Author Archives: egalore

About egalore

Philosopher Bureaucrat Extraordinaire

Article in “New Scientist”

A short piece about James L. Acord was recently published in the New Scientist. The article does a good job of summarizing one of the last projects Jim was working on before he took his life. He was making plutonium for inclusion in his “Fifth Reliquary.” Though the quantities of plutonium being produced were practically insignificant (otherwise I would likely have had more than one “difficult” conversation with some serious men at an undisclosed location by now), let’s not forget that he was making plutonium in his (subsidized) apartment!

It is a sweet irony that I should learn of the New Scientist article the same day that I toured the Hanford B Reactor where the plutonium for Fat Man, and classified thousands of other warheads, was produced. In Hanford, enough plutonium to destroy the Earth hundreds of times over. In Seattle, Jim produces plutonium in quantities practical only for conceptual art.

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Memorial for James this Saturday

A memorial is being held this Saturday, March 12, for James. View the Evite Invitation to RSVP.


Seattle Times Obituary for James L. Acord

Many thanks to Tom, Linley, and Janet for getting this done!

Seattle Times Obituary.


Jim’s Final Trip

Tom, Linley, Janet, and I witnessed the final trip of James L. Acord. The memorial (March 12) is probably a better way to remember Jim and his life, but it was important to us that we be there when he was cremated, and so we attended him one last time.

We put the following into the box with James for his final trip (cremation): A hand rolled cigarette of his own tobacco; some sage and wheat from Richland; a picture of Push Button, a cat he loved and who loved him back; a picture from Jake that Jim had hung in his apartment and another picture from Jake’s sister Evelyn; a book of Jim’s on loan to Tom, *Suttree* by Cormac McCarthy; and Jim’s Zeitgeist coffee punch card.

The crematorium had a much more industrial aesthetic than I anticipated. I think Jim would have appreciated it. It was an austere space with 20′ high ceilings. The massive furnace dominated the space; Jim’s box was tiny in comparison. We all said goodbye, hugged each other and cried.


The Transmutation of James L. Acord

Artist James L. Acord, 66, passed away on Sunday, January 9, 2011, in his Pioneer Square apartment. Please check back for information on a public memorial and other updates.

Jim was an only child born in Seattle on October 19, 1944, in the Holocene Epoch, to Gail Elizabeth Chapman and James Leroy Acord.

Jim was at one time a devout altar boy, a cowboy, a master stone carver in Barre VT, a farm hand, and an artist in residence at Imperial College London. Barre stone carvers respected him enough to elect him union president and despite lacking a high-school diploma, James completed post-graduate courses in nuclear engineering.   

He was a perfectionist in all his pursuits, whether sculpture, riflery or technical mountain climbing. His superlative draftsmanship is evidenced in the hundreds of finely detailed drawings of bird’s nests, seed pods, animal bones and the like, turning mundane natural objects into poignant art.

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