“I’m a vexillologist,” an older gentlemen said to me on the BART train platform, “and I’ve never seen that.”
He handed me his card. Vexillology is the study of flag symbolism.
I was on my way to the Oakland Women’s March carrying a large American flag that I had handmade several years ago. I’d never taken it out of my studio. The flag is regulation-sized (3×5 feet) and totally official, except that I reversed the colors: the blue star field turned light yellow, red turned turquoise, and white turned black.
The Inverse U.S Flag Illusion
The inverse U.S. flag is a classic optical illusion, and I’d first come across it in a book of visual Continue reading →
Exploring something fully sometimes requires destroying it, like the dissection of a cadaver or the excavation of an archaeological site. Once the secrets it holds have been revealed, it can never be put back together.
Geodes–plain-looking, round rocks whose hollow insides are lined with crystals–are ubiquitous enough in museum stores and gem shops that they are easy to overlook. Small, glittering geode slices are found in jewelry; larger ones often quartered for bookends, and the largest are propped up for photo ops. Its designs are occasionally used in mating rituals–e.g., lips and cakes–of high-ranking humans.
A little over a year ago, I stumbled upon a “Break your own geode kit” on Amazon for $24.95. I’m not affiliated with whatever industrial complex is able to Continue reading →
The thermal camera is the fourth in my series of extra-sensory cameras (after underwater, micro, and trail cam), and it comes closest to actually extending the senses: you can literally see something that would otherwise require the sense of touch. Continue reading →
While gathering photos from my 2011 Bushnell hunting camera for my most recent post, I was overcome with desire to start placing a camera outside again. Had the animals in the yard changed? How could I use the camera differently? Continue reading →
In the previous post, Exploring the Secrets of a Color Blind Artist’s Work, a closer look at Brian Brooks’s paintings offers clues to how he sees the world differently. This post explores the trajectory of his paintings after he became more aware of color blindness.
How a deeper awareness of color blindness influenced Brian’s work
After realizing that Brian’s color blindness was frustrating the painting process, I suggested he paint with a limited palette. He had never considered this. Continue reading →