My Holodeck

So, I got pretty pumped about Microsoft’s Hololens.  So much so, in fact, that I managed to register for Build 2015.  I’ve known I’d jump on the Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality bandwagon some day (the tune’s pretty impressive if you listen closely), and really, reflecting on the matter, I was waiting for it to mature to the point where I was willing to engage with it.

I’m confident that my impulse towards such things is not unconnected to the nature of my Grandfather (it would be really cool to make his paintings immersive and navigable).  I’ve got lots of very intriguing artworks that I’d like to make, but I could never reconcile myself with paint and canvas.  Too… much… ancient.

Anyway, obviously I can’t get my hands on a Hololens quite yet but I wanted to get ready for when I can.  How?  Start programming for the Kinect, I figured.  I kind of assume that Microsoft is going to use a similar design philosophy between the two since they stated that the Kinect was their road to the Hololens.

In any case, it took some doing.  First of all, I didn’t have a Kinect.  Secondly, the Kinect V2 actually requires Windows 8 and I was running 7.

Blah, it’s a long story of boring tech challenges that included having to literally rip my laptop screen apart (plastic flew and blood flowed and you can see what I’m talking about in the image [this is the sole non-boring detail]) so that I could replace some parts so that I could install Windows 8 so that I could install the SDK so that I could play.

But none of that is the point of this post, which is to create a sort of monument to the newest iteration of my workspace/holodeck lab.  Some people take pictures of their face each day for years.  That’s really interesting and I’ve thought of doing it myself.  On the same note, I’ve been taking pictures of my workspaces for years (not every day, although that would likely be revealing).  It’s interesting to see them/it evolve.  Who even knows if the sky’s the limit for such a pregnant space/concept/role.

Now, mind you, I’ve watched some YouTube videos of people showing their workspaces, practically jerking their electronics off onto their furniture as they went (“And over here you can see my Gold Exclusive Version 15 Flippetywidget, and over there my Platinum Spectral Wank-Wonk…”), and it literally depressed me and threatened to ruin my mood of an evening.  All I’d wanted were good layout ideas.  I felt like I’d made a horrible mistake in a Google image search.

I just want to be clear that although I like my monitors, for instance, it is because they create walls of text in front of me.  I like electronics and stuff-in-general just to the degree that they manage to serve as ice to the figure skates of my creativity.

You can see the Kinect up in top right corner, peering down on where I sit, waiting for me to tell it how to interpret my gestures.


Pavlov‘s fretting in the background, concerned about a squirrel that’s one layer too deep for this depiction.  So many layers, foregrounds, backgrounds, Magrittian grounds…

Here’s the (IR depth) view from the other side:


1080P Dual Monitor Desktop Background

My mom made this desktop background for a dual monitor setup where each monitor is 1080p resolution.  It’s been my background ever since.

Besides being awesome, it’s nice thing that it is big enough that it can be made to stretch across both monitors, rather than duplicating.  So, the left half of the image will appear on the left monitor and the right half of the image will appear on the right.  There are programs you can get to put different images on each monitor, but this is a nice works-out-of-the-box solution.

In Windows 7, I have the “Picture Position” set to “Tile”.  The file itself is around 12MBs, which shouldn’t be any problem for modern computers.  If anyone wants to comment on how to set it up on other systems, feel free.  I don’t have any other OS’s set up at the moment, so I”m not going to get into it.  In Windows 7 and Vista, just right click on the image and save to your downloads folder (or whatever), then you should be able to navigate to that folder and right click and select “Set as Desktop Background”.  However, you might then need to right click on your desktop and select “Personalize”, click down below where it shows the image and then eventually select “Tile”.  If anyone requests it I’ll put better instructions, however, just googling ought to get you there. Dual Monitor Desktop Background By Sylvie Meyers

Dominique Appia Plus

I’ve noticed that most of my traffic is driven by search engine queries concerning Dominique Appia.  In truth, there’s not a lot available on the web (in english) about my Grandfather.  In one sense, that doesn’t really matter?  But you probably care, since statistically speaking (as of 10/12/12) you’re probably reading this because you searched for information or art by Dominique Appia.  Does he care about his presence on the internet?  I’m not sure.  I’ll ask him.  Maybe, though, because he has his website.

In fact, I’ll ask him if he wants to start a blog.  He’ll probably say he’s not interested.  There’s only so much time in the day and typing and learning wordpress may not be his thing.  Maybe he’d want to author a post or two on this blog, however???  He loves writing and language and is quite computer literate.  He uses photoshop, and self-publishes books which he prints on his many printers and binds by hand in his studio:

Dominique Appia's book La Paresse Intellectual (Intellectual Laziness)

In any case, it’d be in French.  Sadly, I don’t even really know French.  A regret of mine, I grew up on the other side of the Atlantic and didn’t visit enough as a child to pick it up on my own.  C’est la vie.

My Grandpa did visit several times, and I went there, too.  Here he is in Tucson, in the early 80’s.

Dominique Appia in Tucson Arizona in 1984ish

I’ll quote my mom (I added the pictures and links):

In the mean time, the short biography you wrote is not quite accurate.

He was on his own without help or resources from the age of 18 when he got out of boot camp [military service is compulsory for males in Switzerland], and had to survive on various jobs from the start:

  • Agricultural worker
  • Delivery man
  • Postman
  • Milkman
  • Taxi driver
  • Theater stage decorator
  • Decorator
  • Photography re-toucher
  • Printing job
  • Advertising creator
  • Draftsman
  • etc.

He had gone in an art school for a semester as a teenager but his father took him out of it without reason. In his early twenties, he was painting as a hobby in a fairly different style; much more naive, even if quite charming. A famous graphologist analysed his handwriting and deducted in a peremptory way: zero talent for art; he took it for granted, because he felt quite insecure. He was hired as a draftsman in a architectural firm and worked his way up. He became quite involved with making architectural models and renderings while he worked there. In his late thirties, his boss asked him to do a mural for his billiard room. He had seen his paintings from his early twenties and gave him total freedom for the subject; with only one request, he wished to see the ocean. After more than 12 years of living, many of those doing architecture  made his style evolve quite a bit.

At around 40 years old, he was painting regularly in his spare time, and won a few of contests organised  by the city of Geneva. This enabled him to qualify for a part time drawing/teaching job at the decorative art school in Geneva; he then could paint full time. He had a few collective exhibits and on his first one man show, everything sold. Things started to really pick up from then on. He did some posters for the “Centre Pompidou” one of which “Le temps des Gares” (The age of railroad stations) became well known.

Dominique Appia's Les Temps des Gares (The Age of the Railroads)

As he continued painting, he was frequently asked to do murals; or paint the ceiling of the Victoria Hall, (a concert hall) quite a monumental job. [Victoria Hall later burned down  😦 ]

victoria hall

Dominique Appia Victoria Hall

He also did a series of paintings and sculptures for Rolex to decorate their headquarters.

Painting of overview of the Rolex building by Dominique Appia

sculpture mosaic fountain outside Rolex building by Dominique Appia

Ecliptique by Dominique Appia

le pendule by Dominique Appia

les phases de la lune By Dominique Appia

les plaisirs de la table 1 By Dominique Appia

les plaisirs de la table By Dominique Appia
I could tell you a lot more of course;  then again, I am not sure if you should put all that, but that gives you an idea anyway.

I’ll post again on Dominique Appia.  In the meantime, I’ll see if he’d want to write author a blog post or two on here.  Or start his own blog.