Timeline of Cubism

View Picasso, Braque and Gris side by side over time.

Libeskind DAM


Construction & finished photos from Libeskind's first building in America, from March 2004 to its opening week in October 2006.


The Fragmentation of Afghanistan, Barnett R. Rubin

Yale Global Online

From the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization

Space Facets

The Spacewatch asteroid detection program has picked up images of fragments thought to be from NASA's CONTOUR comet probe. Story by William Harwood for CBS.

5-sided computer display

"The nsider is an experimental multiperspective display. The nsider presents a viewing space using four screens mounted as the front, sides, and top of a box."


Stephen Linhart's Mondrimat lets you "experiment with space, color and visual rhythm in accordance with the theories of Piet Mondrian."

Cubogeologic Note

A note on the inherent cubism of the ground we walk on.

Cubists Launch Unnavigable Web Site Conceptual Realism Dominates Site No One Will Be Able to Use Anyway


Easy Virtual Vanity Plates Click Here


Hoopster Picasso

android fragmentation


Android Fragmentation Threatens Major Platform

Chloe Albanesius reports in PCmag.com (March 20,2012) that fragmentation is causing 'Slow Erosion' of Google popular mobile operating system. She had earlier (Jan 10, 2012) reported the Eric Schmidt perfers the word "diferentiation" for what is happening. For details read Jamie Lendino's article on Android Fragmentation. The faster product cycles of the cellphone biz make this kind of fragmentation more serious than Microsoft's long-time habit of turning the monopoly opportunity in a polymono.


TV Debate Babel: "1/2 Minute Spurts of Ankle Chewing"

Daniel Henninger in the WSJ, writing about the Republican presidential debates, says: "Honey, we've shrunk the biggest U.S. eletion in memory to half-minute spurts of ankle-chewing. Something's wrong with this picture." The numerous candidates and TV's fragmenting production habits combine to produce extremely trivial debates. They preclude anything of substance emerging. The formula is obedient to the horse-race metaphor, consigning meaningful candidates to a meaningless role as non-contenders. Democracy is not well served by using the entertainment industry for its civic dialogue.



Bigdata: Beyond simple layering and into unstructured data, exploring uncharted oceans of information

Big data is a new discipline and business sector dealing with data sets so large that common software tools are inadequate for the tasks of analysis. The 9/14/11 Wall Street Journal reports on funds raised for Opera Solutions LLC, a player in this field. Dennis Berman relates that Hewlett-Packard's move away from hardware is matched by its interest in big data. They have purchased a company, Autonomy Corp., that manipulates "unstructured data." That is data that does not have a defined data model. Berman calls it data that is not in a database; it might be in viedo, text or images. New techniques of data visualization are being explored by companies such as IBM to make such analysis possible. The goal of work on this frontier is to see significant patterns in the oceans of data.

simply cross hairs


Navigating the Landscape of Signs

It is a lively time for semiotics. Crosshairs can be simply cartographic language or maybe they are an incitement to violence. In any case they certainly have become a code word for the emergence of gun rhetoric on the political poles in America. One example is Sharon Angle's quote on "Second Ammendent Remedies" : "I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who's in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical."

Polarization is a natural danger of the human search for security and love of simple forms. We all need to take care in navigating the landscape of signs, symbols and stories. Demonizing the Other gets ugly fast. Stories of imminent tyranny lubricate the delusional. Click here for our "Simply Cross Hairs" shirts and mugs.



Monitoring the Mash-up Meme

Laura DeNardis, at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, 10/22/10, reports on Aram Sinnreich and his book Mashed Up: Music, Technology, and the Rise of Configurable Culture. Cubistro first noted the cubism of mash-up culture in 2002.

"'Mashed Up' chronicles the rise of 'configurability,' an emerging musical and cultural moment rooted in today s global, networked communications infrastructure.  Based on interviews with dozens of prominent DJs, attorneys, and music industry executives, the book argues that today s battles over sampling, file sharing, and the marketability of new styles such as mash-ups and techno presage social change on a far broader scale.

Specifically, the book suggests the emergence of a new ethic of configurable collectivism; an economic reunion of labor; a renegotiation of the line between public and private; a shift from linear to recursive logic; and a new 'DJ consciousness,' in which the margins are becoming the new mainstream. Whether these changes are sudden or gradual, violent or peaceful, will depend on whether we heed the lessons of configurability, or continue to police and punish the growing ranks of the mashed up."

Read Aram Sinnreich's writing on this subject here.


The Big Slice — "Total transparency leads to party fracturing. Information dings unity."

The citizens' are fueling their themselves on an information-rich brew, thanks to the internet. So argues Peggy Noonan this year. And the effect on our traditional two parties is precisely what Applied Cubism predicts; forceful diagonals slicing through old units, with a new transparency revealing curious overlaps.

"The Democratic Party right now is showing signs of coming apart under the pressure of the election and two years of an unpopular presidency. But it's not split in two with the left versus the establishment. It's more like splintering with left-leaning activists distancing themselves from the party's politicians, and moderate politicians distancing themselves from Mr. Obama.

And part of what's driving it is what's driving the evolution of the Republican Party. The internet changes everything. Everyone has facts now, knows who voted and why. New thought leaders spring up and lead in new directions. Total transparency leads to party fracturing. Information dings unity. We are in new territory." (Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 10/1/10)

The Tea Party threatened to split the Republican party. But in the recent election it both did and did not. The tea party did not bolt from the Republicans and it did underpin the Republican bums-out assault on Washington. There were also some interesting fracturing events visible in the election. Colorado's Tancredo split from the Republicans to try to push the Tea-Party Republican Dan Maes out of the race; Maes did not quit; the Democrat Hickenlooper won, taking lots of Republican votes with him. Florida saw different version of that three-way story, with the Tea-Party Republican winning in spite of another Republican in the race.


TV Fragmentation Proceeds Apace

Amy Chozick in the Wall Street Journal (10/15/10) reports on the continuing fragmentation of the TV landscape as cable provides space for programs whose appeal is too small for the networks. She quotes Jeff Malvoin (Army Wives) "Broadcast used to be like the sun, and everything else was the satellites around the sun. Now, I feel like the sun has exploded and no one knows how many little solar systems will be formed."


Quote Stuffing and the Flash Crash

The Futurists' beloved speed combines with the Cubists' excitement about new ways to use fragments in this strange story of innovation in the world of financial trading. The SEC wants to find out if the practice of quote stuffing could have had anything to do with the May 6, 2010 "flash crash."

"Traders say the phenomenon of huge bursts of orders flooding stocks and then getting canceled has risen with the growth of high-speed computerized trading in recent years. … These issues are among the latest to have emerged as stock trading has become dominated by super-fast computer systems used by hedge funds. At the same time, the once-clubby world of a handful of stock exchanges has evolved into many more decentralized, loosely connected, high-speed electronic trading networks.

But the risks of high-speed crashes became clear during the so-called flash crash. And as the questions being asked about quote-stuffing suggest, the combination of powerful computers and fragmented stock markets may have opened the door to new trading tactics that regulators are finding hard to track and police." Wall Street Journal, by Tom Lauricella and Jenny Strasburg, September 1, 2010


Degenerative Fragmentation: The Internet Hurts

Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains) argues that the internet is taking negative advantage of brain plasticity to weaken our ability to concentrate and achieve the focus required for intellectual achievement. Chasing the fragments delivered by networked media fully absorbs the multi-tasker's nimble but simple minds, he says, re-mapping the brain in the process to a new form of shallowness and stupidity.


Optimal Fragmentation: the Internet Helps

Clay Shirky (Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age) argues that the internet's low-friction networking of millions of minds creates a new "cognitive surplus," overcoming the constraints of older ways of ordering human knowledge. He believes that the intellectual benefits of this surplus will outweigh the accompanying burst of stupid or trivial output that so characterizes the internet, and which similarly characterized the emergence of the printed page.

He compares this transition to the emergence of science in the west, an event that rode the printing press to create peer-reviewed discourse, overcoming earlier monopolies of knowledge with the overlapping efforts of many minds in feedback loops of learning.

He points to open-source coding and Wikipedia as early examples of internet-driven innovation. He also cites the 20th century's temporary absorption of its leisure-based cognitive surplus by television, an attention-monopoly now broken into fragments by the internet.


Optimal Fragmentation: Break-up of Standard Oil in 1911

The cubist era saw one of the great examples of optimal fragmentation in the breakup of a famous monopoly, the world's first multi-national corporation, Standard Oil. In 1911 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling in a suit by the U.S. Department of Justice under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.

The fragments of Standard Oil became such familiar names as Exxon, Mobil, Chevron. The fragmentation released innovations as the rigid structures of Standard Oil's management, which were at one time responsible for the success of both the company and the industry, gave way to the innovations of varied and younger minds.

For example, the process of thermal cracking, an innovation of chemist William Burton, allowed the creation of much more gasoline from a barrel of crude. His work was resisted by "26 Broadway," the home of Standard Oil management, but was embraced by the fragment, Standard of Indiana, after the breakup. This occurred just as oil was making its transition from being an illumination fuel to being a transportation fuel with the rise of the automobile.

Another benefit accrued to the retired creator of Standard OIl, John D. Rockefeller. As principal stockholder of the fragments, whose value rose significantly, he became even wealthier.


Framentation Health Flaw in Pre-Cut Produce

The Washington Post quotes Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, on cross-contamination, saying "you're taking lettuce that could be grown in different areas and batching it together. ... If you've got one infected field, you're mixing it with lettuce that would otherwise be uninfected, and now the whole batch is contaminated."

hive mind


Mashup Textbooks for the "Hive Mind"

Macmillan announced software to allow college teachers to customize textbooks to their whims and news. L. Gordon Crovitz reports in The Wall Street Journal on this new trend of collaged author-obscured instruction. He quotes internet expert and pioneer Jaron Lanier: ""Authors, journalists, musicians and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind."

small nukes


Get Small: Nuclear Power to Fragment into Many Little Pieces

The nuclear power infrastructure is preparing to fragment into numerous smaller, simpler reactors. The high cost and siting problems of larger plants combine with the potential for simpler designs in these smaller power plants. They can also solve transmission problems for some remote areas needing more electricity.

The World Nuclear Association reports the following:

"The most advanced modular project is in China, where Chinergy is preparing to build the 210 MWe HTR-PM, which consists of twin 250 MWt reactors. In South Africa, Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (Pty) Limited and Eskom have been developing the pebble bed modular reactor (PBMR) of 200 MWt (80 MWe). ...
Another significant line of development is in very small fast reactors of under 50 MWe. Some are conceived for areas away from transmission grids and with small loads; others are designed to operate in clusters in competition with large units.
Already operating in a remote corner of Siberia are four small units at the Bilibino co-generation plant. … They produce steam for district heating and 11 MWe (net) electricity each."
Scientific American: Less Is More for Designers of "Right-Sized" Nuclear Reactors
Wall Street Journal: Small Reactors Generate Big Hopes
Technology Review: Small Nukes
New York Times: Company Calls New Small Nuclear Reactor a "Game Changer"


Chunky-Lit Manifesto Promotes Fragments for the Self-Aware Scrap Book

Sam Sacks review of David Shields's "Reality Hunger" in the Wall Street Journal offers these quotes:
"The novel is dead. Long live the antinovel, built from scraps."
"My intent is to write the ars poetica for a burgeoning group of interrelated (but unconnected) artists in a multitude of forms and media… who are breaking larger and larger chunks of 'reality' into their work."
Reality Hunger blends 617 fragments from other writers, with Shields's own edits enhancing the mash, in the author's effort at self-referential, self-aware artifice.

livre, pipe et verres


Trend Chart

NYT Trender charts word-usage trends in the New York Times. The images on the right link to articles with the search terms. The NY Times' developer network has a gallery of such web2.0 apps.

livre, pipe et verres


Juan Gris Painting Sells for Record Price

The painting, "“Livre, pipe et verres,” from 1915 sold at auction last fall as the recession took hold for $21,000,000.



News Cubed

Marcos Weskamp has designed a web app, Newsmap, that displays Google News aggregation as one page of rectangles. The size of the rectangles reflects the number of articles related to the story in Google News' aggregation.

american cubist influences

Cubism Centennial: Cubist Influences in American Art

The Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe is showing "The Cubist Impulse in American Art," August 7 - September 12, 2009, highlighting artworks from the the early twentieth-century by American painters who were influenced by this avant-garde revolution. The exhibition includes over 35 artworks by both nationally acclaimed and regional artists, including Raymond Jonson, Andrew Dasburg, John Marin and Sturart Davis.


Pick up the Pieces

Web2 tech helps browsing the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's collection. This data-driven Flash app is an interface that entertains. Be sure to use the "plus" button in the upper right nav just under "SFMOMA ArtScope."


Nissan Cube

Assymmetrical design arrives for exterior. (We've always had assymetrical steering-wheel placement.)


Sliced-n-diced Mag: Time Mine

"Want a mag made especially for you? It's easy: pick 5 magazines and we'll do the rest. Within 2 weeks you'll get the first of 5 issues of Mine. Each issue will include stories tailored specifically to your interests."


New York Times to Fragment "Newspaper" via API

The venerable paper will soon be found in little peices all over the web. The New York Times has announced it is going to provide and API (application programming interface) that will allow anyone to search and display articles from a database of 2.8 million published by what this sometime "newspaper" since 1981. Steve Myers reports on this event at PoynterOnline.


Cubistro Falls Asleep for Eight Months

It's hard not to get distracted these days.

Center Column Images The images are by artist John Boak, executive director of the Institute of Applied Cubism. [TOP OF PAGE]