Organizing Withdrawal

In my 22th Chronicle I talked about Pasolini and Didi-Huberman (an Italian director and a French philosopher), about the fireflies – the persons who, in dark times, arrange, create, install glimmers, little lights.

It’s about resistance : it’s discreet, humble, unnoticed by the majority (who run on highways, into the big neon lights of consumerism & productivity). Fireflies. They’re in the woods, along small paths and trails…

Fireflies disappear maybe because we don’t know how to see them anymore, say philosophers, but, well, obviously, they really disappear…

Maybe there’s a way to “organize the retreat”? 

In military vocabulary, a withdrawal is a “type of military operation, generally meaning retreating forces back while maintaining contact with the enemy” (wiki). There’s something included in this : it must be organized, held, kept in order, “in contact with the enemy”. If you lose this idea, it’s rout.

I should find a book about this concept! Retreating seems a negative thing, but we are here on a field where we have to find the positive aspects. Military speaking, I found this list here about withdrawal – https://www.virtuescience.com/why-retreat.html :

  • To pretend weakness
  • To make time to observe enemy
  • To make time to recover
  • To make time to plan
  • To lead enemy to more favourable area
  • To evade attack
  • To lessen force of enemy blow
  • To delay battle to a more favourable time
  • To defuse conflict
  • To wear out opponent

When I was in my Napoléon time, I was fascinated by Ney, Marshal of the Empire. In Russia he commanded the “rearguard”. Interesting to study, if you fancy it…

 

What about fireflies?

Glow-worms’ signals are intermittent and fine, minuscule, fragile. The tiny is the place of resistance. A singularity which also could make the forgotten… intelligible again. A firefly as an example?

Organizing the retreat is to BE a firefly, or to help them, maybe also to show those who whistle there are no more fireflies that they are wrong. It’s about “something is staying”. They glow in darkness. If you don’t see them anymore, it’s because you don’t want to follow their signals…

But I’m sure you do see them. I’m sure you’re one of them…

When, when you’re in the Crowd, do you step aside to glow-resist? When you meditate? When you create? When you throw an invisimagical moment? When you do “a little of the contrary”? When you have some unexpected two seconds behavior? When you show a thing of beauty? When you don’t follow, you disobey? When you…

 “A thing of Beauty…”

You can also read :

Seeing to Finesse amid Chaos
The “Titanic Octet” state : stop panicking & arrange twinkles

 

Thanks for reading!

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Artificial Powerlessness

Google image “Street Art” and you’ll find great, amazing things. I follow a few street photographers : some of them “have it”, they show us an electricity, a life moment, a mood and a light.

 

Now I look at this two pictures. The movement in my brain is simple.

  1. I notice the knack. “Spiderman’s string is the crack on the wall”. “The puddle photography is upside down”.
  2. “Ha ha ha, OK”
  3. So what?

 

It’s as if the “artist” wanted, without any shame, to show us how crafty he is, how smart he is. So, you get the flick, you smile, and… SO WHAT.

Everybody needs to be loved, so you smile to Mister Crafty Crafty. Good job. You did it. And Spiderman, yeah, my childhood, etc. Ingenuousness. Cool.

I find it embarrassing. And I’m sure this person “can do better”, right? And know better.

OK. OK for the flick. But I prefer to discover a painted wall, or a picture taken in the street, to stop, to raise an eyebrow, to begin another process : a question, a wonder, another question, a resonance, a doubt, a will to no more, a sparkle of smile, a curiosity for the author, and his other pieces of work, a WAOW…

Better than a wriggling out knacky flick on my nose.

 

So I put the third picture – a modern “I want to be loved!”, but with wrong expectations, right?

So, to the end, I put a R. Burri “street photography”. A beauty, and a wonder…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Surprising Reversibilities

– I owe you so much!
– No no no, it’s I who owe you…

 

  1. A therapist takes care of his patient.
  2. Stravinsky or Hindemith were influenced by Bach.
  3. Someone is watching and analyzing a painting.

All these three examples are simple and clear. You can draw the arrow, right?

We thinkers like to go deeper, though. To find nuances, subtleties :

  1. There are many ways of listening, of helping someone…
  2. What are the elements which makes us notice the influence?
  3. What do we seek – and find in Arts? An emotion? Links?

You can spend months on each, reading books. Refining concepts is a bliss, right? Good!

 

Today I study one thing : reversibility. It’s meeting a surprise “the other way around”, and it’s charged with intensity :

  1. A therapist suddenly talks about himself. Instead of listening, he tells his own story. The patient is suddenly captivated. This is a well known trick in this field! Psychotherapists say it gives a stronger link (therefore a power) on a patient. Adding humanity in the bond is a strange and powerful idea…
  2. Many specialists come to a point where they see where is Bach in Hindemith, but also that there is some Hindemith (1895-1963) in Bach (1665-1750). Two centuries before, OK, but you can study this the other way around – even if you think it’s “not OK”. It’s a game for spirits, to study how the now can be seen as an influence for the past.
  3. An Art lover studies a painting, a music, and he realizes it works in the other way : the piece of work moves him, changes him, teaches him, overwhelms him. You explore yourself through another person’s work. You are amazed by unconscious and historical forces at stake. Your skin (or your guts) are activated. Astonishment is a trigger for your brain. Then, maybe, you’re… slaked (and this can be in MANY ways), right?

 

A child comes from a mother, a father. But parents are also transformed by the coming. In the end, the person who is a child gives parents… motherhood and fatherhood.

Mhhh I like that. You feel that I touch something here, oui? Where, in what other examples can you imagine this reversibility process? Business? Couple? Creativity? Ads? Poetry? Where, when it’s obvious “things are going this way”, could you reverse something? Therefore what?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Funny Seeds & Distorted Dials in Pop or Metal Rock

There’s a series of DVD about history of rock (BBC – Seven Ages of Rock). Far from perfection (where are the girls?), but very fun to watch. Yesterday it was about Stadium Rock, with names like Dire Straits, Police, Bruce Springsteen, or Queen. This whole pack of DVDs is a source of seeds, ideas and paradoxes.

  • The misinterpretation of Bruce Springsteen‘s “Born in the USA” (“a bitter commentary on the treatment of Vietnam veteran”), by politics who didn’t read the lyrics.
  • The paradox of “Money for nothing” (Dire Straits) (“from the point of view of two working-class men watching music videos”, seeing guys getting “money for nothing and chicks for free”), becoming a huge hit (thus big money) thanks to its… music video. “I want my MTV”.
  • The US disaster of “I want to break free”, from Queen. The clip (all of the band members in women’s clothes) was well accepted in the world, but not at all in the USA (MTV forbid the video), which did hurt the Queen live career there.
  • The strange lyrics of Police‘s Every Breath you Take, the story of a stalker after a break up. “Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it is about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow.” – and not a gentle love song.

There are Wikipedia pages about all of them, if you want to go further, it’s very interesting!

 

The Metal Rock documentary sounded sometimes like some… history of arts!

As Wiki says : “Heavy metal is traditionally characterized by loud distorted guitars, emphatic rhythms, dense bass-and-drum sound, and vigorous vocals”. So there. And within an hour you witness one interesting thing : how each group replaced the other one with “something new”. A strange interval in Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”‘s intro. Faster beats. New looks (Judas Priest’s singer with hardcore metal/biker/S&M macho look). Changes in sound (trash metal). More precised built songs, with new producers… How many more levers?

In a way, it’s very satisfying to watch this little dial in every art, which becomes here a balance between :

  1. the audience needs to be a little surprised
  2. but not too much because it’s mainstream

(Oh! It’s called MAYA, remember? : Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable)

Judas Priest sold 50 millions albums, and Metallica 120 millions…

 

Seeds, tools, dials, levers. Paradoxes, misinterpretations, failure due to culture misreading, progress in art (which lever will you activate? Complexity? Surface? Strangeization?), and this one : what is needed to be able to please a stadium crowd? Quite surprising, right?

 

Thanks for reading. Have a great sunday! Bon dimanche !

 

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#ECM, a music label – #Jazz

Wiki says : ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) is an independent record label founded by Manfred Eicher in Munich in 1969. While ECM is best known for jazz music, the label has released a variety of recordings, and ECM’s artists often refuse to acknowledge boundaries between genres. ECM’s motto is “the Most Beautiful Sound Next to Silence”.

If you don’t know this label (and if you’re an music explorer), it can keep you busy for a quiet evening. It’s interesting in many ways. Sophisticated jazz of course, but also minimalism, quiet worlds, inventions, disturbing surprises and splendid smokes, with a… you’ll see : ECM has a sound.

You can YouTube it. If you like to read, I suggest you Google “ECM Best Albums“. This page is great, for example :

https://gerryco23.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/ecm-40-favourites/

In a way, it’s always interesting to READ about intelligent music, right?

Randomly found 9 sleeves for you.

 

Have a nice day!

Alex Coxville, Canadian painter

Alex Coxville (1920-2013) was a Canadian painter. I like him because of the uncertain mood we often find in his work. It’s troubling but harmlessly. It’s quiet but strange. It’s daily, but like in a dream – notice his use on “there’s no shadow”. And I love his way to choose a funny point of view, hiding things we would like to see…

 

Here are 10 paintings :

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“Museums are dwellings that house only thoughts” – Proust on Rembrandt

“Museums are dwellings that house only thoughts”, wrote Proust in a little essay about Rembrandt, paintings and museums.

You’ll find the book if you need it. Here’s in brief what he says :

People go visit museums (ex : Rembrandt), they see paintings : horses, ladies, a necklace, a window, a light, a tree, etc… Like a list of elements, in line. Then they… notice some links between Rembrandt’s paintings. Textures, common elements, moods, colors he used…

But at one moment Proust says that a walk in a museum is interesting for a thinker only if suddenly he has an idea – which seems a rich one, and would likely engender richer other ones…

 

Tool : What do you think? Should Art be appreciated “as it is”, for pleasure? Or should it be analyzed, to maybe trigger you own ideas? Is it utilitarian? What would it be bad?

 

“…comme une promenade dans un musée n’aura d’intérêt véritable pour un penseur que quand en aura d’un coup jailli une de ces idées qui aussitôt lui paraissent riches et susceptibles d’en engendrer d’autres précieuses”.

Thanks for reading!

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