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June 24, 2012

The origami artist vs. the painter

Photo of Sarah Morris paintings

So often copyright cases are easy… an underdog citizen on one side, a huge corporation and evil unfair current copyright law on the other. But here's a copyright dispute where it's possible to be sympathetic to both sides.

Robert Lang is perhaps the greatest living origami artist. He's pushed the bounds of this ancient art and is the creator of numerous works that will make you say "I can't BELIEVE that's a single piece of folded paper!" (See for yourself).

Lang begins many of his projects by creating a crease pattern…a diagram showing how to fold a piece of paper to achieve the desired end product. (Here's a sample of some of Lang's crease patterns). The patterns themselves are attractive works of art -- intricate grids of lines dividing and re-dividing the paper into smaller and smaller regions.

Enter painter Sarah Morris. She saw Lang's crease patterns and used them as the basis for a series of large brightly-colored abstract paintings.

Lang says Sarah Morris ripped off his work. Morris says nonsense, that while she used the crease patterns as a jumping off point her finished paintings are unique independent works. In the words of copyright law, Morris maintains that her canvases are "transformative" works and therefore she did not infringe on the copyright Lang holds on his crease patterns.

Lang disagrees, and is suing Morris.

What do YOU think?

(via Make magazine and kpcc.org).

Comments welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2012

The streaking sky seen from the ISS

photo of the earth and stars from the International Space Station

Here's a bit of beauty to finish off your weekend.

The International Space Station zips around the Earth day in and day out, streaking across the sky at about 17,000 miles per hour. Don Pettit is one of six astronauts currently on the ISS, and in his spare moments he's been making some beautiful photos that capture that streaky flight.

Pettit typical takes 30 second exposures of the passing earth, and then stacks multiple exposures into single finished images.

Check them out on the Fast Company design blog.

Comments welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2012

Zach Lieberman's poem to the endless frustration and reward of interactive art

photo from Zach Lieberman and Golan Levin's REFACE project. Photo lifted from http://thesystemis.com/projects/reface/

At the just-concluded eyeo festival in Minnesota, renowned interactive artist Zach Lieberman gave a moving poetic address to all those flailing in the vaguely defined constantly changing world of interactive art. A world rife with "memory leaks, compiler error, uninitialized variable, lighting, bad lighting, someone trips on a cable, plugged into the wrong socket, don't have the right adapters, projector is broken, missing flights, getting lost, loosing stuff, batteries run out, logic errors and syntax errors."

He did a great job inspiring everyone in the room. Read the whole thing, and be re-inspired too. Here's an excerpt…

this is a love letter to those who are on the frontlines, and if you are not on the frontlines, an invitation to join us. What I say to students is the world is hungry for ideas. We need you.

This is A love letter to those who are conquering quaternions, who are mastering matricies, who are decoupling and recoupling, who are soldering with their right hand, eating a sandwich with their left hand, on hold with digikey, to those who are writing code in taxis, who are pulling from git in the airport, whose hotel rooms and office rooms and bedrooms look like warzones, to those who are in the zone, out of the zone, trying to find the zone - to the countless hours of determination, will power, and ingenuity that go into working with this medium.

and so I say: go.

press play.


turn on the power, turn off the lights, turn on the lights, open the curtain, open the doors, start the show, invite people, post the video, send the link, push the code to git, hit save, hit run, run with it.

go with it.


what is the worst that can happen?

Zach's posted the full thing on github (which BTW may be a first, using github as a repository for an inspirational address).

If you want to learn more about the great work of Zach Lieberman and his collaborators, check out his site at thesystemis.com.

Comments welcome via email to comments-at-spurgeonworld.com

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at 07:47 AM | Comments (0)