Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Happy Holiday Season

I must admit, as you might easily guess: I am not a fussy gardener. I do not grow orchids and other high-maintenance plants. (Not that I don’t utterly adore orchids, and I would grow them if any of my rooms had enough natural light.) The whole principle of sustainability entails as little human interference with natural systems as possible. So I must adapt. If you didn’t get it already, here’s the gist: sustainability is about life hacking, not about revivalism or tree hugging.
The day after Thanksgiving, to shake off the effects of overeating the typical yummy foods of the feast, I went into my dormant backyard garden and opened the bags of organic garden soil that I left on my three garden patches a few days ago. I spread them all over the leaf-covered plots and sowed my shade-friendly wildflower seed mix (I usually purchase it from American Meadows). I realized the plants need to be shade friendly after my white mulberry tree that I got from Arbor Day Foundation grew amazingly large almost overnight. I had another bag of scented wild flower seeds, which I sowed in the patio containers, by the street. Although I reserved most of my containers for growing veggies, the ones near the street are too prone to be infested by traffic pollutants.
It is amazing how running my hands through the bare soil, raking it, and the simple act of sowing seeds brings so much peace and a funny sense of fulfillment. Must be the archaic regions of the cortex – so many generations of agricultural people must have left their imprint on the rewards systems of the brain. Maybe my seasonal tendency to start knitting and working with yarn come fall is related to the same mechanism.
And speaking of seasonal: affective disorder is on the table again, no surprise for a sun worshipper like myself. Nothing tea and dinner parties with friends cannot handle…
P.S. Due to the changing climate, my garden is not entirely dormant. I still have some mustard greens and nasturtium leaves growing in containers – so delicious in sandwiches!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Musings on The Future of Data Mining, “Old School” Mining and Genetics

 

There will come a time when humans will be able to access and copy the memory data stored as proteins in our brains. Even if consciousness would not be preserved, our “story” will.

There will come a time when landfills will be mined for raw materials, by machines controlled by other machines, other machines will sort them, while yet other machines will reuse those materials for the benefit of humankind.

There will come a time when humans will be able to set up giant, planetary scale “primordial soup” laboratories to create new life forms, after performing simulations using dedicated super computers. For that, of course they will have to live for eons. To do that, they will use their stored genetic information to repair their aging DNA as needed. And (to come full circle), because any natural brain has limited data storage capacity, they will store their accumulated memories in microchip “zip drives” or even a “God” cloud…

Now, to brag a little, about fifteen years ago I predicted that there will come a day when TV will merge with the Internet. I was not blogging back then, and the “unfortunate” interlocutor was my brother Horatiu, who is know a very appreciated programming engineer, living and working in Vienna, Austria, for a company that collaborates with NASA. He looked at me a little skeptical, a little intrigued, a little pensive. I also told him that I would miss the feeling of watching a show knowing that so many others are watching it at the same time. Now I know that feeling is replaced by the satisfaction of watching Internet-streamed shows recommended by my friends and vice versa, and temporality is irrelevant.

And temporality will become more and more irrelevant.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Saturnalia

 

Tinsel and glitter

Dissimulating irrational fears

Nurturing shallow suns

And memories of light

Rarely uttering

Their reflexions

As I gradually let go

Of  Cartesian rules and rigors,

I dive towards

The heart of the winter,

Stubborn spark

Dancing with chaos

Daring the darkness

For yet another proof

Of congruence.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Mapping and Caffeine

This is what happens when you are a Jersey City based mapper with a caffeine addiction.

JCCoffeeShops

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Wait

Cocooned

in your soundveils

Hyperaware

In my neural web

Write

On my papery skin

Emerge

Before

I turn

Into a pillar of salt

Blazed

By your cruel beauty.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shadowless Discourse


(Didascalia: Muted steps align following
Diurnal spectra that
Scatter thousands of scarabs
Over the uncertainty of noon)

From dawns I have been searching
For the Glimpse of the Unmovable Axis -
- my eyes are prowled by waterfalls – and
I hold between my palms and my mouth
The ball of yarn wound up
Since I have been exiting
A M A Z  E

Other than that I am building
Perfect stretches of land.
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Reversed Telescope


Face of the demiurge reflected in the world
Broken mirror
Wisdom is called
Living each second
As it were the last
You ask
From behind the dome
Of the cornea
On which I glide
Surrounded
By the meanings of the moment.

Empathy



Eight hundred years of pain
Rolling down the hills
Circling the town
Layers of blue, shades of green,
Trickling on the river bed
Nailing me at crossroads
In the cauldron of the agora
With my back against
All poems.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Incommunicado


I admit
I succumbed
to the temptation
of building a silence
The bliss
of the perfect vitreous body
Shadowed only by
The mist of thought
Is my artisan ego
The only thing
I still share with you
Is the guilt
of killing the wish
to shatter it
Once the first sound
Is uttered.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Not going anywhere but working in my studio, as usual during holidays. This time I work on a design sketch for the next Pro Arts Eat-Up Party. The details of my submission are here, on the PRO ARTS website. This would be my first garden art installation, so I am a bit nervous. Last night I took one of the nightscape backgrounds that were lying around in my studio for a long time and I drew something that would resemble what I had in mind for my open air museum lanterns. I must admit I was inspired by the whimsical artworks of Katherine Dunn and her wonderful Apifera farm, but also by Diana Trout, who left a gracious comment on my studio blog, after I reblogged one of her posts. I own both Katherine’s and Diana’s books, which kept me inspired and happy.

The design sketch is still in the making.

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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Clock



It looks like any concept of time attracts me no ends. So much that I decided to spend my New Year's Eve at MoMA, because of their show The Clock.
The idea of long lasting multimedia art installations and performances seduced me ever since I discovered the incredible Marina Abramovic. I have seen her on PBS, and her discourse enthralled me like no other. I didn't get to see her show at MoMA, but this decision is largely an homage to her.
A Happy New Year full of harmony, truth and wise decisions to you all, my friends!
"On December 31, MoMA presents a special New Year’s Eve showing of "The Clock" in its entirety, which is the first opportunity for the public to view all 24 hours of the piece at MoMA. The Clock will go on view at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, December 31, and will run continuously until 5:30 p.m. on January 1.

In conjunction with this showing, the Museum’s Cafe 2 restaurant offers a special menu of wines, cheeses, salami, and desserts on New Year's Eve from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., along with an all-night espresso bar.

Admission on December 31 after regular Museum hours is: Adults $12; Seniors (65 and over) $10; Students full-time with current ID $8; Children (16 and under) under free. Members free."

More information about "The Clock" can be found here: http://bit.ly/TjCbAT"
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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Natural vs. Civilized


The past few months have been a roller-coaster of unexpected events and revelations about people in our lives. A concert tour that was supposed to last ten days in August has been extended to a whole month. We reinforced existing friendships and reconsidered new collaborations. By not making profit our ultimate goal, only a desirable collateral perk and a means to a higher purpose, we have attracted not only highly auspicious friends, but also our share of people of a questionable integrity, or simple collaborators who, maybe unwillingly, mistook our not-necessarily-going-for-profit with affording-to-lose. In our constant effort of keeping our connection to persons whom we considered loyal friends and collaborators on the old continent, we were stunned at the extent some people whom we considered above any doubt can change when fleeting fame or power is bestowed upon them. Which made me think about what is considered natural in human behavior. In view of my sustainability studies.
It is only natural for a student to challenge their master. Natural, but not necessarily civilized. And by challenge I mean also shunning, ignoring, brushing off, being rude, double-crossing, abusing trust - the whole shebang that a lack of gratitude can bring. There's no master ego threatening progress here. There is no need for such an obtuse attitude and behavior. Dear former and eternal student, you will find out that gratitude is not natural. Gratitude is not even mere common sense. Gratitude is a higher level of conscience, of which your archaic brain that is pushing you to challenge your good old master is not capable. And the sad thing is that your archaic brain, fed and dazed by your current success and inflated ego, is tricking you to think that your good old master didn't teach you anything you couldn't learn on your own or from other sources. It makes you foolish enough not to see that your master is forever part of who you are as an artist. We wish you good luck and everything you need in your life and career.
It is only natural for a (formerly?) bohemian writer to want to collaborate only with people that hold higher values than money as their goals, to expect the trust of everyone around them, to want them acting on a mere handshake, to cut off everyone they consider too petty or greedy, to give in to rage fits or act on mood swings. All that is natural, but not necessarily civilized. Not by rashly gauging everybody through the same reductionist set of criteria. Dear former friend and eternal boho, you will find out that acting professionally does not come naturally. Expecting their not-for-profit collaborators to stoop below dignity, refusing to apologize when in error, threatening, taking back their own word after claiming that a handshake is enough, is not only uncivilized, but also insulting. We wish you wisdom and best of luck in your future cultural endeavors.

In the meantime, as far as sustainability is concerned - now THAT IS BOTH natural and civilized. Related post to follow.
Here's to nature, gratitude, civilization, professionalism and sustainable friendships!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Weaving Shuttle …in a Space Shuttle!

Alina Zară and her heritage project.

We are trying to send the globe-trotting weaving shuttle in a trip in the outer space!  Anyone who could help us in this endeavor is welcome to contact Alina through her website.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Wandering Weaving Shuttle

An antique shuttle from Țara Făgărașului (the name of the land near the Carpathians that covers part of the area of Brașov County in Romania), has been traveling for some time over meridians, connecting them by an invisible thread. It is the weaving shuttle of “mama Ruța” from Mândra, and you can find its story by clicking  here. (Use Google Chrome for an almost instant translation).

The citadel of Făgăraș, Brașov County, Romania

I have been honored to be the shuttle’s host for a while, proud that it comes  from my mother’s birth place, especially since my own maternal grandmother, “mama Maria” from Vad, Șercaia Parish, used to weave yards and yards of rugs, blankets and all kind of wondrous cloths. I don’t remember her shuttles, just her loom, which used to fascinate me. Holding mama Ruța’s shuttle, I felt the same thread connecting me to the amazing guild of the weavers from Țara Făgărașului, and I realized that this guiding  thread was always there, weaving a fabulous tapestry in my spirit; the details of this tapestry were just beginning to reveal themselves…

First, I took the shuttle to the Wesselényi castle in Jibou, my native town, where I happened to be for a few days in August. The former park of one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in Transylvania has been functioning since 1968 as a Botanic Garden and it harbors the Biological Research Centre.

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Then, with the loom shuttle in my purse, like an unmistakable identity sign, I returned to the metropolis that I call home since 2008: New York!

And here is the antique shuttle enjoying views of the East Coast megalopolis:

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watching Manhattan’s skyline from across the Hudson and from Liberty Park, towards Lady Liberty,

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and taking a stroll through Central Park.

100_0523 I must admit I cheated on this one – I took this picture at an art opening that featured photography from New York.

The shuttle’s next destination? Not just one, but a whole bunch of them, in an extended world tour, beginning  October 14! You too can request the shuttle by writing to the email address provided on its blog. It is a magic traveling shuttle, carrying a spark from the sprit of mama Ruța  from Mândra, Romania, the relentless weaver who wanted so much to see the world. Host it for a while, and you will realize that by doing so, you are strengthening the warp of one of the world’s oldest and most mysterious tapestries…

Sunday, May 22, 2011

May 22, The International Day of Biodiversity

Video message by Edward Norton, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for biodiversity on the occasion of the global launch of the International Year of Forests 2011.
The global launch of the International Year of Forests 2011 has been held in conjunction with the High-Level Segment of the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests.

International Year of Forests 2011 website.