Call it “cheap structuralism”, because it is what it is. Or topography.
Here I choose to casually watch two territories, A and B.
It can be two apartments, two countries, but also two states (healthy/sick, or single/in couple), two styles, two blogs, anything by two.
Then you can begin to play :
- If there’s a A and a B there’s a frontier. What is it made of?
- Is it a line, like between two countries? Is it a wall? Symbolic?
- A place (called C) which is a “space between”?
- Do you have to study or focus on C?
- Is there a door or many doors? Who opens, closes?
- A bridge? Who build it?
- Are A and B bonded? By what?
- A and B can be different things (a house/outside) or the same nature (two people?)
- When you have A and now also B, you own both. Kill the frontier, or keep both distinct territories inside you, like two facets? Like the two Germanies?
- A becomes B is a mutation. Then where’s the border?
- Rubicon process : once you crossed the border, A doesn’t “exist” for you anymore. Burnt bridge!
The tool is funny to use : determine if your problem can be structured as A and B (Do I have to live in the same place as my lover? Should I merge my two blogs? What is convalescence?).
Thanks for reading!
It’s an old tool many artists know : many constraints are fruitful. Mainly because a constraint is a problem calling for a solution, therefore you have to move, to be creative.
All jobs and activities have constraints : budget, environment, other people, time, space, your skills, your tools.
If it’s too loose, though, you feel a freedom, which can be messy. You can not catch anything. Stuck. You maybe need to tight something up, to find “your” freedom within a new frame.
Brian Eno invented the Oblique Strategies (mainly for musicians) as a card game. You pick a card and you have to obey (sometimes it’s terrible!). Some directors are well known to tell the actors to follow precisely something (the dialogs, or the places they have to move on the set, etc) before shooting. Some digital artists sometimes go out in a park with a pencil and a notebook. A photographer can go outside with the limit of 20 pictures taken, not much. And G. Perec wrote an entire book without the letter “e”.
Constraints are fruitful. You probably have many disposable levers for these. A poet can obey : write something in alexandrine; without any letter “p”, in less than 5 minutes. You may have to present a project in ONE minute only, and… with no words. What are your levers?
You can pull a lever to Zero, it’s the Total Constraint. For example, you’re a photographer and you go out without any camera. Just your eye. You’ll feel the need, you’ll feel your brain simmering. As you can only watch and… think, you’ll maybe have bursts of ideas (instead of taking pictures).
Of course it’s an example of “Amor Fati”, being content with what happens to you, even if it seems bad. Embracing fate : every constraint, if you can’t avoid it, should (and will have to) be danced with.
Thanks for reading!
Instagram : f_pilvi
Le Corbusier was a French architect. I just found a quote and I try to translate in English. It’s a good tool you can use to be creative (if you need to) :
When a task is given to me, I use to put it inside my memory, which mean I don’t allow myself to draw any sketch, for months. The human head have a certain independence : it is a box in which you can pour loose elements of a problem. One let then “float”, “simmer”, “ferment”. Then, one day, on a spontaneous initiative of the inner being, a click happens : one takes a pen, one gives birth on the paper. The idea comes out, the baby comes out : he comes into the world, he is born.
This is a great tool, and it can be mixed with other “common sense” plans (creative people know, for example, that they “work” in front of their blank page, but also that they get “ideas” elsewhere, walking in the street, washing the dishes or after making love). So, think about your problem and go talk to the birds, or bake a cake!
Also Google : Serendipity
Thanks for reading!
“Find optimism in the inevitable”
Rem Koolhaas, Architect
Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable (MAYA) is a Raymond Loewy‘s principle about Design. I like this idea for many reasons.
It speaks about a limit, a frontier : your object, your “invention” tries to bring something new, but… if it’s too new, you lose the audience, you irritate people.
It’s a concept you can use on other territories. Web Design, of course. But also in many forms of Arts.
This “Tool” is a combination.
- Lever (from simple to complex)
- Dial (measuring where the audience is, from bored, to interested, to irritated or lost).
Who grasp this idea? Designers, Web Designers, Architects, and all artists who take care about the audience, of course.
Of course you have in mind the “pure artists” who are stubborn geniuses (or stubborn lonely “under rated”, haha). They have their own mind, their creativity. They create. Take it or leave it, guys! Their work falls, for a given audience, in these 4 categories :
- Boring simple zone “Whatever, it’s nothing new!”
- Comfort mainstream zone “Cool, I like it”
- Waow zone “This is new and great!”
- Failing zone “It’s weird, I don’t understand!”
Of course you have to consider the idea of being ahead of your time. Then it becomes Most Advanced, Unacceptable… but Acceptable one day! Well, maybe!
Tool/Lever/Dial Questions :
Where do you put your own lever, from creativity to take care of the audience? What can MAYA mean to a photographer? A poet? Could you apply that to your life? Where? Sex? Parenting? Where do you want to be ahead of your time? Where is the “risk” dial? Where can be the danger of “taking care too much” about the audience? Where’s the danger in Screen-Tests, in the movies? What about nuggets of Advanced/Unacceptable elements in a mainstream work? What is Avant-Garde? What if “You don’t know your audience that much”?
Sorry for my English. Thanks for reading!
This tool looks like a game, and it could be a powerful one if you have… “this” kind of brain.
All you have to do is to pick a book with many seeds. Here I chose something about “Great Ideas in Architecture”. You can choose Philosophy, Writing, Cinema, Teaching or Photography.
You then have to pick a few concepts and try to apply them to another discipline, poetry for example.
What could be corridor in poetry ? What about Additive Architecture in movie making ? What could be a grid, or a module, or a base when you write an article ? Pick a tool and use it elsewhere, in a way a movie evolves, or in teaching a class of adults, or on writing your blog.
The number of combinations are amazing. Use the movies concepts on building a training for people in a company. Use linguistics ideas on composing music or thinking about photography. Etc.
Most of the time it will be useless. It can sparkle, though, to a great idea. Watch you steps.
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