A temple forgotten? A new home for Demolay? Just what’s behind the mask?

For those of you who are at least a little familiar with the Davis Square area, you may have noticed the strange building with the giant FACE on it.  Yes, that’s right, it’s some kind of giant green-man looking thing on the front of a white building.  The garden in front is a profusion of plants, many of which I don’t even recognize ever having seen before.  And through the narrow, sometimes blue-colored windows, not much can be seen.  The address is 115 College Ave.  Today I discovered it is (or was, at one time) this:

Museum of Modern Renaissance

A Modern Renaissance in Somerville Artists turn their home into a ‘temple of art’ – The Boston Globe.

Now, the building may nto still belong to these artists.  They did participate in Somerville Open Studios in 2006, but not this year, and I have no reliable information as yet about 2007.  I haven’t been able to find any recent events hosted at this location in the past year.  Does that mean both artists have become shy and retiring, or are traveling, or have some other distracting project up their sleeves?  It’s not a house/studio that opens up to the casual sidewalk observer.

So for the moment, I must remain sated with my outside-only glimpses of this place.  Perhaps for the 2009 Open Studios…

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Observations

I walk slower when I don’t listen to my iPod.  Perhaps its the weather right now, a sort of glorious not-quite-fall, when the air is just barely starting to bite but it’s enough of an excuse that I can wear a jacket.  Maybe it’s the sense of anticipation.  Sure, i don’t really like winter, but the prelude to it always seems more full of energy and vitality than any other season.  Maybe my sap starts moving in sympathy with the trees.  Maybe it’s the keep tension of watching for the colors to turn, leaf by leaf.  Maybe there’s something else just at the edges of my perception – a change of light or air quality – that fizzles consistently along my nerve endings, sparking.  Something about it just feels so good, but dynamically good, unlike the sleepy pleasantness of a hot or humid summer.  The shortening of the days and increasing darkness seem to give rise to more shadowy curiosities than any real darkness or unhappiness.

Whatever the reason, even if simply that the lack of noise-cancelling forced me to pay closer attention to my surroundings, I took my time over the short distance I walked to work this morning.  I breathed a little deeper.  I want to spill the moment wide until it laps in waves at the consciousness of everyone around me.  I can barely hold on to it in memory, let alone package it for someone else’s digestion and reaction, but I still try.  After all, don’t we all feel this, to a greater or lesser extent?

Spyweb!

Ok, I couldn’t fit this all into a reasonable title, but this is what I wanted for my title:

“[A-Space is] a place where not only spies can meet but share data they’ve never been able to share before.”

Never did I know (before now) that spies were in the business of sharing.  I thought it was about amassing as much intelligence data as possible and deliberately not sharing it with your peers, even if you are working for the same government.  Ah well.  Shows what I know.

i mean, there is something to be said for the various spooks bouncing analysis off one another and hopefully seeing something new from that synergy.  I’m all about the brainstorming.  And I’m not a spy (or am I just telling you that to throw you off-track?), but I do see the necessity of people working across organizations for a common cause.  However, there are other modes of thought on the analysis of data.  Group consensus can keep individuals from picking apart certain ideas they might examine more closely if not shared.  Data analysis in consortium can lead to trends that are hard to break out of, rather than spurring dialogue.  And how much dialogue is inspiring, versus just plain dissension.

And then, there’s always the matter of the classic double agent.  Once you give somebody the clearance to be inside A-Space, what’s to stop them from wreaking havoc?  There are supposed to be controls in place to stop this kind of thing, but again, in such a case, who watches the watchers?

On the whole it’s probably a good tech move, and a good way to share resources and get into real data mining that the people in these agencies need.  But it’s also fun, and funny to the outside world.  To prove my point, I will leave you with a final article quote: “Yes, analysts can collect friends on A-Space the way people can on Facebook. But nobody outside the intelligence community will ever know — because they’re secret.”

Watch out, secret BFF, here I come!