently introduced law pretty much prohibits using the $7.50 personal plantation-fire simulators in any bar, or restaurant.)
The food was great, the garden of the Mexican restaurant on the lower East-side "actually looked pretty good" (was really awesome).
I had to finish some important work by last night as well, which did not happen, because I just fell asleep upon contact with a soft surface here at home.
I am now incredibly tired, incredibly confused, and incredibly far from done... and this makes this entry short and the drawing absent. Good morning dear Friday.


It was his favorite scarf. It reminded him of the time when his 's had to cover his mouth to be able to breath while riding his horse through the dusty valleys of the area.
Now the silk around his neck was there to protect him from the curses of the women, whom he did not allow to mistake his scarf for a leash.
Those who understood his story, were welcome to untie the knot...




I pressed my foot into one of those little tar puddles in the subway station. I was somehow not at all surprised that I was able to just leave a deep imprint. Later in the street, same phenomenon. Parts of the city are ready to be molded. It is incredibly hot. Imagine putting a huge stone plate into the sun for the entire day and then letting it give back the stored heat all night. This is how Manhattan works. It is a huge heat storage. Places somewhere outside of the city might actually cool down over night. Manhattan keeps the sun energy stored. If the evening feels like the inside of a dog's mouth, the morning will very likely feel the same. The summer is here. The temperature and humidity combination tomorrow is supposed to be quite lethal. Let's hope nobody gets hurt.
Some New Yorkers were actually able to fry eggs on the sidewalk last year. Will it happen again? (And no, the eggs were not done in 3 minutes, it is not that bad... but still, really horrible.) It is now 5 Minutes to midnight and the temperature is 86F, (30C) tomorrow will be 100F, this equals 37C, we're talking... in the shade. Humidity will be about 90%. Ready?...



George never thought he would end up as a playing card. The number one? An ace? He was not really a player, he really was not. He was an ex-general, an ex-president, he wanted to be a consultant, he was a free-mason.
... one of the most wanted guys out there.
(At least he was not the only one...)


Subway and again...


Not quite sure which one was worse. The guy yesterday?, or the guy today. The guy yesterday was quiet, soft bodied, home grown. He might have been around 40 or so, but his mom was obviously still feeding him the good stuff and lots of it. He looked healthy, well groomed and had clothing that must have been selected for him, not so much by him. "Are you done with that paper?" He spoke with the volume usually reserved for the classic: "Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is ***** I am homeless and I am hungry." It was that voice that is produced by the throat, not by the chest. "Are you done with it?" He stood by the door that lead to the other car and was asking one of the strap hangers who had his paper rolled into a stick. The man did not reply at first but after having been asked three times, he just replied that he still needed the paper for later. "And you!?" The voice was now directed at another paper-reader. This one did not answer at all. "I need some paper, because I am kinda bored and I feel like cleaning!" I did not quite believe that he really said that. It was then that I noticed his "weapon". He was holding a plastic bottle with some unnaturally colored liquid. Oh, it was window cleaner. He was looking for some paper because he wanted to wash the windows of this express train going downtown on a Sunday evening. Great.
He then proceded to spray the glass on the doors anyway. So he did not have any paper to spread the goods, he was just spraying now. He had this look on his face that four year old boys have when they smash a vase with a hammer, just to see if mom will yell.
Mom did not yell. At least not at first. A tiny African American woman in the corner took on the part of our mom. "Stop spraying the windows", she shouted, "I have allergies to that stuff."
"It is highly concentrated!", was his answer.
We were going at full speed, the car was shaking, he moved away from the door and slowly walked towards the lady. I was worried that we would have to save her from the bottle of this insane man. "It is concentrated." he repeated. He now just stood there, in front of her. Watching her.
She remained calm. As if there were no 40 year old obsessed man standing in front of her. It almost felt as if she had seen this one before.
At the next station, our window washer simply changed trains. (Would somebody give him a paper?, so he would be "less bored?" who knows.)

The guy today was just clearly on crack. He stormed through the door as if we all lived in an action movie and he were that little guy from the machine room who runs into the cabin to announce that the engines are burning... except that he did not scream that the engines are burning. "YO MOTHERF*CKERS, IT IS YOR TURN NOW, YO'RE ALL F*CKED!, ALL OF YOU" He stormed into the car. He was a very muscular male, wearing a white tanktop and just a full blown package of rage on his face. He was ready to kill. His steps through that car were as big as they could be for his size. He held on to the metal bars to gain some additional momentum. He hit my leg as he was swinging by. It did not really matter... I kept drawing...
We were in the last car. The place was not quite packed, but there were no seats available. I was just drawing. I did not really see him, as I did not want to be "that guy" who wants to save a subway car filled with people form a crazy crackhead. So he picked the sleeping guy in the corner. He chose the guy in a perfectly matching red trainings outfit, a giant of a man. A sleeping giant.
The giant just got up and left the car. He walked the entire length of the car and just left. No word spoken, no other action. He just left. All seven feet of him.
Our supercharged crackmaster expected anything but this, I guess. He just screamed some unrecognizable words as he swung out of that car and out through that door.
Just a few seconds later, the little girl across from me was telling her dad that this man had hit her knee and hit hit the tassels on her skirt as well. She said that if he had just torn of one of them, she would have "kicked his ass."
About 2 seconds later my adrenaline kicked in, my hand started shaking. And there was my stop.


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Jack loved to tell stories about the sun. It was the really hot, medium sized star, in the center of this planetary system. It was the source of all life here. It was also the source of incredibly romantic sunrises and sunsets. Stunning stuff. Really.
There was not a sigle fish to watch him, down there, deep on the ocean floor.



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She did not believe a thing. Nothing. It was just so frustrating, because all the good things that were actually true were just dismissed by her as pure lies. And it made him tired. So incredibly tired.
So he began to invent a reality. It was a different world, there were different people, the days were short maybe, but the nights were joyful and good. And suddenly, in midst of his completely invented fairy tale world, filled with odd, really odd characters, she looked up from his shoulder and said, "I am sorry that it took you so long, but I am glad that you are finally telling the truth."
And it did not matter, it did not matter. He did not care that he had just invented an entire world for her. All he saw were these green eyes and finally this expression of a confirmation that he had been working towards for weeks and weeks, or were they month? Ah, it finally all paid off. He was a happy man. It was worth it.
At least until this one time, when she decided that there was another man, with a better world, somewhere. And he was left with what he had created for her. It was now all his, all around him, part of him. And it was empty without her.


a split second


there, there is was again. my eyes went blurry for a split second. I am back now, but a bit more aware of my surroundings. What if they keep doing that?
I sometimes imagine what will happen once my eyes will stop working well enough and once my hands stop working well enough.
Will I be able to still speak? Will I be able to tell stories? Maybe the stories from a blurry and intangible world? I wonder.
What if I just spent a week with my eyes closed? On which day would I be able to just go out and get something to eat, to visit friends? To work?
Would I be able to work?
I am not sure where I wrote it down some years ago. I think I had this dream in which I was completely blind and yet still making art. And it was art that would be seen for the first time when opened to the observer. I might have had this dream after working with a friend from Norway, who lost his sight when he was quite young. He was a faster walker than me, actually, and his hobby was running. He came to Frankfurt to learn German at the Goethe Institut in 1995. We signed him up with the Frankfurt Runners Club. He would just hold on to somebody and run with them. An amazing man.
Hmm, maybe I could sculpt? I do not need hands or eyes to sculpt. Not sure.
All in focus now... back to work.


He was not quite sure if there was anything he liked in particular. Not quite sure, not sure. Never 100% sure. Except for Renoir. Renoir was simply pretty bad. Why would Barnes collect so many Renoirs?... Maybe because nobody in Europe wanted them?... Probably. Oh, whatever...


dear dragonfly


It is raining cats and dogs in New York. The entire city looks like a really nicely filled sponge. Nicely filled stone and metal sponge. It makes sense to go to a restaurant near by when the weather is so unbearable. The restaurant is called Acqua. It is on Amsterdam and 95th street. Up the block. I will not report about the quite excellent food, or the wine which makes me want to say some really out there things. What I need to write about is the encounter with the dragonfly.
Imagine sitting in the corner of an Italian restaurant packed with loud partons, on an extremely rainy day. Are we there?
I noticed a fluttering feeling on my left arm. I was wearing short sleeves and so the feeling was the one of a tickle. I looked down on my sweater and there she was. A dragonfly. A beautiful animal. Maybe three inches long, well, two and a half. The wings were moved to the back, the large head was clearly staring at me. I immediately got up to get her out of the door, to save her from being trapped here in this Italian restaurant with all the inconsiderate humans. I cupped my left hand and held it as a protective shield over the animal... but as I was heading for the door, I remembered the horrible rain out there. This was too much for a little friend like this insect. I opened my left hand, and she flew away, away into the invisible areas of the dining room.
It was not until about twenty minutes later that the same dragonfly appeared on the window next to me. It was as if she were looking at the rain and not quite understanding why she was not getting wet. I stretched out my right hand and the animal landed on it. (I am not making this up, it really happened, just minutes ago). She was beautiful. I saw her really enormous jaws, I saw her beautifully curved blue body. She moved her head in very interesting ways. She would have been completely symmetrical, only her three left legs appeared to be shorter than the three right ones. I assumed that it was only because she was compensating for the unevenness of the back of my hand. I told her how beautiful she was. I also told her that this might not be the best time to carry her outside. It is still pouring...
She flew away. She spent the rest of the evening in a really warm place, right over one of the lamps near the window. It was as if I were the only person in the entire place who was able to see her. I hope she is okay. If the weather gets better tomorrow, the owners of Acqua will hopefully open the doors and the dragonfly will be able to go back to the wonderfully rich hunting grounds of the upper westside....
This encounter reminded me of the one time when in the midst of winter, a monarch butterfly landed on my shoulder. I put her next to the heater, hoped that she would at least die in comfort...
I also remember this other time I met a different butterfly, in California, remember?
(More dragondfly encounters)

touch that dial...

the batteries claim they will last for another 15 minutes or so. There is so much I would like to write now, but I will never be able to pack it in 15 minutes.
Well, not really... it is just an excuse, an easy way out by looking sideways. There will be a lot of catching up to do... so many emails to reply to, so many drawings to be posted... hello weekend...
Now I feel like an American TV station (okay, some). Not offering any real programming, just procrastination and announcements. "Stay tuned, find out more, hear the full story, the shocking, breaking, exclusive news... when we return... to announce more... right after these important messages..."
hmm... later today, okay?... for now, "enjoy the encore presentation of our favorite on demand programming. Anything you want When you want it." (Just scroll down the page...)
; ) (Sorry, had to write this some day...)


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Two birds were having a strange dialogue before sunrise. They were telling each other the same two stories, again and again and again and again. The stories had nothing to do with each other, perhaps. But maybe they were looking for their continuations? Maybe they were the beginnings of stories that waited for the next, missing part. Andno bird was there to tell it. Two storytellers who spent an entire morning looking for what is next in their stories.
And there was nobody to continue, nobody to reply, nobody to comment...
I know, an overly romantic view at things. What sounds like a birds song to me is probably more of a "My left foot hurts and I am hungry", or "Get off my tree or I will pick you so hard, you won't be able to fly," or maybe "Hey ladies, look at me, I can build the finest nest and have the loudest voice and largest wingspan."
Hmm... pretty much like blogging, isn't it?...


Coco invented the wheel. It was nice and round and it spun. It made transportation so much easier. The heaviest loads could now be moved from one place to the next. This was a really big deal. This was the ultimate invention. But he would not release it just yet. He wanted to wait just a little. At least until his lawyers would manage to finally get his patent registered for the other inventions of his: Fire, the self vibrating Stick and the cromz.
Once these passed through the system. He would release the wheel. Until then. Zipp... nobody has to know.



There would be no real melon tonight, no real peaches. The wine was long gone. Edouard would have a beer tonight. But that did not really matter. He did not bother about the background. He looked at his value. Did he count the grapes? Of course not. Did he count the stripes on the wallpaper? No way. He cared about things as much as they would. Later, when they saw the stuff there, on the table. And 1867 sucked.


slowing down


please have patience with me as I refilter some of the headers... (thanks)...


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The passion began with a single stamp. It was not even a high denomination. It was not a big stamp either. But is was soo good. It was just wonderful. And the envelope. Oh, incredible. Shivers. Electrifying. The ice cream was just too much to handle. The lollypop pure passion. All other senses did not matter. This was it. She found her goal in life. Her tongue became her eyes and ears and hands and nose and of course taste, of course taste.
That was in the beginning. This was before the accident. Before the overdose of this refreshing new breath paper.
Some say they have seen her recently in the fields, licking the dew of the grass halms... Some claim to have seen her on the road. I do not want to believe such stories. I would rather ask her in person. It is so often better to find out such things first hand...


MadaM IM adaM


An interesting article in the New York Times this morning confirms what we were suspecting all along:

"Men and women differ by 1 to 2 percent of their genomes, Dr. Page said, which is the same as the difference between a man and a male chimpanzee or between a woman and a female chimpanzee."

Now, this explains a lot, doesn't it? No wonder I liked this site so much.

The article, which made the front page of the paper version of the times this morning, but was pushed off the front page of the online edition, is definitely a very sobering read for men. Gentlemen, I have the feeling that our Genetic material will eventually die out, as we carry a very unselfish, poor, under-appreciated gene with the appropriate name "Y". This poor gene can not exchange information the way X genes do, so in order to survive, it has to basically exchange information with itself. Hmm. How sad and how true not only on the genetic level, but on the macro level as well, isn't it?...
Take a look at the rather excellent article by Nicholas Wade: Here
Dear readers. I am not a Chimp. (I like to see myself more as a Snow monkey, but that's a completely different story.)

Could this be mine?


"Could this be yours, Sir?" a man on the subway gave me a credit card this morning. The card had indeed my name on it. It was actually one of the cards I carry with me... Yes it was my Credit Card, as were the other cards and forms of identification now spilled over the floor next to my seat on the 1 train going downtown. The cards must have slipped out of my pocket and had this friendly gentleman not noticed what had happened, you would be reading the journal entry of a very sad man right now.
I was very nervous, of course, this was not a good thing to happen. I failed to offer the man my seat. When I was leaving the train and thanked him again, he seemed rather irritated.
Last time my information was stolen was in Toronto in 1995. Somebody had read the numbers off my MCI calling card. I did not notice anything until I received the bill. Somebody had managed to place nine or so parallel calls of two hours each to China. Quite remarkable. I never had to pay the several thousand dollar heavy bill.
The adventure today will make me think again about maybe using some sort of a wallet... I have a few, but they make my pants look as if I were incredibly excited to have credit cards. I am not. No wallet for me?


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Evolution, shmevolution. No matter how big your brains might get, the cuter animals will survive, because they are cuter and they will enslave you to be their stepping stone and the jumping board and a new starting point and the really serious new big deal. Yeah?, you think you are smart? Guess what, this is exactly what will make cute little overweight dogs survive...
Well, maybe not exactly that... but being the fittest sometimes means cutest. Yippiee.


Two men lost?

They were probably a and his own . Two men with belts attached at the equators of their bodies. They were standing in front of the theater on 49th street and Broadway, waiting for "Chicago" to let in the ticket holders.
The younger man had a new toy. It was a GPS gadget. He pointed at the screen as I was walking past them. He was the young expert. The older man was his fascinated one man audience.
"See, we are in New York."
Who would have thought?

soft as snow and warm inside...


Just rediscovered a very nice little piece of software that works a little bit like brushes in Illustrator but is made specifically for artists (I think). THe software is called Expression, it is release #3 now and it is available as a 30 day fully functional trial version here. I remember using it a long time ago when it just came out under the fractal design umbrella...
I just downloaded it last night, and just ran a simple little drawing through various brushes that come with the download.
It feels nice to draw someting first and then to imagine having drawn it with a completely different tool.
The drawings below are one and the same drawing... Am I being tempted here, or is this really fascinating? Oh and Expression is vector based. This means that all of these drawings are not restricted to a particular size. (The .jpg files here are, of course.)

Hmm... just one simple drawing, and yet the moods are so different...














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She always dreamt of going away. There were the hills, the valleys, the rivers and the oceans. It was all out there, it all wanted to be explored. She could not understand how generations of her ancestors could have found it interesting to live in a place like their current home. I mean, get real. This was perhaps the most boring place on earth. And it did not matter that her dad would say that the world out there is not quite as familiar as home. And what did mom know? There were certainly the same happy plants out there that would feed the animals while they were asleep and give them shade during the day. Uncle Horncurl claimed even that home was the only place where beings would feed each other, rather than feeding off each other. That was such an urban legend... how could animals feed off other animals? Such a stupid and disgusting thought. Like, what, do they like, eat each other? Eeeeew...
Uncle Horncurl probably just wanted to impress her. What a loser.


natto dessu yo!


Not sure why I never posted this rather odd photograph of a sly chipped bowl of freshly scooped out natto, next to a little hotel ashtray with roasted coffee beans, on a haywood wakefield nesting table with a lamp mostly present as a reflection in the wood surface and of course as source.
I really like natto very much. I can not buy much of it at a time, because I end up eating the whole pack quickly.
What natto is and what it does next to coffee beans? Hmm... Some other time, maybe... (I actually already wrote a little about natto here some times ago... just search for "natto", you will find the tiny entry.)
Picture taken April 2002. Hmm... Natto is gone, coffee beans are gone, the containers, the table, the lamp, even this weird sofa are all still there, in the same place. I am not there now. I wish I were.

French Suites...


Boy, am I tired. I am looking forward to sleep and rest and will now just need to head home for just that. I might need to stop for a little bite, but it will be a tiny one, as I do not want to spend the night jumping from drama dream to drama dream. There will probably be music in my head though. Very likely Johann Sebastian Bach's French Suites. In order to make myself stay awake I gave my ears some of that good and wonderful and great. Listened to my tiny Glenn Gould collection on my iTunes. And then I decided to go out there and get more of the humming brilliant goodness. One tiny invigorating piece I must have found in the days of wild scavenges across the folders of friends who knew more about good music than me turned out to be a file called French Suite 5 - 26 - Allemande - gould... The mp3 was a fragment, not even the whole thing. But it was so beautiful. So I decided to quickly get it, and maybe more?... Turns out iTunes store does not have the Gould version of the piece. They have it by Andrei Gavrilov, but, please may he forgive me, his version sounds as if he were driving a monster truck through a muddy field, compared to the crisp and exciting Gould interpretation.
The Gavrilov pieces were also part of some sort of compilation called Double Forte - Bach: Keyboard Concertos & French Suite No.5. (Over here, over here, see the five legged man!) Hmm... this was not what I was looking for.
And then I found "Virgin Veritas - Bach French Suites" played by Davitt Moroney. Hmm, a real bargain so to speak, the whole 52 pieces for the price of an iTunes album ($9.99). This was not Glenn Gould playing, but Davitt Moroney appears to be quite an expert on Bach, oh, and did I mention that he plays hapsicord? (Not one like this, but more one like one of these.
So why not listen to Bach the way he most likely performed the music himself?
... Oh, it is quite an experience... I went from being able to listen to a finely adjusted soft sound of a fragment of a piece played my one of my favorite humans to ever touch a piano, to owning two hours, twenty three minutes and forty one seconds of Bach performed on an instrument that does not do so well when it comes to fine volume adjustments. The music is beautiful, the recording is very charming. (Birds from the garden reply to the music whenever the hapsicord it gives them the sest chance.) But the Bach on a Hapsicord for more than two hours makes me want to go out and scratch some glass for relaxation.
The expression wired is much older than the internet, believe me...
Moroney an Bach are touching nerves in me I never thought existed.
My hands are sweaty, my breath is short, I am sitting so upright in my chair, if i sat more upright I would be standing on my big toes. I am basically bright eyed and definitely bushy tailed, claws out, ready to jump.
My conclusion... I am going to fall in love with this recording... just give me some time and something to squeeze.
How do I link to the iTunes Store?, so you can listen to some snippets at least?


Why did everybody think this was a costume? Why would they keep taking pictures with him as if he were employed by a theme park. All of his life had he been treated like a toy. His size has changed over the last 10 years, of course. He wondered if they would still find him as cute as they seemed to find him now when he would finally reach his adult size of 30 meters.
He kept a list of those who liked to kick him. And that little boy that peed on him, was going to experience the surprise of his lifetime, once there would be the appropriate revenge. In a few years, my friend, in a few more years...


is he back?


There is a very unusual piece of street furniture on West End Avenue and 100th Street. It is a piece of street furniture long abandoned, an object believed to be dead, to not exist anymore, to be just a piece of New York history.
I used it, it looked old and new at the same time. It is a phone-booth. A real New York Phone booth, one just like the ones used by that guy who can see things inside of houses without ever entering them, who can be in many places at almost the same time, who is a journalist, but only as a cover up for his actual activities. No, it is not Jayson Blair, it is Superman. I think he is back. He must be back. Why would there be a fresh, urin odor free and even scratchiti and glass etch liquid graffiti free phone booth. Unbelievable. THe sticker attached to the aluminum roof from the inside looked as if it were about 50 years old, but all the hinges, all the aluminum parts everything else about this phone booth is spanking new. Could it be a prop from the recent hollywood movie? How can I find out?...
Let's just assume, Superman is back.


The other bunnies had ears too. But the other bunnies seemed happier. They had stereo. Mr. Ear had more than that. He was just scared to near death every time something was even about to happen. Many things did not even end up happening. Mr. Ear was too afraid to ever find out.


Daily Practise by T.F.

Tom Flemming, the man who made this site possible by teaching me how to set a <a href="hyperlink"></a> (and then coding this beast, because I still don't know the H, the T, the M or the L) is now back with his "practise", a series of daily fragments and observations, all of them with a time stamp, all in reverse chronological order (so far, on one page). One could easily mistake this site for a "blogue", but I think what we are about to witness here is more of a content and comment destination and not just a fancy island of a mere web-traffic cop.
There is a major difference, is there not?
Tom is not just an artist/director/writer who happens to live in London's Notting Hill, he is a real celebrity in certain circles, a member of some quite exclusive clubs, he has more than one Master degree from the one and only Royal College (of Art) in Great Britain's only London.
We should and are expecting some great things from this new site, we are deed to be the first ones to know of it existence.
So go visit, set a bookmark, go back there, read and hope that he will soon include a comment feature, so we can all just ask for more.
I have no idea why his site does not use Movable Type, of course, but I guess he knows why. Will he perchance tell us?...
I am adding Tom's "practise" to the blogroll, will be back for some good reading.
Welcome back Tom, thank you for coming back to join us personal publishers.
(And as for the spelling, dudes, check this out!, yeah man, he's a true Brit!, like, totally.)

Elizabeth Harper *sings*


What a magical voice! Elizabeth Harper manages to sing in a range that does not care about the ears but goes straight for the heart. She does not only have an extraordinary voice, she uses it in most virtuos of ways. Her singing appears effortless and , but we all know this kind of voice expression is the probably most rare one. She is not a singer, she is an artist who uses voice as medium.
Can't wait to get my CD. Four tracks are available for download on her essential site elizabethharper.net.
I am also looking forward to hopefully being able to see her perform on monday.
Stunning, stunning. I have a strong feeling that we will hear more from Elizabeth Harper. (And we should!)


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Honestly, all I want to do sometimes is doodle away, not think about anything really, just scribble shapes in a few seconds and then let the user decide. (Me being the first user, of course...)
Would you like to write your own little story about this one?...



It was what he called the "Panda Syndrome". It was an issue with visual miscommunication. He was an angry beast, His brain was large, he was ready to make anything into food. He wanted to be feared. He would be feared, of course. There was just this stupid problem. The two large eyes on his forehead. They were not real eyes. They just looked like eyes, but that was enough. Enough for anybody to adress his forehead, not what was his real face. Enough for others to think that he was plain weird... he was a mean angry monster with jaws of death. Who knew...
Oh, and then there were these strange little tentacles right below his strong and dangerous arms. Whenever he would get excited or ready to hunt, they would just wiggle around and tickle his armpits. Incredibly annoying and very, very uncool... aargh... damn the evolution.


Tiny Mystery Plant 2


The tiny mystery plant is not quite as tiny as it was last time. It actually also got a friend now. They are obviously related. I am not quite sure what kind of a tree it might be. All I know so far is that these little buddies have what is called "compound leaves". The larger one of the two plants is now about 5" (13cm) tall. The smaller one is about 3" (8cm). The larger tree has now five compunt leaves, the smaller one has four. Each one of the leaves consists of about 18 oval leaflets which are attached mostly in pairs to about 2" (5cm) long stems.
Both trees have still their thick and fleshy protective leaves attached. Those were used to get throught the soil. I assume that they will eventually fall off. They seem a bit bruised.
The reason why I am writing about the plants now is the fascinating fact that the plants fold their leaves for the night. The leaflets hug the stem very closely and so the look of the plants is very different now. (I am testing them with electric ... they seem to be "waking up" after less than 2 minutes of exposure... okay, do not want jetlagged plants, putting them back into darkness.) It really looks as if they were sleeping. Both are just a few days old, but their complexity is quite incredible.
Ideally, these trees would be Acacia fernesiana, Huicache, Sweet Acacia or Cassie. I know that the tree lives mostly in Texas, Arizona and in Southern Europe, but because I found the seeds near the old Guggenheim estate, it is quite possible that the trees growing there are not really from here... I could probably find out more by digging out the seeds, but I do not really want to disturb these little buddies.
(Will draw them in better .)



And it did not even bother her so much that she was not even able to reach those front teeth with her hands. It was not even that she was not really able to see things straight sometimes. Nobody understood the natural painting of her face. (It did change its color, but only at night.)
What bothered her most was the knowledge that in a few million years there would be little monkeys everywhere, collecting bones and checking them out and taking them away from their places. And she knew that they would find her skeleton and especially her skull and that they would use their little monkey brains to interpret the content of her incredibly well wired system. And they would of course not understand even a tiny portion of her very well distributed knowledge and wisdom and emotions and all the other things for which the monkey writing this has no words. They would probably assume that she also had only one brain, just like them, or that only her brain was used for her thinking (though they used more than their brains for thinking without being aware of it... silly compartment-monkeys...). That was all a pretty sad knowledge to have. She also knew that the archeologists would probably assume that she was everything but the soft spirited kind teacher to the little bird. They would probably assume that she was an angry predator and that the little bird was the next link on some evolutionary chain. Or they would not even find the little bird, because it would be gone by then... hmm...
All this made her really sad. And the little bird could not understand what she was saying, because it did not understand the concept of future, but she, she had to suffer... all of her life...
She even considered jumping into a place where the soil was moist, to dig herself in, maybe, make sure those bones liquify. But the idea was to provide the little bird with more food over the next few years. And they had been such good friends...
If only she were a stupid, greedy predator, things would be so much easier...




This site was offline for most of the day. It is now back.
I was worried that all the data was gone.
Everything appears to be okay now...
it was pretty scary...
can not write more now...

I have found the error and corrected it. that account was not moved properly to our new billing system. I got your dates for that account from the archive and your back up.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.




The account was just temporarily suspended and we've now found past billing
that we've added to the new billing system. Your account is back up and



And whatever the others say, he knows that lifting air is a serious sport. Like, really serious stuff. Hot air is easier than cool air, because it is er, but then these other factors kick in and things get really tricky again. What about the thin air, you know, up there... there. Or that air that comes straight off a subway train in the evening. Yeah, that's what i am talking about. You know...
And do not tell me that air is , or weak or something like that. Ever seen a jumbojet fly? That's right. On tons and tons of air. From here to there. And there are many planes in the air at all times. Strong material, heavy duty...
Lifting air is no easy sport. No wonder there is no real competition... this stuff is hard. Some die trying to be good at it.
Some never even try.




It probably makes perfect sense that I am listening to the wonderfully layered music of My Bloody Valentine as I am posting this. The 360x360 series posted of daily drawings is now at 27, it contains about 30 drawings on the server. My Illustrator file has about 60 layers or so (not all drawings get posted, you know). As I was switching from layer to layer it occured to me that it woul be interesting to just quickly turn on some of the layers to generate something like remixes of the files posted and of those not posted.
Here we go...






open letter to J. Kottke

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Hello Jason, your Open Letter to the New Yorker made me want to smile. Yes, the current (double) issue of the New Yorker does contain some flapping and wildly annoying ads. The one you mention is not the only one. The magazine opens with several pages of creative advertising. There is a Volkswagen Touareg ad with more images than words, there is a Crystal Cruises spread with a picture of a diamond as ship, there is one of those hand drawn Microsoft ads. Did you see the Urinetown ad right behind the Index? How about the 12 page insert for the new Audi A8 L (read: Au-di Ah Aght L) featuring other offline celebrities, like Guy Liberté, K. D. Lang, Robert Johnson, Daniel Libeskind, Narciso Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Lucette de Rugy and Bill Joy, all photographed in some quite cute ways. (this section does not quite flap around, but it uses some nicely matt heavy paper. Robert DeNiro and Monk fold out on pages 46 and 47. Page 61 has another flap attached... Microsoft also used a heavier stock to advertise their "tablet PC" on pages 81 and 82. There is indeed the very elaborate USB ad between the pages 98 and 101.
But the reason for all these design muscle flexing inserts and paper experiments is probably between the pages 108 and 109... see the best thing does not even come numbered. Do you see it?... It is an interactive piece by MINI. I Quote: :LET'S PARK IT ON YOUR DESK. Let's drag race our favorite pen. Let's blow past the tape dispenser. Let's avoid coffee spills. Let's not get pulled over by your boss. Let's get lost in the office. On a 1/56th scale - LET'S MOTOR.
Above and below this cute little line are two paper-models of those new MINI cars. They come with beautifully illustrated instructions on the back. They do not require scissors. They are pre-cut. A bliss.
So, you can probably guess what I have done. I've torn out all of the flaps and ads and things prior to the unnumbered MINI piece. I made up a little parcour (that's French, I guess?) and took my two truly mini mini-cars for a ride. (Okay, it was more of a race.)
David Sedaris is probably doing the same thing, right now, passing the sign "Now" and "Urine" at grotesque speeds. We all slow down at the leftovers of the off-road VW ad. Daniel Libeskind watches us with his contained smile.
Broom, broom, let's motor. Let's not complain that debut can indeed be also spelled début, at least according to this "website" (or Web site).
All the best from the desk of somebody who enjoys advertising and does not expect to be ever quoted in the New Yorker. ; )
Good night.

lazy me?

so I go to this guy's blog, and he has not updated it for days now. I mean he has, a little, but not really. And what is up with those "daily" drawings? Not really happening, are they? Daily stories? Where? Any idea? Hmm. Looks like our friend Witold got a little lazy? Is it the weather? Maybe the weather got really nice in New York, and so he just went to the roof of his building and started staring at the sky for days now? Quite possible, isn't it?

Oh, how I wish this were true. I have been just very focused on work for the last few days. There are two entries I wanted to make so serious that it took too long to actually write them in the time I wanted... hmm...

Excuses, excuses. Post something. You must have something interesting to post, no?...

try ümeric
and as a great contrast... this.

Let me pull out that graphic tablet. I am not really good at that linking stuff... ; )


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Immer schön am boden bleiben... Always nicely keep close to the ground. This is the way how truffles are found and white rabbit holes and other exciting animals and things. And you know that you want to fond them all. They are as much part of you as you will eventually be a part of them, digested, transformed, liquified, solidified. Maybe fossilized... but who would really want that...


and suddenly

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The sounds of the city are different this morning. There is a louder background humming of air-conditioners. The birds across broadway must have invested in an amplifier for their morning concerts. Motorcyclists race up and down broadway. Helicopters fly micro formations over the hudson river. It feels as if the did not only come from the sun, but from every air molecule between here and everywhere. What a glorious morning.


the greatest, the wildest, most daring, dangerous. High above the ground, with a face painted to scare the crows. Look, look, there he goes again.
It is good to be filled with hot air.



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I remember that evening of November 9th 1989. I was alone in my good old horizon blue Mercedes, returning from Offenbach, to Hanau. I had just turned onto a straight piece of the road, the railroad tracks to the right, some dark, sleepy houses to the left. The old blaupunkt radio was on, so was the heat, the engine made this purring relaxed sound, we were cruising. The announcer on the radio interrupted the broadcast. I do not quite remember what he said exactly. It was something about the Berlin Wall coming down, or the border between Eastern and Western Germany being opened. I do not quite remember what the announcer said. I just remember that I immediately had tears on my cheeks, my immediate reaction was to cry. I was alone in that same car, driving on that same road, except things were blurry now, I was crying as if somebody had removed an incredible weight off my chest and told me to go home.
We had escaped from Poland less than 10 years prior to that evening, the world was now a different one, suddenly, without a proper warning. So many of the fears and limitations had been turned into a page of a history book within seconds. For me, personally, in that purring car between Offenbach and Hanau. The world changed indeed. I do not know how I could explain how deep the emotions were that swept upon us back then in Germany in the days following the announcement. On both sides of the previously impenetrable border there was joy and an indescribable outpour of human emotion in general. I can not think of any comparison or description of what we were feeling. It was such a raw and just unscripted real emotion. It was incredible.
The reason I am remembering this moment and trying to remember what it felt like to be in a suddenly soon to be reunited Germany, is what happened today. (Well, yesterday.)
58.5% of the Polish population voted in a referendum today (and yesterday). 77% of those who went to the ballots voted for a united Europe, voted for Poland joining the European union. 22 years after we escaped from a Poland that was about to declare Marshal Law on itself, that same country is about to become a state in a union that will include what we called the "Zachod". I should be really touched again. Poland will be part of Europe, a peaceful decision, a choice of the people, an idea impossible in 1981, an idea somehow natural in 2003.
There is barely any mention about this incredible event in the American media, of course. It is understandable, there is an entire ocean between here and there. There is actually a quite good article in Times this morning. (Also take a look at the BBC-News article.)
Only a very private perspective allows me to compare the fall of the Berlin Wall with the decision of the majority of the Polish population to join the European Union. The climate of both decisions is a completely different one, of course, the decision is made in a very different world.
Hmm, a very personal, very private comparison of both events...
I guess they are both gigantic steps towards a more open world... does this make me compare them?...
Btw. If you do not know what happened on December 13th 1981, check the entry in this blog. Yes, there is one.


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"how are you this June?"
It would take months again to get any answer. They were not the youngest anymore. Their heads used to move back and forth, back and forth, as they were pushed by growth spurts every day. But now, now was the beginning of a more quiet time. The wind would move them, of course, they would sometimes even get close to touching the tips of each other's leaves. But in general... it was the beginning of the decades, if not centuries, in which they would just stare at each other, exchange some very similar points of view and just eventually completely grow together, until some life-form would come by and look at them and assume that they were one. They were not one of course, they were not even the same species.
"oh, I am fine, and you?"
Not all was lost. They were still able to have speedy conversation.


Tiny Mystery Plant

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When on a walk on November 9th, last year I collected some strange looking seeds on the path to the bay. There were maybe two berries among the seeds maybe, one seed looked like a funny hat, some looked very much like little stones.
I put them all into a semi-clear 35mm film container, to maybe later put them into soil. I have no idea how this little container landed in the drawer of my night-stand, but this is where I found it, a week or so ago. Inside was a sour smell, sly fruity maybe, more like wine gone bad, there were some serious mold spores, the white camembert kind to go with it. There has been obviously some fermentation going on here, the little oxygen left in the container had been probably eaten up by the little mold plants. (Dear biologist, I am not one, please feel free to correct my caveman-assumptions.)
I emptied the container into one of my "experiments and found things" flower pots. It is a pot with good soil into which I drop some of the remains of plants which for some miraculous reason might have survived the pre-supermarket radiation treatment and which I could as well just throw out...
I covered the seeds with barely any soil, I moved the one with white fur into a deeper indentation in the ground. And I forgot about these fellows again.
It was yesterday that I noticed a little three inch tall plant, in a very joyful spring green lurk its two wings from the blackish soil. The wings were leaves of course, but they appeared as if they were something else. It appeared as if they were protecting something between them. The plant grew over an inch since yesterday and I can now see that the two leaves were indeed somehow just there to protect a more fragile content from being bruised as the tree-to-be poked through the surface of the soil. The two fleshy leaves are now open, the seemingly main portion of the plant appears for now to be four leaves, each one of them consisting of about 18sub-leaves. It feels like an incredible miracle. I do not have a camera that would allow me to post an image here right away. I tried to draw the little buddy, but it is not easy due to its size. I put the largest magnifier onto my camera lucida (12x) and attached the 19th century tool to the wacom tablet connected to Adobe Illustrator. Without being able to really monitor what I am doing, I at least tried to trace the proportions of this new guest. (12x was too strong actually, I ended up using 10x).
As I was drawing the outlines of the new tree, I was so close to the flower pot that I could smell the moist black soil. And it reminded me of the smell of the forest in which I had found the seeds seven months ago. If plants could smell...
But they can certainly take in nutrients. Maybe what I smell is what makes the little buddy go.
I will need to take pictures... just won't be able to post them right away...



instead of going deeper into interesting matters, there appears to be a series of little jumps over the last few days, again and again we go, skipping four days almost of drawings to be posted. And there are more activities right outside the window, there is more going on under the waves. It might be time to get back to that. ; ) (just saying...)



Are you what you wear? Do you wear what you are? Do you appear to others as an individual, a unique, one of a kind person? or more of a member of a social group? Are you a good visual representation of what particular group of people you belong to? Do you want to be? Are you avoiding such classification?
There is a fine connection between individual expression and visual belonging.
Ari Versluis and Stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek manage to illustrate this connection in their visual social study "Exactitudes". It is a mixture of "exactly the same", as in "pretty much the same clothing style throughout a social group" and "attitude", as in "look at me, I am an individual with a very individual style."
Versluis and Uyttenbroek created an incredible collection of individual portraits, taken in an environment so controlled that we can begin to focus on the differences and similarities between groups of individuals as much as between the individual subjects.
An amazing social study, meticulously collected over the last eight years, mainly in Rotterdam. Though the message is globally local... hmm...
See for yourself: exactitudes.com. (Link via Tom Flemming.)


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A lamp, they called him a lamp. How dare they. He was a dancer, a secret ballet dancer. For hours at time he would spin and jump and express ideas, and other amazing things... until the cord was entangled, until the plug was ripped out of the wall, until it was completely dark again. Until the next night, late night.
Nobody knew about these activities of course, except for the hasty drawing of a taxidermy experiment. But that was certainly a completely different story. For now.


Kevin Cornell's book...


A very nice way of showing off a sketchbook can be seen here. Kevin Cornell did not only do a great job with his July 2002 - February 2003 Sketchbook, he also found an incredible way to present it online. One hundred and two pages presented in a very pretty way, are they not? : )


The wings were there, the horse body was there, the good will was there. Yet for some reason, there was not much hope that he would ever fly. The wings were just decoration, the horse body was more of a joke, and the good will?...
The good will was there equally for all parts. With not a single priority set, there would be no takeoff, just a flappering flippering something. But maybe later, maybe this was justthe beginning of things. It is quite possible that there was some potential in parts that we did not pay any attention to. And it is very likely.




Incredibly targeted virus treatment. A mail in Polish!, from GettyImages!, telling me if I could please just move the little bee a bit into the top right corner, so it goes better with the rest of the folder. Wow. I am not even sure if the virus filter that warned me about this one is part of my .mac account or my roadrunner/earthlink combination, but I am glad it happened. The virus would have probably not attacked my mac anyway, but I should probably never bet on it...
Did you get in touch with bugbear?

The attachment 1000000967700.jpg.pif with this email was found to contain the W32.Bugbear.B@mm virus and could not be disinfected. The attachment has been removed from the email. Please ask the sender to repair and resend it.
The attachment top-level-msg with this email is believed to contain a virus, but the condition cannot be confirmed, or the file cannot be disinfected. It is recommended that you DO NOT open the file until you have checked it with anti-virus software.

This message has been processed by Brightmail(TM) Anti-Virus using
Symantec's Norton AntiVirus Technology.
From: XXXX_XXXXXX@gettyimages.com
Date: Fri Jun 6, 2003 6:08:57 AM America/New_York
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Re: mini katalog

Prosze podciagnac pszczolke bardziej w prawy gorny rog, aby byla bardziej
zintegrowana z tytulem niz z reszta foldera.

This e-mail is confidential and may contain privileged information.
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torn film...


"Film mi sie urwal..." My would use this expression, which is Polish and means "My film just tore...", whenever he would fall asleep in front of the television set, or just on the chair, or on the sofa, or just anywhere. He would just fall asleep out of nowhere, it bordered on narcolepsy.
My used to work in a coal mine, underground, often in nightshifts. We also had a nicer apartment, because sometimes this special truck would pick up my and some of the neighbors and they would speed away, syrens howling, to work in a fire, somewhere in a coal mine. He explained to me how fires are extinguished underground when I was four or so... and even though I had some nightmares about it for a little while, I think I eventually accepted that coal is more important than lives. (Extinguishing a fire in a coal mine in most cases meant to build air tight walls around the burning area. The bodies would be retrieved later...)
So my dad was really overworked most of the time, he would just fall asleep on me, in the middle of a conversation sometimes. One more reason why I would draw so much as a child... it is a very quiet activity after all.
I am writing this because I just woke up, sitting on the sofa, just as I sat down on that same sofa last night. The tv was not on. My film still ripped, the world I saw as I opened my eyes was a blurry foreign place.
I am now about as old as my dad was when he used to pass out. I certainly do not have to rescue miners out of burning coal mines. I do not have to work the nightshift. Maybe age has something to do with it as well...
Good morning. I am writing this also, because we are here alone again. The masses from the first day of the publication of "The Scar" seem to have moved on. I think it will be a little easier for me to write again. (What a silly entry...)


There were some doubts, of course. It was not a clear decision right away. Who was the better one, who had what it took to reach the higher branches, dig deeper, peek around more corners?
In the end they would probably never find out. It was the louder one who would win this one. And by doing so, he would let them both lose in the larger game. Or maybe not. Maybe there would be a similar meeting, just a few years down the road, or down the unexplored dirt path.
There were some major doubts, of course.



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David Crawford, an artist whom readers of this blog definitely met, just won an Award of Distinction at the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz for his SMS (Stop Motion Studies). This is fantastic news. Congratulations David!
(This is very well earned!)
(See the other winners here.)

wet york city

The rain is incredibly heavy in the city right now. The sewers can not keep up with the amount of water and so Manhattan is like Venice during high tides.
My clothing is as wet as if I had fallen into the canale grande. I can not imagine what it would have been like had I not worn a jacket and had an umbrella with me.
What a fantastic way to get a good, classic cold. : ) Hello June...


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He would come to this very special spot about every 8 days or so. It was a barely visible mountain range, eight peaks, spaced in a way that allowed him to stand on all of them at the same time. This was the highest spot he could possibly reach in this particular landscape, and he would enjoy these moments for extended periods of time.
He would then forget that he was a living thing, he would just imagine to be part of the landscape, here forever, not cursed to reshape it on a daily basis.
He would just stand there, for hours, stare into the far corners of his warm world.


The Scar

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It was a real surprise for me when Derek M. Powazek asked me if I would like to illustrate a story he wrote for fray.com. I immediately agreed. I have to admit that I knew of him and that I knew that he had this really nice site, I knew that he had a very charming style, and that's about it. (I actually did not even know of fray, can you believe it?)
What I also did not know about were his thoughts on being Jewish when he was twelve, how he and his family defined his Jewishness for him. The story he sent me was incredibly personal and revealing, a more personal and a more revealing, than I had expected, for sure. It was written by an adult writer (he is an excellent writer), but some opinions in it were just clearly the raw thoughts of a 12 year old, a boy. Gosh, so now I had agreed to illustrate a portion of somebody's life in a moment when they clash with their Jewishness. (To give you a better idea, I was born in Poland, have a German Passport and was raised Catholic, so I am about as Goy as they get.)
Great. I was bound to mess something up with this one... I was really worried, of course. Also, last time I really illustrated stories was in 1989, that is a while ago. It was all a bit of a complex situation for me. I felt as if the Universe had selected me to show me that it is very easy to find a task for me that I can not tackle.
"There, buddy, bite into this..."

I really have to thank Derek for his patience with me. He waited for over a month until my drawings were ready. (Much of the time was actually spent on me thinking that I can not do this.)
You will notice that the style of the illustrations is a tiny bit different than what you might have recently encountered on this site. (Those of you who followed the moleskine postings for the last few months will probably see more connection.) I just decided that as long as I try to illustrate the story from the point of view of the 33 year old me, it would be speaking in a voice too "stiff" for what Derek had written. So I put my fountain pen aside, pulled out my 3B pencil and just drew like I think I used to before I worried about failing too much. I basically trusted my instincts. Once I was able to do that, it became much easier to remember how being Catholic sucked when I was 12, and how being Polish sucked when I was 12 and how not being able to speak the language of the bullies when we moved to Germany sucked and how being poor in a rich school sucked and so on...
Derek married the drawings and the story to a great set of pages on fray.com, so if you want to take a look what came out of our coast to coast collaboration of sly older twelve year olds, the story will be the title story of the month. I think it will always be accessible under this perma-link. What is your scar?


There they are, the plants the flowers, the ducks, the wings, the floating fish. The good kind of floating, of course. The right side up.
And suddenly it is middle of the night again and I should actually be sleeping...
and why don't I... good night. : )



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Not pretty enough for you? You feel intimidated by my wicked looks? What is it about you people that makes you fall in love while watching each other's brains poking through your faces, and just does not allow you to find a perfectly round thing like me attractive? Are you not intrigued about my dreams and hopes? Would you like to know what I think about this and that? How intimate can we get, on a first date? I do not have hands? Well, it is not like you are using yours this minute, are you?
So just relax, I am not dangerous at all. I am a friendly creature. I will not eat you or your friends, or anything that belongs to you...
Excuse me while I deflate.


that lucky fin...


After having seen "Finding Nemo" twice, I know that I will go and see it a few times more, preferably in Digital Projection, as available in certain theaters. I will probably also go for a late night showing. Having seen a big shadow of a man fall over the shadow of a baby-carriage parked next to an up and down jumping shadow of a full-row-family, could have been enough by itself. Hearing a swarm of 4 year olds try to speak "whale" pretty much gave it the edge.
Now I made it sound worse than it was. The movie can be watched in a cinema filled with kids. The story is quite arresting for anybody who knows not to swallow the small parts that break of their toys.
I was a little worried that the movie would not be quite as much af ablast as the previous creations coming out of Pixar. I mean at some point their ideas had to be just as good as the other studios?, maybe? What made me worry much more of course was just the amount of promotion blasted through all the channels of the Disney's Magic Kingdom machinery. I watched the previews and read the reviews and saw the winking sharks on cab roofs and even on eBay and so I went into the theatre with the feeling that I know the story too well to be overly excited. I was even ready to accept that I was about to spend some two hours or so contemplating about the differences of fish who are gummy (Marlyn) and those who glow with their own color (Dory).
What actually happened in the big dark room was very different of course. The movie is not one of those shallow money suckers that can barely keep up with their trailers. The writers at Pixar are somehow always able to think outside of one age group and so I think that even if Pixar decided to make movies with paper-napkin-puppets exclusively, they would still be able to turn them into wonderful classics. Their storytelling sits at the beginning and in the centre of the process and this really shows. This stuff is great. (Finding Nemo was written by the incredible Andrew Stanton, who also directed the movie and is the voice of turtle Crush, dude...)
I am not saying that the visuals were not breathtaking. There was some unparalleled underwater rendering on that big blue, ahem, silver screen. The ocean was the same ocean I remembered from my childhood tv-trips with Jacques Cousteau, except that it was better, because seen from the perspective of fish, not divers who can not even talk under water.
See, what the movie has done to me? I just picked the Pixar ocean over the real thing, but that is because the Pixar ocean somehow turns the vast 71% of earth's surface into something that even a three year old can understand as something that needs to be preserved, not exploited. (an issue actually that worries some people.)
The story is of course not a documentary feature set in an ocean recreated with really powerful computers.
Layers of the story touch themes like parenting and growing up and learning to deal with other people, ahem, fish. "Finding Nemo" was written by a who realized that there is a very fine line between being overbearingly protective of a child and letting it go completely and find out the harshness of things without proper supervision. Life is an ocean, and it is a scary place at times. Especially for those who are aware of their weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
There are several characters in the movie who represent different ways of parenting. Their motives are different, as different as their species. The results are as different as their species as well. A Shark, who never met his , turns into a barely personality with unrealistic intentions. A turtle who just let's the kid figure certain things out, without worries, dude, looks like a chain in generations of just this kind of laid back pedagogy. At the other end of this spectrum is a clown fish, a creature completely vulnerable outside of a very tiny security zone. A tiny fish, overly protective of a son, who happens to also have a little developmental deficiency. These two, Marlin and Nemo are the two protagonists of the two main story lines of this multilayered movie.
One other layer of the story might be about finicky nature of trust. Dory, a sweet and kind blue fish with a tiny short term memory problem has an unlimited amount of courage. She might be a burned child, but she lacks the memory to remember the fire and so Sharks are as much friends to her as jellyfish are pets, and she also is able to relatively easily befriend a clownfish who has a very complimentary view of the world. Marlin is a burned child that remembers the fire and its consequences all too well. The movie starts with a heartbreaking tragedy for him, he knows that he is vulnerable, he knows that one wrong swim beyond his reef can turn him into somebody's snack. He is a very unlikely hero, not a natural born adventurer, yet he is turned into one, in order to save the life of his child.
I hope that my descriptions give a tiny glimpse into the wonderful depth of the characters in the movie. Where other writers manage to create a main character and maybe a shallow sidekick, the writers here created a universe populated with real characters. Each creature in the movie has a reason to be there, their intentions are good, they are tangible individuals, not funny animated caricatures.
"Finding Nemo" is a wonderful movie that comes to life in a way that can not be easily expressed in a trailer or a sneak peek at the scene. The movie works very much like a good book that asks questions especially after the last page has been read.
I certainly am going to see this one again... and if you have not seen the movie yet, it is well worth your time and the cost of a ticket. And it does not matter how old you are, really. If you are reading this, you will probably have more fun and in more ways than you expect... sea it.... : )
For more and really in depth information about the move and for an interview with the director: Visit animated-movies.net.


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There was an idea, but wait, there was another one. Here comes one that is equally important. Do not want to let this one just pass by. There are moments of quietness and still contemplation and then there are times when there are just too many little ideas to fit onto a piece of paper or one side of it, or anything at the same time, now, please now, before I forget.
And the result of such bursts? Nothing really. Sometimes when the mind decides to gallop ahead, the hands and eyes just want to sleep and get ready for another exciting week ahead... hmm...
I am sometimes very thankful for being here as a human being, but often I would like to be something completely different somewhere else. Do you feel like this sometimes too? I mean wouldn't it be nice to be a cubic foot of water, somewhere, or maybe a sound, or maybe a good idea, or the hidden symmetry of an old tree, and be it a family-tree of a yet to be born species. Hmm...
Or something...



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Totem, to tem, tot em, tote m. Carved into a large piece of sponge, the sculpture enjoyed crossing oceans. How wonderful to be one with the elements and to scare the wits out of whales and all the other little animals. Barely visible water folk. Gosh, it is too late for writing here right now.
Glad I do not have a tv station. Here, only you and I get to read these fragments. At least this is what I like to think.


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