my next computer

My mind’s made up: I’m buying a Mac mini. Apple has a serious problem with their lineup: their middle of the road computers, the iMacs, only come with monitors built in. I already own a monitor, so I’m forced to choose between the underpowered minis and the outrageously expensive Pros. (I’ve never felt the need to own a laptop.) Well, it’s settled; with the next update, I’m going to get a mini.

I’m in the Atlantic bitch

The Atlantic Hey, I totally forgot to tell you guys, but last week, I got a story about Art Basel Miami Beach published on The Atlantic’s website. Huzzah! It comes in two parts, a writeup and a slideshow, though my favorite link to come out of the whole thing is this: And I’ve every intention of adding to it in the non-too-distant future.

So how did this happen? Well The Atlantic’s deputy editor J.J. Gould, who runs the website, used to read Critical Miami. We’ve recently been in touch on Twitter and, well, the whole thing was his idea. By the way, there’s an interesting article about The Atlantic’s web rebirth in Sunday’s New York Times.

Meanwhile, I still have a bunch of images from Art Basel to share. It’s going to be long after the fact, but I’ll probably get them up this week, despite my second cold in one month. Blurgh.

The Heat Lightning

New Today!: The Heat Lightning, a group website/blog founded by me and Liz of Miami, Bro, and featuring an as-yet-unspecified number of contributors (maybe you?).

Hopefully this will revive a little of that ‘ol Critical Miami spirit, with, uhh, “a fresh new vibe,” i dunno. I don’t need to convince you it’s going to be great, because sooner or later you’re going to click over and you’ll see for yourself.

I’m on a panel: “New Paradigms in Communicating Design Culture”

This Wednesday I’ll be part of a panel discussion, and no, it’s not at SXSW. It’s at MoCA, and it’s about, I guess, contemporary digital design, social media, and architecture? The info is on Facebook, I’m reproducing it here for those who haven’t seen it. There’s also an e-flyer, and here is the sparsely populated MoCA link. Come by and say hi!

New Paradigms in Communicating Design Culture
‘Time for Design’ Panel Discussion at MOCA – moderated by Armando Montilla

7 pm, Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
770 NE 125th Street North Miami, FL 33161

Traditional ways of communicating design though printed media now share their role in communicating the culture of design with subversive/alternative publishing means such as blogs and social networks sites. Physical versus virtual, high-institutionalized versus low-alternative; and individual versus collaborative are the new paradigms in communicating design culture in times of financial challenges.

This event will suggest Mediation and Subversion as means of spreading Design Culture, in the format of discussion panel with short (5 min. max.) visual presentations included, within the frame of the ‘Time for Design’ Discussion Panel Events at MOCA.

The underlined questions of the discussion will be:

1. Can we go beyond traditional means of mediation in architectural design such as printed publications?

2. Can we promote a good design-oriented culture through the use of Internet blogging at the present lacking of available funding to produce publications?

3. What could the role of sub-cultures in the city to promote ‘unappreciated’ aspects of innovative design?

4. How can we have a participative ‘design community’ exchange using virtual/non-traditional means?

5. How can we activate community participation in collective design efforts?

The discussion will also aim to: “[The] identif[ication of] different actors in the mediation process of the city, particularly in what refers to the realm of contemporary artists, urban hackers and para-architects dealing with media and the city…[..]…‘Wiki’ collaborative modes and ‘Smart Mob’ organizational strategies, not only lead to physical manifestations in real space – such as the so-called ‘Flash Mobs’ – but also enable bottom-up, edge-in social innovation in times of financial hardship and environmental consciousness. How are these platforms envisioned by designers today in search of social impact in the city? What are architects to learn from the field of contemporary art at the level of capacity to mediate with different actors in the city? …[…]…how can designers learn from the latest field of digital techniques and prototyping, in order to allow collective authorship to come into the realm of collaborative design?” Link

List of Panelists:

1. Damir Sinovcic, Editor, South Florida Design Book Magazine and Principal of Liquid Design in MIami

2. Elite Kedan, Architect, Faculty at FIU School of Architecture, Editor of the recent Book: Provisional: Emerging Modes of Architecture Practice in USA

3. Eric Goldemberg, Faculty at FIU School of Architecture, Principal of MONAD Studio in Miami, and Editor of the forthcoming book “Pulsation in Architecture”, a Catalogue of the accompanying same name upcoming Exhibit.

4. Michael Alfonso, Graphic and Web Designer, editor of the Site The Graphic Gospel

5. William Virgil, former Grafitti Artist, who has now gone into graphics and into underground pop sub-cultures. Partner of ABSOLELUTE, a company producing custom laser printing on Sneakers

6. Alesh Houdek, Internet Blogger of the Site Critical Miami and Buildings and Food

7. Martha Skinner, Assistant Professor at Clemson University School of Architecture and a graduate of the University of Florida; who has been very active in interactive projects involving Social Networking Sites and the community


Armando Montilla, Assistant Professor of Architecture, History & Theory and Criticism at Clemson University School of Architecture

Oval – Wohnton

Oval - Wohnton We could really use a 5,000 word look back at the glitch movement from Pitchfork or someone, couldn’t we? It ain’t happening, but in any such feature, Oval would play feature centrally. They began by experimenting with manipulated CDs (played in primitive CD players that wouldn’t give up in the face of extreme digital errors), and soon were exploring complicated computer-based composition. At its best, their music was hazy, gentle, and abstract; here’s a great example. They released about a half dozen albums through the 90s, oscillating between accessible collage anchored with the (surprisingly melodic) digital skipping and a completely abstract soundscape (Dok being an example of the latter, and maybe their best work).

The one album that is all but forgotten is their 1993 debut, Wohnton. Long discontinued, it is from before Oval was just a solo project for Markus Popp, and features, unexpectedly, singing. We’re talking here a sort of untrained German warble, which appeared on less then half the songs. What’s impressive is that while the group didn’t think so, and never attempted anything like it again, the singing actually works? Kind of? But so I was looking for one of these weird charming lyrics for “my music video blog“ the other day, and was bummed to not find any. But hey, I’ve got the technology. I decided to make one myself. Warum nicht?

So without any further ado, here’s my little video:

Who am I?

Who am I? I’ve been asked to submit a 100-word bio of myself for a panel at MoCA on March 17th. So… you people know me, right? I never ask you for anything, right? Submit a sentence for my bio! One line! I promise to use some of them! But quick — I promised to get them a thing by the end of the day Wednesday.


london underground

Here’s a zippy photo of the London Underground for all you sassy types. I’m traveling around Europe for a few weeks. Posting shall to be nonexistent until Friday, and intermittent afterwards. (The itinerary goes thiswise: Thursday was in London, then to Prague, tomorrow morning to Paris by car, Back on Wednesday/Thursday with some time in Germany (Oktoberfest!), then another week and change in Prague.) I’ll try to post photos as often as possible here

Just one of those coincidences

Attention recovering stalkers: mild voyeouristic content alert. Where were you when you heard that Jim Carroll died? I was sitting in front of my computer last night, when I came across the news reading the Awl in my RSS reader. The reason that this struck me as odd is that at 5:47 pm on Sunday (that would be the day before yesterday), I posted a video of Carroll’s song People Who Died on my tumblr (you can confirm this by refreshing the page today at 5:47, when the date stamp should change from “one day ago” to “two days ago”). I assumed that I’d heard about the death sometime Sunday afternoon, and that’d sparked the post. So, I checked my firefox history — you can see me posting the video at the top, and no mention of Carroll in the preceding few hours. Ah, maybe I heard about it on twitter? Nope.

SO, I’m provisionally going with Coincidence, but watch the tumblr for predictions of future deaths.