August 27, 2013

From analog to digital and back again.


My daughter brought this home recently as part of her back-to-school goodies. I thought it was fascinating to see an iPod like interface applied to a mechanical lock set. Instead of numbers, directional movements define the lock sequence. It’s nice looking and incredibly easy to use. It’s not often that you see an innovation in something as established as the combination lock. It’s kind of like seeing new versions of the clothespin or paper clip.

What I find more interesting than innovation creeping into an old-school object is the increasing interplay between the digital and the physical world. I was fortunate to be able to speak at the end of last year at the World Brand Congress in Mumbai. One of the other speakers, Yukio Nakayama, gave a fascinating presentation of work being done in Japan that explores marrying digital thinking to beautifully crafted physical objects. One example he provided was the melody road in which a precisely defined sequence of cuts into the pavement produce a song when driven over. It becomes a tactile experience in the real world otherwise impossible without the impact of technology. Closer to home, The Center for Arts and Technology at MIT is doing fascinating experiments along these lines as they relate to architecture and fabrication.

Using technology to enhance “real” world experiences is potentially a much more intriguing future than giving us more ways to spend more time on our various glowing screens.


August 20, 2013

constructed memory

Following are some images from the gallery installation entitled constructed memory, drawings, paintings, and objects by Mark Minelli. It was on view in the grand ballroom of an old Georgian mansion that is the home of the Marblehead Arts Association.


This installation is based loosely around three intersecting themes: A narrative of my dad who spent his entire working life running a metal lathe in a factory. Objects rendered and constructed with a particular focus on the machine age. Ogimrosingvi . A nostalgic, somewhat conflicted obsession with icons, brands and the need to drive consumption. The actual process of making the work alternates between the visceral/mechanical and the chaotic/computer generated. The work also varies a great deal in scale from intimate drawings to large paintings and sculptures.


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