Saturday, January 31, 2009


I ran across it today. . .the word "meatspace." I thought it might be a crudely titled online network for desperate singles . . .but on the contrary. it's a cyber-nerd term for good old fashioned physical reality.

such a derogatory reference. is it a dangerous sign. . .that those people who prefer online reality are falling out of love with the physical earth? or on the contrary. . .does this foretell a near future of deep meatspace-- abandoned by mainstream human activity--and therefore becoming a valulable refuge for robust formations of consciously disconnected, earth-lovin' subcultures? hard to know.

I read just the other day, that jungles are taking back countryside in lots of third world places. . .because of a recent migration pattern to urban centers. and some developers are seeing it as evidence that wilderness conservation is no longer needed. . .curious propaganda, indeed.

pictured here is another good sign . . . I found this one deep in the countryside of northern new mexico (2008), one of my favorite physical places on earth. "hilarious that it says, back by popular demand" because it doesn't seem there is a human population living here at all. . .or perhaps I am mistaken.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


here's a clipping of ford's nucleon model. pretty cool design. would make a great maglev (magnetic levitation) road jet.

some times I wish cars would disappear! think of all the things we could do with highways and roads if they weren't all clogged up with individual cars.

mitchell joachim wants to design cars that are less machine, more facebook on wheels. (ugh!) . . .his critique of the word sustainability is interesting. he says the idea of efficiency means less bad. . .is not positive or evocative enough a buzzword for people to buy into . . .I'm not sure I agree. we may not buy into sustainability as much as have no other choice but to adhere to it. . . .joachim's bling! is showing through. . .but then again who wants a future that is balanced and bland, without the attractive bells of design. . .?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


. . . in the first world, we cater to our pets' needs as if they are our children. we buy health insurance for them, we fret over their comfort, tote them around, buy them running water fountains, toys & treats, dress them in baby clothes and kerchiefs. . .just today, I heard over the radio: "did you know that today is national pet dental care day ? " . . .the industry does indeed play on our lonliness, our lack of touch, our distance from the real wilderness, our fear of death, our fear of old age all soothed by the wrinkle-less, speechless, domestic animals. . .as long as they're in good health.

the thing is. . .most pet's have significantly shorter lifespans than us. . .we can be sure that we will encournter death, sickness and old age with them before actually encountering it in the humans that are closest to us.

in light of this. . .it is no surprise that our first domestic robots will be all kinds of designer pets. . .that live as long as we do. . .they just need to get the fur right. . .and it will be a hit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


billboards are our most common form of public art. and yet advertising hoards up all the billboard space for the purpose of selling things. its ironic how intolerant people are of public art (both official and unofficial kinds). . .yet the public seems completely ok with billboards everywhere.

my friend evan calls them floating walls. (when you endeavor to build one, you must calculate the wind's force on it) . .a good way to think of them.

in some earlier comments I was asked what kind of billboard I would make, if I had the chance. . .well I did have the chance, recently thanks to louis corrigan. I built a small billboard (12'x12') up on my house . . .and so far my neighbors have tolerated it. . .in fact many say they enjoy seeing it. but I was careful, not to make an advertizement. I made a promise to never put any words on it. instead I put a carefully chosen found image. . . .it's quite ambiguous, but still political.

but I do think the best billboards are the old ones, empty or in a state of disarray. before long they will all be video screens, flashing and making noise. . .and these will be relics.

pictured here is a text suggestion from reader, adam bruneau: he thought a billboard should say, "don't buy anything."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I've been engaged in an interesting online discussion among empty sign enthusiasts. . .we've been theorizing about their ubiquity and their deeper meanings. . . .

(pictured here is an old piece of art that DANIEL OSBORNE gave me. . .I glued it into my notebook (2006?) and added a random caption).

here are some links and ideas:

-DELETE art project, suggested by HERMANN ZSCHIEGNER
-architect TIM NICHOLS' collection of empty sign photos

-HIROSHI SUGIMOTO's theatre photos


-why we do love these empty signs so much? Why does the absence of information have such an appeal?
Maybe because the empty billboard is a sign reduced to a mere signifier, pointing only to its own existence. A classic ready-made. And our "avantgarde trained minds" really respond to that. Can we ever overcome Duchamp? Should we? (hz)

-empty signage indeed appeals to our inner duchampian aesthetics, but it may also appeal to our secret desire for emptiness/ moments of visual rest in our urban/suburban world, smothered in advertising. (kt)

-those empty signs harken to our endtime fantasies. . .evidence that the machine is falling apart. . . the floating walls are left unmanned. (kt)

-there's also that utopian staple (for some anyway): a symbolic tabula rasa --the iconic empty billboard. a blank space at 48' wide. . .the ultimate chance to start the message over. (kt)

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Oceans are like airwaves. . .both are incredible resources for everyone to enjoy and respect.

I fantasize about a time when storms, erosion and pointless reconstruction of beachfront property have resulted in a backing off from the shores. . .perhaps there might one day be global beach development policies. . .in most cases builders would be required to avoid all land a 1/2 mile from every shore or at least be restricted to minimal, temporary or eco-minded builds. these beach areas could become precious commercial free wetland/dune zones both private & public. . . they could buffer inland coastal developments from the realities of nature--current 21st century weather instability. existing constructions would be allowed to just lay as deserted corpses, disappearing in the sun and salt.

can you imagine how incredible florida would be if everyone had to walk through the dunes, or the swamps to get to the shore? some areas would have incredible elevated walkways, and of course some plalces would need to provide innovative access for handicapped and the obese (maybe they could ride in eco-airships out to the water. . .)