Month: June 2008

Frida Kahlo @ SFMOMA

frida_1Frida and I go way back, to ancient times where she wasn’t this popular icon of feminism and empowerment she’s become ever after the movie with Salma Hayek. I had seen a panel of hers, a monstruous affair with a crippled woman at the center held aloft in the sky and held together by braces – an icon of pain bursting forth in a starfield of passion.

Having grown in two cultures, I have always felt the duality of the passionate Italian and the rule-bound German curse me. As I saw the panel, it struck a chord within me, almost talking to this conflicted side of mine, speaking of the inner anguish that comes from having to live by two very different sets of rules.

Turns out, I found out much later, that Frida had that thing in common with me: she was the daughter of a German from Pforzheim and of a Mexican of mostly indigenous descent. That gave me an instant connection with her that has a degree I cannot share with most artists, as dual upbringing is quite rare.

It so comes that, because of the personal nature of my connection to her, I am always surprised by the popularity she enjoys. The exhibit at the SFMOMA, then, had all the trappings of the most popular ones: long lines, timed entrance (“Do you want to get in at 2:30 or 3:00?”), a creepy creeping line that snakes its way through the exhibit.

(more…)

Comparison Shopping: Tcl, Perl, PHP, Python

I have always been fascinated by programming languages, and scripting languages have always had a particular place in my heart. After all, they allow you to develop without much encumbrance, starting from nothing to program in no time. There are no lengthy build and compilation cycles, and sometimes you can even use dynamic language features to make your changes to a running application – neat!

For me, it all started with Forth, which cannot really be called a scripting language at all. It compiles functions into bytecode as soon as they are defined, and the only feature that reminds one of scripting languages is just how easy it is to write and rewrite. Since Forth reacts dynamically to changes and is interpreted,

After that, I discovered Tcl, which quickly became my favorite programming language. It had a rich set of extentions that included GUIs (albeit at that point only on UNIX) and highly dynamic capabilities. It seemed like an ideal choice. 

(more…)