The Scatterbrained Syncretist

playing link tennis in cloudcuckooland








Sunday March 3, 2002

Hello. I live in the world. This presents problems. I will demonstrate:

I am a person. I have a name. I live somewhere. I do things and I know people. People are the hard part.

No, No, No! This sounds too familiar. Rewind.

Happy Hina Matsuri!

There is some action in cloudcuckooland. Saturday I posted this story about a new video game:

"Destroying enemies in patterns results in more elaborate sounds and effects, literally creating the music and the graphics on the fly."

The game designers mention Kandinsky as an inspiration...particularly, his synthesis of sight and sound. Eddie replied to the article with a link to a Kandinsky page and the next thing I knew, we were emailing back and forth with examples of musical paintings and links to articles about the different artists...sort of link tennis.

At least the musicians in cloudcuckooland played the game. The visual artists ignored the whole thing. I suppose musicians have more experience being creative in groups than the painters who pursue their creativity in a more solitary fashion. Musicians (like gamers) like to improvise and the call and response nature of this game employed the medium of time...just like music does.

Thinking about paintings that look like they were painted by musicians, I'm struck by how many there are and by how uncommon they are. Many artist have painted musical subjects...but usually in unmusical ways. Some painters say that they like to paint to musical accompaniment.

Maybe the dedication that it takes to excel at something like painting requires the sacrifice of other abilities and interests. Narrow specialization is the price of expertise. This would explain a lot.


Monday March 4, 2002

I'm playing Final Fantasy X and I think it is getting close to the, I might not be around much for a while. Anyway, the server that relays cloudcuckooland messages is down.


Wednesday March 6, 2002

Final Fantasy X wasn't very exciting...just leveling up the characters before the (I expect) final confrontation with evil. Maybe the flu keeps me from being excited. After all of that discussion generated by that article about Rez, I decided to get the game and see how successfully the developers created a synaesthetic experience. So, I went to the game store at Copley Place and tried to buy a copy.

The slacker behind the counter said, "We don't carry that. We got a few copies in...but they're gone."

"Are you planning to get more in stock?"


On to plan B. I went to the game store at the Prudential Center nearby to see if they had a copy.

"Do you have Rez for Playstation 2?"

"We only had a few copies and they are gone."

"When do expect to have it back in stock?"

"We don't."

"Really? If it sold out, shouldn't you be trying to get more in stock?"

He handed me a business card for the store and suggested I go online to see if they have any copies in their warehouse. He was standing in front of a computer that he could have used to check inventory. I left the store wondering if the recession wasn't deep enough for people to be concerned about keeping their jobs. I located a used copy on and expect it in a week.


Thursday May 9, 2002

Yesterday, the new design by Rem Koolhaas for the EU flag was revealed to the world. In cloudcuckooland we had some discussion about the strange idea that "unity" and "diversity" could be expressed by 45 parallel straight lines. I thought that the "bar code" was reductionist...that it ignored the unique history and nature of the member states. This stripping away national particularness was also seen in the EU currency if "unity" were a simple matter of eliminating all human character. Scary.

Paul and Eddie each proposed their own modifications. Eddie's "Euro Jack" brought to mind Jasper Johns. I wondered how various artists would have treated this flag design.

Eddie replied, "Hahaha! Amish Quiltmakers! whaa! I missed out on photoshop tennis. Since the new flag would be a drag for schoolkids to draw and paint why not just go all the way and make it impossible...".

Meanwhile, Paul emailed, "France and Italy have both submitted versions of the Euro-flag, and appear to be having a row over it."

Eddie (ever helpful) replied, "...and Paul, what a drag, lets help those EU guys a bit with a new flag design a "Do it yourself theme". There should be another tab for languages."

Oh yeah...I did get Rez. I'll try to tell you about it when I have a little more time. I still haven't finished Final Fantasy X...figures.


Don't Get Me Started