>another beautiful, sunny morn, enabling a certain pixelgirl’s energy stores to make it through all that’s on the agenda today!

speaking of pixels, yesterday was one of the most amusing and engaging social experiences i have had at the media lab. (amusing and engaging is commonplace, social is not so much so…) so, we have a relatively recently-instated (maybe a year or so) student lounge in the lab. it’s a cozy little corner tucked away conveniently near the magical espresso machine and boasting a couple futons and an array of brightly colored ikea seats and stools, with lovingly obscure design magazines scattered about and some random posters on the wall to keep it lively. it’s kind of comfy dorm room aesthetic with a hint of cool residents who are never around. as a huge push forward to livening up the space to true ML standards, ben dalton managed to acquire both the design and materials for a sizeable unique art installation. medium? legos.

the mural design came courtesy of eboy, based on their icon-esque pee-col system. pee-col sort of reminds me of those exquisite corpse visual drawings, where a lion’s head could rest on a penguin’s shoulders which stood on tree roots, gnarling in curlicues around the rosehips. except, of course, deliciously lo-res.

so here’s the design. now imagine each of these pixels existing as 1×1 lego blocks. to give you an idea of scale, 182 x 110 pixels, at 25 pixels per foot, equates to roughly 7.5′ x 4.5′ on the wall. because of the lab’s close ties to lego, we managed to get all the blocks in the colors necessary to render this image. what’s even more hilarious is that they only issued us just enough blocks, so if we lose even one pixel, we’re pretty much on the hunt for the missing piece. i’m glad one of the creatures has ‘MIT’ on its belly, because it’s not really closely tied to the lab in any other way, other than its physical pixels and the fact that legos are just intrinsically cool. especially in ginormous aggregate.

so yesterday afternoon/evening (and finishing the last third or so of it today), medialabbies came in to do their share of square-pushing, as you will. you just grabbed a color print-out of a particular tile of the image, snagged a foot square of lego base, and then dug your hands into deliciously deep piles of colorful squares. yellow, red, purple, three shades of gray… and then got to work on replicating the design one square at a time. it was engaging on many levels. first, you have all these amazing engineers just playing with the stuff. second, the collective work spirit was just infectious. it was like a party, complete even with some libations and an mp3 soundtrack. third, it was the first time i saw the student lounge actually inhabited… and with lively action to boot. fourth, it was neat, methodical work. check out some of individual lego’d tiles to the right. as we all were working, ben rightfully remarked, “don’t you feel the zen of this? you are one with the printer… now you know how it feels to color an image dot-by-dot.” so true. my mind can now breathe free.

wmbr meeting and barbeque to follow. wish for good weather and good food.

happy sad anniversary to 9/11 today. all these events really do remind us that we’re all human. we don’t have all the time in the world to keep resisting each other. give a hand, and accept a hug. be thankful everyday.

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