Art and Science

One of the (many) things I really love about my job is the cool people I get to meet. Yesterday afternoon, for example, I had a meeting with Julia Holden, the artist who painted the Wish You Were Here series of billboards that were displayed in Auckland,  and now Wellington.  She was telling us about the reactions she’d had to them, which have been mostly positive,  even from Christchurch people, which is quite different to the flak that Gaylene Preston has been getting over Hope and Wire, despite the fact that both are non-Christchurch people creating works about Christchurch.  I wonder if the difference is that Holden’s work is overtly about reminding the rest of the country that there are still huge problems here, while Preston’s is perceived as just making entertainment out of Christchurch’s misery (even though she has also said that one of her aims was to draw attention to Christchurch – obviously that message hasn’t been well communicated down here).

Another fun thing I’ve been doing at work is slowly bringing my programming skills into the twenty first century. I learnt some basic programming at school (literally BASIC), and did a programming paper at university in the 80s when I learnt a couple of more advanced languages, but that was a very long time ago, and computers are very different now.  So I’ve been feeling a bit lost with some of the web app development that our more skilled team members have been doing using Python and Javascript. But I’ve been teaching myself some of the basics, and it’s slowly starting to make more sense. Luckily a lot of the basic principles are the same, in terms of the kind of logic you need to use, but I’ve still got a huge amount to learn.  I’ve been playing with css too (which you need to use to display the programming going on behind the scenes), so lots of exciting new skills.

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