Christmas VIII

I received a few books for Christmas including The Kiln Book — on how to build kilns — and Asphalt Nation
by Jane Holtz Kay. I’ve begun reading Asphalt Nation and, not surprisingly, it’s pretty captivating.

Advent and Christmas (and, for many, New Years) are times of reflection. Do certain technologies hinder our ability for introspection, extrospection, observation? From the book:

Why can’t we step back and see the servant become the master? Why have we failed to see the consequences of the car’s mischief, its down-right malice to community life and autonomy for many? Media theorist Mark Crispin Miller, in analyzing television, that other so-called technological servant, has speculated that the medium is so integral to the ambient culture that we can no longer isolate ourselves to gain a perspective on our place within its landscape. There is just no surveillance point from which to stand aloof and view the impact of television’s toll. The analogy with the automobile holds. The world through the windshield and the world through the television window alike isolate us from our surroundings.

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About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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