The architecture of density

Michael Wolf’s incredible photos of density, from the outside, in Hong Kong.


Living Architecture

Somewhat reminiscent of the remarkable set of houses being built in the Lower 9th Ward by the Make It Right Foundation is the recently announced Living Architecture development in the UK.

Living Architecture has asked a series of established and emerging world-class architects to build houses around the UK. The houses will be available to rent for holidays by the general public. Some will be in difficult or remote sites. The business model: People will pay a premium to spend a few days in a home designed by cutting-edge architects.


Art in a Box

I decided to make something for the upcoming “Art in a Box” show at RHINO Gallery. It is a cube with a removable top.

Lattice Field Theory

Lattice Field Theory

The material is recycled lattice strips salvaged from a building renovation. Left unpainted, cut to size, assembled with small nails and glue.

I didn’t know what I would do with the interior until I finished the box itself. Install a statue? Hang works of art on the walls? (Art in a box?) Finally settled on 2 mirrors set across from one another, angled up at the viewer.  Added a golden frame midway between the mirrors. When the viewer look in sees self reflected back, in a frame-art in a box.

Lattice Field Theory interior

Lattice Field Theory interior

The silver things are painted pine needles. It seemed like the interior needed more texture. I haven’t settled on how these will be arranged.

The title is taken from physics, where lattice field theory is the study of lattice models of quantum field theory.


I don’t pretend to understand this stuff but in general, I think, a lattice model is a way of reducing a continuum to a form that can be analyzed. What is life but a continuum? What is a painting, photo or reflection but a point in this continuum?

Rice paddy art in Japan

rice paddy art

Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife Osen appear in fields in the town of Yonezawa , Japan.

rice paddy art detailCloser to the image, the careful placement of thousands of rice plants in the paddy fields can be seen.

Here’s a link to a story about this in The Japan Times.

Word associations

I find word associations to be fascinating.  As a phenomenon and as a tool for brainstorming ideas.

The Edinburgh Associative Thesaurus (EAT) is a very easy to use interactive word association database derived from counts of associations given by test subjects.  The sample base is not large.  And the whole enterprise is based in the United Kingdom, so there is a cultural bias.

Nevertheless you might find it to be fun and even useful.

Some of the results are quite interesting.  For example, using “me” as the stimulus word yielded the expected responses such as “you”, “us” and “them” and also many negative associations, including:

  • alone
  • bad
  • confused
  • fat
  • lost
  • mad
  • no
  • ugh

…and Derek.


Jellyfish in Little Lagoon

Originally uploaded by nola-shiva.

Sitting in the garden in the sun on a clear February day with a chilly air temperature. The radiant heat from the sun, some 290 million miles away, is palpable. You can feel it pressing on the bare skin. And you think about how hot the sun must be, how large it must be and about the distance and you realize that we and the sun exist and have being on incomparably different scales.

Life on earth appears to exist within a very narrow temperature range, from about -30 C to about 120 C. The known temperature range in the universe is from -269 C to about 40 million C (interior of a star). Our little biological range here on earth represents only 0.0004% of the known range. And it is at the very cold end of the known range.

On the universal temperature scale with units of say 500,000 C the earth’s bio-range is completely invisible.

What’s amazing is the sheer complexity of material life within out infinitesimal temperature range, such as the behavior of water. Water is liquid at such a micro range that it is incredible that life seems to depend almost entirely upon that property of the molecule.

New Year’s day

We took a walk on the abandoned golf course in City Park.  Overcast sky, not cold.  Lots of birds.  I went with Cathy and Dorree.  dscn5744

They had recently mown the fairways.  I like them better when they are left alone, wild.  Let it go wild.  


We saw pelicans. dscn5742Egrets.









Fire-breathing green dragons. dscn5745