Long Weekend

Last weekend was “Long Weekend,” a break from Friday/Monday classes. I went home. I went to Victoria Station and the Bean. I raked leaves and put my garden to bed. I found my digital camera. I discussed the amazing Sherri Vogt.

Saturday was my most productive day. I woke up early and drove to Providence. I parked just outside of the Brown campus and walked to the RISD Museum. I didn’t have to pay for admission, as I am a member of the American Association of Museums. If you are a student it costs $35 to be a member and you get free admission to museums across the country including MFA Boston, Brooklyn Museum, ICP and the Guggenheim. I think some museums allow a guest to have free admission too.

I saw RISD’s new Chase Center for the first time. The museum seems so much larger and…museum-like with the addition. The South and Central Galleries are now filled with art and design from the 20th Century. The museum also now has a photo gallery, which seems painfully small for being part of the school that began to consider photography “art.” Both “special exhibition” spaces paid homage to Dale Chihuly. About one third of the space was given to the work of students who were instructed by him while the other two thirds was fully devoted to Chihuly himself. The RISD Buddha is sitting too comfortably; Chihuly has control of the museum.

I also visited Symposium Books and Books on the Square. I purchased a nifty field guide by May Theilgaard Watts and Tom Watts “for identifying deciduous trees in Winter.” The book closes in on the tree you wish to identify, by asking you questions about a single twig. You identify trees by process of elimination. As the illustration above shows, the book includes two pages of “conspicuous features” that can help you identify a tree based on where it stands in the landscape.

On the way home from Providence I pigged out on spinach artichoke dip and pita chips. YUM


gay marriage legal

This past Friday the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that civil unions, legalized in 2005, are not constitutional. They were found to be both separate and unequal. Connecticut was the first of the United States to give gay couples some of the rights of straight couples without judicial intervention. Connecticut will be the third state to legalize marriage for all eligible couples.

Although it was a day of joy for dozens of Connecticut couples, especially the eight couples who sued the state, many fear the ruling will have a negative effect on the status of California’s constitution. Many fear that it has further excited the opposition and has led to more funding for a “Yes” on Proposition 8 in California. Millions of Californians are expected to answer “yes,” “eliminate right.” Others fear that marriage equality is a “deathblow” to marriage by a series of cause-effect errors. These people are silly.

Connecticut voters will have the opportunity to call for or object to a “constitutional convention.” Although this sounds patriotic and/or progressive, the Break-Up Families Institute of Connecticut hopes to use the convention to put gay marriage on the ballot. The question will read, “Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the State?” Connecticut based Love Makes a Family and others urges you to VOTE NO ON ONE NOVEMBER 4TH.

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it may be art, but it isn’t pretty

Brooke Singer gave a lecture yesterday evening in Tishman Auditorium as part of the Visual Arts Lecture Series. Singer is interested in making information more accessible to the public.

One project, Superfund365, displays information related to 365 Superfund sites across the United States. Information may be sorted by responsible parties, Superfund refers to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. The act required responsible parties to pay for the cleanup. If no party was found responsible, a trust fund created by taxing the petroleum and chemical industries was used to pay for cleanup. Superfund sites are on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities List, which includes 1550 sites.

After the events of September 11th, the Environmental Protection Agency cleared evacuated New Yorkers to return to Lower Manhattan. Brooke Singer documented the state of offices and apartments covered in dust and debris. She grew skeptical regarding the safety of Lower Manhattan. She is currently working on a piece with Brian Rigney Hubbard called 800 Steps Apart. The piece is about two properties, four blocks apart, which were given far different instructions for cleanup. One cleanup included a hazmat team, the other included a mop and lip balm.

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October 5, 2008, 8:54 pm
Filed under: art, college, garden | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This is my kind of parent. This is my kind of farmer. This is my kind of rule. This is my kind of intervention.

The architecture intro class is asked to design a Sukkah. When I designed mine two years ago, I imagined one beneath a water tower, one built of scrap wood and the last being “constructed” of eight modern dancers holding sunflowers moving to create a space that both comforts their occupants and responds to their surroundings. If only I were Jewish.

I really enjoyed reading this chapter for philosophy. You may enjoy reading it as well.

I wouldn’t say I like what he designed for a farm in Killingly, Connecticut, but I like his ideas.