concrete composition


In spite of the many hours I spent working on it over the last couple of days, the abstract I was working on last night failed to completely materialize. I did make substantial progress in bringing about the substance of the study, but my co-author was not available for the final push before the submission window closed.

The good news is that the project is much more substantive, and I was able to scare up some concrete data that will move us forward.


And on the theme of concrete, since that’s the way my mind works, I figured I would share these photos of some concrete art. The installation pictured was one I saw at Heritage Gardens and Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts back in June. I really wish I could remember and/or find the name of the artist and the piece (or pieces?) because I found the installation quite enjoyable. What looks from afar like a field of gray rocks, upon closer examination turns out to be varied little concrete forms, created by pouring wet concrete into little cloth bags. The resulting abstract figures have a lot of character.


more abstract compositions found on a rusty dumpster

I imagine that many people don’t much notice the nitty-gritty details of places they frequent. I probably don’t much notice many of them myself. But I do have to say that I was rather amused to have noticed that a dumpster that sits next to a parking lot I frequent was swapped out for another dumpster. You see, I had previously admired the patterns made by the rust breaking through the bright blue paint on this particular dumpster. One pattern on the side reminded me of enameled jewelry. (Over a year ago, I posted a collection of photos I had accumulated of details of the patterns made by rust and weathered paint on the sides of dumpsters. The dumpster in question is featured in the top photo of that post.)

Upon realizing that there was a new (at least, new to the location, but certainly not newly fabricated) dumpster, I was happy to observe that the new arrival had its own pretty patterns of rust and striking abstract compositions.

The shapes of this bit remind me of a map, and the colors of earthenware pottery glazes.

The layers of various bright colors remind me again of enamelwork.

And this was just a pleasing abstract composition featuring the letter V. (Or maybe it’s a Y. I think it’s open to interpretation.)

above the patchwork fields of middle America (friday foto finder: high)

The photos I’m sharing today are of a much loftier sort than the ones I posted on Wednesday. While dumpsters are rather down-to-earth, these photos are taken while looking…down to earth. From a plane.

Much like the abstract compositions that I find in the small details of peeling paint and rust, I love the giant-scale abstract compositions formed by fields, roads, rivers and other features of the landscape when viewed from above.

Many of the fields of the Western and Midwestern United States use a system of irrigation that leads to fields that are circular, or segments of circles, which are then interspersed among more traditional rectangles. These geometric shapes arrange themselves in a surprising array of colors: hues arising from different soils, different crops, different stages of growth, and likely other and sundry factors that are better known to those who farm those fields. Flying in a plane above, if you are lucky enough to have a window seat and the right weather and lighting conditions, not to mention the right flight path, you are presented with an ever-changing gallery of these wonders of shape and color.

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These photos were taken on 3 different trips. The first 6 are from August 2004, taken en route from the East Coast to Colorado (or vice versa), or from some connecting flight in between. The next 3 are from a January 2006 flight from Albuqueque, New Mexico. The last two are from a May 2008 flight to Houston, Texas. I don’t recall my specific itineraries, so I don’t remember where I was in each case. (I mean, other than in a plane. I remember that much.) They were all taken with point-and-shoot cameras.

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “high,” another that offered many choices from my photo archives.¹ I’ve mentioned it before, long long ago, but I really love heights. I therefore have many photos from high places: tall buildings, hikes, ferris wheels, and gondola rides. I considered posting something from each of these. However, I figured that seeing as I haven’t had the opportunity for space travel, views from a plane are about as high as I can manage.

I’ve posted a few of my other window-seat pictures before. And I probably will again. And if ever I have the chance to travel into space, I promise to share the pictures.

¹ This theme also offered much opportunity for playing with words. You were very nearly given a post with the title “getting high in Barcelona.” But I decided not to go there. I mean, I *did* go to Barcelona. And I visited a fairly elevated spot. But I decided not to go that direction with my post…or my title.