Monday, February 28, 2011

Update on Free Photos

This weekend I completed the first two free photos that were requested, and I have to say I think they came out pretty darn well! Here they are mounted and mat boarded. So, if you are interested in receiving a free matted and mounted photo, I am still giving them away as I learn how to master the printing/mounting process. For more info, see the message I posted on 02/26/11.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 201 (Spy Bird)

Day 201 (January 20th, 2011)
Title: Spy Bird

This one I took just because it was a bit silly (which seems to be a reason I take quite a few photos).  When I say this bird, it was standing in one place, hidden by some trees and it just kept turning its head back-and-forth, looking for something.  I could picture him saying: "You hear something?!  I know I heard something!  You were followed, weren't ya?!  You hear that?  What was that!?"  Poor little stressed out CIA bird... 


Photo 365 - Day 200 (Güd Fud)

Day 200 (January 19th, 2011)
Title: Güd Fud

Wow, finally made it to day 200!  It feels like only 200 days ago I started this crazy project... oh.  wait.  It was 200 days ago.  I took a moment to review the last 200 days and I have to say, this has been one interesting project.  I've certainly changed the style and method that I used when I started this (from a more "technical" type blog to a more friendly, "whatever is on my mind" style blog).  I hope those of you who do take a moment out of your day to read these little snippets of my brain (Ahhh!!  Brain snippets!  Run for your lives! - That would so be a great movie tag-line), enjoy them and if you have any suggestions or comments to make this 'adventure' better, please let me know.  I also hope you enjoy the next 165 days as we race to the finish line! 

For today's photo, I chose something that I spotted at the local Mexican grocery store that we sometimes shop at.  How I never spotted these before, I'll never know - being that they are right across from the yummy Mexican pastries might have been a factor tho.  The reason I chose to take the photo was because as soon as my brain saw it, I was instantly reminded of my favorite Gary Larson (Far Side) cartoon (see below photo for the cartoon in question).  Now I know what was in the dryer! 


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 199 (Picasso Smile)

Day 199 (January 18th, 2011)
Title: Picasso Smile

Sometimes, while looking at paintings or drawings I'll notice one small little detail and become entranced by it.   Usually its some small aspect of the work that really has very little to do with the overall theme or meaning of the work - but I can't help myself.  That little "thing" can be just about anything, as in this case, a giant Picasso painting and I just couldn't help but focusing on the guys little smile while he was puffing away on his pipe.  That silly little, totally content, smile just 'spoke' to me (pun).  The name of the work is: "Student with a pipe".  


Free Matted Photos!

Hello Everyone,

I recently decided to work on this whole “photography” thing a bit more and got a new mat-board cutter (full size – 32x40 inch) and new high-end medium format (13x19) photo printer.  Now, while I have these lovely new toys, it means that I need learn how to use them!  And in this learning, I’ve realized I need your help!  For a limited (very limited) time, I am going to give away some prints.  I will print out any of my photos, either from the AntTree Blog, the gallery on the website or my AntTree Flickr site, and mount them (with mat-board and 3/16th acid-free foam core – no actual picture frame).  If you are local, we can meet up and I’ll hand-deliver it to you (or you are welcome to come over and pick it up!).  If you would like me to mail it to you, not a problem, you just need to pay for the shipping. 

When I say “limited time”, I mean this offer will end as soon as I feel comfortable using both the mat cutter and new printer.  Please note, I’m not going to give out any “errors” or misprints – you will get only “Theresa and Anthony Approved” photos that will be suitable for framing and hanging. 

If you are interested, please EMAIL me which photo you would like and what sizes you would prefer (either 8x10 or 11x14).  Please, one photo per person.

Photo 365 - Day 198 (Sweet Love)

Day 198 (January 17th, 2011)
Title: Sweet Love

Perhaps, just perhaps, I might be taking this macro thing a tad bit far.  I stacked all my "zoom" related items together to take this photo - 100mm macro lens, extension tubes, and 10x macro adapter.  I think I've gone a bit too far on this one, but I just wanted to see what I could get.  To put this in perspective, the candy is about 1.5cm tall (the word "love" is only a few millimeters tall).  This photo, if printed full size would be 13x9 inches.  That's a whole lot of sweet love! 


Photo 365 - Day 197 (Cutie Pie)

Day 197 (January 16th, 2011)
Title: Cutie Pie

I wonder if anyone has noticed that I really enjoy macro (close-up) photography?  I think its because that's how I see naturally.  I can't see anything past about 6-8 inches without glasses, but up close, I can see remarkably well.  I can always read the super tiny fine print on thing (like inside watches and on computer parts), as well as see scratches/marks on coins (which is probably another reason I like coins so much). 

This is another heart candy shot, only even more close-up than before!  And before you think "Dang, that's pretty close-up!", just wait till tomorrow!  Mu-hahaha!  Someday I'll actually have a microscope with a camera adapter, then we'll get crazy!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 196 (Heart Trail)

Day 196 (January 15th, 2011)
Title: Heart Trail

Who knew that the meaning of life and happiness could be found in a little box of candies?!  As I was sorting through the candies to take some shots, I realized there was a path or "trail" and that if you put them in the right order, happiness could be found!  And all this time listening to Oprah and Dr. Phil, buying tons of 'Self Help' books, and all I needed was a small box of candies...


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 195 (Candy Hearts #1)

Day 195 (January 14th, 2011)
Title: Candy Hearts #1

Ah, little candy hearts, the epitome of school Valentine's Day candy.  Cute to get, but taste like chalk mixed with sugar.  I've always thought some of the thoughts on them seems a tad out of place for a kids candy ("Marry Me", "Let's Ride", and "Love Me").  But then again, when I was a kid we had candy cigarettes, so who's to say what's strange.  I shot these little candies for two reasons, first they are quite cute and second I really wanted to play with my macro teleconverter. 


Photo 365 - Day 194 (Italian Dreams)

Day 194 (January 13th, 2011)
Title: Italian Dreams

We love Italy!  I mean, a lot!  We will sit around and play the 'Where do you want to go on our next vacation?' game, and no matter how many places we think of that would be fun to visit, we still always say: "Or, we could just go back to Italy."  One day (right after I win the lotto), we'll get a nice place in Florence and that way, as we are sitting on the steps near the Duomo, and we are playing the vacation game, we can finally say: "Or, we could go to Spokane?... Naaa!"  


Photo 365 - Day 193 (Kaleidoscope Portrait)

Day 193 (January 12th, 2011)
Title: Kaleidoscope Portrait

If I had to pick one area in photography that I feel I've avoided, it would be portrait photography.  Mostly, because people are a bit crazy.  When taking a picture of a leaf, you never hear: "Ahh!  Don't make my nose look to big!  Is this my 'good' side?!"  The leaf just sits there.  So, for some reason I've always put off take shots of people.  That's not to say I don't want to take pictures of folks, it just really hasn't come up before. 

While I was playing around with some other techniques, I decided to take some kaleidoscope photos and why not get some portraits while I was at it!  Kaleidoscope photos are pretty simple really - take a black piece of card stock or paper, poke a lot of tiny holes in it and tape it (or otherwise secure it) to the front of your lens.  In essence, it makes your camera a multi-pinhole camera.  As for the settings (f-stop and shutter speed), its all guesswork to be honest.  Most of the time, the shots are just strange blurry blobs, but sometimes you can get something neat.  This is one of the neat ones.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 192 (Greek Groove)

Day 192 (January 11th, 2011)
Title: Greek Groove

I love the Greeks, and not just because they created democracy, philosophy, literature, and like a million scientific and mathematical concepts.  I mean, its great that they did all those things too, but what I really love are the Greek Festivals!  If you have never had the pleasure of going to a Greek festival, I highly recommend it.  I mean, how can you go wrong when you have foods like: Dolmadakia, Spanakopita, and Baklava (just to name a few)!  Just imagine how many points you'd get for spelling one of those in Scrabble! 

Another great part of a Greek festival is the dancing!  Everyone dances in giant twisting circles - just grab someones hand, and your pulled right in to get your groove on!  One of the accessories (not required mind you) when dancing are colorful scarves decorated with coins (or metal discs) so they "jingle" when the groove hits! 

So, the next time you have a chance, get out there and visit a Greek festival and get your groove on!  Great food, great music, and great people!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 191 (Got Seed?)

Day 191 (January 10th, 2011)
Title: Got Seed?

I like birds, I think they are fun to watch and take photos of.  Now, normally pigeons aren't the smartest of all the birds (I like to compare them, intelligence-wise, to a brick).  But, this little fella was stalking me.  We had a lovely lunch all ready to go at my favorite deli in Santa Cruz (Eric's!), and down flew this bird.  I thought, "Oh, a bird.  How lovely!  I should take a picture before he remembers how to fly and leaves! (again, IQ of a brick)."  I shot a few photos and got my yum-wich and ignored the bird.  He didn't fly away.  In fact, he slowly side-stepped closer and closer till he was about 2 feet from me.  Then he gave me this look like: "Sooo... I see you sitting there, enjoying your lovely sammich.  I was just thinking, perhaps you might have some seeds in your pocket that you might want to be tossing over here.  No reason why you might want to do that, if you have any seeds... Course, it would be tragic, just TRAGIC if anything happened to you while you were eating that darn yummy looking sammich.  Yep.  Tragic." 

I realize that I might have read a tiny bit more into that look than probably was there.  Perhaps when he went "Coo?" all he meant was "I'm a brick that can poop on your sandwich!"  Either way, I was worried and gave him a cracker.  He was appeased and we finished our meal, albeit with sidelong glances at him the whole time, just in case. 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 190 (Monticello)

Day 190 (January 9th, 2011)
Title: Monticello

Well, my week of Coin Smartification has come to a end.  I hope for those of you non-coin folks, that I was able to share something new and/or interesting about coin for you.  I have many hobbies and I love learning about new things all the time and sometimes feel my brain is full of nothing but random information that while helpful on "Bar Trivia Night" isn't exactly critical knowledge.  So, I thought I would share with you some of my random thoughts on coins.  I'm sure I'll come up with another series of photos that will explore some other random cache of my thoughts and when I get to the week on Norwegian Yak Heading, it's going to be a party! 

This closing coin photo is a close of of the reverse (back) of a 2010-S nickel, showing Monticello, the main residence of Thomas Jefferson.  He wrote something famous once...


Photo 365 - Day 189 (Golden Baby)

Day 189 (January 8th, 2011)
Title: Golden Baby

For today's Coin Learnings, I'm going to touch on the part of coin collecting that causes the most twitching in coin folks - Coin Condition (also known as Mint Condition or Mint State).  In essence, a coins condition is a rating (from 1 to 70; with 1 being the lowest and 70 being the best) of how "perfect" the coin is.  By perfect, I mean how close is the coin in relation to the original design (die) that made the coin.  Generally, when you look at coins in your pocket, they are circulated and have a rating around 25-55 (very fine to about uncirculated).  Sometimes you'll see a old cent that's been beat up and it would have a rating of 8-12 (good to fine).  Other times you'll see a brand new dime that's shiny and bright with no scuff marks or dirt, that might have a rating of 55-60 (about uncirculated to uncirculated (mint)).  Even coins that aren't really coins anymore still have a rating, say a coin run over by a train or one that's had a hole drilled through it would still having a rating of 1-3 (cull to about good). 

The rating is probably the most critical element in what determines the value of a coin (the other major element is its rarity - or how many a certain coin was produced).  Generally, the higher the grade (score) the more the coin is worth.  When a coin gets to grade 60 or above, its considered Mint and has very few, if any mistakes on it.  Each grade above 60 the coin must be getting closer to perfect.  A grade 70 coin is extremely rare and are considered perfect examples of said coin.  As for cost, just to give you an example; a 1987 quarter in grade 70 sells for about $220.00.  Its the same as any normal 1987 quarter you'd pull out of your pocket and keep in mind, in 1987 over a billion of these quarters were made!  But out of that billion, less than .000001% (around 1000) will be perfect, which is why they cost so darn much! 

Oh, last little fyi about grade (keep in mind, there is a LOT more you can learn about grading coins - books worth if you are interested), never, EVER clean a coin!  If you clean it, no matter what it looks like after you clean it, because of the chemicals on it, it will be worth very little (certainly not worth anything near what you'd hope).  So, no cleaning!  An unaltered scruffy coin is always better than a cleaned one! 

This photo is of a 2010-S Sacagawea $1 coin.  It's grade is probably around 64-65. 


Photo 365 - Day 188 (Liberty)

Day 188 (January 7th, 2011)
Title: Liberty

Quick little "add-on" coin lesson for today.  Yesterday I talked about mints and what they do, but as a small addition to that information, is a subject that makes coin folks get a little twitchy - mint marks. 

Mint marks are little letters that each specific mint stamps on the coins they make so that way you know which mint it came from.  For example, if you look at a nickel, that nickel could have been made in one of three places, Denver, Philadelphia, or San Francisco.  They each make the coins to look exactly the same, with just that one little letter as a difference.  In the photo is a 2010 nickel with an "S" under the date.  That "S" means it was made in San Francisco.  The other mints are:

S - San Francisco
D - Denver
P - Philadelphia (or blank, as in the case with the cent)
W - West Point (Gold, Silver and Platinum only)

Some older mint marks from US mints that have closed down (which means, if you find a coin with one of these marks, its probably worth more than it's face value)

O - New Orleans
CC - Carson City
D - Dahlonega (before it became Denver - Gold and Silver coins only)
C - Charlotte

Just as an extra "note" to my note, is that all countries use this same method - multiple mints making the same coin design, just adding a letter to show where it came from.  So, they next time you are visiting another country, look at your pocket change and see if you can find that little letter. 


Photo 365 - Day 187 (Call Me Millard)

Day 187 (January 6th, 2011)
Title: Call Me Millard

Continuing with our "More Than I Really Needed To Know About Coins" lesson, we come to mints!  Mints are tiny things that make your breath better... oh... wait, wrong mints.  Mints buy a whole lot of metal (steel, copper, zinc, nickel, aluminum, etc), in huge rolls and run them into machines that punch out little "blanks" (basically its a 200 ton cookie cutter).  They take the blanks, wash them and prep them and then line them up to be "smooshed" (that's a technical "coin" term) into coins.  True, there's a bit more "technical" parts, but that's the Reader's Digest version. 

In the US, there are 4 operational mints, the two largest (and well known because you carry their coins in your pocket) are Philadelphia and Denver.  They make all of the circulated coins (coins that are made for public use).  San Francisco makes special "Proof" sets that are for collectors (they are sealed in plastic containers so they stay in uncirculated condition).  Lastly, is West Point, which only makes gold, silver and platinum coins for collectors. 

This photo is of Millard "Original Gangsta'" Fillmore.  You do NOT want him on your bad side...


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 186 (Evil Presidential Eye)

Day 186 (January 5th, 2011)
Title: Evil Presidential Eye

For those of you who were unaware, I am a coin person.  I like coins, I collect coins, and I am even sick enough to go to coin shows.   One of the things I really love about coins, are their history - nearly every nation uses their currency as a medium for displaying some aspect of their history (and culture).  In the past, US coins were some of the most beautiful coins made, sadly, during the 1980s-1990s many of our coins lost their artistic elements and were just slabs of metal to most.  But, in 1999 the US Mint decided to go all 'crazy' and started using coins as form of both art and history with the State Quarters program.  Speaking on behalf of us 'coin folk', we were overjoyed.  It made people look at their coins again, it brought younger folks into the world of collecting and helped start a trend in modern coinage that is still continuing - frequent changes to our coins, with new and better art. 

One of the new series' that I am really excited about (really, I get actually excited about it - if you ever see me, just ask about it and I'll go all nuts explaining why the program is so great) is the Presidential Dollars program.  In a nutshell, starting in 2007, every year the US Mint is going to release 4 new $1 "gold" coins, each with a different president, starting with good ole George Washington and going till Gerald Ford (they can't go past that, because Jimmy Carter is still alive - they have rules about putting art of living people on coins - basically, they won't). And it's not just a face, but it has when they were president as well.  It's educational and fun! 

These coins are available at any bank or from the US Mint's website.  Buy them.  Lots of them.  They are nifty!

... except when Abraham Lincoln is starting at you... spooky!


Photo 365 - Day 185 (Mr. Leaf #4)

Day 185 (January 4th, 2011)
Title: Mr Leaf #4

And so comes to a close the adventures of Mr. Leaf and his portraits.  It was fun playing around with my macro lens and a magnifying glass (that's what gave the shots a strange "fuzziness" to them).  It also turned into a nice display of texture in a photo.  I hope Mr. Leaf was pleased with the shots!


Photo 365 - Day 184 (Mr. Leaf #3)

Day 184 (January 3rd, 2011)
Title: Mr Leaf #3

The continuing tales of Mr. Leaf and his photo shoot.  Its kind of hard to tell with the small version of the photo, but there are some really interesting details on this (and the other Mr. Leaf) photo.  You will need to click the thumbnail to zoom in a bit, but you can actually see the cell structure of the leaf.  Go macro!


Photo 365 - Day 183 (Mr Leaf #2)

Day 183 (January 2nd, 2011)
Title: Mr Leaf #2

As all portrait photographers know, its good to show off the curves of the client.  Mr. Leaf was no exception.


Photo 365 - Day 182 (Mr Leaf #1)

Day 182 (January 1st, 2011)
Title: Mr Leaf #1

Inspiration can hit just about anytime.  You might be walking down the road, watching the rain fall, reading or just zoning out in front of the TV and - BANG - something happens or you hear/see something that gives you an idea and off you run with it!  This was one of those moments - now, that's not to say that in the end the final work will be fabulous or amazing, but as with many things, just the journey there was worth the trip.

We went out to Walnut Creek for Valentines day (because lets be honest, what says "Love" better than spending hours walking around shopping), and as we were walking to dinner this perfectly lovely leaf was spotted.  It was bright green, no little bug bites or holes and it was just sitting there right in the middle of our path.  My wife picked it up, and it joined us for dinner.  We carried it around the rest of the night and even brought it home with us.  The next morning, I noticed it was starting to dry out, but it was still a great leaf.  I thought: "I know you're going to be leaving us soon Mr. Leaf, so how about a few photos, just so we can remember this by?"  And so, here is my Leaf Portrait Session.

He was a very good subject.  Never complained once!


Photo 365 - Day 181 (Heart Assembly)

Day 181 (December 31st, 2010)
Title: Heart Assembly

There was once a time, many moons ago, when I was unaware of scrapping and the "joys" that scrapbooking can bring.  My wife has informed me, that scrapping is in fact the way to world peace and if we could just call follow a few scrapbooking rules, the world, nay, the universe would be better place for everyone (at least, everyone who scraps). 

Now I, previously an uneducated non-scrapper (aka: heathen), did not know there were scraping rules.  I, in my insanity, would sometimes cut paper.  Using scissors.  And after cutting said paper, I would (for all you scrapbooker folks out there, I apologize profusely) throw away the piece of the paper I didn't need!!! I didn't know!  There I was, cutting a square out and throwing away the rest of a perfectly scrappable shred of paper!  I never knew that, that small, tiny, nearly microscopic particle of paper that I was going to dispose of could become an amazing card or could be the center-piece of a 20' wall hanging depicting the beauty of flying tree squirrels! 

Luckily, through long, extensive "re-education" training with my wife, I now know better.  All bits of paper, no matter the size, will be saved into one of many, many 'Scrap Paper' folders so that they may live again. 

Amen, and my the Scrap be with you.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 180 (Passion)

Day 180 (December 30th, 2010)
Title: Passion

A strange passion is moving in my head.
My heart has become a bird
which searches in the sky.
Every part of me goes in different directions.
Is it really so
that the one I love is everywhere?
A poem by Rumi (13th-century Persian Muslim poet)


Photo 365 - Day 179 (Paper Hearts)

Day 179 (December 29th, 2010)
Title: Paper Hearts

I'm not what one would call "creative" when it comes to scrapbooking.  There is a reason my preferred art is photography, mostly because I don't have to create something out of nothing.  With scrapbooking, as with arts such as painting and sculpting, the results are completely from the mind of the artist (aka, Scrapper).  But, with photography we are usually just manipulating some source material (the photo) until we create a object that we want to display.  If I want to show someone a bird, I go find a bird, take a picture of it, perhaps edit it a bit and, BAM - a picture of a bird.  But, for a Scrapper, they get pens and paper and die-cuts and punches and machines and rulers and tape and glue and stamps and, BAM - You have a 27 page journal on the entire life and history of a sparrows.  So, as you can see, slightly different.

But, while I've got as much creativity as a gnat when it comes to scrapping, I do love using the die-cuts and punching out a zillion little things that will never in fact never be used and instead end up embedded into the floor for 20 years.  Weee! 


Photo 365 - Day 178 - Making Cheer

Day 178 (December 28th, 2010)
Title: Making Cheer

Three fun facts about our house:

1) Nearly everything in it is made from IKEA
2) My office has a particular "NORAD meets Dr. Who" feel to it because of all the random techno-stuff
3) Every other room is dedicated to "Scrapbooking". 

We have a lot of scrapbooking stuff.  We have folks over to scrap and they sometimes lock up (in what I call "ScrapLock".  Its a medical condition... really.)  due to the shear number of scrappy things we have.  But, they seem to enjoy it and generally leave happier than when they arrived.  Its basically "Card-stock Therapy".  So, while perusing the 1.7 billion different die-cut punches we seem to have, I saw this one that said: CHEERS.  And I realized, that, yes, this does in fact make cheer.  So, if you ever need some cheer, just let us know.  I can punch you out some and you'll be all better.


I've been released from Carbonite!

Wow, I didn't realize how long its been since I've made a post!  For those of you who though I was abducted by alien waffles, fear not, for I have in fact, NOT been abducted by any pastry goods! (Besides, I never leave my house without defensive syrup, for just such an occasion). 

Basically, I've been a busy bee these last few weeks trying to get some non-blog related stuff done.  First, I've updated the official website (, now with 347% more snazzy!  The problem with updating the site was, I had no idea HOW to update the site.  We are good now.  Second, I'm nearly done (really) editing all of my wedding photos!  Yes, I know we were married over 9 years ago.  Yes, I know I said I'd have them done in a few weeks... 9 years ago.  But, to be honest, we had a LOT of photos.  No, I mean, a lot.  More than that.  Even more.  I believe we had about 20,000 photos that I had to sort through and organize (btw: all of our friends who took photos for us, you all rock and I'm blaming you that I'm so late).  Third, me and the camera had a bit of a "spat", but we got counseling and are now back together! 

What this means is, I'm about to attack everyone with a horde of photos so I can catch back up (Really!  This isn't like the 'Wedding Photo' thing!  Honest!).

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Let the photo-spam begin!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 177 (Weeds)

Day 177 (December 27th, 2010)
Title: Weeds

Sometimes art, much like nature, can pop-up randomly.  I was walking in Berkeley, when I looked down and saw these small green weeds growing up right in the middle of the sidewalk.  I love seeing this, because it reminds me, no matter how much we build and surround ourselves with all this technology and lifelessness, nature is still waiting.  Just waiting to grow back, to put color back in the world.  Concrete, roads, cars, trucks, machines, steel, iron, bigger and bigger.  Time will pass, and a little green weed will sprout and grow. 


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 176 (Negative Killer)

Day 176 (December 26th, 2010)
Title: Negative Killer

Completing my "fun with modern art" trifecta, I saw this display.  I'm not really sure how I feel about it, because in essence I think that projecting photographs is good and I generally appreciate anytime a photographer gets featured in a museum.  Conversely, I'm not sure I can count Mr. Buckingham as a photographer, because most photographers that I know (not mixed-media artist mind you), wouldn't create an exhibit which sole purpose is to destroy the photograph over time. 

Basically, Mr. Buckingham took a photo of a man on horse (via slide film) and placed it into a slide projector.  That's been on for nearly 10 years now, with the purpose of using the light (which is quite strong) to slowly destroy the image.  When I saw the exhibit, the image is nearly impossible to identify. 

I'm not really going to say one way or another whether this is "art" or not (or perhaps it started as art and has now changed).  I'll leave that judgment to each viewer, but I will say, sometimes a horse is just a horse.  Even when its not. 


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 175 (String Bored)

Day 175 (December 25th, 2010)
Title: String Bored

Continuing with my exploration of modern art, after yesterdays Giant Whisk, I found this... thing.  As I've mentioned in the past, normally I'm not one for modern art, and this piece is kind of why I'm not really a fan.  Its a board.  With string on it.  The string, which is multi-colored, is hanging down.  That's it.  String.  Board.  I have no problem with folks making stuff like this, quite the contrary, I do silly things like this all the time (in my attempt to make things to take macro photos), but I would never be so egotistical to call it modern art and place it in the center of a museum.  Its a board with string on it!  Perhaps it has some deeper, metaphysical meaning that I just can't see, something that would explain the universe, perhaps prove God exist, or just explain String Theory (pun!), but really, it me is just a board with string on it! 

Perhaps their art is related to cat toys.  Who knows.