“Intentions and Elegance”: Overthinking about Art

I read a good book about a… harpsichord player. I found ideas. Here they are.

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The easy question is “What is it?”. Another question is “What does that mean?”, therefore “What does the artist want to say to us?”. This is a totally higher question, right? Instead of the work, you ask about the artist’s mind, and their will. Does art need a meaning, after all?

Where should we, instead of focusing of things in front of us, focus on what the maker wants?

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If you are a Bach (b 1685) specialist and you want to study or play Mozart (b 1762), you have to make a jump in time and music, and Mozart will appear very modern. But if you come from 19th Century, it will feel like a loss.

From where will you come, to study this or that?

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If you’re enthusiastic, do you master your work?

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Does elegance need the existence of another person? What about the idea telling that real elegance consists in not getting noticed. And Balzac says that to reveal some economy of means is inelegant.

It’s from Latin “elegans”: who knows how to choose.

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A pretentious simplicity, does that exist?

Goethe : When an intention is too visible, it irritates

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Who plays – and how – the tango of strength/delicacy?

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Purity of the sensation, or of the landscape?

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When you touch the harpsichord‘s key, the note appears, that simple. There’s no possibilities of ppp or fff. It’s “the note”, always the same intensity, it’s a yes or no thing.

Without any possibity of nuances, of touch, the subtleties must come from elwhere: the phrases.

Where else do we have this?

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Deep understanding” and at the same time, “spontaneity” (or precision/passion). Both. Same time.

Where? Sex? Conversation? Acting? What kind of skill is this?

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When a rule emerges, its exceptions appear at the same time.

In French: “Déroger à la règle” (The English “to contravene” and “to infringe” sound “to go against”, to fight, but the French one sounds “to take a hidden door”, to depart from, to invent my own path).

An artist who knows enough rules to depart from them: to explore/invent.

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What is a work of art with simultaneity of significations? Sorrow and courage at the same time; violence and sweetness; pride and vanity. What kind of richness is that?

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To admit” (it’s the same in French, admettre) is a curious verb: to confess, to acknowledge, to allow entry, to accept validity, to place, to permit, to conceide or recognize.

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A style emerges, how?

  1. Origin.
  2. Development.
  3. Blossoming.
  4. Refinement.
  5. Saturation.

Where? Examples?

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When can’t we prevent aggravation (or stop worsening)?

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Baudelaire: The restless crowd, whipped on by pleasure

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Do you produce differently (by other means) or something else?

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Is the existence of the past Law, or Force?

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Acknowlegment or recognition? Even gratitude, if you push?

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Which one is the most interesting? Beauty created by nature, or beauty created by men?

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Could you go that far, without the resistance of it?

Thanks for reading!

Tritones & Sad-Eyed Ladies: Chronicle 66

“We have to bring out knowledge where we don’t expect it.” – Roland Barthes

Isn’t it a fascinating quote?

We bring out knowledge in articles, in schools, in books: exactly WHERE we expect knowledge to be shown, that’s good.

But why should we do this in “unexpected” places? To create surprises? To aim at a new audience? Elegance of life?

I don’t know but I find it interesting.

But OK: where?

At work? Social media? Could we talk about Barthes on TikTok?

Knowledge? Music isn’t knowledge. So, what? Humanities? History? How? What form? Courses?

oOOo

Ahhh a day off, and a lonely time…

Let’s choose a musician (Gustav Holst, Chick Corea), ask some web pages, take some books, and explore. Finding names: “The Could Messenger”, “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs”. But I ended listening to “Jan Bang, Erik Honore, Gaute Storaas and Arve Henriksen – (2013) – Knut Hamsuns Victoria”.

A piece of quiet music:

oOOo

I have a draft here named Blood Family/Soul Family but I only have the title here. It’s an old structure, we know and see what it is. The problem is that we “know” our blood family – the soul family is elsewhere. We meet them later, maybe never. Maybe some work is needed to find the soul family. Not some work, but some… accuracy, or attention. But not being a tracker, right? One does not hunt a soulmate, but one can be ready to meet one.

oOOo

I made some photos which need some poetry.

oOOo

In French, there’s a song: “J’attendrai” (I will wait) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%27attendrai. See lyrics. Other versions.

oOOo

Riskiest modulation of The Beatles: If I fell. It’s funny to hear it “explained” by a scholar with tritones, knowing that John Lennon liked to build song by “making piles of random chords”. I used to do it. Listening to the chords in loop triggers melodies.

oOOo

I opened a book about Bob Dylan and found that he had be signed on Columbia in the sixties by a guy named John Hammond. Hmm:

“What I wanted to do with Bobby was just to get him to sound in the studio as natural, just as he was in person, and have that extraordinary personality come thru…. After all, he’s not a great harmonica player, and he’s not a great guitar player, and he’s not a great singer. He just happens to be an original. And I just wanted to have that originality come thru.”

Producers who… feel something – the archetype probably being George Martin, often called the “fifth Beatles” (producer, arranger), and there’s another man, the manager (Brian Epstein). Hmm:

“…as John Lennon and Paul McCartney joined in with jokes and comic wordplay, that made Martin think that he should sign them to a contract for their wit alone.”

Stig Anderson was one of the dominant figures behind ABBA. He built them, co-wrote lyrics, etc, he’s sometimes called “The fifth member or ABBA” (well well), etc…

It is funny to read about the “guy behind”, when you read about big music stars. Who’s behind Queen, Elvis Presley? I’d like to find a book about them. What did they bring? What did they see? What have they in common?

oOOo

I opened a book about Bob Dylan’s songs, finding pages about one single song: Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. In itself, a big source of analysis games.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sad_Eyed_Lady_of_the_Lowlands

  • It’s a very long “poem”, full of mysterious words. I found a French web page about Dylan’s lyrics style, closer than Rimbaud than American or English poets ( https://www.bobdylan-fr.com/articles/jeffreyside.html -> Google Translate it!).
  • Instead of “stories” or descriptions, images so weird that people scratch their heads in wonder. Like in Umberto Eco & the Open Work, the audience built their signification.
  • Therefore everybody finds something talking about themselves. Read the comments everywhere.
  • Dylan’s recording of the song is interesting.
  • It’s said to be a “hymn” to his lover. But some guys think that it’s about Dylan’s “anima” (the unconscious feminine side of a man – animus being the unconscious masculine side of a woman).
  • It’s a waltz.
  • The album was released in 1966; I’ve seen June, but also May 16th (I was born on May 15th this year).
  • The sleeve’s blurry.

Well: voilà some seeds, dig a hole, put the seed, see what blossoms.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anima_and_animus

With your mercury mouth in the missionary times
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes
Oh, who do they think could bury you?
With your pockets well protected at last
And your streetcar visions which you place on the grass
And your flesh like silk, and your face like glass
Who could they get to carry you?
Sad-eyed lady of the lowlands
Where the sad-eyed prophet says that no man comes
My warehouse eyes, my Arabian drums
Should I put them by your gate
Or, sad-eyed lady, should I wait?

Here it is by Joan Baez :

oOOo

Isn’t the best stimulant the curiosity of the person you love?

Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!

JP

Foxery is Mêtis’ Cunning

The concept of Mêtis comes from the ancient Greeks. It is a strategy involving “the cunning of intelligence”.

Mêtis is practical, it’s about “what happens”, the moment and the now, changing things, unpredictable things needing immediate action.

It is like a “fight with reality” (or a dance) to maybe save the day, including technical matters: the archetype then becomes the artist, the craftsman, the handyman – with a use of a global knowledge, playing games, inventing solutions.

Cunning against what (or who) is stronger, using hiding and secrets.
Intelligence’s strength stays sometimes in the Art of not being seen, therefore the other is stupid! This includes the use of lures and ploys.

Good examples are the Trojan Horse or archetypal characters like Robin Hood or Zorro.

This idea of “honest cunning” has been written “renarderie” in French, it could be Foxery.

The idea of “now adaptation” and cunnings sounds very Chinese to me.

See: Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society Jean-Pierre Vernant and Marcel Detienne, and of course the 36 Stratagems.

I’m sorry for my improbable Frenchy English. This was just a casual article, just a seed for thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

How often do you check your stats in WordPress?

Blogging is a whole thing. There are many good reasons why we blog. I tried one day to list them: Why do you blog?

When you blog, you have something in your brain that clicks when you read or hear things. Like an Instagrammer has an eye for it, your mind picks up ideas everywhere it can. So maybe it’s a way to be more… present, an acuteness.

There’s another thing: you publish, so you have to present it, to shape it, to frame it, whatever. It’ll be read (a little, I hope!), so you have to iron your shirt. And if you don’t, it’s also a style, right?

Then you have to find the balance between staying yourself in what you say and to please your audience. This balances a good structure to watch.

Continue reading

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 7

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 7

 

Again, funny to see the whole planet becoming “more balanced”, and massively. Super rich sportsmen or business bosses giving up indecent money, people getting sick pay, health and other important workers being paid more… With…

…positive consequences, less noise, less pollution, less tourists, people thinking and having time, instead of running everywhere like fools.

 

***

Serendipity lead me to listen to Mozart‘s 14th piano concerto, played Maria Joao Pires.

I’m a Brahms & Schubert lover, and my tendency is to walk along time, exploring other XIXth and XXth century composers. Therefore, I need to make an effort to listen to Beethoven, and even more to Mozart. I hear the clichés, I often guess “what will happen” in the music, etc.

But my experience, my love and constant exploration of Schubert today (instead of, for example, Bartok), I’m now capable of hearing some magic in the weave

 

***

Watched a Blu-ray : The Leopard (1963).

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860’s Sicily.

So cleverly done that it lets you in turmoil and ecstasy. Such finer points in the dialogs and acting… Masterpiece!

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After All the President’s Men (with Jason Robards) and The Leopard (with Claudia Cardinale), the next movie will be Once Upon a Time in the West (with both). I love to create chains with movies… (and it’s, like The Leopard, directed by an Italian).

Chains of Movies Wandering

***

Some analysts imagine that this epidemic will change society, in these terms :

  1. De-globalization. Some things have to be decided and producted inside the country (medicine, for example).
  2. Rise of public expenses to help employment and companies.
  3. Understanding that the whole population has to have healthcare and that a country’s health system should… heal people instead of making profit.

…like some plans after WWWars, for example. Well we’ll see.

 

***

I found this name : Rita Streich; here she is in the Musetta’s Waltz Song. A fascinating voice, new to me. Like coming from an old time…

 

***

One can’t stop wondering WHY are there so many cruise boats in activity, knowing that “The World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020“.

 

***

“Any port in a storm”, it’s an easy-to-understand idiom, but it’s very new to me. It contains some philosophy, right?

Maybe “might makes right”, or nécessité fait loi (necessity make law, or rules) for… what must be done must be done…

 

***

Here’s a quote from Paul Valéry :

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.

And this one :

En matière de discussion, j’appelle adversaires honorables, ceux qui ne tiennent pas tant à “avoir raison” qu’à améliorer leur organisation d’esprit, qui preferent leur esprit à leur amour-propre.

In terms of discussion, I call honorable adversaries, those who are not so much interested in “being right” as in improving their organization of mind, who prefer their mind to their self-esteem.

 

 

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

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Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 6

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 6

 

Jünger writes :

It seems that in particularly looted regions, one found refuge in arts like in lifeboats, mostly in poetry and music.

 

***

Types of confinements? Sometimes we look like prisoners of course, or castaways, shipwrecked sailors (oh I read so many books about this “type”, very curious about what they did and how), but also otakus, those people who do not want social contact at all, hermits, waldgängers

But I prefer to place myself in the role of these two guys in Jünger’s fable On the Marble Cliffs : the narrator and his brother live in a hermitage, a closed retreat, a life of refinements and quietness, with plenty of books and a garden. Outside, there’s a village and surrounding hills, “who feel increasing pressure from the unscrupulous and lowly followers of the dreaded head forester”… Brrr!

 

***

New words I discovered yesterday : bollix (but, verb or noun?), stake (but, wager, and bet??).

Each new word is like a “hole plugged” and filled, and in the same time it appears like an enigma, a radioactive element full of questions : When do people use this? What is the difference between it and its synonyms? Etc…

 

***

This epidemic made me think about Social Medias. To find informations, accounts, opinions…

  1. Facebook is useless. Who uses the search bar here? And if you find a good text from a doctor on the web, do you ask him as a friend on Facebook to follow him ? Nope. It’s just fun, voilà.
  2. Twitter is better but need constant adjustments, I love the way I find new persons and things through retweets.
  3. Reddit is great, à ma grande surprise, because it’s moderated. There you can follow a person, but you mostly follow a subject.

There are really useless and hilarious and interesting SubReddits, like /aww, /damnthatsinteresting, /kamikazebywords, /technicallythetruth, /oddlystatisfying, /birdsforscale or /catsstandingup, or /hmm.

https://www.reddit.com/r/CatsStandingUp/

 

***

I think it’s a common human law : people don’t really think, and they feel invincible. When the epidemic began to expand out of China, if you were a minimum informed you knew you had to buy some food, wash your hand, and avoid crowds.

I began to follow the /coronavirus Reddit and read accounts of young guys in Italy telling that they were mocked if they wore a mask. “It’s just a flu” will become a phrase people will remember in the future, as a symbol of hurdy-gurdy-stupidity. Today they have almost one thousand deaths per day, in Italy…

Today we hear about Spring Break parties or about guys in the world arguing like “Nobody will tell me what to do and when to do it”. These things shall pass, for two reasons :

  1. Stupidity and not listening, with consequences (maybe regrets)
  2. “No Choice”, sadly, with consequences too

When in India or Mexico or Africa we have confinement, people have to go out because they are not paid if they don’t work, or they massively move to go home (which is far elsewhere), or it’s so crowded in cities that when you go erranding, you’re packed, want it or not.

 

***

In the constant irony of life, there’s religion. In many place on the planet – and each one has its own “God”, right? – religious gatherings lead to explosions/disseminations of cases, therefore deaths. Very curious to see this range of religious or conservative milieus – because what? Hmmm. Example in France :

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-france-church-spec/special-report-five-days-of-worship-that-set-a-virus-time-bomb-in-france-idUSKBN21H0Q2

 

 

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

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Have a nice day! Stay safe!

 

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 4 – Cheesers & Chocolaters

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 4

 

This morning I read about a little family whose daddy’s a stressed man who can not function properly if he doesn’t run his good 12 km (7.5 miles) everyday, thus he watches TV all day long.

This made me think about boredom, with the consecutive metaphors we find on the social medias – confinement is like being in a prison (home), or in an animal in a zoo.

I wrote this article – Big Boredom – about the ways people find to fight.

  1. Evasion, with pills, alcohol or drugs?
  2. Engagement, with politics or religion, rules?
  3. Moderation, with culture, knowledge, watching the world?
  4. Pushing limits, with speed, danger, exploration?

One seems possible with booze (how do you buy drugs if you’re not allowed to go outside?), but without seeing people and staying inside, it could lead to disaster, right? Two is possible on the Internet, with the ridiculous risk to become an angry fool wanting to change others (hahaha). Three sounds wise. And Four is out of the question – or maybe you can throw yourself into domestic bodybuilding (push-ups).

 

***

Heroes are people working in hospitals. But some other heroes are those who go on working because they are essential to society : delivery guys, cashiers, funeral people, mailmen…

Some companies in France will pay 1000 Euros ($1076) for this month to employees who kept working during this crisis. And next month?

 

***

OK there’s a new hashtag : #quarantinediaries

I found an interesting article about how hashtags are misused :

 

***

We alternate movies. One evening is for happy, funny, easy movies, the other evening is for a bit more serious movies. We don’t binge. I find it awful, exhausting.

Yesterday we watched a children movie, “The Secret Life of Pets 2“. It immediately came to me that it was a film for children… made for children.

Most Pixar movies are, for example, children movies made for adults, or “made also for adults”. Many little boys ADORE “Cars”, but don’t understand the plot :

While traveling for the final race of a Cup against, the famous Lightning McQueen accidentally damages the road of a small town and is sentenced to repair it. McQueen has to work hard and finds friendship and love in the simple locals, changing its values during his stay, and becoming a true winner.

Two-years-olds adore. Lightning McQueen, fast car! (that’s all). Many kids like characters and a few twists and turns, but they simply don’t understand the movie. It’s often the case with Star Wars…

Here, the plot is simple, the characters are cute, it’s full of colors, the evil character is simple, and… it’s fun!!

I always watch this dial in movies for kids : where’s the “adult dial” here, where is it?

 

***

There’s a scandal in France concerning a diary written Leila Slimani, for whom the quarantine is a “fairy tale”. Confinement when you have a country house is cool, it’s like a big holiday, she watches the horizon. If you want to read some French, Google her name + “journal”. For example :

https://www.marianne.net/debattons/billets/journal-du-confinement-la-vie-un-peu-trop-rose-de-leila-slimani

https://diacritik.com/2020/03/19/le-journal-de-confinement-de-leila-slimani-est-un-conte-cruel/

 

***

The medias like to show idiots in malls with dozens of toilet paper packs. Hoarding, panic buying. Yeah, that’s too much, but if you’re informed and know that you’ll be quarantined, you have to “stock up” food. I began way way before the decision – I was just watching how things were moving – I was buying double at the moment : cans, rice, who knows. I don’t have a car thus I had to, little by little.

This disease is a mess. If you need a respirator, you’re intubated for 3 weeks! I read Chinese diaries. You don’t get the virus if you don’t get out at all.

Confined, you are allowed to go errand, but, well, let’s do it the less possible, OK? Therefore, you fill your car, go home, and stay there. That’s not hoarding, that’s normal!

Yesterday I’ve seen a man walking in the street with a single French baguette. Come on, guys!

 

***

A writer here made a Twitter survey : what, apart from alcohol which is non-negotiable, is the food you have to stock up? It seems that two camps appeared :

  1. Cheesers
  2. Chocolaters

 

You? 😉

 

***

It is true that we all look like people in Hopper’s painting…

 

***

I met two Latin expressions recently :

Hic Sunt Dragones

Wiki : Here be dragons” means dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a medieval practice of putting illustrations of dragons, sea monsters and other mythological creatures on uncharted areas of maps where potential dangers were thought to exist.

  • I thought that we were today in a Hic Sunt Dragones state in the world. Uncharted territory!
  • I thought also about… when you are in the beginning of exploring a new cultural field (Italian cinema? Civil War battles? Picasso’s sculptures?). This state of hungriness.
  • I thought about when we begin a new love story. We are then… deterritorialized, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_be_dragons

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Wiki : Sic Transit Gloria Mundi” is a Latin phrase that means “Thus passes the glory of the world”.

So it’s said as a reminder of the transitory nature of life and earthly honors. Therefore it could also be “Memento mori” (remember that you must die), This too shall pass, and Vanitas. There’s a whole development about Memento Mori on Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic_transit_gloria_mundi

Wherewhen do people use these? I should Google it a little to find out…

In the end : nunc est bibendum (now is the time to drink)

 

Thanks for reading! Stay safe!

 

 

729px-Joseba_Eskubi_Untitled._Oil_on_canvas._2012._46_x_38_cm

Deterritorialization is a funny tool/dial to use!

Mutation Process can’t be stopped

Gilles Deleuze quote : “Lodge yourself on a stratum…

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 3

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 3

 

I live in Lille, a city in the North of France. The neighbor country here is Belgium. When I was young in the eighties, most of university students were listening to Radio 21, a Belgian “music and news” radio, the only one in French – a part of Belgium speaks French – which aired Indie Rock at the time. David Sylvian, Clan of Xymox, but also Marrs, it’s there that I discovered some treasures…

Radio 21 disappeared, split into a radio for teens and another for adults, called Classic 21, which of course I listen – I prefer Pink Floyd, Supertramp and Police than Rihanna or Ed Sheeran.

Yesterday at 8 PM, dinner time and on radio, the news. Something like : “At 8 PM tonight, people in Belgium, confined in their appartments, applaud at their window, together, to say thank you to the nurses and doctors who fight the coronavirus”. I opened my window and immediately heard the whole neighborhood here doing the same.

 

***

The majority of French humans understand the meaning of mandatory “Stay Home”. Only, I’ll be outside every two weeks for food, with my signed paper in my pocket. A few idiots though go on happying on beaches and along rivers, to socialize and see the spring and the sun. One city today (Nice) decide a curfew after 8 PM. Others will probably follow. Many cities including Paris have to close parks for this reason.

 

***

Watched An Officer and a Gentleman, great romantic drama! I searched a little, to find that it’s been directed in Fort Worden, which is in the labyrinth of sea/land NW of Seattle. It’s always interesting to discover “normal” places in American movies, I mean elsewhere than New York City and L.A..

Should re-watch Urban Cowboy (with Debra Winger too).

 

***

Netflix or TV channels or Blu-rays?

I separated my TV from the cable channels in 2000. I was annoyed by the fact that I had to choose from “what was proposed to me”. Even with 400 TV channels, I had to watch what someone decided to air. Nope.

Thus I own a big collection of DVDs, then Blu-rays. I choose what I want, when I want. Netflix and her cronies are for me a lukewarm swamp, where I can choose, OK, but from what?

What if I wanted to watch an old Bergman, or a silent movie from John Ford, or a documentary about Kupka or Joni Mitchell?

 

***

Book : David Lodge autobiography. Music : Mozart Concertos for piano (Perahia).

 

***

I have another blog about photography, where I “try things” about a place, a thing. It’s, therefore, about the idea of variation. Some photographers, admittedly, say that for a given place, there’s only one… place to take a good photography. Of course one is tempted to shake their head, but I admit it makes me think. Here it is :

https://qeht.photo.blog/

Locked home, joggers and duck hunters are sad, but readers and photographers are not. They can play home.

 

***

I read in a Claude Roy diary, as he’s around 70 years old, that he would like to reach this season, this state : “Le temps du cœur triste et de l’esprit gai” – the time of the sad heart and the merry spirit.

What could that mean?

 

Have a nice day! Stay safe!

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WordPress Categories & Tags : my tips

Hi! I have one tip for your blog (I personally don’t follow it) :

If you want followers, choose a little field and stick to it.

Photos of cats, fashion in Italy, collecting forks, French painters, whatever.

I do the contrary, my blog talks about :

  • “Things have many faces”.
  • “Subtlety is better than false simplicity”.
  • “Disillusions are part of the game”.
  • “Rules are mostly movable/beware of mindsets”.
  • “It’s funny/useful to compare or weave separated things”.
  • “Art is a great buoy”.
  • “Watch in the now/around you/the propensity of things”.
  • “Finding structures as intelligence”.
  • “You can quit the surface of new things”.
  • “No one is a prince in every Kingdom”.
  • “Keep aspects hidden/Be a Waldgänger”.
  • “Consider other ways to change/Know how to wait”.
  • “We need to be disturbed/There are many ways to deal with problems”.
  • “Stay a dilettant/Slide and don’t bear down”…

…therefore I don’t have many followers. A few hundreds, in… years.

 

Your work will be found if you share it on Social Medias, but most of the time it’ll come from Google and other web search engines. You need to choose your Categories & Tags.

https://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/tags/

It’s never been easy for me to choose. Here’s what I learned :

  1. WordPress limits the number of tags & categories (combined) to 15.
  2. Invent only a few big categories, it’s useless to be subtle here.
  3. For an article, check one to three categories, not much.
  4. For tags, use the obvious (ex : France, Recipe, Cake), enlarge (ex : Culture, Traveling), then be more specific (ex : Chocolate, Paris). It’s about combine-harvesting larger!
  5. Conclusion : focus on TAGS.

 

You wrote an article about Hemingway?

  • Category it : USA, Literature – that’s it.
  • Tag it : Hemingway, Author, Books, Reading, Literature, USA, Novels, Writer, etc…

 

Think “hook”. Use Google to find other hashtags if you need.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : clairemahoney

My Gurushots Tips, Part 3 (the Events)

Gurushots has invented a new smart way to involve people : they create Events twice a week, like contests of contests in small groups, involving 100 photographers of the same level at a time.

After a bunch of them where I finished 1st 2nd or 3rd, here’s what I found :

  1. When an Event stops, stop (or slow down) posting pictures in the new challenges, keep them to get fast points at the beginning of the next new Event.
  2. The challenges you have already begun will bring you fills and boosts, which will be added to the ones you got from the previous event. Keep all of them as little tools.
  3. But prepare them though. Watch the challenges, watch what people post, and get your pictures ready in your profile basket.
  4. Don’t use the daily free boosts for now, resist.

When a new event begins :

  1. First, review all 4 pictures challenges you have and use the free Boosts on the most successful pictures… or the one you love the most!
  2. Don’t forget to check and use the new free Boosts every day.
  3. Then watch the next challenges which will enterfinish soon. You will need here all the boosts you have (to unlock them). Post your work.
  4. For each of the “4 photos” challenge, I suggest you post only ONE of the four pictures. This way, you take your place in the challenge, and you won’t have to use Swaps to gain votes later (because, as you know already, the boiling appears in the last one or two hours of a challenge). When the end approaches, post the 3 others to fill it.
  5. Then watch the challenges you entered before which will finish soon. If it’s in one or two hours, activate your tools : Swap if you have low votes, Boost if you have some left, Fill. Watch what happens; maybe you’ll get a hit!
  6. If you have some Fills left, review all you current challenges and fill some the most successful ones (which means that your picture is appreciated) – but keep some Fills for later.
  7. Enter all the challenges left you can. Be creative if you don’t fill exactly the challenge rules : use toys to invent fairy tales, use nature if you don’t have National Park pictures, etc.
  8. By doing this, you’re much more active than before, it’s why their Events was a good idea. It can happen that you get a great rank, or Guru picks, or win a challenge, who knows?
  9. Near the end of the Event, you’ll be empty of Boost, Fills and Swap. You can let go, or you can vote to push the soon closing challenges. It takes time.
  10. Please vote really, not in clicking the validation button like a fool – which would encourage the bad works.
  11. If a picture is really successful, Fill it, then every 10 minutes pile around 20 votes on the it to keep your dial at the maximum all along.

Remember : the boiling happens always at the end of a challenge, within the last hour : focus on these – everybody is active (and voting), it’s useful.

Have fun!

Continue reading

QEHT : https://qeht.photo.blog/

Hello everyone!

I’m happy to present you my new blog, all about photography :

https://qeht.photo.blog/

It’s about “variations in photography”, the way I search for… the perfect way to show a place, something.

I invite you for a little visit. Have fun!

I’ll go on writing in this Frenchtoolbox blog, of course.

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Vial & Stoop : Types of black holes in language

I’m French and I write in English – I make mistakes and I discover new words everyday.

When I read an article or a short story, I understand what happens, and I admit I don’t translate anymore.

But, well, I always meet new insects, which are really puzzling at times…

Today I met “Vial“. Never seen this word but I guessed. A little bottle. In French we call this “une fiole”, which I find funny. Same structure : vial/fiole. OK.

Stoop” was trickier. First, it’s a noun AND a verb. A doorstep (“perron”, in French), and also “to bend”.

There, here am I questioning English Gods : why do you have to stoop, if you have to bend or even to bow?? Can stoop be replaced by to crouch or to squat?

Worse : as a metaphor or a figurative sense, to demean, to do something “below one’s status, standards, or morals”. “S’abaisser à”.

OK, but also to slant (to stoop a bottle of wine?) – then what is to lean? – to catch a prey for an eagle (“the bird stooped and seized a salmon” – un piqué), to submit (“stooped by death” or “this people does not stoop to Rome”) – even to degrade?

 

Thus, when you read “not your language”, you see holes. Little ones can be filled by contexts, other ones make you make a face, pick a dictionary, and go travel in language, in an awe, for twenty minutes. You should try French while I study the word “slew” (4 nouns, 7 verbs, pfff…).

 

At the end, I found : Stoop : “a vessel for holding liquids; a flagon”. Come on!

Hmmm. Fetch me a stoop of liquor, please. Two new words and I’m done. Back to bed. With my book!

Thanks for reading!

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“Dodgin Forgin” : Chronicle 52

Cats are dramatic. When I walk in my corridor and I meet Isis the cat, she stops and acts “as if” she was about to be slaughtered by the human, then runs away with big eyed panic, as if I was a dangerous goblin…

—–

I read about a strange Akira Kurosawa‘s tool, the Japanese director, who said, when shooting a movie, something like :

“When a scene is done, in the box, and you’re happy : go on shooting”.

Opens a little door in my head, written “Why?” on it : When you have what you need, maybe you are relaxed, then you can try new things? Or maybe the tiredness could bring another “tone”? Kubrick is said to shoot dozens of times, just to make the actors quit their easiness, their habits…

Where else could this be true? Prayers? Poetry? Training?

—–

Alexithymia is a word built on Greek, of course : “No words for emotions”.

It’s not really a mental disorder. It’s a difficulty identifying and describing feelings or emotions.

It’s interesting because it leads to different branches :

  1. I don’t know what I feel, I don’t have words for that.
  2. I don’t like what I feel, thus I’m afraid to find out.
  3. I don’t know what to think about what I feel, though I physically feel something, it doesn’t give me an emotion or I don’t know what would be the “proper” emotion.
  4. There’s a confusion between “the event” (outside of me) and “the sensation” (inside).

 

—–

I read about a study about the factors that employees consider motivating. Good wages, , interesting work, security of the job, of course, but the number one factor was “to be valued”. Really valued.

It’s not about a bonus or a “best employee of the month” challenge. It’s really something like :

“I see what you do and I appreciate what you do”.

People often do the best they can with what they got. And they wait, they need to be seen

Makes sense, right?

—–

Lax ways of escaping (life, a situation, boredom) should be listed :

Alcohol, sports, speedy leisures, drugs, video games…

But what if you can’t escape? Will your body find a way (accident, illness…)? Dodging forging ahead?

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Picasso’s Tools for bloggers!?

Picasso’s Tools for bloggers!?

Nah, not his cans and brushes : Tools for the mind!

Here’s what I did : I picked a great book about Picasso, from Philippe Dagen.

It’s a great book because it’s not about “Picasso’s life”, and it’s not a “catalog of paintings”. He looked for structures, patterns, tools for the mind, and showed how in many aspects Pablo Picasso is a great artist.

I took a pictures of these patterns he detected, and I’ll casually apply them into the blogging activity. You’re free, after this, to apply this toolbox to poetry, teaching, marketing, photography, baking, theater or music composition. Life’s cool, right?

  1. Discover the modern
  2. Express by the primitive
  3. Build until crumbling
  4. Invent some new codes
  5. Hold all styles in one’s hand
  6. Let loom the monsters
  7. Stare at inhumanity
  8. Pit against the present
  9. Never finish

 

These are terribly pleasant injunctions, right? It shows we can build our own roads, windows, tools and door. It shows we can dare, be casual, open, multiple. It shows we can play, have fun, plug things, juxtapose concepts, dance, be fast, and intelligent, and plugged to the now.

Have fun!

 

 

Do your shopping/Take your pick

There’s always one moment in a month when you want to metablog.

 

Yesterday I discovered somebody read about sixty pages of this blog, and I wondered :

What did they find?

…painters & photographers, haikus, quotes, small ideas : Unexpected Connections & Sparks Exchanges – I even made a List of Sorts of Blog Articles

It seems “constantly random”, but my followers know there’s a structure under. Therefore I metablogged about it :

 

My sweet will is to share, to invite you to pick tools and ideas, then share again. These are not my ideas, but good ones I found which are worth spreading. Well… I think so!

 

Dreamread, take your pick. Find an ideatool and use it another way. You’re invited to do your shopping here. Explore more. Use my blog as a table of content. Stealfind what I wanted to say. Bendfind what I didn’t say (and tell it back to me, thank youuuu).

What I like the most, probably, is :

When an idea you find in a blog, in a book, in a conversation, recombines with other ideas you have in mind at the moment.

 

Recombining. That’s the subject of another article, right?

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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How to find ideas to blog about?

I often meet/read this question in blogs : “How do I find ideas?”

Most of the time the main answer is “everywhere”. Haha. Great.

My first thought is always :  “If you need to “find ideas to blog about”, you shouldn’t blog”. Racing cars are better. You can also shoot flying plates, lift some weight, or train some fleas.

But it doesn’t work like that, I knowwww…

I suppose this happens when one blogs for a reason – to make money, to meet people, to be famous, whatever :

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. How do you blog?

If you blog because of this pattern which is “something HAS TO go out” – the urge of expression, you won’t ever ask yourself how to find ideas, right?

They literally flow out of you, they squirtspatter in your WordPress’s drafts. That’s cute, in a way!

The Importance of rumunchewminating drafts

 

OK I go on : How to find ideas to blog about? Google helps with plenty of good ideas.

My way is to use a reading grid, a reading framework you will use on EVERYTHING you meet, a book, a title, a person, a star, a story : everything. You can use a few, if you like.

For example you can watch the world :

  • Historically (“I travelled in this Norway city, which…”)
  • Reversely (“10 ways to become fat”)
  • Engineerely (“this insect is a machine”)
  • Negatively (“sports are for idiots”)
  • Paranoia-Matrixely (all I see is crafted to lure me)
  • Religiously (a god takes care of me)
  • Newagely (the universe sent all this to make me grow)
  • Scenaristically (everything could be put in a story)
  • Nostalgically (link all things to your past)
  • Toolboxerly (well, this is what I do)

 

My toolbox is made of this : I try to find a framework, a structure, a grid, a pattern, in everything I see. If the structure is already here, I LOVE to share it. As, maybe, a suggestion to do the same, to think.

For example, to notice that Edouard Manet (the painter) and Jeff Wall (the photographer) have a common way to question the public, to notice that Mad Max and operas have many things in common, to find how great artists (Miles Davis, Pablo Picasso or William Faulkner) 1/ push themselves in unknown territories 2/ play with avant-garde 3/ break complex skills because it became to easy for them 4/ find another breath near the end of their lives… Etc.

 

Well, sorry, that’s all ! Find your grid, frame everything you meet and see under this grid, and ideas will squirtspatter. Apply, watch, that’s it : yeepee!

Thanks for reading! (sorry to destroy English like that)

 

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Blogging as Sowscattering Disorders

Well, it’s NOT about adding untidiness to the world – which is enough a mess.

But I ask myself about how to infiltrate a knowledge field, intellects and minds, to sow something, maybe to add seeds to this ground, to see what could blossom, what straight paths you could bend & twist… and then walk onto.

Thus it’s not about milestones, importance and revolutions.

Is it possible to think about this with the idea of blogging?

Imagine you want to blog about food, about fashion. You’d better be good at it, because there are always dozens of thousands of blogs about these. You could also, yes, infiltrate another domain… but with YOUR talents.You’re a food lover? Blog about programming (with your language).

Let’s pull strings :

  1. Maybe you need to be original. Study a mega-niche, or a rare combination : “crossing Norway with my two cats to try restaurants”, or “purple winter dresses in South Dakota”.
  2. Maybe you can arrange some concepts, put them together to create sparks, or to show an unexpected light… or to create monsters.
  3. Invent a new machine from disparate tools and pieces.
  4. Displace things and ideas, make them move, bend them.
  5. Use an unappropriate discipline to study another. Study what’s in your plate as a colorist. Or bags trends with… what?
  6. Focus on who are “positive nuisances”.
  7. Find your own ideas studying something the wrong way.
  8. Find empty boxes, find shortages, find imperfections. Then action.
  9. Play. Look for processes. Twist them.
  10. Take ideas, make’m jump on your own sieve.
  11. Watch words. Jargon. Demolish. Or add squibs in it. Your squibs.
  12. Accept drifts. Watch around.
  13. Invent indeterminations. Use them randomly, unpredictably.
  14. Make things proliferate. Explore. Play.
  15. Make your readers wonder. Make your readers smile. Make your readers wanting to know more. Make your readers more curious.
  16. Breathe. Watch appearances, meetings, plugs and unfoldings.

The point is multiple and unstable. Get your own ideas. Distribute seeds for who is able to see. Open new roads, and why not, get new followers!

Most advanced, yes acceptable.

Thanks for reading!

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Finder Keeper Sharer, “What is my blog about?”

Unexpected Connections & Sparks Exchanges

ONE

Yesterday I thanked a retired man I always have good conversations with. Always curious and funny, we often have our ten minutes of jubilations, before quitting each other with a smile (and a few sparks around our heads).

You know, he replied, what we do is “Le commerce des idées” (ideas exchange) : I give you seeds and you give me seeds too.

It’s not only about sharing little ideas, but also ideas of books, movies, patterns, links (links and connections are great!). Some spirits like “the idea of getting ideas”. Exchange.

You are one of them, right?

In France we have this word, “commerce”, which means “business”, of course, and “trade”, and also “store”, but also, in a little old-fashioned way

“Madame de Sévigné conducted a vast exchange of letter” :
“Madame de Sévigné avait un grand commerce épitolaire”

TWO

While coffeing in my bed this morning I found this quote from a great French drama actor, Michel Bouquet :

“The public doesn’t come to watch you play, it comes to play with you”.

THREE – Mutually Beneficial

I hope/dream this blog acts this way for you my fellow readers!

Not only as a toolbox, a basket of gathered ideas and patterns, but also I wish it :

  1. Gives you the desire to comment, interact, begin a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas.
  2. Gives your brain a slight movement, a desire to know more, which could lead you to exploration. A map, an index, a little machine…

Thanks for reading!

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Photo : Carl Mydans