Monthly Archives: July 2010

Dear's Black City

Black City

For his new album, Black City, D.J. Matthew Dear is taking an innovative approach to product packaging. Boym Partners designers have transformed the language of Dear’s desperate metropolis into stylized and anonymous totems inscribed with a code that will provide digital access to the album’s lovelorn and dystopian tracks (available only in digital format). That this object-interpretation of sound occurs as a faceless geometry signifies the collaborative nature of meaning-making, integrating sound and form into the singular and individual process of consumption. As Dear distorts the city and its productive emotions, the listener derives and creates his experience within the space of this template.

Kodachrome retires.

1990’s plastic Kodachrome slide mount (Wikipedia)

Kodak announced the retirement of the color-reversal film Kodachrome last week. In production since 1935, Kodachrome initially functioned as movie film but was quickly adapted for use in slide manufacture. Responding to a visual culture increasingly reliant upon digital technology, Kodak ceased manufacture of Kodachrome in late 2009 with photojournalist Steve McMurry shooting the last roll Kodak produced. The images acquired on this ultimate roll will be developed and archived at the George Eastman House.

For more information on the discontinuance of Kodachrome visit the Kodak website.

UT Researchers Map Oil Spill


The oil slick as seen from space by NASA’s Terra satellite on May 24, 2010.

With descriptions of the Gulf of Mexico’s coastline that Clint Dawson, head of the Computational Hydraulics group at UT, used for hurricane simulations, a team of researchers hoped to model the spread of oil into the complex landscape of marshes and wetlands.

The team received emergency funding from the National Science Foundation and TeraGrid. Researchers used resources from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to complete the simualtion. Once the 3D model is up and running, it can help inform emergency response teams as they work to predict how potential hurricanes may draw the oil inland.

Read more about the ground-breaking research here.

Sustainable Sites Initiative


The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) has recently selected 175 pilot projects to test a national rating system for sustainalbe landscape design. The Project is a partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden

“The pilot projects include corporate headquarters, botanic gardens, streetscapes, federal buildings and public parks that vary in scope from several thousand dollar budgets on less than one acre to multimillion dollar efforts affecting hundreds of acres. These projects will restore habitats, rehabilitate landfills, clean and store stormwater, lower the urban heat island effect, create outdoor educational opportunities at schools and reconnect neighborhoods to parks and public transportation.”

Read more about the 175 sites selected here.