I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the impact of vehicles on livable “place”. I’m pretty sure that vehicles are profoundly disruptive to enjoyable, compact towns and villages if their circulation is not well managed. Vehicles bring with them a set of priorities that are not intrinsically good for dense population centers, the […]

These were grabbed 8/11 in Stowe, Vermont. It was fun to explore an event through its intimate details.

The following ATV ordinance was considered by the Cabot Select Board at 7 p.m. in the Willey building. I note that the draft gives broad access to all Class II and Class III roads, with no resources for enforcement at a time when Route 215 is already considered to be a highly unsafe rural road […]

I had the chance to visit River Arts this week where I saw a terrific show by the home designer Ted Zilius, who also happens to be a brilliant collage artist. This show is, as far as I understand, the first time Mr Zilius has had a retrospective show. As it was described to me, […]

A few more recent collages exploring a rich red hue, texture, composition, and transparency.

A new experiment that builds on something I used to do for spare theatrical sets: treated paper canvasses that have been ripped apart and sewn back together. They feel something between sailcloth and African leather work – maybe a little Tuareg? Nod to inspiration from Sam Gilliam’s color work on draped canvasses.

Having a little fun with basic color, composition, and a little texture in these Schwitters-inspired technical studies. Red is next, then blue.

Can tech help prevent human attrocities? Satellite Sentinel Project suggests, “yes.” With four staff members and a half-dozen interns, the new team quickly learned to search for clues of impending attacks. Nine months after launching the project, they detected SAF troops gathering within 40 miles of the Sudanese village of Kurmuk. After the Satellite Sentinel […]

In Jonah Lehrer’s recent book, Creativity, he dives into the scientific understanding of creativity – as a process, and its neurological roots. One of the interesting discussions centers on the finding that, “our thoughts are shackled by the familiar.” In other words, the farther we are from a problem (but not too far!), the more […]

Looking for ideas, examples, and specific opportunities around ways to leverage prizes and competitions to advance the state of the art in several forestry-related areas, including: Change incentives around inefficient use of fuel wood and biomass. A lot of the approaches out there center on cook stoves. Who is addressing the broader challenge through prize/challenge […]

For me, the last two weeks have been nothing if not exhilarating to watch the streak of Invisible Children in living rooms and social networks in ways that probably haven’t been seen before. There has been a trajectory of awareness, recoil, defense, and breakdown. It is an obviously dramatic human story, rife with equal parts […]

Okay here’s my Friday food for thought. A friend who is a commercial game producer is interested in “games for good,” the idea that games can have certain treatment effects across subgroups in society that motivate new, different, somehow “better” behaviors – or at least behaviors that feed some pathway to larger social change. ANYway, […]

It has been an incredible week for the world of social media, thanks to the film makers and activists behind Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012″ campaign launched a week ago. There has been so much activity: social media experts, gurus, strategists, advisors, and hacks alike have all contributed to the stimulating discussion of whether or not […]

During February I floated a survey as part of my efforts to understand our creative economy a little better in Vermont. 51 respondents completed the survey from nearly two dozen locations across the state. I learned at least three things from this effort: Vermont creatives tend to be highly entrepreneurial, working across an average of […]

Daniel Bornstein, globetrotting documentarian of the “social entrepreneurship” school of development, has an opinion piece in today’s New York Times introducing recent White House efforts to leverage prizes as a mechanisms to “pull” innovation into government. It is hard to escape the fact that the examples of “tangibles” (non-software and data based inventions) cited are […]

Most of us have enjoyed, at least once, the serendipitous confluence of wandering and delight. We’ve bumped into something utterly transfixing, without really trying, and come away enriched – with the added sense that “it was meant to be.” Maybe that’s how we met a lover (we say bonjour in a cafe, against our intent […]

About six years ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Botswana focused on governance reform and civil society. At the time there was a lot of excitement about the countries progressive environmental stand, the role of women, and youth engagement. I was especially happy to have met young activists from Pioneers of […]

It was an absolute pleasure to spend two days with a crop of science and technology educators at the Design, Make, Play meeting hosted by MakeMagazine, the New York Hall of Science, and the White House. What an incredible range of teachers, administrators, and researchers working in a range of settings to advance STEM learning […]

Photo: MakerFaireAfrica2012 Make for a great weekend of learning and creativity. This Thursday the Population Institute and Vermont-based Population Media Center will host the 32nd annual Global Media Awards in New York City. “Each year PI honors journalists, filmmakers, radio and television show hosts, and editorial cartoonists from around the world who write about population […]

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development recently announced that the former Vermont film commission head would be tapped to lead the recently created Office of the Creative Economy in a shuffling of the deck. The shuttered film commission had been under fire from quarters in Vermont’s film community in 2011. The year ahead […]

Following up on my “10 Things to Love about DC,” I’m also trying to grab some photographic “sketches” of the city in transition. Washington is evolving at a tremendous pace – you could almost imagine a space port to the east in 50 years. Anyway, I like this photo captured today for a bunch of […]

What I thought, and what they are. Rube – green, inexperienced? As in, “Chances were, this rube would never be able to crack the safe in time to get out.” (Actual: bumpkin) Scow – battered boat? As in, “The old man’s scow bump against the bastion on the rising tide.” Probity – caring interest? As […]

DC is a fantastic city. Its coming up, reversing a long back-sliding history. It has weathered British sacking, Civil War encampments, a heavy-handed Eisenhower-era sweep-up, and plunging fortunes after Dr King’s assassination. Things are looking up today, and the design laid out by L’Enfant (1791) and later updated by McMillan (1901) have stood up remarkably […]

Should it be any wonder that in a film titled, “Melancholia” the opening scene would be a wedding? In the first of many humorous and light touches, von Trier has the soon-to-be weds exchanging places with the chauffeur of a very large limo in a series of efforts to thread the car through a hairpin […]

It has been about ten years since I’ve been back to the city of constellations, that immovable bit of engraved clockwork on the land. Beside the fact that four meridians still dice the city anchored by its marble and granite triumverate, much has changed. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the city bustles when […]

Its World AIDS Day and we remember with sadness the grandmothers, grandchildren, orphans, users, widows, brothers, doctors, educators, lovers – the endless string of humanity affected by this disease and its effects over the last three decades. And we can look, with mixed feelings, at the progress and the challenges ahead. President Obama has pledged […]

Brainpicker has a lovely review of South Indian printer Tara Books, which ‘gives voice to marginalized art and literature’ through its cooperatively run publishing business. The Night Life of Tress is an exemplary product. Enjoy this video of the production process and luminous finished product:

Kudos to Brian Boyes and all the student’s of Cabot School’s wonderful “Playing for Change” event aimed at raising funds for music education in schools around the world. Your rendition of Matisyahu’s “One Day” was so awesome! And thanks for having Patti, Ruth, and myself on hand to help with a mural – I hope […]

Can’t express how excited I was to recently discover Studio Muti via the Twitter feed of Kenyan digital artist @Jepchumba and the African Digital Art Journal. This bangin’ duo from Cape Town (disappointed its not somewhere else, but its just a matter of time!) has a scifi pop-surrealism post disco groove that I really like. […]

The New York Times will publish on Sunday a great series on education in America. Featured will be a brilliant commissioned piece of taped graphic art by Stephen Doyle, posted here. The photography really draws it together. I found myself really liking the textured wrinkes and scrunches of tape along the floor. Follow the link […]

The BBC reports today on the incredible surgery by which a man’s toe became his lost thumb – much less disabling, life without a big toe than a thumb, especially for a man in his line of work – a plant operator. Asked, “Does a toe make a good thumb?” Mr Byrne replied, “Yes, I […]

By page 400 or so I couldn’t put down China Mieville’s vibrating, seeping, crackling “Perdido Street Station” – its spell was cast and the web of wounded, brave, unearthly, mishapen characters drew me with them toward their final act. Mieville’s second novel, set on the artfully constructed continent city of New Crobuzon, is executed in […]

There may be something like this out there already I don’t know, but endure this – its good! Came to me on a hot September day, wanting a refresher while preparing a teriyaki dinner. Here goes (makes two): Juice from one large cucumber (recommend that you shred seedless then press-strain) Juice from one lime 1/2 […]

There’s a great new effort underway to document the everyday fabricators, makers, crafters, and artists at the heart of today’s DIY movement. Its called Makeshift Magazine: A Journal of Hidden Creativity and their first issue is out. If you support their launch by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign, you’ll get a copy! While the magazine […]

Nice video by @pbsoffbook gives a thinslice view into [a] world of steampunk – a visual artist, a musician, and a theater group. I don’t think a single one of them voices the name of an author as inspiration or reference material. It all looks so smooth and professional like. Positively downright acceptable.

Gotye’s got some of the most inventive music videos out there. I found this one, for “Thanks for your time,” particularly swell! (Here’s how it is introduced: “Lucy Dyson’s http://www.myspace.com/lucyportal penchant for cutting up old magazines, children’s books and photos of innumerable telephones led to this marvellous animated clip for Thanks For Your Time. ” […]

No, I haven’t had that but it is the theme of an imagined piece of artwork that I put together for the subscription art service Papir Masse. Back in July PM issued a call for submissions, “summer postcards” – whimsical, sultry, true or imagined, PM was looking for some steamy summer reading and art. I […]

There seems to be an explosion in the production of robot-driven art these days, perhaps capped off by MIT’s Robot Opera. This trend first hit my radar back in late summer 2010 with the Audi underwritten Outrace project in the UK. Prior to that, I was more familiar with the counter-cultural RC experiments of groups […]

There is a delightful story in this week’s New Yorker about the Dutch artist Theo Jansen, who has been developing large scale “beach creatures” that autonomously trek along Holland’s sandy shores. Ostensibly envisioned with an ecological purpose (to retain beach), for some reason the pure lines and spindly white constructions (lots of PVC) evoke recollections […]

There’s a mindblowing insight early in James Gleick’s “The Information” I wanted to share and fix in my mind: A mondegreen is not a transistor, inherently modern. Its modernity is harder to explain. The ingredients – songs, words, and imperfect understanding – are all as old as civilization. Yet for mondegreen’s to arise in the […]

Okay, off the cuff. Can television, specifically evening programming that targets women, have an impact on behavior at the population level? Can these lessons be applied to other domains? The September 2011 National Geographic makes a compelling case that, when other conditions are right, television can have broad social and economic impact. Consider the case […]

I’ve been having alot of fun playing around with the macro setting on my rinky-dink Nikon CoolPix (after watching some Tom Lowe timelapses I feel…hungry!). OUCH is a juicy example. Here’s another, wherein a little friend has a brief an unglorious encounter with my Lettera.

This is a a wonderfully anachronistic promotional piece put together by Disney: in it, a narrator – in a throw-back to “Leave It To Beaver” domestic jauntiness – describes the early fusion of 3D background and character animation with traditional Disney character animation. The result: strikingly good! (Computers used were either Cray or VAX runnin […]

Vermont ArtZine reports that a deeply introspective public installation has opened on the streets of Montpelier – its a great scoop. If you get the chance, wander around sometime with your cell phone: view the large-scale photos and dial in to hear the stories behind them. The stories from young runaways are brave, the photography […]

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day with Jock Gill of Pellet Futures. I wanted to learn more about his ideas to use biomass to produce charcoal as a by-product of open-flame cooking. When most of us think about grilling, we’re thinking about the use of charcoal. When we think about producing charcoal, […]

A friend up in Burlington has been building Ritewing Zephyr radio controlled craft and rigging them up with an HD virtual reality kit. This is cool: this enables him to guide the craft in flight from the vantage of the aircraft itself, controlling take-off, flight, and landing from the point of view of an imaginary […]

I’m reading David Price’s really exciting, “The Pixar Touch” and he’s giving us a walkthrough of the early days of computer graphics animation (CGI) at places like the University of Utah and New York Institute of Technology. Luminaries like Fred Parke and Ed Catmull combined sculpture, crushing math, pen and ink drawing, computer graphics, photography […]

A friend and fellow arts educator/booster recently put me in touch with long-time Vermont artist Timothy Fisher. The paint on his website was peeling and needed a little touch up. This was a great way to encounter another stunning Vermont folk artist. I don’t know alot about Timothy yet, but the few bits I’ve gleaned […]

They say here in Vermont, every four days a barn collapses. Our barn here in Cabot Vermont comes alive in the summer. No doubt this is a common Vermont experience and I’m come lately to its recognition! Favorite barn visits have included the “gallery” at American Flatbread, the Bread and Puppet museum, and Jennifer Ranz’s […]

Continuing to work on wood panel I’ve been trying to loosen up from a conventional texture-collage approach. What else can be done with a rich and varied texture as background? Instead of a intentional color what happens when you go completely loose and forget about whether it makes sense from a composition standpoint? What happens […]

I’ve got to confess a real enjoyment of sepia-toned, shadow-suffused and steam-filled imagery of the Victorian period. There’s a rich mystery locked up in the works of the period – from the early greats like Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and HG Wells to contemporary conjurers like China Mieville, William Gibson, and possibly even Neal Stephenson […]

A friend recently asked if I could make a “cat sarcophagus” for her daughter’s upcoming eighth birthday party. Along with the proposal she included a snapshot of a “cat mummy”  from London. Coincidentally, a few months prior, National Geographic had a cover issue dedicated to pet mummies of ancient Egypt, which my family had loved. So plenty […]

As a mixed media artist, I’m always on the lookout for intriguing, clever, playful, whimsical ways of using ordinary materials to being delight to the urban experience. A few ideas have come to mind recently – principally as a result of a cool project I learned about during the annual MIT IDEAS Competition retreat I […]

Since the early ’90s I’ve occasionally experimented with multitrack recording and arranging. Somewhere around 1998 I put this piece together from clips from the early George Lucas film, “THX1138″ using Cakewalk, a bunch of analog inputs, a Macbook, and Berkeley software. Still holds up – barely! Click here to take a listen.

In April MixedMedia/Peace Tiles was able to support two American artist-educators in their travel to Cyprus to work with young people there through the arts. The goal was to surface a ‘visual voice’ on the partition, peace, and the prospect for dialogue to get there. You can read about that process here. Below is a […]

Gertrude Stein once wrote about ‘the flowers of friendship faded friendship faded.” I’ve always been struck since by puzzling constructions of repetitious word use. This is one I thought worked mysteriously well with images. In no particular order.

A bit of Magritte along with a humorous dose of techno-reactionism, whipped together this piece for Howard Rheingold, who long ago (think “SmartMobs”) got me excited about the large-scale social potential of mobile devices. He once lent me a vintage copy of Whole Earth Review for a paper I was putting together with Robert Cavalier […]

Hey friends I’d love your take on this short story I wrote. Its intended for youngish readers, perhaps high school. I hope the older and more worldly among you will enjoy it as well!

For family, friends, and kindred spirits

For a while I’ve been working to “blow up” my collages – break out of the small-scale mold that has been impressed on me by the Peace Tiles work. Recently, the folks at the Green Mountain Film Festival created an opportunity to go large – with the necessary level of risk involved to really push […]

About a year ago a friend I’d met at Goucher College during a Peace Tiles workshop I’d run provided me with an opportunity to push forward an idea I’d had for a while: reproduce children’s artwork produced in a Peace Tiles workshop in a way that would be appropriate to a lively public environment and […]

A few weeks ago I had a dream in which I visited a friend in Georgia at “his father’s home.” I’d never been there. In fact I’ve never met his father. Nonetheless, the dream was surprisingly vivid and I was able to recall the basic – and I thought later – very interesting design of […]

One of the delights in taking a meander to – and through – a good antique or salvage shop is the discovery of once functional objects that have been shorn, busted, unmade and unusable. Yet a glimmer of their former utility is there – something to suggest that it should, or once would, do something. […]

The poem that is the subject of this box – a steamy summery kind of musing, complete with blueberries, olympics, and humidity – is taken from the Fall 2006 ESOPUS magazine. Even though the poems, written in the ’80s by Vincent Katz, are about a breakup, I found them to be much more immediate, intimate, […]

A few summers ago I experimented with thin, 3/16-inch plywood to produce textural finishes on top of which anyone could compose a visual engaging, personalized collage. I then took the dried mixedmedia work, sanded it up a bit, and wrapped in an arresting detail/section from a magazine cover. I composed little packages of collage items […]

A post over on Tales from the Hood (??) got me hot under the collar about aid, and used stuff. Basically, the writer – a self-avowed humanitarian and aid worker – is saying Americans have these embedded (and unique) cultural norms around stuff – specifically the resale of used things that the writer dismisses as […]

As a mixed media artist, I’m always on the lookout for intriguing, clever, playful, whimsical ways of using ordinary materials to bring delight to the urban experience. A few recollections came to mind recently – principally as a result of a cool project I learned about during the annual MIT IDEAS Competition retreat I attended […]

A friend recently asked if I could make a “cat sarcophagus” for her daughter’s upcoming eighth birthday party. Along with the proposal she included a snapshot of a “cat mummy” from London. Coincidentally, a few months prior, National Geographic had a cover issue dedicated to pet mummies of ancient Egypt, which my family had loved. […]

The Orion Nebula captured through NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope[A little unusual for here, but…crossposted from my day job] Just yesterday I was reading an article at physorg.org describing the remarkable discovery of an explosion within the Orion Nebula considered to be the youngest “star nursery” ever discovered. A star nursery – […]

Around the holidays last year I’d made a promise to knock out a washboard table with a collage top for a family member. I’d gotten the basic idea from the remarkable Victoria Romanoff in Ithaca, New York at a meet up we’d had years ago.This go around, I’d found a couple of pricier washboards with glass rubbing plates. Cleaning […]

During a brief family holiday along the Erie Canal last week, I had the pleasure of stopping in at the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative. What a thrill! Why? Several reasons:  Its a bright open physical space in the heart of a city ready for a rebound. Artists know what that feeling is like: […]

This summer the Africa-India Technology Institute (AITI) in Accra, Ghana will host Maker Faire Africa, a two-day showcase of African ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Modeled on the popular Maker Faire format developed in the U.S. by Make Magazine and O’Reilly media, the festival will include exhibitions of functional devices invented locally, artwork derived from found objects […]

Paris Review 188 has a lovely collection of eleven collages by the American poet John Ashbery, 81. He’s a very interesting fellow, and if I’d ever been at Bard would have enjoyed learning from him. Academically credentialed, literarily plugged in, culturally invested – at least through the ’70s. Its not clear to me what has roused […]

The German artist Martin Kippenberger who died in 1997 has a large installation of his work that sprawls among the white galleries of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I’m not terribly familiar with this artist, but impressed that he’d turn a Gerhard Richter painting into a table – he’s as playful and anti-establishment as […]

Andres Myers is a mixed media artist who’s work stands out from the usual. Its almost otherworldly. Familiar too. Layers of color like lacquer, applied carefully and used sculpturally – paper, cloth, plaster, tape, paint, wire – you name it, its there. Its also deliciously abstract – a lollipop that fell onto a sprinkles-covered ice […]

Love this idea of the ICE – I just might have to enter for the fun of it:Artists each make 13 collages (more or less), size not bigger than A4 (about 8″ X 10″ or 20cm X 26cm), and send them to me in New Zealand, to arrive by 20th March, 2009. One from each artist […]

Scrappy notes from a break-neck talk.Dealing with some concepts, linear time of Carnot (1846) forward – which intersects with music, eg harmonics and the end of time. Movement toward entropy. Question emerged, is it possible to move beyond the ruin of it all? NO! Let’s destroy it. So, with art and history, source of these […]

Last week’s New Yorker cover struck me with some mixed emotions. Great to see it take the format of Time, Life and other “people” oriented news magazines by featuring the portrait of a person of prominence (yeah, whatever). Actually, a very important figure, our new President, Barack Obama.But a couple of things seemed amiss. First, […]

Two founder-centered arts organizations, which each address the impact of violence on youth in different ways, are profiled in this month’s issue of ODE Magazine. One, founded in Los Angeles on principles of forgiveness and victim reconciliation, works with youth already deeply involved in the cycle of gang violence. The other, founded and operating in […]

NetSquared’s N2 Think Tank asks, “What was the best example or lesson learned about leveraging social media from the political campaigns this year? We saw candidates speaking to citizens through various mechanisms, but we also know that candidates have a lot more money than most of our nonprofit organizations (even if the tools are free, […]

I sure would like to be in New Orleans Saturday when Prospect.1 New Orleans opens in the Lower Ninth Ward and throughout the city. Its going to be, “the largest exhibition of contemporary art” in the U.S. – ever. Well, that’s according to the New York Times, with a bit of hedging with a “billed […]

I’m settling into my new role here at MIT as the IDEAS Competition coordinator. Its a great place to be – the Media Lab, Arts department, Architecture and Urban Studies – all contained within this vast engine of applied research. My role here is to support student interest in applying their ingenuity to community development […]

Thanks to dear friend Jon for this must see international video collaboration. I am completely taken with the idea of using the urban landscape as a canvas. And even though the subject is kind of dull and reductive, the inspiration is brilliant!

Only 2 Weeks Left to Enter! Millennium Promise Competition $10,000 in prize money This is one competition that really matters to the world! Winning designs will be used in the global fight to end extreme poverty. Entries close June 17! Click here for full details design21sdn.com DESIGN 21: Social Design Network Better design for the […]

Great looking announcement that was passed along today. The sponsors, PBS and the creators of the television show Design Squad, are looking for some sport. Hook up with some yung’uns and pitch in – looks like fun! Click here to download the Trash to Treasure Flyer

In memoriam Perhaps more later…

While I was in Ithaca last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria Romanoff, restorationist and artist. One of the pieces of ‘functional salvage art’ she introduced me to was her “washboard table.” The idea is elegantly simple: for an open-faced (front and back) table, join two antique washboards together with a top surface […]

Vaguely interesting article on Yahoo!News today about “scientific research” (that gets me every time) into the effects of absinthe, that drink I was turned on to by late 19th century French writers like Paul Verlaine and Charles Baudelaire. In addition to its intoxicating effects of near-mythological proportions, absinthe cast enough artists into abject poverty that […]

For the last several years, I’ve had the privilege of writing a monthly round-up of news related to the field of ‘deliberative democracy’ – participation as conversation, you might say. All of the recent news about a “food crisis” – which smacks of disingenuousness in the face of years of trade liberalization – got me […]

While in New York recently for a “Greening the Arts” symposium [see below], I had the very good fortune to meet an artist, preservationist, and self-described “recycling fanatic” Victoria Romanoff. Touring her converted firestation – which serves as her home, studio, and office – I was struck by how full and well-lived her life is, […]

This past weekend I spent a couple of days in Ithaca, New York at the invitation of someone who runs something called ‘The Level Green Institute’ – which appears to have several offshoots, among them something called “Arts at the Heart of a Sustainable World.” Anyway, the symposium, titled “Greening the Arts” was, though poorly […]

I am asking everyone I know to support a new effort in Montpelier: the Onion River Exchange’s Pecha Kucha Night. The idea is pretty cool, and really simple: – Two rounds of presenters – Each presenter has 6 minutes and 20 slides with which to present their idea – 5 presenters each round – Do […]

My buddy Ward Joyce, by day a gifted architect, is working on something with his jewelry-making pal that I never thought would work: bicycle sculpture. In their inimitable way though they’ve brought a great conceptual edge to an otherwise whimsical public art project. Here’s an excerpt from coverage in our local paper: MONTPELIER – Moving […]

Today I’m headed to Ithaca, New York to give a talk, run a workshop and in other ways participate in Earth Day celebrations that take place there each year through the Center for Environmental Sustainability (CES) which will sponsor,”GREENING THE ARTS.”  They’ve asked me to be part of an informal panel on Friday morning exploring […]

There’s an interesting model of neighborhood-based social networking evolving in Vermont called the Front Porch Forum. I was recently struck by its connection to broad, national concern about the loss of local news coverage. But before I go further, I have to confess some skepticism about the recent sense of malaise around the media. Here’s […]

[Crossposted at thataway.org] Recently a couple of news items have caught my attention as exemplary of what NCDD’s Dialogue Bureau aspired to achieve. Readers might recall that during 2004 and 2005 NCDD sponsored research into the feasibility of a service that would: 1) assist news outlets make better use of dialogue and deliberation techniques to […]

During the weekend of April 11-13, more than a dozen Twinfield staff, parents and students helped to sort, record, and mount the more than 450 “Peace Tiles” that would compose a new mural in the school’s cafeteria. The Peace Tiles – individual collages on 8-inch square wood panel – each responded to the question, “What […]

I’m excited to be part of an advisory group to new effort to look at the way the evolving landscape of media channels and content impacts the contemporary democratic experience in the U.S. Its something I’ve thought alot about since carrying out a research project for the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation about 5 […]

Now and then you come across a preposterous-sounding claim. Back in the day it used to be something like, “Git yer bunny gizzrd poshuns an’ lilly oyle lintmints! Garunteed tuh cure all aches an unwanted blemishes t’the skin!” Today, apparently, is sounds something like, “We know what to do. We know how to extend life. […]

April, T.S. Elliot famously wrote, is the cruelest month. Like an inconstant lover perhaps, at least in the northern climes, it teases with hints of warm days to come, then retreats to separate quarters, letting the cold slip back again. Even without the early Crocus and Skunk Cabbage, the sweet smell of burning wood and […]

Working between my daughter and an art project for the the Green Mountain Film Festival I caught this lovely shot of sunlight on chalk – with plaster of paris all over my hands.

One of the fun pieces of work for the last couple of years is participating in the Green Mountain Film Festival – as an Operations Committee Member, a film viewer and as a participating artist. This year, working with two friends/colleagues who are both gifted – one is a clothing maker/costume designer and the other […]

Had my first workshop with seniors in “twintown” – that’s our name for the combined towns of marshfield and cabot. about 15 people showed up, all of them women. turns out the group is a “homemakers” club that gets together every other week. so they know each other pretty good. this gang had a terrific […]

Mine is the bottom right. The “cloud” text says, Children of the earth moulders of clay, movers of rock. In making the tile, I was struck by how well the lighting worked between the girl and the cloudy background I’d painted. That was a pleasing result. The concept continues my interest in the representation of […]

Had a just lovely workshop with 32 AmeriCorps/VISTA members (these are young people typically just out of university who are spending a year volunteering in a community. Many in this group are working on environmental education and with at-risk populations, which is to say young people who are disproportionately likely to drop out of school, […]

These days I am occupied – nearly obsessed – with an idea for a new social venture start-up in Vermont – a state that thrives on individual pluck within an awareness of the whole.  With luck, you would join a very small, very accomplished group of advisors to this new venture, all of whom have […]

Crossing the border from Richford, Vermont into Sutton, Canada is always a delight. Not only is Richford this post-industrial gem of a Vermont town just waiting for a revival, Sutton is this understated gourmet haven (yes, it even boasts a cheese shop, chocolate museum and creperie among other delights) with a vibrant arts community. Sutton […]

Today marks the final day of my work with Twinfield students. All in all it was a lovely experience. The students were so welcoming, and most eager to experiment and “play,” which is a big part of what its all about. I think its fair to say that they are really excited to see what […]

[From the Times Argus ] High school students, parents and teachers worked side by side in Twinfield’s cafeteria Tuesday, absorbed in combining paints, bits of paper, lettering and treasures they had brought from home to create tiles that express their sense of place. In another part of the building, the elementary students were creating their […]

Begins tomorrow morning. I’ve worked hard to develop a set of materials that I hope can effectively guide classrooms into thinking about the topic, “What is my place,” while not taxing teachers. Tomorrow morning I spend the day making 45-min presentations to all of the grades. Its a bit like a charrette. In K-4 we […]

A recent article in the Economist, which led with the byline, Wall Street, the flagship of capitalism, has been bailed out by state-backed investors from emerging economies. That has people worried—for good reasons and bad …reminded me of what little I know of the death of Lord Byron. That creator of terrible and romantic visions […]

The Global Peace Tiles Project has a new guide for educators aimed at generating reflection and dialogue around the topics of identity and place. The “topic pack,” which is 12 pages, includes six activities and several discussion starters. In addition to a look at the book, “The Big World and the Little House,” users of […]

Remember when we were kids, how we’d be eager to get to the baby sitter’s early before school so we could catch 15 minutes or a half hour of Speedracer, Marine Boy, or Underdog? Then afterschool we’d rush back to catch Banana Splits, later it was He Man? By the time we were in high […]

Poster I whipped out (I love Pages) for an upcoming mural project – February 11-13 – the largest one yet that I’ve been a part of – that will engage all students and staff in an exploration of the question, “What is my place?” The aim is to encourage students to think about where they […]

I’ve been putting alot of thought into ways to communicate the possibilities for creating Peace Tiles – outside of the workshop environment. I’ve noticed that one of the challenges – both in communicating the essence of “collage” as well as the possibilities for creativity within that 8-inch square “sandbox” I like to call a Peace […]

At the end of “The Prophet,” in the company of the seeress Almitra, Almustafa bids farewell to the people of Orphalese, speaking of the misty nature of wanderer. But also about comings again, and truth and the fulfillment of love. “It is life in quest of life in bodies that fear the grave,” he says […]

A recent re-reading of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet” got me thinking about journey’s recently, beginnings and endings. I’ve been in the studio a bit lately as well, going through some old family photographs, letters… bits and pieces of lives strewn across the globe with these vignettes of universality. A journey is an unwritten story… and […]

A recent post to an art educators list I subscribe to got me thinking about art and action, and when the risks artists take cease to be acceptable modes of expression. The case in question is a Toronto film and video student who carried out the following action: A 24-year-old student, Thorarinn Ingi Jonsson, at […]

MixedMedia is all about appropriation – the process of selecting, manipulating, integrating “found” works into new arrangement, compositions. So when I came across the Walker Art Center + Soap Factory = Festival of Appropriation, I was intrigued! On Thursday November 29, Walker Art Center will host a film collage presentation and Circuit Bending Workshop with […]

Sony has been tearing up the adspace for high definition televisions with its line of colorful ads for its Bravia line of screens (ie Balls, Fireworks). The latest contribution to the oeuvre was realized by director Frank Budgeon (Gorgeous Enterprises), who used an insane amount of colorful plasticine (its like play-doh but not) to create […]

A few weeks ago I was sent an interesting link from my father about an interesting group in Canada that makes large-scale murals from individual fine-art paintings. The results were striking, and got me thinking about the possibilities of using mosaic techniques for Peace Tiles – online as well as using physical Peace Tiles. I […]

[Crossposted from peacetiles.net] A few days ago my father introduced me to a mural process employed by the Canadian arts group NOA Productions, which has developed what they call “Mural Mosaics.”  They just completed their most recent project for the Town of Cochrane, which engaged nearly 200 area artists in the creation of as many […]

Hey everybody! I’m at Gatwick, headed to Dublin and got to thinking its a good time to share some highlights from Dennis’ trip here in the U.S. – a wonderful experience for the two of us that many of you helped to create. Between October 20 and 28 we visited four community-based NGOs, four international […]

I’m writing from the road in DC, so I’m going to be lame and just post this press release my guru-friend Richard Dana passed along while we gnoshed on pomme fritz at the Bistro du Coin in Washington, DC last night. Short is, he’s got a piece in a group show called “Presence” at (get […]

A few months ago there was a show at our local coffee joint, Capitol Grounds. There were some large collages that I remember impressed me at the time for their overall composition, though I felt the technique was less resolved than perhaps my eye enjoys. But But they still made a big impression on me: […]

Writing artist statements and coming up with clever titles for works is probably the least pleasant aspect of promoting one’s work and sense of purpose as an artist. You gotta be somebody; the works need context. Well, I tend to like to create an “atmosphere” with a body of work – something palpable, a space […]

In getting ready for a small show I am putting up locally, I’ve been obsessing over the archetypes of journeys – and how any “journey” has a beginning, middle, and an end. Rather Oedipal: four legs, two legs, three legs… Anyway, its all a big swill right now though some gems are beginning to emerge. […]

How gorgeous of everyone to come on up (and over) to the Green Mountain State for the first ever Peace Tiles “happening!” We hailed from Morocco, Canada, the Land of L.A., Oregon, Germany, the midwest and Longisland…! Just the best mixing up of people ever. The workshop opened Thursday evening with some great local food […]

Summary: I am raising travel funds for Kenyan community-based arts and theater educator Dennis Kimambo to join me in Vermont, USA during October. This Fall Peace Tiles founder Lars Hasselblad Torres and Kenyan educator Dennis Kimambo are planning a get-together in Cabot, Vermont. The purpose of this meeting is to share how each of us […]

A draft agenda for MixedMedia’s 2007 Peace Tiles workshop is available to download. Click here.

Continuing my experiments with what i am calling the Madou technique, composed this image using sand, string, Ugandan bark cloth, printed cloth, paper, wood and acrylic paint. I wasn’t working with any idea more direct than the sense I got from Madou’s work of things tied together, like the mask used by the disfigured character […]

I’ve just finished a second round of changes to Peace Tiles’ World AIDS Day 2007 discussion guide, which is ready for download and review. I really, really appreciated the feedback of diligent readers of the first draft – I think it has helped to improve the overall structure as well as some important and specific […]

July has gotten me back in the studio after a June’s worth of cleaning. This month also finds me working to develop some study aids – exercises in color, simplicity, texture. Small constructions on wood panel that reflect some principle of good design and technique. One of the people who is presently inspiring me in […]

Since 2005 the Global Peace Tiles Project has helped community educators use the visual arts as a way to elicit stories about HIV/AIDS from young people. These tiles are used in a variety of ways – primarily as part of large mural installations in public spaces. Recently, a number of these tiles have been integrated […]

I missed the June conference in Massachussetts; it looks like the Arts for Social Healing Conference was both a success and a special time for participants, with gobs of creativity. The event was organized June 10 by the Zing Foundation – which seeks to promote connections and collaboration in the social arts domain – and […]

One of the areas Peace Tiles will be developing curriculum and initiatives around in 2007 is Children and Waste.  I am beginning to pull together some resources, facts and figures.  I’d love your support and involvement!  Please help me understand this issue better from various perspectives and fields. Sometime in 2007, according to U.N. estimates, […]

Secondary schools around the world have until 1 November 2007 to register for the third Mondialogo School Contest (2007-2008). Over 2,500 teams from all five continents are expected to participate. As part of the launch, schools in 40 countries will organize a “Mondialogo Day” to present their projects and plans for the 2007-2008 contest. Participating […]

I’ve been having fun over the last several weeks preparing invitations to our MixedMedia workshop welcome celebration. More than 25 unique collages have been created and delivered. Each is made of paper and acrylic on 1/4-inch wood panel.

Here is what’s proposed — please post your ideas (as a comments) and we’ll try and figure out how to work in in: Workshop strategies: Generating dialogue and group creativity through collage activity in Peace Tiles workshops Technique-sharing: What are some of your favorite technigues in collage creation? Story sharing: What have been some of […]

I’ve often wondered about the possibility of creating an online collage tool: a fun, creative space through which anyone could upload images, create, and share collages. In doing some searching on the web I came across the National Gallery of Arts resources for kids, among them their Collage Machine. What fun!

Had a really fun time working with high school students in the art program at Cabot School in Vermont. Two classes, about 1.5hrs each – had to whip through my introduction on collage so they could get the work.  The first group was a sophomores with whom I’d already worked. Their task today was to […]

Via the OntheCommons.org blog and their guest blogger Don Russell of Provisions Library in Washington, DC I encountered Swoon, a 30-something New York Street artist who mixes up graffiti and decollage. The New York Times has a wonderful audio slideshow of her work that can be found in alleyways and intimate side-streets across the city. […]

This week Peace Tiles is represented at DesignMai2007 in Berlin through the generous efforts of the folks at socialdesignsite. Peace Tiles has a nice link from their home page and a lovely description within their profiles.

Just wanted to say hello! Back soon

My dear friend-colleague-artist co-conspirator Darlene Charneco was telling me about some opportunities for collaboration that are opening up this summer, and pointed me to the website of the Moroccan artist Salima Raoui. In the “Paintings” section of her website Salima has the following quote from the surrealist poet Paul Eluard (French): It is the warm […]

Had a wonderful opportunity today to work with a group of highschool students from our town school – one senior and five sophomores – to discuss and work with collage. It was a fun opportunity to free-flow about the roots of collage, how I got the process and techniques I’m now using as well as […]

The title of a song from Porgy and Bess caught my eye. I began with a piece that was to explore, using pulpy, sumptuous tones and textures the tied up lustrous bundle of desire that a woman is when at her powers full.  I had selected a diaphanous image of my “Venus” of pale blues […]

This time of year, my thoughts flit from mystery cults to “Venus” by Rubens in the Uffizzi, not unlike the sparrows in the front yard that make their way between our cranberry tree with its first timid buds and the seed feeder on the porch. As I work the soil with my hands and scrub […]

A friend and colleague over in Salt Spring, British Columbia just returned from a volunteer trip to Lesotho, in Southern Africa, where she was helping to organize and plant some food gardens.  When she went there, she brought some Peace Tiles made by young people in here community. When she returned, she brought along some […]

An old friend from my days at the Corcoran School of Art, New York City based collage artist Glenn Fischer, has finally gotten around to freshening the paint on his website, so I thought I’d point it out.  Spartan but effective, glennfischer.com presents his latest work – very ovally – as well as an archive […]

Just back from a wonderful two nights in Montréal where the wash of history, art, and commerce never ceases to reinvigorate my satisfaction with Canada. Of course, coming from a Vermonter, that might not sound so special: what expectations of culture can one hold for the least significant state in the Union? Quips aside, Montréal […]

3 exhibitions: Ingenious3. Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Feb10 – Apr22.07. Jean-Pierre Gauthier | Jérôme Fortin | Guy Ben-Ner I always like to go to the musée d’art contemporain here in Montreal, on Wednesday evenings. Not only because it’s free after 6pm, but because the atmosphere is electric. The place is crowded, mostly with young […]

I was trying to think up a way to bring some excitement and “buzz” to this year’s 5th of May activities that we’ll have at our home this year. I got to thinking about creating personalized invitations that still have a standard look and feel and don’t tax too much in their production demand. Then […]

I’m looking forward to visiting Montreal this weekend with my family. In particular, looking forward to a visit to the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal where three quirky exhibitions are on view. One of them is a showing of recent large-scale works by the Canadian assemblage artist Jérôme Fortin, who has been on a swift […]

Thanks so much, Lars, for that beautiful welcome, I really appreciate it. I’m thrilled to be joining this quickly growing, enthusiastic group of mixed media art aficionados. I wanted to write a bit about my process in creating the 13 pieces, called “Madonna & Child OR Re-parenting My Inner Child”, series #3, which were meant […]

In 1996, my good friend Richard Dana – who I have to confess gave me some great breaks and tolerated my early experiments with good humor! – had an early exhibition of works at the University of Maryland. The exhibition was catalogued in the first volume of the short-lived journal “Encontro,” an electronic publication of […]

Nick Bantock, the celebrated illustrator, writer and yes collage artist bares some of his trade secrets in this lush volume from Chronicle Books. Nick writes it best: Imagine a young woman sitting in the accounts payable department of an Italian trading office in 1910. The afternoon is dragging interminably. She drifts into a reverie and […]

So I was pedaling around the internet early this morning, and I arrived at the online doorstep of the Long Island artist Kasha. This great big blue knocker was hanging in the middle of this ancient wood-slab door with wrought-iron hinges. A crow was off in the distance, noisily grinding his beak away against the […]

These days it seems that way to me: I keep finding the coolest people doing great work north of the 45th parallel. My most recent encounter is Gerard Dubois, a French illustrator with a light, classical touch, who lives with his family in Montréal, Canada.  He seems to get around quite a bit, selling corporate […]

I want to make a quick footnote here to welcome the artist Mary Bogdan to mixedmedia. Mary has generously agreed to join me and – hopefully! – a growing number of international mixed media artists to catalogue the contemporary field of mixed media arts as well as describe, from time to time, some of our […]

Among my fondest memories from my time running the Center for Collaborative Art and Visual Education in Washington, DC are my encounters with founding Washington Color School artist Sam Gilliam.  During the time I knew him, living as my wife and I were at the time, out of a studio apartment in his studio building […]

There’s something kinda cool going on in the photosharing site Flickr with “artist trading cards.” I’m not sure what it is (artists making playing card-sized works to swap?), how it started (a couple of years, max?) or how widespread it is as an activity (alot are mixed media) … But from what I can tell […]

My friend Darlene Charneco, who has been a constant source of inspiration, recently introduced me to the work of her father, the painter Nestor Charneco. I can’t wait to see these lush, saturated works in person some day. The convergence of utopian visions, cultural heritage, and flesh as subject result in some very beguiling works […]

There’s a sweet show up at Capitol Grounds in Montpelier, our local coffee joint.  The show features 12 framed works by watercolor artists Linda Maney.  Her work doesn’t stop with watercolor: these abstract compositions make use of bright color on paper that has bee torn, recomposed, and then complimented with kraypon strokes and acrylic.  A […]

Footnote: Today’s “Gallery” section of the Times-Argus covers a new show of mixed media works by Vermont artist Jane Horner. Here’s the blurb from the Green Mountain College website (I haven’t been able to make it over the mountains yet!): Green Mountain College invites the public to an opening reception for an exhibit by Vermont […]

I really enjoyed a recent visit to the member-owned Arts Sutton gallery in Sutton, Quebec where I encountered Mary Bogdan’s “Reparenting my inner child” series. While I was much less captivated in what I saw of collage on the walls than the stirring images of Mary’s constructions that I encountered in her book, “Mary Bogdan” […]

During a family outing to the lovely town of Sutton in southern Quebec, we happened into the Galerie Farfelu de Sutton. The four of us – Cathleen, Isabel, Wyva and I – trooped into the compact space and browsed around. In a small nook behind the cashier I discovered a “shrine” to the artists Brigite […]

There’s a wonderful little online exhibition of works by the mixed media artist Darlene Charneco over on Flickr. The ravishing pix are from her recent show in Chelsea’s Morgan Lehman Gallery, NYC. Here’s a snip from Darlene’s Flickrspace: Through the images in Gameland, Darlene Charneco continues to explore the meeting points of real life and […]

Dan Eldon was a young photojournalist for Reuters covering the civil war in Somalia in 1992 when he was caught in a crossfire and killed. The legacy of this vibrant young man lives on in the journals he left behind. Excerpts from these journals have been beautifully reproduced along with a biography exploring Dan’s life […]

Ever wondered what secrets the person next to you carries with them? Do you have a secret you’ve never been able to tell. Anyone? If so, the PostSecret project is for you. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes outrageous, often predictable, and always delightful. The PostSecret project was conceived by small business owner and blogger Frank Warren as […]

Janet Van Fleet, an extraordinary multidiscipliary “tactile” artist who lives in Cabot, Vermont will have a solo show at the Lazy Pear Gallery on Main Street, Montpelier. The show will open March 15 and run through May 14. Included in the exhibition “Curious Life Forms” are Janet’s new wire frame figures that recall some of […]

I am really thrilled to open this blogspace with the news that a local (Cabot, Vermont) artist who has been working for half a century from her home here, South of the Northeast Kingdom, has finally got her work online. The artist is Wilma Lovely, a beautiful human being who has more salt in her […]