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Live Without Wonder?, by Varvara Stepanova [1]. In this book, Stepanova recorded major episodes of the Russian avant-garde movement. Experimentsfor theFutureis like the second bird's wing, giving us an idea ofAlexander Rodchenko's credo. I feel that this account of the work and life of the artist, given in his own words, will explain a lot about his art and will help readers to understand his soul. The book is going to be translated into English and published, together with the catalog of the Rodchenko exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, in Summer 1998. Reference 1. Y Nazarov, Review of Can Man Live Without Wondert , Leonardo 29, No.6, 79 (1996). THE LOOM OF GOD: MATHEMATICAL TAPESTRIES AT THE EDGE OF TIME by Clifford A. Pickover, Plenum Trade, New York and London, 1997. 292 pp. $29.95. ISBN: 0-306-45411-4. Reviewed lJy Istvan Hargittai, Budapest Technical University and Hungarian AcademyofSciences at Eotvos University, H1521 Budapest, Hungary. E-mail:«>. This is the most recent addition to a fast-growing series of books by Clifford Pickover that blend computers, science, art and at least one topic of general interest . This time the motto of the book is, "I do not know if God is a mathematician , but mathematics is the loom upon which God weaves the fabric of the universe." Pickover can discuss the most serious matters playfully and can take a fresh look at topics that generally would be considered over-discussed. In this book, he discusses questions that seemingly overlap between mathematics and theology . He does this, though, with a characteristic wink. The reader ends up with a lot of entertaining mathematics and very little theology in the traditional sense of the word. Whether there is a mathematical proof of the existence of God appears to be more important to Pickover than the question ofwhether God exists in the first place. The book is full of beautiful graphics , with both classical images from Dover volumes and computer-generated images, as well as quotations, imaginary characters, readers' fan mail (referring to Pickover's previous books) and his trademark "Smorgasbord for Computer Junkies." Pickover again appears as an unusual and uninhibited author in several innovative features of this volume, such as the involvement of many partners as co-authors via the Internet. A book such as TheLoomof Godcould not have been imagined 30 years ago, and could not have been produced even 10 years ago. Today, however, it is not only possible, but there seems to be a strong market for it. In this connection, we could paraphrase what George M. Cohan, the King of Broadway in the first half of this century answered when asked about the secret of his successhis words are still relevant today-he said something like, "I am an ordinary guy who knows what ordinary guys like." This quality is what makes Pickover, like Cohan, extraordinary. WEBSITE SHADOW SERVER by Ken Goldberg. http:// Reviewed lJy Annick Bureaud,57, rue Falguiere, 75015Paris, France. IDEA online: . E-mail: . When one reaches the first page of the Shadow Server web site, one gets this user's guide: The apparatus is housed in a lightproof box that contains physicalobjects , some of which move of their own accord within the apparatus. Viewers can interact with these objects viabuttons . Viewers can select any combination of fivebuttons and then Casta Shadow,which activatesa combination of lighting devicesand returns a digital snapshot of the resulting shadow.Each combination of buttons produces different lighting conditions . Certain random combinations will provide clues which lead to a mysterious Sixth button. The Sixth button illuminates hidden secrets in an alcove of the apparatus ... The title says this is a "server" and not a site, and this is exactly what it is: something which delivers things to the user. By following the instructions for Shadow Server, one receives images of the shadows of unidentifiable objects. This work is remarkable in at least three aspects: its singularity among the art projects and sites on the Web, its statement about the web and about telepresence, and its aesthetic qualities. Shadow Server goes against current...


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