Associated Glitter

I recently saw some generative imagery made by the artist, teacher, and technologist Zach Lieberman that made me think of the way light reflects on water in motion.

I went to Wikipedia (which I do between one and a thousand times per day) to remind myself what that spectral phenomenon is called.

Of course… Sun Glitter

Photo taken by me many years ago from a pier on Wards Island, one of Toronto’s sandbar archipelago islands.

I’ve been watching a few art competition reality shows recently. The most recent, The Exhibit, has the least overt competition because people aren’t kicked off each episode. The artists are challenged in fairly artificial ways but it’s still compelling just to see artists at work.

I love experiencing process in art — in my own mark making and in seeing other artists reveal themselves not just in the final artifacts of creation but showing the vulnerability of creativity in action.


It had been a while since I was at this desk in our basement. My partner Gayla and I share this space as our studio for certain kinds of creative work — for me mostly drawing, painting, collage, and assemblage.

But I have recognized that if I go too long without at least putting some scribbles down on a page, my brain and body feel like something is missing.


Detail from a recent drawing/collage on found cardboard.

I’ve always had a fascination with words both in their meanings and their visual forms. Words come into my artwork regularly and to me they are like a scrap of paper or a swipe of paint — they are marks that may have implied meaning but/and they are shapes that can sit with other shapes and create associations and new suggested meaning.

Since we’re talking about associations and tangents (and I usually am) I found this touchstone from my youth at the thrift store the other day.


There was a point where I poured over this slim volume like it truly contained universal secrets. This was the tail end of the 1970s into the early 80s and my creative child mind wanted fantasy and deep lore. Gary Gygax and the artists of TSR Games had pulled back a curtain on a world of creatures and magic and my so creatively named character “Nivad” wanted to explore all of it.

I haven’t played Dungeons & Dragons for over 40+ years now and yet I had to once again possess this book.

In a similar dive into a past me, I saw a link from Cory Doctorow’s Plura-list newsletter to a page that is archiving scanned issues of Mondo 2000 magazine.

The beginnings of Mondo 2000 magazine coincided with me starting university in the late 80s and also the beginning of my minor love affair with cyberpunk meets post-modern aesthetics. As a kid that poured over OMNI magazine, it was like the weirdo fringe connection to that world of futurists, new tech, pseudoscience, and the various artists in the edges creating the shape of counterculture.


One of Mondo 2000’s co-founders was Jude Milhon who went by the pseudonym St. Jude. Milhon was a connected computing pioneer and cypherpunk from back in 1970s Berkeley.

Here’s another dip into Wikipedia in the 1973 proto BBS Milhon co-created called “Community Memory”. I mean, what a name!

That all makes me think about Usenet and how I explored the nascent internet on the amber text screens in my university library. But that’s enough tangents for now.