televisions (with and without recursion)

On the subject of recursive images, this post about Ken Shirriff's nested Alto computers reminded me of an earlier idea. In the late '80s I'd been invited to show in an exhibit on the theme of television, organized by some artists who did public access cable. The venue was a "major museum" so I wanted to make a statement. I had the idea of televisions in toilets receding to infinity. I couldn't make it work -- drawing a toilet seat is easy but it was hard to make a TV monitor that "popped" in the arrangement. Below is as far as I went with it:


An initial sketch:


After abandoning these I did this painting, TV Dinner (acrylic on canvas, 62 x 46 inches). The museum had a Philip Guston show up at the time and a local curator thought my painting was "derivative." One person's inside joke is another's failure of imagination.


dem russia obsession bores voters

Norman Solomon:

"Frustrated Democrats hoping to elevate their election fortunes have a resounding message for party leaders: Stop talking so much about Russia,” The Hill reported over the weekend. In sharp contrast to their party’s top spokespeople, “rank-and-file Democrats say the Russia-Trump narrative is simply a non-issue with district voters, who are much more worried about bread-and-butter economic concerns like jobs, wages and the cost of education and healthcare."

recursive alto


Ken Shirriff has been restoring a vintage Xerox Alto computer (the PC Steve Jobs "borrowed" his ideas from). Using the BCPL programming language, a precursor to C, he made this image of an Alto on an Alto on an Alto [etc]

Before Wikipedia such an image would have been called infinitely recursive and everyone would have known what you meant ("infinite" within the limits of screen resolution, of course). Now the Wikipedians are encouraging us to use the term Droste Effect, after an obscure cocoa package design. Thanks, I'll pass, but Redditnerds are all over it with an online festival of recursive computer screen images they're calling Droste Week. Here's a typical example (most of these aren't very infinite):


Earlier posts on Shirriff and the Alto restoration.