Wednesday, April 19, 2000

What's cooking?

What do you get when you put two web artists in the kitchen? An entertaining and educational mix of code, java, scripts and wondrous web design. Annette Weintraub presented 'Sampling Broadway' (, which mixes written and spoken narrative, images and animation, and puts it in the middle of an urban environment. It creates an array of virtual urban spaces, inspired by cross-sections of the city intersecting Broadway. Martin Wattenberg, a former colleague from my days, presented several of his projects, which can be found at As the invitation said, "these Java-based pieces were guided in part by Sartre's description of Alexander Calder's mobiles as 'poised halfway between the servility of statuary and the independence of nature.' Unlike wood-and-wire mobiles, these applets obey their own surprising, nonphysical laws."  One, Starry Night, is an animated image of the famous painting, where you can create your own constellations. Martin is one of the more brilliant people I've ever had the pleasure of working with -- creative, technical and a great sense of humor. A lot has changed since I worked there with a handful of others; now they've got close to 100 employees and more developments on the way.