Saturday, January 5, 2008

The difference of one

Saturday, January 5, 2007

It’s practically balmy out today, (6 c) and as winter storms pummel the west coast, things in Chicago are heating up.

Yesterday, there was a feature in the Sun Times. (,CST-NWS-ice04.article)

Then, a reporter from NPR talked to Gord for 45 minutes in the cold room, following the crew around, recording sounds of the making of the paintings for a radio broadcast.

Christine Carrino is doing a fabulous job on Press. She has others helping her, but she and I have gotten to know each other in the past weeks, darting around corners at The Fulton with photographers and reporters in tow, dodging fork lifts and sharing taxis and the radiator in the warm room.

Here she is on the left with Brooke Vane her co-worker, a smart gal from Tennessee with a lovely accent.

Next week, they’re going to invite the tv stations to have a go at the painting making at The Fulton. WLS-TV ABC 7 mentioned the us in a recent news cast, as well as WBBM-AM radio. The Los Angeles Times, and The Contra Costa Times (in the San Francisco Bay area) will feature Paintings Below Zero in their Sunday travel sections.The AP story has appeared across the country and the excitement is growing.

Friday, breakfast at BACI. Today's new interns are learning how the ice will pack on the pallet in preparation for shipping it to the park.

Not a day goes by when Gord and the crew don’t discover some nuance in the process which makes the ice more intricate or layered. Something which streamlines the routine.

A variation on the temperature, a change in the sequence of freezing and warming. Different ways of mixing the paint, different times at different temperatures. A change in when to add the paint to the ice. The cold room is fabulous, from all accounts. No sun, it’s big, and there’s lots of space. No frost build up, just an eerie silence and all those breath clouds.

Lately, its wrap, wrap, wrap. Here’s Ari & Katie.

Jaz took these photos of today's work.

Ari says “it’s getting neon” in the cold room, with purple and green, although Gord reminds us, not in the same tray. Here's the crew, warming at the radiator.

Friday we met with Bridget Basta from the Museum of Science and Industry and Lauren Rosenberg, Programming Coordinator at Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

To brainstorm: for activities for kids at the museum which tie-in with the science of the work we are doing. Did you know that hot water freezes faster than cold water? Gord said yes, we could collect the small ice shards for the kids. In Italy, it was a hit.

We talked about the difference of one degree.

This morning Ari pointed out his favorite tower in the fog and I saw us all in this vertical city, living the high rise life. Everyone on parallel floors, you can see them in their offices in front of their computer screens across the street. Separated by the distance down and the interior pathways. So many worlds so close together.

There is a building across the way from our hotel, and in the window of this building is a television which is on all the time. In the early hours of the morning, when the sky is dark and you can see the street gleaming with the lights on the trees outside Millennium Park, and the shape of the skyscrapers whose windows are still lit from within, this television flickers away in color, like it’s alive. Like there’s someone in there, who just came back from the refrigerator with a midnight snack. Then the wail of the ambulance, honking down the empty street and I go back to bed.

The crowds have thinned: shoppers and merrymakers, everywhere during the Christmas rush, have gone home. The strange thing is - Air Canada has this 'everybody go to Paris promotion". And I keep hearing French spoken - had several conversations in French in the past few days -- Parisiens are vacationing in Chicago!

Yesterday, I caught Chicago's pride, Oprah, during my two and a half minutes of daily television. Everyone on the show was wearing a green shirt and her guest told us that if American households just changed one light bulb into a compact flourescent bulb, it would reduce emissions as if 800,000 vehicles had been taken off the road. The difference of just one light bulb.

We played volleyball at the Lakeshore Athletic Club Thursday night.

I don’t see how Gord does it, after all those exhausting hours lifting and pulling in the extreme cold, but the volleyball was great for team spirit.

Chris Stover was on my team. Here he is with Rob Stevens, who has written a book called "The Overfed Head" and is the founder of "thintuition". He's been very kind to us, finding us places to eat: good food, reasonable prices.

Rob turned us onto Fox and Obel, but that’s another story.

1 comment:

Joao Carlos said...

Hi Guys!

Great looking ice! Love the textures. New colours this year? Will be seeing you on wed. evening.

What station do I get off of from the train from the airport?

Ciao regazzi,