Art

Category archives for Art

My New Book: High Frontiers!

Writing for the Internet is like yelling into the void: freeing, probably more than a little cathartic, but ultimately lonely. That’s not to say that I haven’t made profound connections out here, but like most writers I long for a little thing with my name on it that fits in the hand, that can be…

Mona Laser

The cultural critic Walter Benjamin, in his seminal 1936 essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, argued that the “aura” of a work of art, that sense of special awe and reverence we feel, being in its presence, isn’t inherent to art itself. Rather, it’s a side-effect of its exclusivity, restricted…

The Best Science Writing Online 2012

I’ve been practicing little idiosyncratic rituals on this corner of the web for years: learn something new, obsessively research, get lost in the idea, scribble, converse endlessly, then write. This blog, Universe, has never been about garnering hits or materializing an audience because, for me, thinking and writing about science is a personal tic. I…

Interview: Andrew Olney

Last week, I wrote a piece forĀ Motherboard about an android version of the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The story of the android is truly surreal, stranger than even Dick’s flipped-out fiction, and I recommend you pop over to Motherboard and mainline it for yourselves. For the piece, I interviewed the lead programmer on…

The moon is a rock. But it’s also Selene, Artemis, Diana, Isis, the lunar deities; an eldritch clock by which we measure our growth and fertility; home of an old man in the West and a rabbit in the East; the site of countless imaginary voyages; a long-believed trigger of lunacy (luna…see?). It’s another world,…

This is the first in a series of posts about art, the moon, and art on the moon. You would think this would be a fairly limited subject, but… Art on the moon has been happening for a long time. In 1969, a coterie of American contemporary artists devised a plan to put an art…

In 2007, my friends at m ss ng peces and I started work on a new Internet-television show called RESET, for the Sundance Channel. The idea was to make a show designed for computers to watch, that could teach them what it was like to be human — a show that, while ostensibly made for…

Experiments in Art & Technology

To prepare for a “Book Sprint” I’m participating in at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie-Mellon University next week, I’ve been doing lots of research about notable historical interactions between art, science, and technology. In suit, Universe fringe benefits! First, I’d like to tell you about “9 Evenings,” organized in 1966 by a very…

Greetings from the People of Earth from World Science Festival on Vimeo. I made the above video, Greetings from the People of Earth, to open the World Science Festival 2010 panel “The Search for Life in the Universe,” which featured personal hero Jill Tarter, David Charbonneau, and Steven Squyres. In 1977, taking advantage of a…

Science Poem Manifesto

Earlier this year, I received a charming email from a pair of Helsinki-based artists and designers who work under the name of OK DO. OK DO is a socially-minded design think tank and online publication; they dug Universe and wanted to know if I’d contribute to a new publication and exhibition project they were working…