“La Pastorine”

Years ago I drifted along the Leyden canals on market day and found a couple of very old issues of “L’Art et les Artistes” in a book-stall. These issues have been a treasure-trove ever since. I must admit to have cannibalised most of the contents by now. Using it in collages and illustrations. The ads were a particular delight. Like the “Vérascope”, a kind of projector. Recently I found half of an ad that was bound in one of the ussues on heavy glossy carton. “La Pastorine” was apparently a brand of sanitary equipment. I always loved this beautiful flowing art-nouveau plaque. The typography is amazing, half high, half carved into the material. The verso of this leaf is a systematic presentation of the available colours in small colour swatches, in the shape of heraldic shields, glued on the surface. “Verde d’acqua”, water-green, how poetic it would be to have a loo of that colour. The weathered look is my fault. I stuck the paper on the wall in every student room, and every subsequent house I ever lived in. From 15 square meters digs, to 19th century mayor’s mansion. Years of barbaric maltreatment. Now I will carefully mount it in a responsible and future-proof way.

La Pastorine - half of an early 20th C. advertisement for sanitary equipment
La Pastorine - half of an early 20th C. advertisement for sanitary equipment

colour swatches on the verso side
colour swatches on the verso side

swatches_2

Google Wave

Too early to say something now, but check this out, it could be another step, lowering the threshold to online collaboration. Turning the tide of time-consuming, money-draining, and polluting travel to meetings than could just as easily be done virtually.

Check it out in the New York Times, technology section.

Check it out on the google blog.

Sketch for church – infographic

A hasty sketch for an infographic. This will be one of 3 panels (side view, cutaway, plan, 3/4 view cutaway) used as interface on architectural terms used in a website for historic churches. A layered structure is being built upon this sketch in Photoshop.

sketch for church infographic (South elevation, cutaway)
sketch for church infographic (South elevation, cutaway)

Trojan Invasion!

We have been cut off from the internet a good part of yesterday and today. Some of our systems were infected by Trojans, and spam was generated via our backdoor.

A big lesson. Use as many malware scanners and busters as possible, redundancy in this area is not bad, it’s good! Use free ones and commercial ones, update as often as you can. Update the firewalls, install patches and service packs asap. CHECK WHAT THE CHILDREN ARE DOING! Ban all ‘free’ music sharing software. Punish everyone that sends chain mail and stupid office jokes, especially if it’s small applications. If you see friends of your kids pulling out USB-sticks from their bags, or CD-Roms with “fun stuff”, or “cool music”, or whatever, KICK THEM OUT! And only install applications if you are absolutely satisfied with the quality of the seller.

We did most of this and still it happened, so triple your effort on all the above. It has cost valuable time.

Even innocent tutorials on seemingly serious sites contained malware (in my case a turorial on isometric projection, and perspective, so where I expected it the least).

Cheers!

Telescope – with a dash of copper

I just couldn’t help it. Had to see the effect of copper. But from now on it wil be a clay-model again until the model is correct in every detail.

Telescope, preview with copper texture added
Telescope, preview with copper texture added

Heimatmuseum, Weener, Ostfriesland (D)

Housed in the former poor-house the Heimatmuseum (museum for regional history) has ample room to store thousands of objects related to the archeology, history, regional culture, trades and industry of the Reiderland.

And … they filled it to the brink. In a short span of time we saw mammoth teeth, all kinds of Roman, Bronze Age, and Iron Age pottery, the inventory of a stone-factory (Ziegelwerk), a smithy, a clock-maker’s workshop, a printer, an optician, mourning attire, a shop-interior, the history and physical geography of the region …. etc etc. I have even discovered some small diorama’s.

They have a great fragment of a sculpted polychrome altarpiece, and of course someone has taken pictures of it!

The museum.

Still, no visitors, two volunteers sitting at a table, talking the afternoon away. Displays, infographics and room-texts that haven’t been reviewed since the 70’s (shiny paper glued on multiplex, and board).

In fact … a pristine environment! So many stories to tell! Let’s bury it under a big pile of sand like we do with archeological findings that have to remain untouched for the next generations. Quickly, we have to hurry, before they get a subsidy and are discovered by people who have followed a course in cultural studies or museum management.

No, seriously, it begs the question. How to reverse the tide. Museum visits are increasing, but that’s only the big and famous ones, and the rise is predominantly in art museums (and within this group predominantly contemporary art of the obvious kind). Cultural heritage as a whole is slipping away. And to be honest, it would demand a lot of tough bargaining to get children (let alone adolescents) to visit a museum like this on a sunny sunday afternoon. But even the usual suspects were missing.

Perhaps reconstructing and visualising the myriads of untold stories could contribute.

Page added “Check this out”

I created a page to list noteworthy links, if needed with small descriptions or comments. The link is just above the banner, or here.