the evening after


In case you didn’t make it to my gallery opening tonight, please take a moment to view the pieces on flickr.

Now that I’ve had a moment or two to calm down after my first ‘solo’ gallery show, I rather more directly now understand how mythical the myth of the solo artist really is.

So… Thanks. Thanks to BNE for inspiring me about how beautiful and wonderous a sticker artist can be. My logo wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for your stickerbombing of San Francisco, Tokyo, and pretty much everywhere I’ve ever been. Thanks to Matt Shlian for your beautiful plotter-cut pieces. I owe you an immense debt, and the creative space your work has opened up to me is vast and beautiful. I hope when you see my work, you don’t find it too derivative. I really tried to leave out the ones that strayed too close to your genius. Thanks to Peter Youngmeister, for telling me that it was okay to try to re-make one of Shilan’s works, that it’s fairly standard for people to learn through mimicking works they find to be wonderful. Thanks to Jonathan Stray, and Rachel Binx, for really lavishing on the praise for my early pieces. It likely meant the difference between me making one or two and calling it a fun experiment versus me taking it this far. Thanks to Ian Baker, who’s been there for every ridiculous consultation that I’ve ever asked. Sometimes, I just need to ask you the question, even if I know the answer. Thanks to Nadya Lev, for being so incredibly supportive, and truly affirming me as an artist among the community of ‘real’ artists that I find so inspiring. It pushes me to make works that I hope can pass as mature and true pieces of art. Thanks to Mike Estee, whose opinions I value so highly, and am so thrilled to be able to occasionally impress. It doesn’t hurt that he brought another laser into my life, either. ;) Thanks to Audrey Penven, for being the best damn photographer that I’ve ever known, who has been so consistently generous and giving and all-around wonderful. Your photos of my pieces are all I’ll have after this exhibit ends, and they are everything I could ever want. Thanks to Aaron Muszalski, for the guidance on how to structure and focus my future pieces. It truly led me down the paths I needed to follow. Thanks to Valerie Leavy for believing in me, for being so accomodating to my ideas, and for giving me the chance to finally display this work publicly. I’m so glad you curated my first show, I couldn’t possibly have worked with anyone else. Thanks to Lee Dotson, you always were available to lend a hand or an eye. I’m glad that I started making pieces that you were into towards the end there. Thanks to Becky, Ashi, Amanda, Trista. Thanks to everyone who sat with me by the laser, hung out with me in the textile lab, tolerated me in the room with the open laptop working on cad. Thanks Doc, and Mella, and Kasey, and Ari, and Laura and everyone cheering me on. I’m going to feel like a jerk for not naming everyone, but it’s essentially everyone I know. I’m tremendously privileged for being able to make this work, and I owe you all a great debt. I hope you enjoyed the work, and that I can start to pay good on my debts with further inspiration and support.

Thanks to the people and systems of Interpretive Arson, Ardent Heavy Industries, and Syzygryd, for finally convincing me that being crap at drawing didn’t mean that I couldn’t be an artist. I’d be nothing at all without you.

I am so humbled by this response. I’m still processing everything I’ve learned from putting together this show, but you, you rollicking joyful crazy love-stuffed world place, you’ve really made me happy. I’ll see you in the future.


Daft Punk's Best Movie Yet (or, my Tron: Legacy review)

Last night, I organized a 70+ person outing to see the midnight showing of Tron: Legacy. We had an absolute blast in line, starting at 7pm, adding bits and pieces of technology from many different individuals until we assembled a pretty sweet cinema of our own, projected onto the glass wall of the Metreon to watch the RiffTrax version of the original Tron! Later there were board games, tea service, and snacks. Generally, it was a really relaxed, silly party, just up on the 3rd floor of the Metreon. Once we got into the theater, I went practically manic, excited about how much of the theater we'd manage to fill, percentage-wise. We were the rowdiest, but never infringed on any other patron's experience. We had a give-away of IMAX tickets (we were in the regular theater, non-IMAX) for a lucky couple, experimented with the mechanics of audio manipulation via large scale conference calls, and played the soundtrack on laptops. Trying to involve the whole audience whenever possible. We'd all clap when someone dressed in Tron-gear showed up, and eventually I coordinated a cosplay contest down at the front of the stage. What fun! Anyhow, finally the movie started. My comment after the fact, was that this was Daft Punk's best film yet.

Having sat through Electroma in a theater, and purchasing Interstella 5555, this was clearly their best film. Often it felt like the visuals were wrapped and modeled around the sound. Rather than having a soundtrack, we may have all purchased tickets to a recital with marvelously fitting visuals created to augment its progression.

The architecture and interiors were inventive and detailed, and they usher you from scene to scene excited more about what vistas and designs will be crafted next than any shred of plot might be explained.

Sam is almost comically empty of character. He feels like a main character in a role-playing game, a vehicle totally built to contain any male 12-24 year old's personality, to more personally shepherd them through the experience. This can be useful if you're lazily crafting an 80 hour epic participatory videogame, but in a 2 hour film, feels impressively cheap.

We counted six women in the entire movie, and aside from Sam's grandmother, seen for all of twenty seconds, they all look, as a friend of mine so elegantly put it "hungry for cock" from the very special boy. Would it have been so hard to get Quorra to come off as interested rather than enraptured?

The plot skips by, pulling deus ex machinas out of it's hat as soon as a situation gets mildly complicated, but I'm honestly fine with that. They did far worse in the original Tron. In this one they at least attempt an excuse, rather than just accepting that everything would go their way all the time. The nods to pop culture, specifically revolving around Tron and Jeff Bridges are pretty constant, and considering the audience and the weakness of the story, I found it fun, and far less intrusive than the attempts to insert straight up product placement whenever there was even half a frame of opportunity.

The action scenes are well shot, well lit, and fun to watch. The aesthetic of volumetric pixels and glass add a fragility to the world that makes it more satisfying to watch crumble before you. The few side characters worth an action figure are super fun, and I wish that they'd involved them in more than their single one off scenes.

I say it's worth seeing, and I'll probably see it again in IMAX. I wanted 2 hours of pretty, and I got more than I'd expected, with a surprisingly deep understanding of how to synaesthetically blend the visuals and audio into a cohesive whole.

Originally published at rt48.
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Rays, originally uploaded by nicoletbn.

So yesterday I visited Treasure Island, San Francisco's *only* active ghost town, and wandered a bit with Ian through some of it's more abandoned areas. Happened upon a group of skaters shooting photos, some huge fuel tank things, and well, this.


Originally published at rt48.
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Nicole dances

Nicole dances, originally uploaded by edrabbit.

This is the best photo of me playing DDR/DDI ever. I love it.

I AM ENTIRELY IN THE AIR! Wearing an fplabs shirt! With my hair freshly pink! and gloves strapped to my belt!

The end.

Originally published at rt48.
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Dart, originally uploaded by nicoletbn.

Hm. I'm so sporadic about this posting business. Life's busy lately, I guess that means it's spring again.

I love this rope dart so much. It's been with me for some time now. Maybe it's time for a new rope? The blue goes so well with the red carabiner though...

Originally published at rt48.
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Digital Ripples

Popwarp, originally uploaded by nicoletbn.

In the past, I was part of an oekaki community. That's where I drew the pixel art bits I posted earlier. Every so often there'd be an image I loved, but it'd only be 300x200 pixels large, and I wanted something more wallpaper sized. Tiling looked terrible, and ruined the impact of the image, while stretching to fit or make larger made it look bloated and wrong. I started isolating my favorite parts, and pulling the ends out to reach the size of the frame I wanted to fill, which looked right to me.

I decided to try this on a photo. It turned out nice. It looks like pushing and pulling at time. I'd like to animate these ripples coming in and out of a photo, but I'll need to figure out a less tedious way of creating them...

The original photo I used is one of Ed's from his trip to Washington DC for the inauguration.


Timescale has been officially proposed

originally uploaded by nicoletbn.

A finished thing!

I've been working with Morley and Ian on this Burning Man proposal. A lot of working, design, cad, page layout, budget, the works. And the project feels extremely *designed*, like tight and complete and ready to build. So we turned it in! But we didn't just send them over a pdf and call it a day. This project seeks to represent the history of the earth, all of geologic time! One does not merely submit electronic bits, or even just paper. For a project like this, you submit something solid, something real. Something dense, something... interactive. So we started by making a scale model of our proposed scale model. 52.4 feet long, it provides a short walk through the long and storied tales of our planet. A guidebook accompanies this 'time rope', and we've dubbed it the 'time book'. Then we discussed how to best present this object, and decided to have it coincide with the concrete testing we would need to perform to make the columns that comprise the piece. So a concrete cube, with a cylinder cut out of the center was fabricated, three actually, with the best one expertly finished. Topped and bottomed with plates of steel, and the bound proposal document sandwiched between the top plate and a quarter inch of acrylic, we were on the right track. One final touch, a sling of hemp rope and treated wood, and we dropped it off at the Burning Man offices, proud of our handiwork.

View the images of the proposal carrier, and the proposal document itself is up for perusal at timescaleproject.com.

Wish us luck!

Originally published at rt48.


Brand New Heelys

originally uploaded by nicoletbn.

I like to consider myself a connoisseur of wheeled footwear. I've got rollerblades, rollerblades that convert into boots (and from there into ice skates!) and shoes that have hidden wheels. My brand of choice for concealed wheel shoes are Heelys, which I've actually been wearing since I was about 16 years old! I'm regularly stopped by people surprised to find out that they make the shoes in adult sizes. I recommend trying out a pair if you have the chance. They have a bit of a learning curve to use, but add a small burst of joy to your life whenever you use them. It's nice to have something super fun like skating being accessible whenever I'm walking somewhere. They do have a downside, in that they don't seem to last as long as you might hope shoes would last. I go through a set of wheels about 5 times a year, which cost 20 each (but come with the shoes) and go through the shoes themselves every 7 months. They aren't particularly spendy as far as skates or shoes go, so I don't feel so bad, but I do wish they made their adult shoes a little bit heartier. Maybe I'm just hard on things.

Anyhow, recently my pair of Heelys gave up on me while I was walking around Disneyland, so once I got back I ordered a new pair from Zappos, and I'm really pleased with how these ones look. Digital skull camo! How very strange. I took a few shots of them and posted it up on flickr. Aren't they awesome?