Three months is such a nice length for a semester.

  • September: Field studies. How do two-dimensional images become three-dimensional things? What are representational strategies that can facilitate a painting –> gh workflow? Precedents to include Rietveld/Mondrian and Muqarnas vaults/the Topkapi Scroll.

Muqarnas Drawing from the Topkapi Scroll; source:

© Creswell Archive, Ashmolean Museum, neg. EA.CA.6288. Image courtesy of Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Librar

  • October: Perspectival issues. It’s not just fields that are mathematical–architects compute perspectives on a daily basis. Could a “perspective box” gh definition transform the structure of observational paintings into spaces? 17th Century Dutch interiors and Zaha Hadid’s work on Malevich would both come into play here.

Horizontal Tektonik - Malevich’s Tektonik, (detail) acrylic on cartridge 1976-1977 (Zaha Hadid Architects press release)

  • November: Narrative. History painting is such a big deal that Barnett Newman painted zips and called them the Stations of the Cross. Rhythm, movement, and subjectivity would come to the forefront in an exploration of parametric storytelling. Giotto and Michelangelo are precedents in this case.

Cappella degli Scrovegni


    If it’s September, it must be time for field studies:

    These three paintings are in their infancy, to be sure, but I’m happy with them at the moment.

    The first starts to establish a gridded field that morphs as it moves along the page. From the get-go, it became obvious that I just don’t own brushes tiny enough to do the kind of detailed work I had been anticipating. Switching to working with a palette knife was more satisfactory, but I can tell that the scale of the paintings is going to become an issue quickly. I’ve primed a stack of 12″x12″ (ish) paper, but I might let myself jump up to larger work sooner, rather than later.

    In the second painting, I’m trying to anticipate the process of turning a painting into a grasshopper-legible image, and thinking about how I can have a structural field that appears in a painting disappear once I pass the image through a height field mapper.  Non-photo blue might be the answer:

    straightforward desaturation

    with more careful hue/saturation adjustments

    The cyan stripes will regulate a field that I’ll make with black paint, so there will be updates on this at some point.

    This final image is much darker in real life–the glare off the galkyd glaze makes it look more washed out than usual. Again, I’m planning to paint over this in black, perhaps in layers of glaze as away of building up changes over time?

    Finally, it appears as if my thesis research has caused its first casualty:

    sorry, buddy

    Pye, David, The Nature and Art of Workmanship, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968.

    “Craftsmanship … means simply workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment, dexterity and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making.

    [emphasis added]

    via Kolarevic, Branko, “The (Risky) Craft of Digital Making,” U Calgary Press.

    Students in the Baltimore and Trenton studios discuss our attitudes towards nature in the shrinking city:

    also related: Berenika Boberska’s Fallow City Project posits a new future for the Detroit suburbs.

    In early May, Kristina Hill joined the Baltimore Jones Falls/JFX studio to discuss strategies for implementing systematic change. Over the course of the hour-long conversation, Hill spoke of the importance of understanding long-term local trends, the power of presenting a constituent group with multiple ideas for the future, and the ability of demonstration projects to effectively argue for large-scale investment in urban infrastructure.

    © BP p.l.c.

    Jorg Sieweke suggests that the contemporary sublime is no longer an untouched wilderness, but is instead related to the unprecedented scale of the contaminants that humans have introduced into the environment.

    The leap from New Jersey to Nature seems like a large one; here, Julie Bargmann suggests that landscape might be a valuable link between the two:

    The Dripps-Phinney Residence

    Robin Dripps takes on nature, sub-nature, super-nature, hyper-nature, and even human nature, in this clip from our I Do Like Mondays seminar discussion on Nature and Wilderness.

    On the first day of Julie Bargmann’s Urban Wilds studio, she asked her students to draw their ideas of “wilderness.” Ten weeks into the semester, students reflect on those first drawings:

    I know, I know, I’ve been neglecting this poor blog lately….

    But, all for a good cause, I hope! Jie Huang and I are working on a project called Some Emergent Markets, and you can check it out here: