future perfect

May 27, 2009


Sorry, I know it’s not my day, but I wanted to share this article from the WSJ.



March 22, 2009

highheel4 About the New Beauty Council
Written by Annika Enqvist
Monday, 15 December 2008

Coming from different backgrounds and having diverse opinions on what is good or bad, beautiful or ugly, tiring or exciting, the citizen’s of a city have one thing in common – the shared public space. At odds or finding a consensus, the public realm is a stage for constant negotiation. The New Beauty Council investigates what concepts like the public consists of and how beauty and ugliness can be (re-)defined, as well as how user’s experience of the city is influenced by different conditions.

The project studies institutions and authorities, which form and have the privilege to interpret cities’ appearance and functions. The New Beauty Council wants to bring into consideration new perspectives on how public space can be used and look, not through promoting one single point of view, but by opening up new ways of experiencing the public sphere and concepts of beauty.

The founding members are Annika Enqvist, Anna Kharkina, Thérèse Kristiansson and Kristoffer Svenberg.


March 19, 2009

Hello, all, this is my disembodied voice from March 12, 2009 at approximately 3 PM! I am writing this a week in advance, minus 6 hours, because there’s no way I would actually write anything cogent–much less be awake–at 9 AM, because I am a loser, but future Nicole is a changed woman.

Anyway, things to think about that I don’t feel like elaborating quite yet.

-The system of pattern/randomness being more relevant than absence/presence.

mind separated from matter

mind separated from matter- KRANG

“The very definition of ‘information,’ then encodes the distinction between materiality and information that was becoming important in molecular biology during this period.”

“Abstracting information from a material base meant that information could become free-floating, unaffected by changes in context.”

“As Carolyn Marvin notes, a decontextualized construction of information has important ideological implications, including an anglo-american ethnocentrism that regards digital information as more important than more context-bound analog information”

“My dream is a version of the posthuman that embraces the possibilities of information technologies without being seduced by fantasies of unlimited power and disembodied immortality, that recognizes and celebrates finitude as a condition of human being, and that understands human life is embedded in a material world of great complexity, one on which we depend on our continued survival.”

N. Katherine Hayles

The Purple Ticket Incident

January 20, 2009


I want to talk about the inauguration. This may not be the proper forum, but I have to express my disappointment. I was fortunate enough to be friends with a Obama campaign staffer and had the opportunity to attend the inauguration with her. Or so I thought. 

We climbed out of bed, two snoozes past 6:30, and braved the cold. Wearing two winter jackets, many layers, and multiple back-ache patches, we embarked on the 20 minute walk to the Purple Ticket Gate. We arrived to find mass chaos: thousands of people, cold, tired and confused. Many of them had arrived much earlier than we had, standing in 17 degree weather, but the wait proved unfruitful. 

Hundreds if not thousands were turned away, their Purple tickets not honored.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I am deeply moved that so many people attended the event, sharing my hope, but deeply disappointed that I couldn’t be one of those people. 

More than anything, I’m disappointed for the people I met in line today who traveled great distances. Notably, a tall young man from Albuquerque and his friend from Falls Church, whom were friendly and warm, despite the cold. Marc Fisher, of The Washington Post, wrote this of the purple ticket holders:

“But in a way, it makes perfect sense, because this is one of the happiest crowds I’ve ever seen, and that made them willing–with the possible exception of the Purple ticket holders, mostly high roller donors who thought they had passes to the very front of the crowd–to accept almost any inconvenience.” – Marc Fisher, The Washington Post, Inauguration Day: Birdseye View

Fisher can paint a unsympathetic portrait for these ticket holders, but I know better. I may not have experienced this historic event like I intended to, but at least I had the opportunity to wait for hours in the cold with exceptional people, the purple people. 

To the Purple Ticket people, I salute you.


Go On Mr. Jones

January 16, 2009

In case you haven’t heard, Quincy Jones has been speaking out lately.  He’s calling for President Obama (I know it’s still 4 days away, but shoot that sounds good) to create a cabinet-level post for the Arts & Humanities.  Here’s a link to last week’s article in the Washington Post and a link to the online petition.

For the most part, I am in favor of this idea.  Arts Education especially deserves more respect and attention and a Cultural Ministry would be an enormous step, demonstrating our national appreciation for the arts.  But the argument that limited federal support in favor of private funds keeps American artist free to create without a government sponsored agenda seems to carry some weight.  Propaganda and censorship can rear their ugly heads in so many ways.  Would it be better to have a $300 million NEA budget (it was $144 million in 2008 ) if they only supported “respectable” projects?  Would artists be more inclined to tailor their work and ideas to fit government requirements if it meant they could make a living?  I’m interested to know what you think.

Im Osten Nichts Neues

January 9, 2009

– “So how are you doing these days? Is your family OK? Are they safe”? I am being asked frequently in the past week here in New York City.

– “Yes, they are safe. You see – the missiles are only in the south of Israel, or in the north, and Jerusalem is in the middle”.

Yes, they are safe. But very near them people are starving, dying, being buried under the ruins of their houses. People have lost their mothers, their brothers, their sisters, their fathers. They have lost all hope, all freedom. They have lost all faith that anyone in the world would care.

For generations we Israelis said to ourselves: “we have no choice. This is our only country. We have nowhere else to go. If we do not kill, we will get killed. If we are not strong, we will be stepped over”. This paranoia mixed with aggression is a normal behavior in Israel. The way of war is the mainstream. Every politician who was not a general is mistrusted. But actually – everyone is mistrusted, since anyone might turn out to be your enemy. Some Americans are impressed with that tendency, they call it ‘maturity’. But this is the opposite. This is fear and blindness to others. This state of mind that seems so natural in Israel, from my studio in New York City seems completely sick. Israel is not going to disappear. Why does it act like it is fighting for survival while in fact it is killing innocent people for pure political reasons? How can millions be blind to that? I am ashamed to be part of a nation that carries such a heavy psychological defect with it for 60 years. The defect of destroying others, while truly believing this is ethical and right. The defect of depriving normal life from Palestinians, as well as any sense of humanity, and fighting against them as if they were all terrorists – all of them. This is unbearable to me.

I can already hear voices in my head saying – but they do the same. Suicide bombers are killing innocent people. Hammas is throwing missiles on Israeli homes. The fear is real. But I still cannot accept it. I still believe we, as human beings, can do better than that.

Loss Creation

January 5, 2009