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San Francisco Eviction March – April 13, 2014

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It could be said that housing activists, political street artists and big corporate technology companies are all fluent in the use of different tools to raise media and public attention. No cynicism intended; I’ve been wondering when the seemingly dormant political and social action establishment in San Francisco would emerge to leave its imprint on the ongoing developments concerning the lack of affordable housing in the city, the fallout on some tenants being forced out of  their quarters by the current frenzied demand ongoing during the grab for almost any rental property, at almost any price.

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via Mission Local
Mission Local reports that an estimated group of 200 people walked to and protested against the conversion of a seven-unit rental apartment building on Guerrero St. that was bought and converted to a private residence, owned by a Google lawyer, Jack Halprin, two years ago. Several signs in the crowd read “Google, don’t be evil. Make Jack Halprin stop evicting teachers,”

 

Teachers Ask Google Why a Google Lawyer Is Evicting Tenants

 

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I don’t have an idea when or if the protests will continue, grow in numbers or get more media attention. I do know there are many forces for change in San Francisco who have had an important role to play in building the city’s future and have long made a difference in what happens during critical times in the city.

 

 

 

 

Acrobats and a GMuni Director Block Google Bus

Mission Local video April 1, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Tech Mini-Review: Artificially Intelligent Voices and Waking Up with Capsule.fm

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A lot of people have trouble getting their news from a smartphone screen, especially if they’re in a crowd and in a hurry. Others, like me, are not early risers and don’t want to be woken up by caffeine saturated news readers interrupted by loud commercials.

Capsule.fm Early EditionEnter Berlin-based Capsule.fm and their great artificial voice that will not only read you from a choice of selected news sources, but also tells you the battery charge on your iPhone, flatter you, and tell you bad puns. Well, some of them are actually pretty funny. All of this is mixed in with quiet ambient-like music and I have found, is an amusing and great way to get your first dose of the news. This doesn’t have the capabilities of Apple’s Siri; it won’t open web pages and apps or find a location on a map. But its not presently designed to do that – it reads you your morning news, and at that does a great job. Right now it’s just an iOS app, but Capsule.fm says an Android version is on the way.

Capsule.fm says Early Edition uses natural language generation with aggregation and filtering systems and advanced text-to-speech technology. I’ve found the British female voice to be be better than some of the “voice assistant” apps, while those apps recognize your voice and will complete a number of tasks, like Siri. So, when it comes to artificial voices it’s currently quite a mixed bag and you should research before you buy. Max HeadroomThe Early Edition voice has a way to go with pronunciation and phonetics; you have trouble understanding some words, and sometimes there’s a noticeable latency that seems to result in a stutter, unless they’ve built that in as another amusement factor. “Mark, you look fa-fa-fabulous,” just like Max Headroom. Here we are.

What Early Edition has going for it is personalization, that you can choose your news sources from a pre-selected list, and instead of squinting to read from a smartphone screen, the artificial voice will read to you, while you’re on the go. I think it’s worth a try, and seeing where this now rapidly evolving technology goes next.

-Mark Gould

 

Images of May Day, Delores Park, San Francisco, 2007

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It’s taken so many years, but now I have the time to review thousands of shots taken over the years, do a lot of editing and post-processing, and put what I think are some of my better images online in various places. One great shoot was this one, a Labor Day and immigration protest march starting in Delores Park and then weaving through The Mission on May 1, 2007. Speeches, signs and people with an important purpose; what a great place for a photographer to find himself that day!

May Day, Delores Park, The Mission, San Francisco, 2007
May Day, Delores Park, The Mission, San Francisco, 2007
May Day, Delores Park, The Mission, San Francisco, 2007
May Day, Delores Park, The Mission, San Francisco, 2007

Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press (podcast)

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Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press is celebrated by an array of public programs at the National Gallery of Art, including lectures, a concert, gallery talks, and a variety of offerings in the Gallery Shops. All programs are free of charge in the East Building Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Featuring 125 working proofs and edition prints produced between 1972 and 2010 at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, one of the most influential printmaking studios of the last half century, Yes, No, Maybe goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration and the role of the imagination to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions. The stages of intaglio printmaking reveal this process in very particular ways. Working proofs record occurrences both deliberate and serendipitous. They are used to monitor and steer a print’s evolution, prompting evaluation and approval, revision, or rejection. Each proof compels a decision: yes, no, maybe. Among the 25 artists represented are those with long ties to Crown Point Press—Richard Diebenkorn, John Cage, Chuck Close, and Sol LeWitt—as well as those whose association is more recent, such as Mamma Andersson, Julie Mehretu, Jockum Nordström, Laura Owens, and Amy Sillman.

The exhibition is on display at the National Gallery through January 5th, 2014.

Judith Brodie, curator and head, department of modern prints and drawings, National Gallery of Art, and Adam Greenhalgh, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, National Gallery of Art
On view at the National Gallery of Art from September 1, 2013, through January 5, 2014, Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press features 125 working proofs and edition prints produced at this printmaking studio—one of the most influential of the last half century—by 25 artists between 1972 and 2010. The exhibition goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration and the role of the imagination to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions. In this lecture recorded on September 8, exhibition curators Judith Brodie and Adam Greenhalgh explain how the stages of intaglio printmaking reveal this process in very particular ways.

 

 

 

Collages by Eugenia Loli

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Here are a few samples of the wonderful collage work of Eugenia Loli, whose work I came across on her Tumblr and then on her Flickr page. Loli spent time working in the technology sector, (yes I can relate to that) before leaving it to pursue her her art career and we’re all grateful that she did. Loli says  her art “with the help of the title, often includes a teasing, visual narrative, as if they’re a still frame of a surreal movie. The viewers are invited to make up the movie’s plot in their mind.” Good news: a lot of her work is for sale online!

 

artwork by Eugenia Loli

collages by Eugenia Loli

 

 

 

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collages by Eugenia Loli

 

 

Die in Despair /  Live in Ecstasy

collages by Eugenia Loli

 

collages by Eugenia Loli

collages by Eugenia Loli

 

 

New Work: Algorithmic, Procedural and Generative Art Sketches – Mark Gould, 2013

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I’ve been working for the last few years using a combination of “creative coding” applications like Processing, thanks in part to the very large community that supports each other in the development and sharing of open source code and new media creation tools. Max/MSP, Quartz Composer and openFrameworks. Although I wrote HTML as a web designer for awhile, I’m not a coder or a programmer and have made a start in part thanks to this wonderul, sharing community and the ability to cut and paste code, tweak it until I’ve gotten satisfactory results, and combined this with more widely used and sophisticated user-interface driven generative and procedural painting applications like Studio Artist 4.

I didn’t originally expect this to be a quick or short learning curve, and therefore I consider the work so far to be more like digital sketching, works in progress and exploratory in nature. Given that I’m not a coder and so much of the beautiful generative art shown at museums and major exhibitions is produced by so many talented coders, I see the process and form of my work continually being refined over time.

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This work combines a number of generative, procedural drawing and algorithmic brush based painting, which means that the the code underlying a brush style modifies and changes in real time depending on variables, such as pen angle, pressure, and mathematical changes that vary “under the hood” while you draw. One could say my work does not fall within the generally supported definition of “generative,” which is to say that it is not done entirely in writing source code using programming languages, databases, data mapping, fractals, chaos theory and an overall aesthetic approach based on concepts of breeding, automatic selection rules and many other factors relating to computational aesthetics. Some of it is, and that work is then merged and layered in with UI-driven computer art software with other work that has been created “manually” with the artist intentionally interceding in the computer’s decision making process, which in many ways would make these images quasi-generative in nature.

 

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Sometime soon I’ll be writing to elaborate on the work going on to give generative software more artist-friendly user interfaces, and what’s available.

And so, part of my exploration here is not just the work itself, much of my intention is to raise questions about exactly what can or can’t be considered generative art, whether the genre can evolve to perhaps include this kind of hybrid work or whether it belongs in a genre of it’s own. At the same time I and other artists are exploring what could be considered processes in digital abstract expressionism, a metaphor that it seems to me fits nicely with the often chaotic, immersive, ever changing nature of generative art. What I often think about is opposed to paint drips, while the medium is digital the process is random, playful and the underlying code creates “algorithm drips.” It may be presumptuous for me to define it as anything, and let others be the judge.

 

 

 

New Work: Mark Gould Photography – San Francisco Stratford Hotel

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o.k. back to tending to the blog after a break. Doing a lot of photography and getting some great new shots in SF. Here’s an edit of one taken downtown last week. All images are for sale as large format prints on archival art papers at this gallery store:

 

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