i’ve been doing some reading on Jack Webb’s Dragnet. Webb was notoriously driven with regards to the series, and he controlled every part that he could. What I found surprising to learn, from an interview with Harry Morgan for the Archive of American Television, was that Jack Webb choreographed the exact pacing of the dialogue through the use of teleprompters. I would never have guessed it beforehand, but knowing that and watching the show is really remarkable. It makes so much sense and really illustrates the complexity of Webb’s vision. Also somewhat surprisingly, but kind of reassuring, Morgan described him as very professional and a pleasure to work with, showing that you can be totally obsessive and insane and still a good workmate.

The interview with Morgan drives me a little nuts because the interviewer just exhausts him and doesn’t really draw any information out gradually like i would expect him to, he just shotguns Morgan with questions. The man is 90-something years old in this interview, he’s not going to remember everything as though it were yesterday, and you have to ask him questions about things he’s interested in. Get the interviewee to reminisce!

When Jack Webb died at 62 his jazz record collection numbered over 6000.


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i had a rough day

so i hit the road and started driving.

I drove out to alameda through the oakland/alameda tunnel

and i watched the ships loading and unloading

I interviewed at lobot for a possible place to live and work on art.

i called hilda, who was in town somewhere, but her phone must have been lost.

then i hung out at langton until around half past midnight and went back home.

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random thought

What if the reason Sarah Palin is such a polarizing figure is because we’re going through some kind of societal linguistic quantum leap?

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endlessly falling into the sky

An intrepid photographer named Thierry Legault has captured the shuttle Endeavor and the space station crossing the sun:



also check this out, a certain NYC band gets a fleeting public reference:

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Zoot Suit Riots – a burgeoning personal interest in the LAPD

Quoted from: The LAPD: 1926-1950

When James E. Davis became Chief in 1926, he formed a 50-man “gun squad” announcing that “the gun-toting element and the rum smugglers are going to learn that murder and gun-toting are most inimical to their best interest.” He added that he would “hold court on gunmen in the Los Angeles streets; I want them brought in dead, not alive and will reprimand any officer who shows the least mercy to a criminal.”

In addition to stressing marksmanship, Davis sought successfully to make LAPD officers known worldwide as firearm experts. He initiated the dragnet system for tracking down wanted criminals, stressed the value of statistics for determining crime trends, and fired more than 240 officers for “bad conduct.”
Read More »

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a message from your gentleman caller

the rest of the AGC discussion may be slightly delayed, I’m struggling with a lack of time in the evening and the need to better understand the Executive function in order to describe it succinctly. there will hopefully be some fun machine code discussion.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Here’re a few interesting tidbits you won’t easily find elsewhere – the following are cribbed from a transcription of a 1982 lecture by David Scott (’62, SM, EAA, Aero Astro) about the user’s view of the AGC.

***** Space rendezvous – unbelief and the learning curve:
“In Apollo 9, we did the first Apollo rendezvous. Rusty and Jim got in the lunar module and separated from myself in the command module. They went out about 60 miles and then came back in a rendezvous. Today, after all the Apollo work and everything, nobody thinks that is a big deal because we’ve done it so much…

As a matter of fact, I then got to fly Apollo 15, and we had done the rendezvous so many times that by my last flight, you could actually use a watch, and a rate of angle change, and a piece of paper, and do a rendezvous. It becomes very straight forward as long as you don’t have too many uncertainties or a failure of some sort. It took me back to the early sixties when people wondered if we could even do one, and twelve years later we could do it on the back on an envelope.
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more about that landing code

The two equipment alarms that Armstrong and Aldrin had while trying to land the Lunar Module were Alarm 1201 and 1202. These alarms resulted in about a half minute in which neither of them knew whether they needed to abort the landing while they were 6 miles up, falling towards the ground, burning fuel, rebooting their computer, and waiting for Mission Control to give feedback.

It turns out the landing had a lot of interesting issues going on all revolving around the Apollo Guidance Computer.
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printing, quantum tic tac toe, apollo 11 code, astronaut spoor

1. experimenting with stencils and screens

I’ve been working on some printing lately. I started out with spraypaint stencils, but then wanted to try for more detail, so i bought myself a nice nortech 18×20 inch screen and a photo emulsion kit. I really like the nortech, but i’m worried that it may be difficult to properly stretch my own fabric onto later. They have a strong solid frame, but they glue the screen on instead of having one of those things like the speedball with the mitred groove.

here’s my first experiment (salvaged from a bigger print that wasn’t very perfect):

2. quantum tic tac toe


This is a pretty cool game which is a lot like normal tic tac toe, except that whenever it’s your turn you choose two spots instead of one, which you then label X1 and X1, for example. You have not yet actually occupied those squares, but you have quantumly entangled them. Each square can be entangled with as many other squares as the players want.

When three squares become entangled in a loop (one square connects to the next, which in turn connects with the next, which then connects back to the first square) the squares in question all collapse to classical tic tac toe spaces and are evaluated as normal. It sounds like fun!

3. Apollo 11 code

NASA has released the original Apollo 11 Command Module and Lunar Module code as open source. This code, which was developed at (what was then MIT’s) Draper Labs, can be run on the Apollo Guidance Computer emulator yaAGC.

source files for the Command Module: Comanche055
source files for the Lunar Module: Luminary099

The Master Ignition Routine has some cool comments, i especially liked the use of latin religious phrases:

#	Assemble revision 001 of AGC program LMY99 by NASA 2021112-61
#	16:27 JULY 14, 1969 
# Page 731
#	***********************************************
#	***********************************************
#                       NOLI SE TANGERE

P12TABLE	VN	0674		# (0)
		TCF	ULLGNOT		# (1)
		TCF	COMFAIL3	# (2)

et cetera et cetera
and at the end:


4. astronaut spoor

and just in case any of you missed it, the lunar orbiter caught this picture of the Apollo 14 leftovers:

Posted in link mania, oh you pretty things, space - it does a body good | 4 Responses

Time Present or Sur les balcons du ciel

So yesterday I showed a work in progress – emphasis on the in progress part because I found watching the video horrifying, so clumsy. Anyhow, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time so it was good to just jump on in and do it. Now I need to find a way to do it again – better.

Time Present

Since it’s not zoomed in, the first section is me putting on my face with make-up and then smearing it with honey which sort of drips for the rest of the piece – the camera didn’t really resolve that texture. And as a disclaimer I think if I do it again I may use Heaven is of Honey, Einsturzende Neubauten or something else in place of the sort of emo radiohead song.

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Vannevar Bush describes the future of photography – The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945

courtesy of zoz:

“Certainly progress in photography is not going to stop…

Let us project this trend ahead to a logical, if not inevitable, outcome. The camera hound of the future wears on his forehead a lump a little larger than a walnut.

The lens is of universal focus, down to any distance accommodated by the unaided eye, simply because it is of short focal length. There is a built-in photocell on the walnut such as we now have on at least one camera, which automatically adjusts exposure for a wide range of illumination. There is film in the walnut for a hundred exposures, and the spring for operating its shutter and shifting its film is wound once for all when the film clip is inserted. It produces its result in full color.

As the scientist of the future moves about the laboratory or the field, every time he looks at something worthy of the record, he trips the shutter and in it goes, without even an audible click. Is this all fantastic? The only fantastic thing about it is the idea of making as many pictures as would result from its use.

Will there be dry photography? … The process is now slow, but someone may speed it up… Often it would be advantageous to be able to snap the camera and to look at the picture immediately.”

[insert description of facsimile transmission by use of a photocell and a print head]

“This whole apparatus constitutes a camera, with the added feature, which can be dispensed with if desired, of making its picture at a distance. It is slow, and the picture is poor in detail.

[However,] it would be a brave man who could predict that such a process will always remain clumsy, slow, and faulty in detail.”

for those of you who don’t have time to read the article, there will be more choice selections to come!

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This car visited the Mystery Blob

Giant Mystery Blob Moves Through Alaskan Waters

It’s big, it’s black, it’s gooey and it may be alive.

Giant blobs of thick, oily biological material are floating in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea north of the Bering Strait, reports the Anchorage Daily News.

“It’s certainly biological,” Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Terry Hasenauer told the newspaper. “It’s definitely not an oil product of any kind. It has no characteristics of an oil, or a hazardous substance, for that matter.”

No one in the North Slope towns of Barrow and Wainwright can recall ever seeing anything like it.

Jellyfish and sea birds are getting caught up in the sticky, stinky stuff, which according to one official “has hairy strands on it.”

Yup. That’s Fox with some uhh, ‘quality’ journalism.


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To humans, anything might look like a face.

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pretentious dorking out

I’m supposed to be submitting a quickie thing for a catalogue of the thesis projects for the mfa program i’m a ta at. We found ourselve 10 words that had some combined relevance to a number of pieces one/two of which were mask/illusion (each word or set of words was given to an affiliated faculty member to write 100-150 words on). So this is my really pretentious, wordy shot at it…. I’d welcome any feedback – especially constructive – before I submit it, and it’s the only really tangible thing I have from this summer to share up here.

The mask is a powerful tool, ancient and contemporary – a site of obfuscation and revelation, a site of illusion and truth. Its power emerges from the potential for multiple identities where the binaries of real and unreal, true and false, mingle, disintegrate, explode. After the deconstruction of absolute realities, histories and identities where does truth remain except within layers of illusion and masks? The (animist, death, comedic, criminal, surgical, eye, emotional, Halloween, oxygen, ancestral, gas, diving) mask affirms that there must be a reality behind or within, whether the mask serves to hide an identity, construct an identity, or represent the identity, the individual within animates the illusion with desires: for anonymity, divinity, beauty, power, submission, grandeur, silence. The illusion in its dynamic negotiation of what appears to be and what is, creates a charged space for both wearer and viewer from which the sublime may emerge.

I am going to be showing a work in progress on Saturday I think so hopefully someone will take pictures or video of that so I can share with you all. It’s loosely based on TS Elliot’s Burnt Norton, a Virginia Woolf quote “When this you see remember me”, the word ‘saudade’ and, generally, grief, with a score of Radiohead’s ‘Talkshow host’, Anima, Vinicius de Moraes ‘Samba em preludio’ and Gorrilaz ‘Starshine’ – just to add to the pretentiousness of this post.

Should be back in New York by the 29th – if anyone on this blog is there.


ps: a shot i took of an mfa-er’s thesis production, a wonderfully bit crazy woman Jimena Paz. She hung gold space blankets around the space and grow lights and ‘planted’ monitors in trays of dirt. Oh and dressed up in flourscent pink/orange jacket pants and boxing gloves to dance around.


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pass the dust i think i’m bowie

I was amused to hear the title of this record by Black Randy and the Metrosquad. It was published in the late 70s by Dangerhouse Records.

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Thao Nguyen

I’m super excited about Thao Nguyen’s songs. I downloaded her album “Like the Linen” from itunes, and I think it’s definitely going to be a new favorite.

here’s a video of her in an SLC radio station:

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