Saturday, September 30, 2006

Clocks 22 seconds....

Friday, September 22, 2006

We want to see it!

Saturday, September 23, 2pm (rain date: Sept. 30)**
Jeanne Dunning, 'Tomato Fight'
an 'At the Edge: Innovative Art in Chicago' project

This event will take place on the grassy field between I-290 and Harrison
Street, and Halsted and Peoria Streets.

A public event in which a cast of volunteer participants throws massive
numbers of tomatoes at one another until every last tomato has found its
target. Bleacher seating will be available for the audience. Followed by
an exhibition of the large-scale photograph that depicts the aftermath of
a previous tomato fight and related video documentation; on view Oct. 3-
Nov. 4. Showing concurrently will be 'Drawings and Polaroids' from New
York-based artist Carter. Isolated, fragmented, drawn and photographed
body parts are the basic components in Carter's images, existing alongside
hints of landscape.

Jeanne Dunning is an internationally recognized, Chicago-based artist. Her
work was most recently seen in a mid-career retrospective at the Chicago
Cultural Center, organized and presented by the Berkeley Art Museum.

Gallery 400 thanks Hirzel Canning Co. & Farms for a generous in-kind
donation of Dei Fratelli Canned Whole Tomatoes.

**Please note: If rain forces 'Tomato Figh' to be postponed until Sept.
30, NOTICE will be posted on the Gallery 400 website

London Stage

Tom Dixon installation today @ Trafalgar Square -- i loved this picture

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Vema2026: the possible utopia

Finally i got a chance to surf the Venice Biennale website and take a look to the Italian pavillion exhibit!
Theme: the foundation of the utopian city Vema (half way from both VErona and MAntova) in the middle of Pianura Padana.
Curator: Franco Purini
Participants: 20 groups/architects under 40

A very conservative operation:
- founding a city
-- in a well defined portion of land with physical borders
--- respecting a pre ordered masterplan

Each gruop was given a lot with a specific program

A very conservative operation, for a very provocative outcome!
The result is a possible utopia: different design languages (which could be seen as a problem) for similar issues, addressed from different point of views and backgrounds. The utopian city is born, but it could easily be a real city.
All together the works give, in my opinion, an high quality picture of a new italian attitude!

Paolo Iotti, Marco Pavarani - Slow Town Vema [public&commercial spaces]

Special mention for my friends Avatar Architettura with their T.I.M.E. SWAP© - Total Integral Market Experience. Claire looks great in the picture - lol

Is the time for fresh air finally arrived?! Knowing the very hard time young architects in my country deal with...the only reasonable thing that i would say is: ''Would you please let them build?!!"
After years of boring stuff...a good italian pavillion!

  • Italian Pavillion full coverage

  • 5 complete projects
  • Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Radical Urban Geometries [in the desert]

    Black Rock Valley, Nevada
    Burning Man 2006

    more on burning man at

    This is not a Crash Test

    Checking what's happening in the MotoGP and how Valentino is doing, i also surfed the website of Dainese (the major Italian producer of bikers suites and accessories) because they always have interesting stuff going on in their D-TEC section.
    Among their researches for further safety improvements, there is D-AIR, the airbag for bikers - to be embedded in the vests - developed in collaboration with Merhav-AAP.

    D-AIR® is a sophisticated protection system with three air-bags that inflate in about 30 milliseconds and maintain appreciable pressure up to 20 seconds after inflating. Such a high level of performance had previously been unachievable with traditional CO2 canister or conventional hot gas generators systems.
    This new system protects the parts of the body most vulnerable to traumas: the entire upper half of the torso, neck and head, thanks to the revolutionary technology behind this extremely sophisticated device.

    ELECTRONIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. The STM® (Sensing, Triggering and Memory) is run by a CPU that monitors sensor data and triggers the airbags inflation under certain conditions. The built-in memory serves as a 'Black-box'. The system is fitted with a self-diagnosis procedure that prevents undesirable inflation of the air bags in the event of a malfunction.
    The system status information is available continuously to the rider on a graphic display. A vibramotor is also used to increase rider alertness, both under normal riding conditions and during a malfunction. An advanced Li-Ion rechargeable battery whose energy level is constantly displayed powers the STM®.
    ACTIVATION SENSORS. The conventional method of a wire linking the rider with the vehicle used by other systems, has been phased out and replaced by a continuous electronic coded radio link between a sensor located on the motorcycle and a unit integrated into the garment.
    When the values being sent exceed set levels, the STM® triggers the airbags inflation procedure. Transmission is protected against interference and is encoded. The information exchanged by the two units also includes an identification code personalizing each unit.
    AIRBAGS. The airbags are ergonomically designed to provide maximum protection and are result of many hours of computer simulation and tests.

    The current configuration comprises three gas generators and three air bags.
    The gas generators, the same used by the automotive industry, employ "cold" technology, which produces high volumes of 'environmental friendly' gas, extremely rapidly without overheating the inflated areas. The gas generators are fitted onto a specially designed back support that is fastened at the waist by a large elastic strap.
    The shape and technical features of the three air-bags are specially designed for D-AIR® and cover the rider's back, sides and chest for a total volume of around 90 litres.The air bags are part of the garment, are not seen and will deploy by breaking seams in the garment.
    The AASMR®/STM® had passed with flying colours the electronic certification required by EU regulation and has received CE number certification.

    Technical details and pics taken from

    great news for bikers safety: D-AIR is an ongoing project though, you're not going to find anything on the market yet!
    i was thinking that we lose the largest Harley market though: D-AIR is not applicable in US where, after years of back and forth between federal/local governement and the congress, still 26 states out of 50 have weak - or DONT HAVE - helmet laws! airbags are definetely a surplus here.

  • D-AIR in operation
  • Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    "Prelude to Intelligent Ambient"

    Today i was reading about the Philips Pavillion designed by Le Corbusier for the 1958 World Fair.

    The Poeme Electronique, composed by Edgard Varese and the interlude by Iannis Xenakis were meant to be the augmented experience of this architecture.
    Architecture, images and sounds were thought altogether as a single element and the public was inteded to feel this unity.
    The project venture is pretty intriguing, so i made some further reaserches on the web...
    I found a cool link to the INART department of the PennState, where there are more info about the pavillion, the music components and the technologies that were applied.


  • I already knew that the design was made by Xenakis and that the shape of the building recalled his composition work for Metastaseis and about the disputes between him and LeCorb for the awknowledge of the design...i totally missed such a detailed description of the technologies, the diverse problems and the casual combination of images/sound!
    When the Pavillion was torn after the end of the Fair, everything went lost about the experience that public had of an experiement that many define as the Prelude of the Intelligent Ambient (which probably was indeed)... and only sound remanis for us.

    I had never heard the Poeme Electronique before, which is also considered a masterpiece of early electronic music... so i was curious and after some failures..(the web doesnt make things easy all the time) and 5 or 6 excerpts, i finally found a link to the Medien Kunst Netz with the entire piece! I could find only an excerpt of Concrete PH, composed by Xenakis for the interlude between the different flows of public...

  • Poeme Electronique

  • ConcretePH
  • Saturday, September 02, 2006

    Camera Obscura

    ...again new inputs!
    Abelardo Morell and his beautiful series "Camera Obscura", i.e. pictures of urban scapes, mostly NYC, taken using a room as a camera obscura.
    All the windows shaded, little hole and reflection works!

    here some shots

    and here the link to his official website, for those of you who are curious!

  • Abelardo Morell