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Snowdecahedron
February 3, 2011 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Snowdecahedron. When life hands you a blizzard, make a Platonic solid. "Temporary public art" from Dan Sternof Beyer.
posted by escabeche (58 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
This reminds me of the pie-cosahedron a friend made for Thanksgiving dinner this past year. An icosahedron made from pumpkin and pecan pies. It was awe-inspiring.
posted by amro at 8:05 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is very cool, but if he'd done the rest of the set it would have been even better.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:08 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


STATEMENT

"There is no decahedron like a snowdecahedron." -Plato


I think that was technically a Socratic statement as interpreted through Plato, but whatever mr. Artist man *rolls eyes*.
posted by Think_Long at 8:11 AM on February 3, 2011


The Massachusetts State Police are now looking for him for planting terrorists devices around Cambridge. The entire town as been shut down out of safety concerns. Thank God he didn't plant one at Logan Airport or the world as we understand it would come to an end.
posted by Xurando at 8:12 AM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ugh. That's not a decahedron, it's a dodecahedron. That's why "snowdecahedron" is fun to say. It's not a 10-sided solid, it's 12.
posted by King Bee at 8:13 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


That dude just straight up has a snowdecahedron press.
posted by phunniemee at 8:15 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I go to that shopping center at least weekly and I still haven't seen one of them. Obviously people are taking them and "curating" them like Banksy's graffiti.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:17 AM on February 3, 2011


Snowdodecahedron would be ever more fun to say.
posted by stbalbach at 8:18 AM on February 3, 2011


This is great, love the playful nature of and the photos.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:25 AM on February 3, 2011


That is so cool looking. If we get any more snow this year, I'm definitely figuring out how to make one.

BUT WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO ARTISTS INSIST ON HORIZONTAL SCROLLING?!
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:25 AM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


BUT WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO ARTISTS INSIST ON HORIZONTAL SCROLLING?!

Totally. Still, this was a cute project. I think the placement (or the photos of the placement) was a little bit on the uninspired side, but I think the whole idea of temporary, meltable public art is a good one.
posted by xingcat at 8:30 AM on February 3, 2011


I approve.

So does the mold snap apart or what?
posted by phrontist at 8:32 AM on February 3, 2011


"Temporary public art" from Dan Sternof Beyer.

No, in the spring it'll be a Platonic liquid.
posted by DU at 8:32 AM on February 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is great. Even though when I went back to look at it more closely I could see a bike wheel in the background for scale, the first picture made me think that that thing was gargantuan. I was a bit disappointed to find that it wasn't, but it sure was charming, which is just as good.
posted by OmieWise at 8:34 AM on February 3, 2011


amro: "This reminds me of the pie-cosahedron a friend made for Thanksgiving dinner this past year. An icosahedron made from pumpkin and pecan pies. It was awe-inspiring."

Pictures? I'm confused about the structural stability of this impressive creation.
posted by JMOZ at 8:35 AM on February 3, 2011


How to make a pie-cosahedron.
posted by zamboni at 8:44 AM on February 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I should show this to my neighbor who this very morning was landscaping the giant snow loaves that flank his yard and walk with the chunks of ice he hacked out of his driveway.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:46 AM on February 3, 2011


Let's not quibble over terminology. Can we not just agree that is just a really big d12?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2011


I also have this terrible urge to carve numbers into them.

You know, to roll for damage.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:51 AM on February 3, 2011


Eh, call me when he makes a rhombic snowdecahedron.
posted by Jpfed at 8:59 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's not a decahedron, it's a dodecahedron

S'no decahedron ...
posted by iotic at 9:01 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


King Bee: "Ugh. That's not a decahedron, it's a dodecahedron. That's why "snowdecahedron" is fun to say. It's not a 10-sided solid, it's 12."

Of course it's not a decahedron. Decahedra are not platonic solids.
posted by Plutor at 9:12 AM on February 3, 2011


Porter Square fails its saving throw against Blizzard.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:13 AM on February 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Confounding Navigation!
posted by Eideteker at 9:35 AM on February 3, 2011


If we had snow here, I'd make an isnowsahedron. But we don't. Hmm, can I make polyhedra out of fog? (Although I suspect that an isnowsahedron is more likely to roll than a snowdecahedron. Someone in a colder place should carry out experiments.)
posted by madcaptenor at 9:43 AM on February 3, 2011


You know why I love MetaFilter? Because people casually toss around Platonic Solid like "Duh. Everyone knows what that is!" It warms my heart. Which is hard, because it is frozen like everything else in the damned frozen country.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:55 AM on February 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think the 'snow' is taking the place of the 'do' in the dodecahedron, rather than saying that it's a decahedron made of snow... But you knew that.

I used to live near Porter Square; I spent a lot of time hanging out there during the two or three years I was living in/around Boston. We played a bunch of dungeons and dragons at the house I lived at on Hume street (somewhat post Platonic), which makes this juxtaposition of giant d12's and Porter Square especially poignant for me.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:13 AM on February 3, 2011


So does the mold snap apart or what?

I watched him building a bunch of the small ones over the course of several hours a few weeks back (well, presumably him -- Dan Beyer is a name that gets tossed around in the Porter Square Books coffee shop a fair amount, but I haven't matched up name with face yet.) I didn't see the big mold, but the small one had six or so (? - I think each one had more than one face) angled segments that were hinged together to make a dodecahedron with one open side for packing snow into. Once full, it could be "unrolled" to release the snow shape.

The area kids had school off that day and were helping him fill the molds for a bit, everyone seemed to be having a really good time.
posted by heyforfour at 10:19 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Temporary public art"

God damn it. It's a snowball. A cooler than usual snowball sure, but still a snowball. Oh wait, now it's a pretentious snowball. Sideways scrolling isn't gonna get you a grant for this, man.
posted by cmoj at 10:25 AM on February 3, 2011


Those who can, do.

Those who don't, bitch about the pretentiousness with which it was done.


(And the rest of us snarkily comment about the latter and Wikipedia "Platonic solid" to make sure I we knew what it meant.)

posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:37 AM on February 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


cmoj: "God damn it. It's a snowball. A cooler than usual snowball sure, but still a snowball. Oh wait, now it's a pretentious snowball. Sideways scrolling isn't gonna get you a grant for this, man."

Killjoy. I'm putting one of those in the freezer, waiting until July, then hurling it at you. But, like Calvin, I'll probably miss.

Sigh.
posted by that's candlepin at 10:45 AM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pictures? I'm confused about the structural stability of this impressive creation.

It was made just like in zamboni's link... She made the triangular pie pans and attached them with magnets. I'd post a pic but there are people in them who might not appreciate my posting their photos on the internet for all to see.
posted by amro at 10:53 AM on February 3, 2011


I'm putting one of those in the freezer, waiting until July, then hurling it at you.

Ah, the Bill Cosby Revenge scheme. Be sure to have a good backup plan.
posted by zamboni at 11:04 AM on February 3, 2011


The Wintersmith always plays Barbarians. With Greataxes.
posted by The otter lady at 11:04 AM on February 3, 2011


He did this a couple of weeks ago in Union Square as well.
posted by olinerd at 11:08 AM on February 3, 2011


I had typed up this long thing about this being the true essence of winter and playfulness usurping the drudgery of chill weather, but my browser crashed and I lost the post, so instead I present you with a Dodecahydra!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:11 AM on February 3, 2011


BUT WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO ARTISTS INSIST ON HORIZONTAL SCROLLING?!


Snowdecs: Like 'em!

Scrolling: I like it. It's not so hard. Really. 1) Place mouse cursor, 2) push button. You'll find the screen moves along nicely. Expand your paradigm.
posted by ecorrocio at 11:22 AM on February 3, 2011


> BUT WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO ARTISTS INSIST ON HORIZONTAL SCROLLING?!

Is this something I would have to not own a mouse with a side scrolling feature on the scroll wheel to know about?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:36 AM on February 3, 2011


Those who can, do.

Those who don't, bitch about the pretentiousness with which it was done.


It's not like it's a major engineering feat. I think anyone reading this could do it pretty easily even if there's not already an Instructable for it. I'm not saying it's not cool because it is. It would have been much cooler if he hadn't made a website for shaped snowballs and elft it for people to discover. At least then it might be street art. As it is, it's not very different from the self-important party trick guy posted yesterday.

Killjoy. I'm putting one of those in the freezer, waiting until July, then hurling it at you. But, like Calvin, I'll probably miss.

Like I said. It's a snowball.
posted by cmoj at 11:37 AM on February 3, 2011


Killjoy. I'm putting one of those in the freezer, waiting until July, then hurling it at you.

I'm doing that with icicles! I have more icicles in my freezer than food right now. As they evaporate, they get very pointy.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 11:58 AM on February 3, 2011


It would have been much cooler if he hadn't made a website for shaped snowballs and elft it for people to discover. At least then it might be street art. As it is, it's not very different from the self-important party trick guy posted yesterday.

How is it devalued by being on the internet? I'm enjoying it, and contemplating making some myself. Would you consider it more artistic if

a) it was in an art gallery
b) he made only one, out in the woods, and didn't show it to anyone?
c) he only considered making it, then thought, "hey, someone might think I'm self-important! I better not!"
posted by zamboni at 12:10 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like snow and I like dodecahedrons. These are cool.

I like pie and I like icosahedrons but I'm afraid of any recipe that says "the lack of symmetry is unsatisfying ... a direct consequence of the hairy ball theorem."
posted by zanni at 12:13 PM on February 3, 2011


I was going to make a joke along the lines of "So God really does play dice with the universe." So I googled the phrase and found this. Can a URL be eponysterical?
posted by Tin Man at 12:22 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


How to make a pie-cosahedron.

Hey, that was me! Flattered to see it mentioned in the same context. Of course it's not so surprising, since the piecosahedron and the snowdecahedron are naturally dual to each other. And all these years I thought it was the doughdecahedron.
posted by albrecht at 1:07 PM on February 3, 2011


God damn it. It's a snowball. A cooler than usual snowball sure, but still a snowball.

Any sufficiently cool snowball is indistinguishable from art.

There's no public cry to stick this in a museum or anything, no capital-A Art! angle to worry about. It's just, you know, purposefully doing a thing with aesthetics. Out of snow, out and about. That's pretty much exactly what "temporary public art" describes.
posted by cortex at 2:27 PM on February 3, 2011


How is it devalued by being on the internet? I'm enjoying it, and contemplating making some myself. Would you consider it more artistic if...

It'd be more artistic if it were something else entirely. It's not art. It's a cool thing. That's not a value judgement, it contains no detectable expression or commentary or anything to make it more than what it is: snow cleverly packed into a dodecahedron.

I'm not complaining that it's not "artistic." I'm complaining that he thought so highly of his single platonic mold that he felt the need to dress it up with its own art-world-conforming page and the self-important label "temporary public art" when it would have been served just as well by slapping it up on Flickr without bothering to preface the whole thing with "HEY GUYS LOOK I MADE ART."
posted by cmoj at 2:30 PM on February 3, 2011


it's okay. sometimes art just makes you smile.
posted by sawdustbear at 2:46 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dodecahedron for playground fun. Dodecahedron lit by laser.
posted by Tube at 3:09 PM on February 3, 2011


Tin Man: that's my blog.
posted by madcaptenor at 3:43 PM on February 3, 2011


Ah! Nice.
posted by Tin Man at 4:46 PM on February 3, 2011


But how many works of "art" could also be considered just "really cool things"? Who gets to decide if it's "really" art? I think the art comes from the impulse, to see snow and think of making it into something. You can quibble with his execution, or skill, but that has nothing to do with the impulse to create.
posted by emjaybee at 5:34 PM on February 3, 2011


You might call it art, but if it is, it's bad art. It's totally one-dimensional. It's still a cool object. Again, my objection is him taking this self-aggrandizing stance for making this thing that is neither technically nor conceptually challenging for anyone. Neither of those things have any bearing on what is or isn't art, by the way.

It's as if I made a website, coded by its style to be an artist's site, put on the front page "Look at this art I made" and posted a bunch of pictures of folded cootie catchers. Actually, that would be pretty funny in the context of what we're talking about, but you see what I'm trying to get at.
posted by cmoj at 6:26 PM on February 3, 2011


shawty, where your bard at?
posted by pressF1 at 7:37 PM on February 3, 2011


I don't know what this guy's doing, but it's very strange and I'm trying to worry.
posted by meandthebean at 7:56 PM on February 3, 2011


Oh, hey, I saw that when I got off the T the other day. Then when I was going home, I noticed some idiot had knocked it off and ruined it.

Some people create. Some people destroy.
posted by driley at 10:45 PM on February 3, 2011


Judging by how hot under the collar cmoj is about this snowdecahedron, it must be more art than he'd care to admit. A mere snowball could scarcely invoke so much emotion.
posted by Goofyy at 5:23 AM on February 4, 2011


It's totally one-dimensional.

I believe all three of the standard dimensions were present in his work.

Again, my objection is him taking this self-aggrandizing stance for making this thing that is neither technically nor conceptually challenging for anyone.

You didn't detect any sarcasm in his artistic statements whatsoever? really?
posted by Think_Long at 7:06 AM on February 4, 2011


Judging by how hot under the collar cmoj is about this snowdecahedron, it must be more art than he'd care to admit. A mere snowball could scarcely invoke so much emotion.

I'm not at all, actually. But, of course, you've preemptively told me what I care to admit, so I must be. I'm (apparently futilely) trying to clarify what I'm saying about it.

You didn't detect any sarcasm in his artistic statements whatsoever? really?

Not of the kind that would indicate that he views it as a joke that he would promote this so aggressively. He's even got a "Snowdecrahedron in the news" section now.

But then I almost always have a problem when painters sign their name on the front of the canvas, so take that as being indicative of whatever you like.
posted by cmoj at 11:29 AM on February 4, 2011


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