Sunday, October 30, 2005


Labyrinths have been with us for a while. According to wikipedia, the ancient Greeks built one to trap the minotaur. In the intervening three thousand years, countless labyrinths have been built, for use as guides to spiritual exploration, to trap evil sprits, or as decorations.
There is a form-function, male-female, yin-yang duality to the labyrinth. There is the wall, and there is the path. The outer layer is wall, except for the entrance. (In a stadium, the cut out in the seating risers that you enter through is known as a vomitory).
The next layer of the concentric form is the path, the next layer in is the wall, and so forth until you reach the center of the form, which is the end of the path. The path layers have wall sections to divide the form into sections, and the wall layers have openings to allow the walker to go from one level to another.
The walls and the path define each other. The space between the walls is the path, and the form between the path is the wall. Here is a design template that shows the path and wall layers before the breaks are inserted.

Postmodern use of labyrinths is as two color image design are very dull. I try to spice up the colors.

Rainbow patterns bring color into a labyrinth.

Rainbow labyrinths are easy to get lost in.

Traditional labyrinths are round. While the round shape has its place in the world, for efficient use of materials and ease of execution, there is nothing like a 90 degree angle.

Labyrinths have a cruel sister, the maze. Both are based on a series of walls and paths, and can be drawn from the same template. However, where the labyrinth has the same number of steps from beginning to end, a maze can be more or it can be less. You have to make decisions with a maze, and it is unlikely you will make all of them correctly.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Motion and Stillness

Selections tonight are form and function, ying and yang, study in contrasts. There is a selection of photos of traffic on Peachtree Road , taken at night. As a compliment, there is a selection of pictures of a cemetary in Norcross GA.
The nature of traffic photography at night is that of blurred red and white lines. The headlights and taillights rush by in an assortment of zigs and zags. Who is to say that this is not the way these cars really look, and that the still images we are familiar with is the illusion?

Technically, there were two sessions here. One involved the retaining wall on the North Side of Peachtree, at the bottom of the Peachtree Country Club. When the Marta Line was going through, the word was that the Country Club was deeded to the Catholic Church in perpetuity, and that the land could not be used for the transformation of the area. As it turned out, the "dip down" on peachtree did use a few feet of the country club land.
The second session was shot from under the railroad bridge. I thought that this would block out the street lights, and thus yield more interesting images. Alas, it had the effect of shortening the space where traffic could be photographed, and produced fewer interesting images.

Improvement to the quality of life by the underpass was immense. For years there was a grade level train crossing here, and when a freight train came through there was little to do but wait. There is an underpass in Doraville which has had an even more dramatic impact, as has the "wonderful bridge" connecting Clairmont Road to Peachtree Industrial.

Cemetary Street is largely the same as ever, at least the older graveyard. There are two "underground" facilities here, an older one on the north side and a younger, apparently private, place on the south side.
A "Garden of Stone" is a contrast to Peachtree Road. The gravestones go nowhere, while Peachtree Road goes to Buckhead. One is quiet , one is noisy. One rests in the sun, grateful for any visitors, while the other never stops.
The Confederacy has influenced the south in many ways. It is not going to far to say that it casts a shadow over the country, as the flag does in this image.

Infant mortality is a plague of mankind. The first year of life has always been treacherous, and more so in the past than today.
The lambs and angels on these markers are an attempt by the living to bear some of the families burden from this tragedy

Likewise, War is a recruiter for this field. Here we have a young man who perished four days after the armistace was signed.
It was then the only world war, the war to end all wars.

Diefferent cultures flourish in a corner of the newer cemetary.

Sometimes, the markers have a lesson the living would do well to remember.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Zero Seven

It feels good to get back to my craft.
Without getting into tmi, this has been a wild year. One of the things that has fallen by the wayside is my pictures.
I make faux stained glass pictures. They are designed for viewing with light coming through. I get the colors from sticker paper and tape, and they are placed on a mylar base.
This is the image i am working on now. I call it zero-seven, because this can be viewed as zero through seven in base two numbers. When you view the trigrams, they start in the middle and go to the outside. The line nearest the center is one, the next line is two, the line at the outside of the circle is four. The broken lines are negative, the solid lines are positive. Thus, the trigram at the top is zero, and going clockwise we have one, five, six, seven, four, two, and three.
This symbol also can represent the eight trigrams of the i ching.
I am not sure what arrangement i will use in this image. This is not the "official" arrangement of the trigrams, if such a designation exists. I found the octagon in a book, and adapted it for my purposes. The zero goes at the top, the seven goes at the bottom, the two is opposite of the five, the rest is arranged as best i could. When i was testing this design a previous time, I rearranged the trigrams to make it look better.

This is my first draft of this design.

I built a model of it over the weekend, and saw that i needed to make a few changes. This morning, i made a few changes, and by early afternoon i had a color pattern i was happy with.

I did this design, in a different way last year. This version was a big step forward for was the first time i had used circles and 45 degree angles in a computer designed picture. I had used circles and angles in my hand drawn images, but in the 3 odd years that i had been designing on the computer i had only used 90 degree angles. There are reasons for this, but i want to post this tonight and get some rest. I can go into more detail about my process later.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Return to Doraville

I wasn't able to make it to the yard sales today. A call came from bell south, telling me that a man would be by before 7pm to look at my line. It was 10:30 am.
Around 4, the repairman got here, and did something to the line. The buzzing didn't go away, but the dial up has not spontaneously disconnected since then, so he may have done some good. Of course, I also disabled auto disconnect, and while manual disconnect is a nuisance, and I am guaranteed to forget, that may solve the problem of disconnect when the machine wants to

My first stop on toady’s tour was the apartments I lived in with the weasel people. This was January 1982, one of the coldest months Atlanta has ever known. I was sharing this apartment with a married couple, another human, five snakes, a cat and a ferret. That was a nasty place.... the smoke detectors went off every time you use the stove, we couldn’t lock the door, and there was some kind of natural gas smell that never did go away. That was also my only time of living with cable tv, and with the infancy of MTV, it was something. The female part of the married couple, Cheryl, was a Journey fanatic, and every time they came on she would shriek "turn it up turn it up
Back to living with a ferret. Ferrets are not really bad pets, if you can get over them being weasels. The same principal applies to snakes. They are clean, and fun to hold while they wrap around your fingers. The main issue with a snake for a pet is that he is a prisoner in a glass box, and that is not a life I would wish on a helpless animal.
The apartments look the same 23 years later, except the tenants are now mostly mexican. When you go in, you see the satellite dish's all over the place. A friend explained to me that cable only has two spanish channels, and if you want spanish tv you need to get a dish. There is a pizza place I go to that has two tvs; usually either on soccer or a music show. Of course, sometimes they have the telenovas, which are great fun, even though I don’t understand a word they are saying.

So I went across the buford hiway, and found a korean 24 hr restaurant next to a gynecologist.

The goal on the other side of buford hiway was the garden retreat. there is a neat little feature in the front, a bunch of bamboo poles painted in rainbow stripes.

Is this the result of the rainbow colored bamboo?

After I saw the rainbow bamboo, I went over to Strait Street to restore the balance.

And what is a trip to Doraville without the My Dung Video?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Remember the Pony

Sometimes if you take enough images, you wind up with something worthwhile.
I went out taking shots of a house I used to live in, a new house in the yard where I used to live, and a house I used to visit. Across from the latter, I found this.

The slogan of the door to door book sales industry is "Remember the Pony". It seems as though these child psychologists did a test. Two children were locked into rooms. One room had toys galore, the entire Toys R Us catalog. The other room had a pile of horse manure.
After a couple of hours, the child in the room with the toys was bored to tears, and begging to be let out.
The child in the room with the manure was having the time of his life.
The psychologist asked the kid about why he was enjoying the fertilizer so much. The kid said, " With all of this doo doo, there has to be a pony somewhere."
Remember the Pony...

The first house on this ride is on Woodacres Drive. I rented a room here, sharing space with a married couple, two dogs, and cat. The cat (Zevon) was separated from his mother at a young age and thought that the chou (corbett) was his mother.

I moved out of that house into an apartment behind the McDonalds in Doraville. My co tenants there were a married couple, another human, five snakes, a cat, and a ferret. I was commuting by bicycle at the time. My first week there, the temperature was -7 when I woke up. I put on every bit of clothing I owned and rode into work. A few days later was the snow jam of 1982.

After that, I found the attic apartment on Tobey Road. It was a great place to live, with a 37 acre forest in back and a five minute walk to my family.

I was there 23 years, until an evil builder bought the property to build a mcmansion.

The last house on this voyage is on Wentworth Drive, down the road from the Woodacres house. Friends of mine who enjoyed having parties occupied this house. I was there the night the Braves won the World Series in 1995.

Alas, the former residents of this dwelling have departed this planet, and the house is falling into disrepair.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the myth of asphalt

The good news about digital cameras is that you dont have to buy film or prints, and you can go crazy and take pictures of anything you like.
Trouble is, this "freedom" allows you to go out and take a lot of worthless images.
Of course, you dont always know it is going to be worthless until you try to capture the image.

This view of Parkridge Drive has always looked nice in person. .

How was I to know that the viewfinder is not what the lens sees, and that this is a close up picture of the fence.

Then there is a stand by, the digital camera in the mirror for a self portrait. This is a new twist, with a convex mirror outside by a street. This is the only one of four tries where I got my face in the picture.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. When I was a kid, I hated this barber shop. I always had to wait at least two hours, in a room full of men smoking cigarettes and watching a black and white tv that never seemed to work. Now I have to take a picture of it.
Upstairs was the post office. It is a consignment shop now.

These railroad ties have been stacked by the tracks for so long that a pine tree is growing out.

Have a nice day!