patterns and process

This reminded me of some of the patterns our baristas create out of simple materials: milk and espresso. Living paint! Art in everything!


Beans of Change

I am happy to announce that, starting this week, we have decided to start carrying coffee roasted by the fine people of Caffe Pronto. With a roasting facility in Annapolis, they can provide fresh and delicious tasting coffees sourced from the best current crops in over 15 countries worldwide. I can't tell you how exciting this is for us; I've been consistently blown away by their Vincente espresso blend - overflowing with sweetness and chocolate tones - and look forward to sampling all of their varietals (currently stocking a Sigri Estate Papua New Guinea). Try it! Tell us what you think. Thanks for being with us as we take another step in Modern Times evolution.


Feb 2011 art show: Nathaniel Pearlman's 'Timeplots' and paintings by Nicole Bourgea

This month, we're pleased to present the work of two unique local artists: Nathaniel Pearlman and Nicole Bourgea.

Nathaniel Pearlman is an information artist who resides just a few blocks from Politics and Prose. Pearlman studied at Yale College with Edward Tufte, renowned guru of the art of visually displaying quantitative information. Pearlman works in a tradition that seeks to communicate a high density of data honestly and elegantly.

Pearlman’s first five “Timeplots” are political because Pearlman has long been involved with American politics. He began his career building political technology applications for redistricting and campaigns. Then in 1997, in the attic of his home, Pearlman started a political software company. From a one-man operation, that company grew to a 130+ person firm, now called NGP VAN, Inc. NGP VAN’s software powers most of the fundraising, compliance and field organization of the Democratic Party and its candidates, including President Barack Obama. NGP’s success allowed Pearlman to step away from the day-to-day leadership of that company and pursue his enthusiasm for information art.

The complete process for creating each print takes many months and involves multiple phases: brainstorming, data collection and research, programming, and design. And many redesigns.

Though aided by a range of design and programming tools, all of the Timeplots are fundamentally hand-crafted, with every pixel and data point placement reflecting painstaking
attention to detail. Pearlman hopes that the Timeplots celebrate and communicate culturally, socially and political significant information and histories — while simultaneously producing art that challenges the viewer to see details, facts, figures, data and knowledge in a new way. Pearlman's work resides in the collections of Supreme Court justices and politicians, but is intended for anyone interested in the subject matter.

The five political prints now on display at Modern Times Coffeehouse during the month of February offer the newcomer to information art a new way to learn about political history and niche info art. For more information, or to purchase a print, visit www.timeplots.com


Nicole Bourgea is a third generation artist and resident of the greater Washington, DC area. She enjoys the challenge of applying her artistic vision to projects ranging from individual portraits and home portraits, to larger projects for schools, offices and interior designers. In all of these cases, her contemporary expressionistic paintings are concerned with microcosms that suggest a whole larger than the sum of its parts.

Bourgea is currently working on a series of large-scale portrait installations exploring the protective psychological instincts surrounding the experience of being noticed. For more information on Nicole's work, visit: www.nicolebourgea.com