Tools, Extending our Reach, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat

We saw this explosion of tools-held-afloat at the newly reopened Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan last month. That’s ‘Tools: Extending our Reach,’ on until May 25 2015.

 Controller of the Universe (2007), by artist Damián Ortega in Tools: Extending Our Reach at the Cooper Hewitt

Tools Afloat at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum – “Controller of the Universe” (2007), by artist Damián Ortega

Here’s a closer look — Controller of the Universe (2007), by artist Damián Ortega - detail)This Robo-Bee is from the same exhibition. “The world’s first insect-scale flying robot has a wingspan of 3 cm (1 1/8 in) and is the approximate weight of a honeybee,” it’s designed to replicate the swarming behavior of bees and aid in the study of colony collapse disorder.

Tools, Extending our Reach (detail)

Wouldn’t you love to see one afloat?

Some food for thought, taken from the walls of the Tools exhibition —

Camera is a tool quote: A camera is a tool for learning to see without a camera. Cooper Hewitt.

Dorothea Lange

Elsie Mather (Yup'ik Quote)

Elsie Mather

Samuel F.B. Morse quote

Samuel F.B. Morse, of course. (Did you know he was also an artist?)

It’s hard to believe that at 10 years old I was relatively proficient in Morse Code. Back then I was helping my father study for his Amateur Radio license but now all I remember is … – – – …      I had to look this up to translate.

Do you know what Samuel F.B. had to say?

Meanwhile, on the homefront, I delivered a car-load of donations this morning and have another to deliver tomorrow. Now it’s back to the file cabinet to see what else I can get ready for the shredding event coming up the first week of May. Wish me luck —


For more on the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and on Tools: Extending Our Reach,

and on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat



9 thoughts on “Tools, Extending our Reach, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Afloat

  1. Amazing exhibition. For a second I thought the tools were floating in the air and flying towards me. It must have captivated you when you walked up close to it. Never knew you knew Morse Code a long time ago. It’s a language not all of us are fluent in…hopefully it came gushing back to you when you looked it up.

    Sounds like you’re being productive, Sandy. Maybe scour the house for some old newspapers for the shredding event 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting, Mabel, it was just one of the amazing exhibits we saw there. I’ll look for an opportunity to post some photos from the other shows. Morse code was fun, way-back. I don’t think the radio operators have to use it for their novice licenses anymore. Meanwhile I’m having fun with vintage magazines. Newspapers may be next!

      • It’s great these days that quite a number of exhibits allow photo taking (not professional DSLR photo-snapping, though). Makes it easier to remember what was on display when we reflect on the trip a little later.

        Sounds like the vintage magazines will be keeping you occupied for a while!

      • Yes, I love it when the exhibits allow photos, and I’m just as happy not lugging a DSLR around. Golly, I remember when we used to take 35mm slides at the art museums. I still have boxes full of them. Now with digital I actually look at my photos. Someday the prices will come down on mirrorless and that’ll solve the lugging-around problem. What camera do you favor?

      • I currently have a mirrorless and a high-end point-and-shoot (the latter cost as much as the mirrorless…ugh!). It’s the point and shoot I lug around almost every day, and some exhibits don’t mind me using it to take some photos of the artwork. I love it, takes really crisp photos and I know I’ll be guaranteed entry into any place!

      • I need (haha– “need”, I mean want) a new P&S, I’m sure they get better every year. I’ll splurge on a mirrorless one of these days but so far the “need” for extra lenses keeps me frugal. Your photos always look great — good work.

  2. Pingback: Ed Paschke | litadoolan

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