it's with some surprise that I find myself reading the third novel in Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" The System of the World, and feeling that little tickle that tells me that this may all prove to have been worth it. Now don't get me wrong--I'm not going to tell you to start making your own way through several thousand pages without some serious qualifications...


How would Xu Bing sound? (part 2)

I've been thinking about the Xu Bing exhibition on and off--more specifically, I've been thinking not about the large installation, or even the calligraphy lesson, but rather the large ink paintings whose "brushstrokes", on closer inspection, turn out to be calligraphic narratives or comments on the image itself.


How would Xu Bing sound? (part 1)

I spent a pleasant afternoon at the museum, checking out a new installation by the Chinese artist Xu Bing.


While I was away (listening)….

So I thought I'd mention what's been the office ambience during this hiatus. As a critic, I'm never certain about how to listen to new work... do you drop it on the iPod and cycle around lake Monona on a crisp fall day? Do you drop it into the N-disk changer (where N < 10) and play it to death for days? Do you sit down with a nice bottle of Mourvedre and listen to the thing intently in a dark room? Beats me. I probably did all three. So your mileage may vary greatly here, okay? In honor of the conventions of Carnatic Music, I'll assign them contexts/times of day.


Inexpensive steadicams? really?

So, you think that the web is just a bunch of ranting and sixties lampshades over, and over again? Well, cheer up--some kind soul has posted instructions for making your own steadycam using humble hardware store parts. I think we all owe the guy a drink.


Naomi Klein's stock has taken a jump on my personal index today...


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