• Art Making
  • Bad Art Poisoning

    The (in)famous Robert Benchley Maybe there is something more than wry humor behind Robert Benchley’s oft-quoted quip, “The world is divided into groups: those that divide the world into two groups, and those that don’t.” It is after all so comfortingly seductive, the beautiful symmetry of just two elegant and simple options. Like the essential […]

  • Science
  • Error and the Adjacent Possible

    Kevin Kelly and Steve Johnson (Illustration: Jason Holley, Wired) This is a follow on to my earlier post about Steve Johnson’s new book, Where Ideas Come From. These excerpts are from a conversation between Kevin Kelly, author of What Technology Wants, and Steve Johnson published in Wired: *** Kelly: Really, we should think of ideas […]

  • Wisdom
  • Wired For Sound

    Kathleen Kirk’s post, Persistence and Patience, is a thoughtful description of how she ended up, after several career explorations, being a poet. In her graceful telling, she describes her many forays into other creative fields—music, art, theater, teaching—but none of them evoked the necessary persistence and patience in her that is needed to keep the […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Other Conversations

    From the Leonardo Drew exhibit at the deCordova Museum. Drew said he has noticed that the more he touches things, the better they get. (More about this amazing show coming here soon.) This morning I tried to describe to my friend Linda how the energy in my studio can shift suddenly in ways I find […]

  • Art World
  • Abuses of Power

    Frank Stella, Chocorua IV, 1966, Fluorescent alkyd and epoxy paints on canvas, 120 x 128 x 4 in., Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College Abuses of power and money, decisions made by self serving Philistines, the infuriatingly short sighted policies that have ramifications way beyond the bounds of the elite board room—nothing new in any […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Passion Distilled: James Magee

    View of The Hill, James Magee’s masterwork in west Texas I finally received my copy of James Magee, The Hill, by Richard R. Brettell and Jed Morse. This publication accompanies a show of Magee’s work currently on exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas through November 28. The Hill is hard to describe. Yes, […]

  • Music
  • White Light

    Portion of an image by Anna Hepler from her show at the Portland Museum of Art this summer ____ This unexpected report from the New York Times: Jane Moss, vice president for programming at Lincoln Center, talks about her ideas behind the 3 week long White Light Festival, an event that is explicitly based on […]

  • Science
  • Good Ideas are Networks

    At a AAAS meeting back in the 70s, I remember hearing Stephen Jay Gould outline the then new theory of punctuated equilibrium. In addition to the long periods of statis in the evolution of a species, Gould also demonstrated his belief that evolution was like a many sided polygon wheel—it doesn’t roll forward smoothly but […]

  • Theater
  • Disappearing, Reappearing

    A Disappearing Number (Photo: Tristram Kenton) National Theater Live brings stage productions in London to cinema settings around the world, and the most recent was a broadcast of A Disappearing Number, a production by Simon McBurney’s Complicite Theatre Company. This latest play offers up a meditation on a variety of themes but is primarily structured […]