Camera Obscura Santa Monica

Momentum is the thing.

I study it, I try to maintain it. I figure that if I always keep moving I always have a store of it to draw on; I have something to convert to whatever might suddenly be required to keep a ship afloat, an idea alive, plates spinning, my trains on track.

Unbelievably, summer is here and I am on my way back to MIT. I seem to be slotting myself into their system between terms; there is no real reason for this except that I fit better. There is less competition for lecture halls, a smaller quotient of frenzy in the corridors. I’m doing a lot of different things there, but the first is architecture, the second is a gathering. If you are curious,  you can read an update here.

MIT Planetary Building.jpg

The tall building circled above is one of my first targets. It was built by I.M. Pei (as were many buildings on the MIT campus) and it’s problematic, iconic. Its problems come from the wind, which is insane off of the river. Maybe wind is easy to solve these days; a bit of aero kung-fu and what was once a problem can become a food source.

I am intensely interested in the wind at the edges of things. It’s ridgy, blade-like, and really really fast.

On the Roof IV by Josh

As ever and always, though, the real fact of the matter is that I want to play with the roof. I love it up there, and the structures are badly in need of maintenance, some are no longer safe to climb. Our engineering team is strong in fabrication, and I have taken a mania to replace the radomes (the big white radar balls, the largest one seen in the photo above) on the roof with 3D-printed wonders, gorgeous glorious things.

Of course I also want to take that big old radome off and put it on the roof of the Cambridge 7 (they are game for this) and use it as my own office, treehouse, lurk space. I want to broadcast messages from it if I feel like it, or have a pirate radio station. I want to live in it like a billboard, sleep in it like a nest, make a porthole in it to see the sky. I want to float it so it spins. I want to be assumed into it, like an old-school assumption into heaven.

It’s basically just a fiberglass Tuff-Shed on a stick, and it looks like this inside, as you may know if you have followed my various Roof Adventures. Currently it’s stuffed with old radar equipment.

radar ball header

Inside The Ball low res

Sometimes the light is orange, sometimes golden, sometimes bright red inside. It’s all about the time of day, the quality of the daylight. My Roof Dreams may not happen for me, true, but if not it won’t be for lack of effort. Anyway, ANY excuse to get up on the roof of 54 is a good one.


I could say so much more; it seems that everything in my life is in flux. I have deep wells of feeling about it all, and yet my energy is spoken for. I am unsure as to how to comport myself in written form beyond crafting the two books on the way to the press for the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork project. That work alone is enough to occupy anyone; to add in a discussion of my circumstances or feelings seems impossible.

For the time being, though, all I can do is keep moving forward and doing my very best at fulfilling each task I have devised, breathed life into, and committed my energy to completing. There is nothing in my life or on my dish (as Riccardo DiSalva says) that I did not create or ask to be born.

So for now, I am head-down, working, and in that is everything; and everything must be enough. But I can see a time that is open, like the light streaming through an oculus, and I am moving toward it.

Oculus 2 MIT Chapel