The Dam & The Bridge : “At the same time” as an Ambiguity Force

I own a book named “About Ambiguity in Architecture“, by Robert Venturi. The title itself is promising, right?

There’s a Wikipedia page about Ambiguity.

It’s not the “vague” meaning here, but a way to be this and that “at the same time”.

At a very simple level, we all understand that. A gallery is a room and a corridor, and a dam can also be a bridge. In the same way, a road can also be a frontier, right?

Then, when you have this “tool”, you can begin to play.

Ambiguity as a force, not a weakness.

  • Is “double function” the same as “at the same time” (obviously not)? Explain.
  • At the same time : function of signification?
  • Double function now, or at different times?
  • Something can be esthetically pleasing and useful at the same time, right? But what other and more surprising uses/couples can you invent?
  • What if you show there’s an ambiguity? Why? How?
  • How a contradiction could be a strength?
  • What happens when something is tragic and funny?
  • Can a friend also be a lover?

Hmmm?

What’s your field? Teaching? Photography? Poetry? Blogging? How would you apply all this? When is it a game? A path to progress? When is it a danger? Do you have to explain ambiguity? What if you don’t?

Have fun. And a nice day! Thanks for reading !

 

“The struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of a child at play”.
Nietzsche

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Léonard Missone, Photographer or Painter?

Léonard Missone is a Belgian photographer who died in 1943. The first time I saw a picture, I Pinterested it in “Painters” – sure it was a (great) painting.

Nope, this man is a photographer! Of course, he is a “pictorialist” : he retouched his work a lot – way before Photoshop or Instagram filters. So there. It’s academic but my eyes are delighted. The way he uses the light, of course…

But mainly : Belgium is a few miles North of my city of Lille, in France. And therefore I’m touched because he captures “this” light we have in the sky, these autumnal sudden cracks in the clouds from where the sun becomes resplendent, the November moods when water draws mirrors on the roads after endless days of grey drizzle…

Have a nice day!

 

 

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Non Finito : Inchoateness in #Art

There’s a Wikipedia page about sculpture : Non Finito. We could begin with this.

Non finito is a sculpting technique meaning that the work is unfinished. Italian in origin, it literally means “not finished”. Non finito sculptures appear unfinished because the artist only sculpts part of the block, the figure sometimes appearing to be stuck within the block of material.

An unfinished piece of Art can be caused by the death of the artist, obviously, but now it’s also an esthetics purpose. You can imagine many ways of reading it :

  • Showing you a little of the act of creation
  • A failure, fatigue
  • No more money/no more inspiration
  • A refusal to decide it is “done”
  • A way to say it could be improved indefinitely
  • Impossibility to find perfection
  • Something finished or “too beautiful” is exhausting, disagreeable
  • It makes the audience think and wander within the “what could have happened”

 

In some fields, the “never finished” thing is constant : there are, for example, no finished Cathedrals in France. And I should explore it about Orson Welles, for example, who constantly seemed to be away and off with the idea of finishing and editing a movie.

Of course, there are problems with that concept. The “unfinished” thing can make the artist appear as a smart-ass doing is “non finito” thing. If it’s a trend to do this, what’s the point?

“This can be finished later” : some composers (or theater plays writers) constantly work on their stuff, and Proust, the French writer, is well known for his “quillings” : he added and added hundreds of little papers, adding fragments of texts to the existing text, and, as says Wikipedia : Proust died before he was able to complete his revision of the drafts and proofs of the final volumes.

In fact, it’s difficult for an artist to know, therefore to decide, when a piece of art is DONE. Some artists, like the painter Turner, decided to come back to work after a long time, and to put it further. Thus, you can finish is… many times.

Of course, this makes you think about the way it’s done. You can work back on a poem, even on a movie, but it’s harder to do it on an album – I read an interview of Peter Gabriel who was telling that he would love to redo some of his CDs. It can be remixed, remastered, but the record companies would unlikely allow him to change them really.

Mike Oldfield did it with Tubular Bells. He said in an hilarious interview that the original album was full of mistakes and flaws, so he redid it completely with a perfect sound and digital recording. Decades after the 1973 one, the new version was a success, but after a few months, the good old one was back on the shelves…

Tools & Dials :

What about YOUR art? How do you blog? How do you write? When do you know it’s over? Do you ask someone? Do you think about it if you paint?

Thanks for reading!

(So sorry for my bad English)

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Instagram : pleasesoft

 

 

 

 

 

Dexterous Swinging Between Two Properties

…du balancement adroit de ces deux propriétés…
…of the dexterous swinging between these two properties…

I found this great tool, this “pattern” in a Paul Valéry‘s notebook. He was a poet and a philosopher and was, here, thinking about the process of consciousness.

(I won’t translate it here, but let’s say he talks about the swinging between consciousness and unconsciousness, the first one as an engine to drive the production of the other one).

If you’re a psychoanalyst, it’s interesting, you’ll try to link this with Freud’s theories, etc. But with my cheap structuralist mind, I operate on it – to extract its minitool :

dexterous swinging between these two properties

Swinging means you go from one thing to the other one, and vice-versa. Dexterous means you know your doubletool, you are a pilot of it. You just have to find the field where to use this.

  • Reason and Instinct?
  • Skills and Attempts?
  • Talking and Listening?
  • Passion and Casualness?
  • Fast and Slow?
  • Following orders (or rules) and Following your mind?
  • Control and Let go?
  • Fight and Flee?

 

Find other examples. You have now your two “aspects”.

Then think about a “dexterous swinging” between the two.

Then, apply your wooden tool to your field : photographer, poet, soldier, writer, blogger, designer, architect, gardener, who knows… What do you find?

You are GOOD in playing your TWO FACETS. What does that mean? How do you play that? Can you teach it? How do you think it? Can you apply your method to other fields?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : ashleymcky

 

Insisting to find gossamery beauties…

Immediate pleasure when you discover some music, it’s awesome. It CLICKS with you, with what you wait, your brain is sparkling : dance, dance!

But I remember this from my young years : the albums I loved the most were not appreciated that much “at first sight”. Nahhh. I had to learn how to love them.

It happened with some avant-garde, or a bit complicated progressive rock LPs, like King Crimson or Robert Wyatt. In this case, I had to find my way with elements I already appreciated (a voice, a song from a previous album, a guitar style), then little by little, in an insisting process, I became like intoxicated by the good poison, and in final I loved the album more.

In classical music, the main problem is the level of dissonance. I struggled with Bartok, then with Webern. It’s true : “until I found my personal wall” – the place where you can not love it, for sure. Every door is closed. You may insist, but without success.

What I discovered later is : there are other walls, which cut you from “immediate pleasure”. The Continent of Complexity aspect (Proust in literature, Mahler in music), where you have to dig into. The infinite sentences of Proust, where you can lose yourself in boredom, are full of intelligence and marvels. The long symphonies of Mahler, where you have to sail many many times before you begin to detect reflects of miracles. In a way, you have to invent your own detectors…

One other wall is more tricky : when you find it’s “too simple“. I always loved the earthy magic of Brahms, but couldn’t find any pleasure (or barely) in Schumann or Schubert‘s musics, which I found boring. But then, one day, my ears became more… accurate, or sensitive, and I was able one day to find gossamery structures and colorful subtleties I never heard before. Awee.

 

Your tool today is a dial : Are we lazy? Is it because of a lack of time, or energy? In what other field could you apply your efforts? Where should you insist, to find beauty? Where is it too hard, too complicated? Where is it too simple? Where do you smile with contempt… and you should not? What are possible keys? Help from another person? Articles and books? Is this vicarious, or merely an island luxury thing?

Oh, sorry for my wobbly, strange English!

Thanks for reading!

You can also read : https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/jungle-syndrome-of-mahler-proust-marx/

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#bird #sanfrancisco #art #photography

I fell in love with this ceramic bird on a flea market. I hesitated and didn’t buy it and now I regret it so much. The owner told me he bought it in San Francisco. So, well, I printed my photography. I’ll frame it and put it on a wall.

 

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2vCyYaM

Rubscrubbing Smart Neoclassical : Hindemith, Ives, Stravinsky

I’m fond of Classical Music. It’s a perpetual exploration. Comparing the performances. Reading books. Educating my ears.

Today I chose three examples of “Neoclassicism”, three composers of the XXth Century playing with forms from the past. What can we find in this?

 

Hindemith : Mathis der Maler (Matthias the Painter), composed in 1934, evokes a painter from the 16th Century.

 

Ives, Symphony No 1 was composed in 1898-1902.

 

Stravinsky, Apollon Musagète (Apollo) was composed in 1927-28.

 

All pieces are labelled “Neoclassical”. Hindemith evokes a Painter from the 16th Century. Ives synthesizes ideas from “Late Romanticism” (Dvorak or Schubert). Stravinsky composes a ballet music about… Mythology.

What I love here is… where it rubs, where it scrubs.

  1. Melodies come obviously from past forms, but sometimes there are twists and weird torques, delicate or sudden. Simplicity goes into smokes. Then it restructures itself…
  2. Harmonies are the same. From extreme comfort and predictability to sudden changes or toxicologic strange colors invasions. Then, sit back.
  3. Forms, shapes, frames are from the past, but XXth Century prowls. Again, you feel in a normal world, but you are surprised by unusual and unreliable twists, breaks, complete changes of mood, or rhythm. All this, most of the time, with a well-well-well-sorry-I-couldn’t-refrain-myself way. Then it reframes…

 

Yes, dear reader. Have fun, if you like music. Read the wikis. Try to find the common patterns in these three pieces work. Explore other pieces from the composers, you’ll be surprised.

Light a candle. Appreciate the keen baroque style of Stravinsky, the splendid colored veils of Hindemith, the luxurious sunny racing car Americanity of Ives.

But also, find the pattern, our today’s tool. What is Neoclassical? Can you do it in photography, poetry, in pop-rock?

How will you make it? Study the past? How? How will your modernity invade it? Sudden twists and winks, or slow/imprecise secretions? What can it bring to your work? Ideas or real creativity? What does the audience feel? Are you aware of it?

 

Thanks for reading! Keep cool! Bonne journée !

 

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