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Posts Tagged ‘greg cook’

Greg Cook has a lovely story at WBUR’s “The Artery” on Boston artist Nate Swain’s Zen garden.

Swain tells the reporter, ” ‘I worked driving a tour trolley in Charlestown, and I drove over that bridge every day to go to work, and looked down … I went down there not even knowing what I wanted to do.’

“At the edge of the Charles River, near the North Washington Street Bridge, by the dock in front of the Residence Inn by Marriott on the east end of the park, he’s been assembling ‘Low Tide City’ or ‘Barnacle City.’ It’s ‘a little city’ of bricks and stones that disappears under the river and appears when the tide goes out. ‘I realized it could be an art piece about sea level change,’ he says. ‘People could watch it flood and imagine Boston could do that if sea level rises.’

“And right under the Zakim Bridge, Swain realized he could rake the existing expanse of gravel he found there into patterns, much like a traditional Zen rock garden, to create ‘Zen Under the Zakim.’ He says, ‘If you really sit there and you listen to all the noise, some of the traffic, even though it’s really noisy, it does sound like ocean waves.’ …

” ‘I try to find places where I can do art without asking permission. In Boston, there’s so much bureaucracy. There’s no room for spontaneity. … With all the bureaucracy and the permission-asking, it sucks all the energy and all the inspiration out of the art piece itself.’ …

” ‘I have this theory,’ he adds, ‘if you put something up beautiful and colorful and fun, in good taste, uplifting, it will stay and everyone will love it and no one will bat an eye.’ ”

More here.

Photo: Greg Cook
Nate Swain’s “Zen Under the Zakim” in 2015.

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Martin Del Vecchio narrates his beautiful drone shots of Gloucester, Mass.

As Greg Cook writes at WBUR’s show the Artery, drones have as many uses as human creativity can devise, some good, some not so good.

He focuses on the photography and art applications. “In April, a graffiti artist going by the name KATSU used a customized drone to (illegally) scrawl paint high up on a Manhattan billboard that had been thought inaccessible to taggers. A video posted to YouTube in March, shows a bicyclist riding high up along a cliff in (according to the post) Sedona, Arizona. People have brought back astonishing footage from flying drones into fireworks and active volcanoes.

“Video by video, drones are transforming how we see the world — and this new view is changing how we understand the world.

“ ‘It’s not a fad,’ says Randy Scott Slavin, founder of the New York City Drone Film Festival. ‘Flying cameras are here to stay for sure. Because the perspective they get is great.’ …

“[Slavin] fell for drones when he got a Phantom a few years back. ‘I would shoot everywhere I went. Every time I went on vacation, I would shoot,’ he says. ‘Before I knew it, I started showing it to some of my director friends and they were like, “Shoot for me.” ‘ ”

Helen Greiner, CEO of Massachusetts-based Drone maker CyPhy Works says, “You’re just seeing the world the way a bird sees.” More here.

Photo: Greg Cook/WBUR
As drones have become cheaper and easier to fly, many people, like Martin Del Vecchio of Gloucester, are exploring the creative possibilities.

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Judith Ross, who also has a WordPress blog, saw a story she knew I would like. It’s about a Mass College of Art professor who got an idea for a quiet little memorial to Trayvon Martin.

Greg Cook writes at WBUR radio’s The Artery, “For about four years, Matthew Hincman had been eyeing the old stump of a lamppost at the corner of Eliot and Centre streets in Jamaica Plain’s Monument Square. It stood there, with two screws sticking pointing up, as if calling for something to go on top. …

“And he got to thinking about the granite monument tower on the other side of the square to a couple dozen West Roxbury men who died in the Civil War. …

“ ‘Who do we memorialize?’ he began to ask himself. ‘Why do we memorialize them in the public space?’

“And so it happened that a couple Wednesdays ago, right in the middle of the day, the Boston sculptor arrived with an assistant and proceeded, without permission from any official authorities, to attach a small, secret, cylindrical metal thing atop that lamppost.

“On its flat top is a low relief depicting a hoodie sweatshirt cast to the ground. … For Hincman, it’s a street art monument to Trayvon Martin.”

Read about other art projects by Hincman at The Artery, here. I like his stealth approach to many of them.

Photo: Michael Hincman
A street art monument to Trayvon Martin

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