aesthetic investigation

The Cockroach camera, machinery as sculpture, the Unofficial Flotilla Page, images, writings, catalogues, geek stuff, other people's stuff, a few links elsewhere, and one glass of milk. (updated January 2006)

"We'll blame it on some drunken college kids."

aesthetic investigation
Jno Cook

Jump to: [images] [exhibitions] [texts] [resume] [miscellaneous] [geek stuff] [other people's] [classes and students] [links elsewhere]

Images and Installations

[cookie tin camera]
This device was actually the reason this website was started. The folks at Lucien (Blight) wanted to see it on a web page to share. Well here is the [Cookie Tin Camera] -- a rotating cookie-tin slit-shutter camera. And a really wide file -- a contact print from the Cookie Tin Camera. Left some 30 percent off. (graphics, 100K)

[Cameras] and projection equipment. Some as black and white line drawings, which how is I used to do graphics before scanners.

[indexed film strip projector]
[Machines] and installations. Some repeats from other catalogs, some never seen before - mostly black and white line drawings. (24 files, 232K)

Five hundred and thirty one [diagrams] of installations, astrophysics, gadgets, remodeling projects. Notes taken over a twenty year period. black and white line drawings. (531 image files, 5 meg, frames)
[i dont know]

[When I Was Two - cover]
["When I Was Two"] is a baby book, lexicon, and record of grammatical development of a 1 to 2 year old -- done as a response to Keith Smith's "When I Was Two". I took care of the youngest for a year -- cooked for him, fed him, changed him, played with him, took him on errands, took naps with him, and took careful notes of the development of speech. (37 files, 645K)

[Various Occupations] intended by a three-year old. He turned out to be a programmer, but for a while a lot of options were still open. 5x7's
[Kees as

[Claudia Mural, State and Illinois St]
[100 murals] Two Percent for Art, the rest for me. The introduction will explain. A grad school project which, like _most_ of my projects, remains mostly conceptual. (graphics, 13 files -- not 100, 525K)

[Faces] is an abreviated version of the whores from the internet, from "NO CARRIER." (146 files, 1.22 meg)
[one of the faces]

[first fruit]
An [Angry Fruit Salad] is a hacker term for a mismatched graphics driver. This is an abreviated version of the 400 image slide show, also from "NO CARRIER" (246 files, 6 meg).

The true story of [Burnt toast] (2 files, 344 K).
[the toast image]

[fall of the year 5499]
How to grow a [Sequoia] tree in your back yard. I am still working on it. Also known as the Chicago Natural History Project.

All time favorite, the [Kim and Nicole] coloring book done in conjunction with the project described under the CAA talk. Graphics.
[Kim And Nicole book cover]

[1217 image]
A photographic record requested by Claudia George as the house at [1217 Lee Street] was being vacated for sale in 1996. Made with a 5x7 1920's drop bed "Conley" camera (originally sold through the Sears catalog) with 3 1/2 inch and 5 inch lenses from abandoned snapshot cameras of the same era. Contact prints on Azo (16 files, 630K, images).

A collection of stamps; only on the web. I have always made [Stamps] but never exhibited them. Most places don't _wanna_ exhibit them. Most places don't even wanna talk about them.
[first stamp]

[December 1994]
A collection of [calendars] made over the years. Not all there yet.

Exhibitions and Catalogs

[talking head]
[The Last Retrospective]

(May 2011) An exhibition of machines, flat art, bottles, and other miscellaneous stuff. With Gordon Ligocki. Curated by Linda Dorman and Tom Torluemke.

[dust, drugs, sex]
[New Paintings]

(May 2003) An exhibition of road signs at Uncle Freddy's Gallery, Hammond Indiana, two person with Adelheid Mers.

[Hammond Poster]
[Hammond Invasion]

(August 2002) A group "show" in Hammond, Indiana. Chicago artists invade during an open air art fair. Established a listserv for the coordination, and built two catapults.

[Pegasus in Heaven]
[Hammond Invasion Parade]

(August 2002) Chicago artists invade Hammond, Indiana. If it's yellow it's mine. On the left: "Pegasus in Heaven," a later installation.

[Textbook of Insanity]

(up April 12 00) A group show of some strange people at Las Manos, Chicago

[cube proposal]
[Untitled Cube]

(up March 17 00) Proposal for an obnoxious black box for Gallery 312, March 2000

[flying toaster]
[Dysfunctional Toasters]

Exhibition at Beret International October 1999.

[location map]
[Solar System Model]

A scale model of the solar system, accurate for April 25, 1998, at 6:00 pm of the day of the opening of Jno Cook and Mike Slattery "Same Place; New Space", at Beret International Gallery. Also a link to a proposal to build this to a much larger scale for the Chicago Museum Campus.

[frame from RolloDog]

Exhibition catalog for "NO CARRIER", September 96 at Beret International Gallery, Chicago; concerning computers and the internet. Introduction by Amber Baum; sculptures; "A Curtain on History:; "Reflections on the Future"; Installations; Conceptual base; Resources; Code sources.

[improved guard dog]
[Scary Machines]

31 files, 209K. Exhibition catalog of loose sheets, for an exhibition at Beret in 1992.

[16x20 red wagon camera, Kees, Zita]
[Continued Aesthetic Investigation]

18 files. DiverseWorks (Houston, TX) catalog, for an exhibition in 1992. Cameras, projectors, machinery.

[Peter Flashing]
[Technology Review]

13 files, 514K. 1990 article by Beth Horning in Technology Review. An interview on the occasion of an exhibit (of cameras) at List Visual Arts Center. There is also a List catalog, which I will try to reproduce one of these days.

[image from the introduction]
[Reclaiming Technology]

41 files, 262K. Randolph Street Gallery exhibition Catalog '89, exhibition of cameras. The catalog includes notes from 4200 years of making glass, lenses, cameras, optics, and vision. The original was put together by cutting and pasting (with real paste).

Texts and Publications

Miscellaneous, Doesn't Fit Elsewhere

[A diet for Linda]

(8/2004) After 20 years of being a vegetarian, avoiding fat and sugar, learning 20 ways of preparing tofu, and mostly hating the food I ate, I have switched to a Paleolithic diet a year ago. I am not overweight, and weight reduction has little to do with this diet, although it is an effective side effect.


(12/2002) A consideration of the Saturnian theories and cosmology based on the extensive research by David Talbot, the writings of Dwardu Cardona and Ev Cochrane, the plasma theories of Wal Thornhill, the explications by Don Scott, the grand unification of mythology of Marinus van der Sluijs, and hundreds of other people, leading from original work by Immanual Velikovsky. Off-site.

[Saturn and Earth]

[webpage image]

A set of 40 files, amounting to 168K, just to do a demo website design for James. A severe case of design preceding content. But it works. Unfortunately James has stopped supporting his own website.


Short history of Flotilla, especially 1995, with images from the 1995 and 1998 floatings. They crashed in 1999.

[Luke Dohner]

[5 count Favor]

Scrip in currency here. Some thoughts and images on favors.

[Aesthetic Investigation] [long resume] [short resume]

What I do for money. Yes, that's right, I investigate aesthetics. I also make art and build mechanical and electrical devices posing as sculpture, do photography, build optical equipment, do installations, make web sites, write. Used to do video, filming, hueristic computer modeling, travel analysis and predictions, capital analysis.

[changing trains in Wyoming]

[Cheops crossection]

The secret of the Giza pyramid revealed. It is all so simple, it deals with construction: footings, fill material, facing blocks.. Plus a hundred related images.


Maxims for the 21th century, and words to live by.

[change is no good]

[yard image]
[Back Yard]

My back yard in the 21st century. I'll add winter pix later, although the $10 digital camera has its faults.

[CTA Turnstile Directions]

Made-for-idiots graphics by CTA, read completely different to me. Some annotation.


[image detail]
[One Megaton]

"Metonomies of Violence," originally done for a group exhibition at University of Illinois in Chicago, 1985

[image maps]

The image files from Politically Correct Calendar for 1995. Funding refused by IAC and the NEA.

[map bg]

[1924 radio]

Stuff I have to get rid of, cause it is cluttering up my kitchen and living room (and basement and attic). Includes optics, electronics, and other stuff someone will need.

Geek Stuff

Direct Printing

Print directly to a dot matrix printer at the LPT port in Linux/Unix, including from Pine and Lynx. Clean up man pages, print pdf pages. Using a Windows SAMBA networked printer.

Mac Rant

Some reasons why Mac computers are (and can be) neglected.

JunkEmail Education Project

JunkEmail, spam, size limits, BCC rejection, return warnings, Procmail filters, rewriting headers, mailing list bounce administration, procmail listserv, junk email education project.

A modular generic listserv in procmail script

Four files will run any number of small listservs (up to 80 or 90 names each), and create a web-based archive of the emails by month. Fairly secure, yet public for a small group. Use this for classes I teach.

Web Stuff -- make things work in HTML

(updated January 04) Notes on operating a website, a primer on HTML with notes on how tags are misread by browsers, backup and security issues, Unix scripts and DOS batch files to help, methods of organization, keeping things downward compatible, and methods of speeding up the transfer of image files.

I started to keep these notes when I first started putting up web pages in 1995. Thus it represents a collection of methods and tools spanning everything from a dialup account with a 2400 HST modem, to whatever I am using today. Updated the pages to reflect current practice, and expanded the number of Unix scripts.

Learn Programming

Learn programming in 5 days, notes by a crack programmer. This is the most frequently asked for file at this site.

TCP/IP network for a DOS box

With a few files from a WfW machine, a plain DOS box will run TCP/IP networking.

Undelete for Linux

Can't do that? You can't undelete files on a Linux ext2 File System? Yes you can, I just recovered 1200 files.

Send blind email from a website

Two files which allow users of a hidden website for a listserv to send blind email. Two PHP pages.

Month Calendar

PHP script elements for a month calendar with clickable dates. Cute, accurate, Lynx compatible, and [in use] also.

HTML Conversions

A bash script to convert HTML to plain text, and a sed script to do the reverse.


Notes toward disassembling PCs.. AA Certification basics. DOS/Win. Mac and Unix OS to come, if I ever get to it.

Adjust your monitor

(updated Jan 04) If you build your images on a Mac, chances are that 97 percent of people on the Web will not be able to see them correctly. Those are the people with Intel boxes running Windows.

Discusses adjustment of your monitor's contrast and brightness controls to reasonable values will allow you to construct images which other people on the web can actually see. Sample gray scales and color standard color charts included, plus some generic directions, including monitor color adjustment without electrocuting yourself.

30 small linuxes

Small Linux OS - small enough to fit on a floppy or two.


A website continueity checking script in Perl. Finds all the loose links and missing files and images, and will identify the orphans also. Html, htm, php, asp, shtml.

Fancy Pine

423K zip. Pine signature utility. [read the instructions]. Writes a different definition from the On-Line Jargon File as a tag to every piece of email that goes out. For Unix systems. [download]

background colors

Check our not so subtle colors for web pages. A rotating series.

Other People's Cool Stuff

[Oatmeal Journal]

Stuff by Greg Cook and others. Greg's my little cousin, and only the second of all my 135 cousins and second cousins to "go into art." Extracts or rejects from Oatmeal Journal, which Chicago's Lumpen characterized as, "Pointless, banal, and just plain stupid." Meet Mortimer Mouse ("Making out"), Greg ("Everyday"), and Ted ("Special Ted").

[page image by Greg Cook]


Rickman's Mind Reading Markup Language; very funny. Stolen in 1998, can't source.


My house by Eun Ju Choi. EJ shot 60 rolls of film.

[16mm Michell and cat Jacob]

[was scepter]
[Weird Stuff on the Web]

Some things do not surprise me anymore, but every now and then I run into Pyramidiots and other true believers who have attacked some subject with religious zeal. Here are a few examples, which stand up well as spoofs of the same insane work of others.
-- An analysis of a mass of stones at Waitapu in New Zealand. This will move the science of "ancient alignments" far into the future.
-- The identification of the was scepter as a water turn-off key.
-- Twenty two pages of a mythologically based rant, called "The Sacred Mountain."
-- The true chronology of the world.
-- Four outraged e-mails from Jayden. Jayden writes, "You arrogant presumpteous amateur know it all." That's me.

[msgs: Messages]

A social analysis of an IRC by Benjy Feen, 1997; Republished in Uturn in 1998.
"In the late summer of 1996, a conferencing system called msgs (pronounced "messages") was developed on a privately owned Linux computer system on the Internet. In the eight months which followed, over 14,000 messages were sent, sometimes 200 or more a day. The bulk of these messages were posted by a total of 17 frequent users (defined as users whose total number of messages accounts for at least 100 messages, or about .7% of the total). Four of these users are responsible for over 1000 messages each; two of these are nearing 2000."
In late 2007 over 20,000,000 messages have been posted by its 20 or so users.

[guilty by Greg Cook]

[cover page]
[Ravenswood Comix]

Great little comix, one sheet of paper, folded. Was reviewed. 1987

[Shuko Wada Website]

One of about five Websites, with links elsewhere. Special potatoes. Marigolds, Cindy Loehr Fountain and Waterfall, Japanese Zucchinis, Interactive Internet Bonsia, Shuko Wada travels, Koi, Starbucks Shibuya menu, Japanese Basil, Godzilla. I lost the other website, which used to be at

[Shuko in Japan]

[Thorkleweed Root and Magic] Short story by young writer. Let me, as his word editor, add a few lines to suggest, as John Barth has it, that there exists a core of stories which contain all other stories which can be written. This is one of these; compact, fast paced, with a surprise turn at the end. But then, anyone who recognizes the Wizard of Oz at the core of Conan the Barbarian, and identify him as Dorothy, would know that.

[Strap-on] The most industrial band in the world.

Chris Wiberg writes, "Back then I was reading a few Usenet newsgroups pretty regularly -- particularly -- and one thing that really struck me was the kind of consensus-by-bullying that went on: a few people make their opinions forcefully (and repeatedly) known, and soon it's considered preposterous (or worse, a sign of "newbiehood") to voice a different view."

"And of course, it's always about something completely pointless, like that Band X sucks. There were other things, too -- the insular "indie" mentality and knee-jerk reaction against popular success; and, of course, the basic mode of discourse in semi-anonymous online forums, which seems to tend toward the pointlessly inflammatory."
-- 12/03

[site image]

[site image]

[site image]

Class Notes and Student Work

[Photograph by Matt Jenik and
Carmen Hernandez]
[Work] by students, ex-students, and TAs. Graphics, 2900 image files of 160 people, 60 Meg total. Lopa, Mike Hill, Ko Ono, Yuko, Laura K, Andy Nowak, EJ Choi, Julie Lasker, Vicky Breslan, Kimmy, Simon, Kosta, John Handwerk, Bee, Adam Mikos, Ann Marie McGlade, Nicole Radja, Barry Mayo, and many others. Plus some classes.

[View Camera] All graphics files, 19 files, 324K. Covers all the aspects of view camera usage except your aesthetic input: Optics, lenses, controlling perspective, magnification. Class notes for summer view camera. My students of course _never_ look at these notes. To download, rather than "save" each image file individually, just click [here] -- this is a large DOS/Win zip file, containing all the pages.
[page image]

[page image]
[X-Tech Manual] 46 files, 917K. Alternative photographic processes, lith film use, process camera, line shots, halftones, color separation. The complete X-Tech Manual - really big files.

[Photographic Books]. A listing of noteworthy photographic books published in the last two centuries. [Frank, The Americans] [Clark, Tulsa]

Links to Maintained Sites

[Spaces link]
[Spaces.Org] Web site of some of Chicago's alternative, new, radical, struggling, and other fly-by-night galleries. Stopped maintaining this in 2004.
[OG link]
[Other Group.Net] Was 80 Chicago curators, dealers, artists, and writers on a listserv. Now a collection of essays pro and con on alternative cosmologies.
[CA.N link]
[Chicago Art.Net] An art event Announcement service -- 70 or 80 galleries, 3000 users.
[Sat link]
[SaturnianCosmology.Org] A 699,000 word text on the complete and true history of the world. Saturn mythology, books, links, and a searchable database of 3400 files. "Absolutely revolutionary", "Fantastic", "Profound", "A masterpiece", "Probably the most comprehensive coverage pertaining to the history of mankind."
[Folyamat link]
[Folyamat] Water Level Instrumentation Station and Gallery, Budapest.
[Care link]
[Care.Spaces.Org] Claudia George and Mary Signatur's Senior Home Care Cooperative efforts.

[file hits]
File hits to this site are updated around 5 am GMT.

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Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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