The Task of the Artist

“At this point words become inadequate and I return to the great discovery I began preparing you for, the knowledge of the one surface with which the world offered itself to this art. Offered, but not yet gave. Accepting it would (and still does) require endless work.

Consider for a moment how much work would be required for an artist who wished to master all surfaces; after all, no one thing is just like another. He wasn’t concerned with knowing the body in general, nor the face or the hand (none of which exists anyhow); but rather all bodies, all faces, all hands. This is a task! And how simple and serious it is, how completely devoid of temptation and promise; how completely unpretentious.

A craft develops that appears to be that of an immortal; it is so broad, so infinite and beyond boundaries, and so dedicated to a process of constant learning. Where to find a patience adequate to this craft?”

From “Rodin” by Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Daniel Slager)

winter arrives in denver

snowy denver
Denver boosters (and I’ve been known to be one of them) like to talk about 300 days of sunshine. Today is not one of those days, and it looks like tomorrow won’t be either. Could end up with 18 inches or more once this thing is over sometime tomorrow. Appropriate for the solstice.

Update (Saturday, 23 December): Well, it ended up being about 24 inches of snow, and it pretty much brought the city to a standstill. I’ve uploaded a set of photos to Flickr.

Portland’s Enchanted Gardens

There’s an article in the New York Times today on my favorite place to visit in Portland (which is one of my favorite places to visit). The Chinese gardens in the Rose District is absolutely enchanting, very meditative, and a lovely place to have a cup of tea and a red bean cake. As it says on the Portland Chinese Garden website (quoting Wen Zhengming), “Most cherished in this mundane world is a place without traffic; truly in the midst of a city there can be mountain and forest.”

Denver Art Museum Lecture Series

Neo is coming to town!

Next year will be exciting for those interested in art in Denver. Besides the opening of the David Adjaye building for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (sometime next year, rumor has it), there is also going to be a terrific lecture series at the DAM. Here’s the list:

Jan. 18, Ed Ruscha
Feb. 15, Eric Fischl
March 15, Betty Woodman
April 19, Fang Lijun
May 17, Enrique Martínez Celaya
July 19, Jennifer Steinkamp
Sept. 20, Neo Rauch
Oct. 19, George Condo
Nov. 15, Matthew Ritchie
Dec. 13, Gottfried Helnwein

More info is available in Kyle MacMillan’s column in the Post.

Ravi Zupa

parts and labor
Last night Jill and I went to the new Watercourse location on 17th (comfort food for vegetarians, yum) and saw the artwork of this guy, Ravi Zupa, on the walls.

As yet another example of the interconnectedness of all things (serendipity), it turns out that Jill had been looking at his work earlier in the day. Of course, Jill is awfully hooked in to what’s happening in art and music, but still. This guy is seriously talented; he does paintings and videos (which are hilarious) – I took this image from a music video for Rubber Traits, which is the best video with dogs in it I’ve seen in a long time. Check it out at his site:

The Semantic Web

I think there might be something to this blog thing.

Last night, I put up a blog for our local buddhist group at – I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. Ms. Jill Hadley Hooper did the intro animation and the backgrounds, and we worked together on the layout and design.

I am pretty impressed with WordPress, the blogging, or “semantic personal publishing platform” as they call it, I am using for the Zen Denver site (and this one); there is a remarkable amount of flexibility and scalability; from a design perspective, it is a pretty powerful tool.

It doesn’t get rid of the need to understand html, css, stylesheets, and the like, but it does abstract the content layer from the presentation layer. And it does it for free.

It is certainly a welcome addition to the toolchest for someone interested in contextual (device independent) display of content.

Denver (Green) Development

Green Print Denver
Local designer and friend Jenny Thomas has a post on today about greenprint denver, which is mayor hickenlooper’s approach to sustainable development in the city. Jenny seems pretty positive about the project, saying that Denver may be “poised to become a leader in energy efficiency.” Here’s hoping.

Also, the Denver infill blog has information on the latest developments in Highland and over in River North. According to the site, the Denargo market project will have over 2,000 residential units.

Living Cultural Storybases

I saw this on the worldchanging blog today:

According to their website at, the purpose of the organization is as follows:

To nurture the oral heritage of minority cultures in a digital world by combining:

• A trustworthy participatory process that engages and empowers the youth, dispersed communities and displaced members of minority cultures to embrace and grow their traditional narratives.


• A generalizable technology which provides appropriate, two-way access for all the population and a dynamic audio database architecture that reflects the culture, inviting further contributions and stimulating internal social debate.

Pretty good idea, I say.

Highland Bridge opens December 16th

Big happenings in the neighborhood; after waiting numerous years, folks on our side of the freeway will be able to walk downtown without being brushed back by buses. This morning I saw a nice note on the subject on The description below comes from the HUNI (Highland United Neighborhoods, Inc.) newsletter.

From 10 a.m. to noon on December 16, 2006, Denver residents and business owners will celebrate the completion of the Highland Pedestrian Bridge with a bridge lighting ceremony and other festivities. The celebration will honor years of tireless effort by local residents, business owners, and City Council members who have worked long and hard to make this day a reality. Expected to attend the commemoration is Mayor Hickenlooper, along with many past and present Denver City Council representatives who have contributed to the project’s completion.

The Highland Pedestrian Bridge is the last in a series of three bridges that connects Highland, via 16th Street, to Civic Center Park. Business owners on both sides of the bridge are eager to participate in the festivities and have agreed to light their storefronts and decorate buildings in the area. Everyone is hoping for a large turnout from the community, so come on down on December 16 and walk across the
bridge with your neighbors.

The bridge lighting is the first of two events to celebrate the spirit of unity the bridge has come to represent.The second is in its planning phase and is likely to occur in early to mid spring.The concept is a “spring stroll,” where residents from Denver and surrounding areas are encouraged to take full advantage of the completed pedestrian bridge network. For more information or to get involved, please contact Kathryn Orion at 303.458.8960 or e-mail her at