Glass Art

01.30.134:57 PM ET

Nils Grossien's Diamond-Cut Pixels

The Daily Pic: Mosaics went digital before circuit boards.

This image of Rudy Giuliani was done in glass mosaic by Nils Grossien, and is now in the show called “Playing with Fire” at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. It woke me up to a fact that I should have noticed long ago: Mosaic is the original digital medium. (My friends Alex Nagel and Chris Wood made good use of that fact in their great study of Renaissance ideas about time and the moment of creation.) Interesting, though, that Grossien made this piece in 1995, before most of us were thinking too much about the digital. Of course, using the digital and thinking about it are two different things: Not sure the mosaicists of Saint Mark’s in Venice were obsessed with bits and bytes.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit BlakeGopnik.com/archive.

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