Fascinating stuff. TEDtalks over at TED.com Of particular interest is a talk by origami artist Robert Lang. His TED talk is about origami in scientific applications. His talk is both amazing and funny, simple and wonderous. He has developed a freeware called TreeMaker that gives you the fold pattern for a stick figure so you can make the most complex origami models like spiders or deer with antlers, all out of a single uncut square of paper. My love of paper is constantly affirmed for its versatility and plasticity, texture, and accessibility and beautiful simplicity.
Pictured above: Robert Lang's sucky mosquito--I never imagined I'd find any mosquito so fascinaitng. Now a house centipede--I just don't think I could give it a second look without a squasher in my hand. Hey Mr. Lang, could you pack enough circles into a square to make a 100 legged creepy-crawly?
Whether state governments follow Kansas' lead in the decision to take away funding for the arts or not, art will find a way. But what hurts my heart is the message it sends. Art is not important, it is expendable, not essential. I think that creativity is one of the most essential things to our humanity. Since people were people we have expressed ourselves through visual communication -- images, storytelling, dance, music. It is nearly as primal as the need to eat or reproduce. Art and creativity will thrive despite a public funding vaccuum. We have been able to create images that have endured millenia with the most basic of tools... take a look.
I've decided to start creating a feature that will appear on Tuesdays called beautiful design. The hope is to feature items that are beautiful to the eye in more ways than as decoration. Design can be beautiful for beauty sake or it can be beautiful in use or service. I love art for art sake but I also love design made beautiful for function or aid. I live between two worlds. Day to day I am immersed in my American life that I love for its diversity and priviledge. I also have travel bug that bit because of my love of diversity. It has taken me as far as the "third" world. It has been nearly 10 years sice I visited the exquisite Vietnam. That trip, my stay there was profound. I was not there as a tourist but rather as a resident. The beat and beauty of that life still course through my veins.
I have always been drawn by the flavors of design that emerge from far off places, I think I was born with it. I certainly inherited it from my globetrotting grandparents whose mark on my life is indelible. I have volunteered and worked in the Fair Trade movement that I believe so much in. That belief took me to accept a 3-year design postion in Vietnam that I never fulfilled because life's flow often has other plans.
So because what makes my country so beautiful is so important to me the whole world and its people are equally important to me. I truly feel like a global citizen. While I can't travel now I can gather beautiful objects from anywhere and store them here for me and anyone else who'd like, to peruse.
So I have been wordier than I wanted, as usual but without further adieu my first picks. Since I am talking about my global love I thought I'd start with a circle. One of the best inventions and designs really, and so eye pleasing, it is timeless and quite perfect.