A Psychedelic Temple for the Ages

I’m not quite sure how I missed this story by Drew Zeiba in The Architect’s Newspaper in June. It begins:

Tucked away on a tree-studded, 40-acre plot just a quarter mile from the Hudson River, one of New York’s most unusual construction projects is underway. The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM)—a transdenominational church and registered nonprofit—has been constructing the Entheon: “A place to discover god within.”

The piece, which has many images of the construction, such as the one above, continues:

As with the foundation of the Greys’ relationship and their church, psychedelics and entactogens play a central role in the eccentric design of the Entheon. It was, in fact, a (then legal) shared MDMA experience that showed the Greys they should not sell their work, but rather build a chapel to share it with a “worldwide love tribe.”

But by far the most amazing sentence is this:

Selecting a point on their 40-acre plot that aligns with the solar plexus of a projected goddess, “the kabbalistic sephirot of justice,” CoSM has begun converting a former carriage house into a three-level, 12,000-square-foot concrete structure replete with modern amenities, including an ADA-compliant elevator.

Remarkable. Here’s more on the CoSM church and the Entheon itself.

Reading the story, I couldn’t help but think: It seems like this would an extraordinarily frightening place to visit while under the influence of psychoactive substances.


Weekend Watercolors: Bangkok Temples

The latest in my ongoing weekend attempts to master* the watercolor medium.

Here we see temples in Bangkok, with skyscrapers in the background, done from a reference photo.

I like that I was able to keep everything in proportion in the line drawing. I’d hoped for bolder, more saturated colors, but couldn’t seem to produce them without adding gobs of paint and muddying things up. Perhaps higher quality pigments will help.

Watercolor painting is deeply humbling. The colors seem to have a mind of their own, and how they end up appearing once laid done seems highly unpredictable. But that’s also what creates the unexpected effects, which is cool.

Onward and upward!

*Ha. I’d settle for “become proficient in”! 🙂

Books Tech

Book Coming Out Later This Year: ‘The Art of Atari’

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“The Art of Atari,” a book by pop culture author Robert V. Conte and designer Tim Lapetino set for publication in October, looks really amazing.

From the description on Amazon:

Sourced from private collections worldwide, this book spans over 40 years of the company’s unique illustrations used in packaging, advertisements, catalogs, and more.


The Art of Atari includes behind-the-scenes details on how dozens of games featured within were conceived of, illustrated, approved (or rejected), and brought to life!

There’s more artwork to marvel at on the book’s official site,

(Via Kottke.)


My Favorite Artist at Art Stage Singapore: Yang Yongliang

In my post a couple of weeks ago about Art Stage Singapore, the annual Asia-focused exhibition held here, I promised to post some more photos.

Here goes.

I really, really enjoyed walking around the space and taking in all the varied works. These iPhone snapshots are meant to show a sampling of what was on display.

For a bit of context, here’s a WSJ story (not by me) providing an overview of this year’s exhibition. And here’s one from last year.

There’s also a story about Art Stage Singapore from ArtNews and a post with a bunch of images Hanoi Grapevine.

I was most struck by the works shown here at the top. They were highly realistic, incredibly detailed, and oddly futuristic.

I didn’t note the artist’s name at the time, but learned later — thanks to Instagram user Harsha — that they were done by Chinese artist Yang Yongliang.

Of course, I should have known — I tweeted about and linked to some of his artwork in this link round-up in early 2013.

I loved seeing the pieces in person. Here’s a video with more about him.

The rest of the photos show other artwork that caught my eye.

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Singapore Tech

Highly Recommended: Art Stage Singapore

Yesterday A and I attended the final day of Art Stage Singapore, held at the Marina Bay Sands exhibition center.

It’s an art fair where galleries from all over the world display various works, with a focus on Asian contemporary art.

Here are a few of my Tweets from yesterday about pieces with technological* themes.

This just scratches the surface of some of the remarkable artwork we saw.

I’ll post more here, on my Instagram account, or on my Flickr photostream soon…

*Here’s more on steampunk.


A polished version of the vintage Thailand travel poster

You may recall that I pointed out a striking vintage Thailand travel poster back in January.

The image comes from the Boston Public Library’s collection of travel posters, viewable on Flickr.

Here’s the poster again:

2011 01 18 siam travel

Fast forward a few months. I received an interesting email yesterday from a Tim in Massachusetts. He wrote:

…I came across your site purely by accident as I was looking for a copy of that SIAM poster that had an unobliterated printer’s stamp. I pulled my copy from the Boston Public Library site and then repaired it with Photoshop and did an auto-set color levels and contrast to brighten it up. I wasn’t able to find a copy with an undamaged, printer’s stamp so I’ve opted to erase it entirely. Anyhow, I just wanted to pass it on to you if you care to update yours with the one I’ve fixed up…

Below is Tim’s repaired image. You’ll notice that the corners have been cleaned up, and the image is a bit clearer. While the vintage version has an interesting, frayed look, perhaps this one is closer to how the original appeared:

2011 04 06 thailand travel poster

Thanks for sharing, Tim.


Football (Soccer) Ballet

The Times: “High-kicking new life into beautiful game”

Think you’ve seen Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God”? Of course you have. But probably not as danced by a tiny ballerina in a short frilly tutu, raised high into the air by men in tights, slapping an imaginary ball into an imaginary net. To the strains of Nessun Dorma.

“You’ve got to be a highly polished athlete as a dancer and as a footballer. You need discipline, technique, teamwork and a few players of genius, and both careers are short,” Wayne Eagling, the artistic director of the English National Ballet, said.

Eagling’s company has created The Beautiful Game: A Football Ballet, a 15-minute work commissioned by The New Football Pools to showcase ten iconic moments as voted for by 20,000 visitors to the Pools’ website.

(Emphasis mine.)

The (understandably) England-centric moments reproduced in the ballet include:

  • Gazza’s tears in the 1990 World Cup semifinal
  • Maradona’s “hand of God” goal (context here) in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal — though his “Goal of the Century” (clip, context) from the same match didn’t make the cut, apparently
  • David Beckham’s free kick against Greece that sent England to the 2002 World Cup

    (Sadly Fortunately, one of the most memorable moments in goalkeeping history has been snubbed also been featured. I refer not to England’s Gordon Banks denying Pele in the 1970 World Cup — the so-called greatest save of all time — but to Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita’s scorpion kick in 1995.)

    Thanks to A for the link.

  • EDIT: fixed the above — the scorpion kick was, indeed, reproduced 🙂


    Best Magazine Covers of 2008

    Here are some of the best magazine covers of 2008.

    (Via Kottke.)


    Creating Tag Clouds with Wordle tag cloud

    Worldle is a new site that allows you to create aesthetically-pleasing “word clouds” (or tag clouds). Above is one for the home page.

    2Bangkok tag cloud

    And here’s one I created using the text from the main page of


    On Classic Fishing Lures, Art, and Urban Legends


    Fishing tackle as objets d’art? Damn straight.

    Field and Stream‘s got an excellent photo gallery of the 50 Greatest Fishing Lures of All Time, many of which are simply beautiful. The Dardevle Spinnie, for example, is awfully pretty. I also love the sleek Rapala, the flamboyant Rooster Tail, the irreverent Hula Popper, and the bulbous Berkley Bat Wing Frog. (Okay, so that last one might not be so easy on the eyes, but you’ve gotta love fishing with something that resembles a miniature frog.)

    My all-time favorite lure, though, is the Mepps Aglia (above), which I would argue is just as attractive as many contemporary women’s brooches I’ve seen. It is nothing less than a work of art.

    Related fishing post: remember when my buddy Chad caught a deer in the Chesapeake Bay last summer? Well, his photos from the event were subsequently forwarded via email — each sender embellishing the tale a bit — to such an extent that some labeled it an urban legend. But it’s not. You can even look it up on