Ortiz was my Design professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
October 25, 2013
Raphael Montañez Ortiz performs one of his historic “Piano Destruction Concerts” on the Hirshhorn’s outdoor plaza as part of the opening night of “Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950.”
Rutherford Chang simultaneously plays 100 copies from his collection of first-pressings of The Beatles’ White Album; this is the result. As the various recordings begin to play out of phase with each other, a new suite of music emerges, haunted, murky echoings of the original.
Because of the way Bitcoin self-regulates, the math problems Bitcoin mining rigs have to do to get more ‘coin get harder and harder as time goes on. Not to any particular end, but just to make sure the world doesn’t get flooded with Bitcoins. So all these computers aren’t really accomplishing anything other than solving super difficult and necessarily arbitrary puzzles for cyber money. It’s kind of like rounding up the world’s greatest minds and making them do Sudokus for nickels.
Projects like Folding@Home and SETI@Home use similarly networked power for the less-pointless practices of parsing information that could lead to more effective medicines or finding extra-terrestrial life, respectively, and either are hard-pressed to scrounge up even half of a percent of the power the Bitcoin network is rocking. And with specialized Bitcoin-mining hardware on the rise, there’s going to be an army of totally powerhouse PCs out there that are good for literally nothing but digging up cybercoins.
It’s incredible to think about the amount of power being directed at this one, singular purpose; power that’s essentially being “donated” by thousands of people across the globe just because they have skin in the game. It’s by far the most computational effort that has ever been devoted to a single purpose. And sure, Bitcoins are fine and all, but can you imagine what we could do if this energy was put behind other tough problems? We’ll you’re going to have to imagine, because so long as mining Bitcoins can earn you money and folding proteins can’t, it’s pretty clear which one is gonna get done.
On the waste of computational resources towards mining Bitcoins.
“ I loved to dance, and you could dance for hours to the music of the Velvet Underground. A dissonant surf doo-wop drone allowing you to move very fast or very slow. It was my late and revelatory introduction to “Sister Ray. ”
Patti Smith, while reminiscing Lou Reed, on first seeing The Velvet Underground at Max’s Kansas City in 1970.
*That poor old lady, still reading books, her hair must be gray under that blue
An excerpt from Peter Rose’s The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough. Recent photos from an anonymous someone having scaled the Golden Gate Bridge reminded me of this film that I saw first on 16mm in a class taught by Liss Platt. This scene is scored by Ornette Coleman and shows the actual scaling of the Bridge, haunting my memory, the “rapture of vision” indeed.
“ But alcohol is a natural part of the Watts style; as natural as LSD is around Hollywood. The white kid digs hallucination simply because he is conditioned to believe so much in escape, escape as an integral part of life, because the white L.A. Scene makes accessible to him so many different forms of it. But a Watts kid, brought up in a pocket of reality, looks perhaps not so much for escape as just for some calm, some relaxation. And beer or wine is good enough for that. Especially good at the end of a bad day. ”
A Journey Into The Mind of Watts Pynchon goes deep into the mind of Watts one year after the Riots.
“ Designing for mathematical consistency ignores three related factors: that identical widths and shapes appear differently to the eye in different combinations within a letter or glyph; that identical shapes blend together and are harder to differentiate across words and lines; that letters in a typeface are placed alongside each other, and one must adjust to deal with common juxtapositions. ”
Yahoo’s Logo Reveals the Worst Aspects of the Engineering Mindset on Mayer’s suggestion that Yahoo “wanted there to be a mathematical consistency to the logo, really pulling it together into one coherent mark.”