Tuesday, March 14, 2000

A Sterling send-off

An Austin-ite through and through, noted sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling (http://www.well.com/conf/mirrorshades/viridian/ ) opened his lovely Frank Lloyd Wright-style home to SXSWers in the know. As his sweet little children ran between grown-ups, chasing a cat up the stairs and out into the yard, the front porch creaked under the weary feet of a hundred revelers. There was a San Francisco contingent that included Adam Powell, Peter Merholz and Justin Hall. Toronto was represented by the striking Heather Champ, all in black, who dosed out pink Sweet & Low packets with her new site www.harrumph.com printed on the back.

Out front, relaxing in one of the wicker chairs I chatted with Denise Caruso, NYTimes Technology writer and Monday's Keynote speaker, about one of her new developments -- a non-profit for scientists. Donna Kidwell and Her Domain-ers also eased out on the porch to observe the children swinging wildly on the swing/hammock.

Bruce and I stole away to his office where he handed me the March-April issue of Artbyte, which has a feature article by him on the "Return of the Blobject." We then discussed, much to other guests' amusement, how many objects really are amoebic. Bruce pointed out his iMac, in "Viridian" green as he called it, named after his Movement to produce culturally minded design concepts for the 21st century. An Eco-activist, he has solar panels on his roof and also handed me a brochure on Austin's Energy Greenchoice program.

Honoria (www.cyberopera.org), Janna Buckmaster Bear (Monkey Media) and Judith Weiss (Instruction SET) and I chatted about art and salons. Bruce showed me his refrigerator magnet collection and after chatting with a few other fine-feathered web-sters, I headed out into the nice Austin night.