Earlier this month, Susan and I drove down to Houston for the annual Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s 20th annual Art Car Parade. This is one largest and oldest art car events in the world. About the only place you’re likely to see bigger and stranger moving art would Burning Man. There were over 200 art cars and an estimated 200,000 people in town to see them. I shot a lot of photos but only managed to shoot a fraction of what was there. Time to upgrade from a 2GB to 4GB XD card, I think! If you want to get an idea of what went on, check out my 2007 Houston Art Car Parade photos. You can also find pics of most of the cars in the official photo gallery on the Orange Show website. A local Houston friend of mine put together a little art car video of the event.
As I stepped out of the Deep Ellum Subway where I ate lunch today, I saw a wondrously strange vehicle drive past. It was a Chrysler covertible covered in bovine-themed mosaic tile, with a giant, longhorn and barbed wire hood ornament thing, and driven by a beautiful girl. We briefly made eye contact as she passed. As she drove away, I noticed the words “Cow Goddess” emblazoned on the back of the cow car. Moo.
Are robots art? I think so. The 2006 Tanner Robot Show was held recently and I shot a few photos there too (if you want more, Tanner’s posted some official photos of the event). I’m particularly fond of Ron’s pink bunny-laden robot, though Frank’s Zombarbie also stands out.
I’m still enjoying my Fuji S5200. While I miss some of the flexibility and image quality of my good ol’ Canon T90 film camera, I don’t miss the cost of film processing.
Last week was another busy week. Lots of Perl and a smaller amount of C programming. More progress on robots.net. The robomenu is now working. The robomenu is a database of robots with photos and descriptions. I’ve only managed to get about half the records into the database (they were originally static pages) but it is online and seems to be holding up okay so far. I’m using PostgreSQL as the database and a Perl DBI program to generate a set of static pages every night. I’m still working on the interface that will allow users to submit new robots but that should online within a week or so.
On Saturday Susan and I got to see Dmitry Sitkovetsky as guest conductor of the Dallas Symphony. He conducted the DSO in four pieces of Chamber music by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Shostakovich. The Shostakovich piece was a transcription for Chamber Orchestra of the String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110 and was particularly good. We tried unsuccessfully to find a CD of the piece Sunday. We’ll probably have to order it on Amazon or catch a used one on eBay sometime.
We spent a while at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival on Sunday. Lots of live music including a group from Central America playing some sort of traditional folk music with lots of curious instruments. There were some Celtic bands, some Jazz groups, and quite a selection of local rock groups – like Baby Jane Hudson and Eden Automatic. The weather was great for a day outside and most of the people had brought their dogs. I think we saw at least one of every possible kind of dog while we were there. It was an Art festival so there was quite a bit to see in the Arts and Crafts department as well, though the weirdest aspect of the whole thing was a collection of Art Cars from all over. There was a Van covered in bright orange stucko, a car decked out to look like the yellow submarine, and several cars that I guess you’d call debris cars. One was covered with plastic toys like Godzillas, Boba Fetts, and Mr T dolls. Another was completely covered by sea shells with a variety of rubber octopi and other sea creatures attached. One had a back seat uplostered in one and five dollar bills and an outside covered with quarters, nickels, dimes, and an assortment of jewlery. Weird stuff.