“Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn” – Efforts & Arts : watching Fellini’s movies

I’m in the process of watching all Fellini‘s movies, therefore, like in every great artist’s career, I detect “eras”, changes, evolution, attempts.

Of course I keep piling books and articles about the guy’s work, which needs to be explored, explained, viewed, considered…

I finished La Dolce Vita – I admit I had to cut it in three parts; the movie is very long (3 hours), very unusual. It becomes too long, or too Italianistically talkative.

Themes : quitting travelings, sisters, corteges, seashores, the sound of the wind, camera stares, but also invisible frontiers between the dreams and reality, hidden coincidences (Mastroianni “can’t hear” from the helicopter at the beginning, and can’t hear the young lady’s message, on the beach at the end – it’s a double door), artificialism, the use of light, the “choreographic” movements at key moments…

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It’s enthralling to read about these movies, from interpretations to replacing this one in a path-career, to how it’s been received at the time. Deciphering (or not).

And then : watching how Fellini pushes levers, shifts and sticks. Going further. 8 1/2 looks like a maze, a game : spleen, creation, disillusions. You don’t understand anything, and yet it’s dazzling, sumptuous!

If you go further, you can be lost. But you can try though…

Fellini hated the character of Casanova. Thus he chose D. Sutherland (which is not the idea of Casanova you have), and makes a movie like a terrible necklace of weird scenes. It’s exaggerated, seedy, outrageous, artificial, decadent. This it’s not easy AT ALL to watch it!

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Three examples as a path into… difficulties, but pleasure. Films complicated, fascinating, which make you think and wonder, or fight – and let your full of questions.

Like after important dreams, right?

 

That leads to the idea of “Efforts & Art”. Why should one make an effort to watch a movie? Why not? Do we have to be seduced, or not? At what level? What do we dig here?

What’s that pair, dancing : Brilliant / Complex? Why contradictory?

If Fellini is a Picasso of movies, who’s the writer? Proust? And the poet? Mallarmé?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Here are 2 Picasso portraits, for no reason :

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The Clown Chastised

Eyes, lakes of my simple passion to be reborn
Other than as the actor who gestures with his hand
As with a pen, and evokes the foul soot of the lamps,
Here’s a window in the walls of cloth I’ve torn.

With legs and arms a limpid treacherous swimmer
With endless leaps, disowning the sickness
Hamlet! It’s as if I began to build in the ocean depths
A thousand tombs: to vanish still virgin there.

Mirthful gold of a cymbal beaten with fists,
The sun all at once strikes the pure nakedness
That breathed itself out of my coolness of nacre,

Rancid night of the skin, when you swept over me,
Not knowing, ungrateful one, that it was, this make-up,
My whole anointing, drowned in ice-water perfidy.

LE PITRE CHATIÉ

Yeux, lacs avec ma simple ivresse de renaître
Autre que l’histrion qui du geste évoquais
Comme plume la suie ignoble des quinquets,
J’ai troué dans le mur de toile une fenêtre.

De ma jambe et des bras limpide nageur traître,
À bonds multipliés, reniant le mauvais
Hamlet! c’est comme si dans l’onde j’innovais
Mille sépulcres pour y vierge disparaître.

Hilare or de cymbale à des poings irrité,
Tout à coup le soleil frappe la nudité
Qui pure s’exhala dans ma fraîcheur de nacre,

Rance nuit de la peau quand sur moi vous passiez,
Ne sachant pas, ingrat! que c’était tout mon sacre,
Ce fard noyé dans l’eau perfide des glaciers.

(Mallarmé)

Movies, Previews, Surprises

When you’re a movie lover, you know that good movie directors hate the “tests” producers organize with films.

They show the movie privately, in a theater, then the audience has to answer questionnaires.

According to the results, then they cut and alter the movie. That’s horrible, right?

It’s pretty rare that the director has the “Final Cut”…

But this week I’ve been a little surprised by this :

Sydney Pollack, in the bonuses of “The Way We Were”, explains that the movie had a problem after he made a preview. The balance is always hard to find, but here he says that it was a failure. Thus he simply cut a few scenes, like with an axe, and showed it to another room the day after. Big success.

I supposed that if he did this, it’s because he “felt” there was a problem – which came here from the balance between the love story and the political story.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070903/

Then I read, in Walter Murch‘s book “In the blink of an eye” (he’s a great film editor – Apocalypse Now), that he was not against film preveiws. I was VERY surprised, but he explains that one should not ask the audience anything after the preview, but day(s) after, in interviews (IRL or phone).

Here’s my tool :

When you have a bold, decided opinion about something “one SHOULD NOT do, ever”, it can be interesting (or at least a game for the mind) to hear people you respect having another opinion. If you listen, you’ll discover subtleties, knacks, and delicious exceptions. After all, there’s one risk : you could expand your knowledge, or at least add a facet to it…

Hmmm, what’s the next step?

Thanks for reading!

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“Two Birds”, and other “long-range laconic details”

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I took this picture, then, back home, I opened it on my Macintosh and discovered the two birds, which came as a little miracle. I thought the picture was good (roofs/landscape, the light, the funny road), but it became cool because of these two guys, right?

One could call this “small impressive things”. Borgès called it “long-range laconic details”…

We have in France an idiom for this, le je-ne-sais-quoi (“the I-don’t-know-what”), the little thing that can make something magic, and also can spoil everything. One philosopher even wrote a book about this “almost nothing” (V. Jankelevitch, Le je-ne-sais-quoi et le presque rien).

No doubt he was fond of music, which is almost a wizardry on this topic (thinking about unexpected (or hidden) dissonances or modulations).

It can blossom in many discreet things, purposed mistakes or strange seeds.

This is important in Arts, where perfection is often boring.

“Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”, says Proust.

In a poem, a single word can be strangely placed (or repeated, like in Gertrud Stein’s, “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”) and a sensation appears :

“Now listen! I’m no fool. I know that in daily life we don’t go around saying ‘is a … is a … is a …’ Yes, I’m no fool; but I think that in that line the rose is red for the first time in English poetry for a hundred years.”.

It can be a single phrase in a whole song. The example of J. Denver :

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia
Mountain mamma, take me home
Country roads

Seems a simple song about nostalgia, but hidden in the song you find “Driving down the road I get a feeling/That I should have been home yesterday”, which colors it differently, right?

“Everything that goes wrong… goes right” is one cool secret.

Details, games of subtleties, purposed mistakes, flakes of gold, unexpected elements, all are “je-ne-sais-quoi”s which put the audience into a state I love.

Thanks for reading!

AUSTRALIA. Sydney. Hunter st, city centre. 2002
Trente Parke
  1. Strangeization Tool & Eyebrow Criteria
  2. Intentional Maladjustments & Braiding Assessments
  3. Wes Anderson, Edouard Manet and modernity
  4. The “Brushstroke Pattern” & Progress in Arts : Offering Awareness

Smart Simplicity vs Subtle Complexities

Today I ask for your help with a dual idea. Some artists with a long life and experience tend towards :

  1. The essential : Simplicity. Refining. Paring down.
  2. Smart subtleties : Not the simplicity, which is senseless, but secret and modest complexity.

 

Maybe 1. works for painters and other visual artists and 2. for writers and other ideas‘ artists? – another article to write.

Of course there are other ways of being mature, like “to dare more”, or “being decadent”.

 

Do you have examples? Poets, directors, photographers? Can you weave one and two without being paradoxical? Do we have to care for layers of creativity? What about the audience?

What about the contraries? It’s common that young creatives tend to give everything they have in their first big projects…

What do you think?

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Whyhow you should know your art

ONE

I talked with a woman working in a photography school.

“The first year, all our students work on analog photography only!”

Waow, in the the digital era, it’s a big deal, right?

Every cam today can keep hundreds or thousands of pictures on a little cheap SD Card. It’s so easy to try, trigger, take bunches of photos until you have a great one, that some photographers buy vintage cams to get :

  1. the splendid grain or texture of real film rolls
  2. but also the necessary meticulousness of the whole process

Choosing a brand for films, choosing settings for the cam, choosing how and when you take a picture, developing : all this becomes important, much more important : rolls are expensive!

This makes you focus.

Therefore it makes perfect sense to begin photography with analog cams.

TWO

Picasso or Klimt and many other painters began with the big knowledge of being great “classical” artists. Manet began to make what ignorants called “mistakes” (showing paintbrush strokes, flattening perspectives). Picasso told that he needed years to un-learn it :

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THREE

Martin L. Gore, composer/singer of Depeche Mode, explains that a song, before going to production with synths and beat-boxes, has to “sound” great with a single voice/acoustic guitar. Before. If it’s good, you can alter textures : the harmonic structure stays good.

TOOL

Where else do we find and use this pattern?

“Know the difficult core of your Art before exploring it, breaking rules or pushing it: you’ll be better”.

Thanks for reading!

Layers of WHYs

Is the art for you and your happiness? Or for others?

Let’s take photography. Why do I do that?

I wondered a lot already about his :

 

OK Here are 4 pictures. For the first one I had to : the cat was great, the verticals were profuse, interesting (light, reflections, shadows), the textures were puzzling (white, bricks, blue), and I love the stairs of books. Plus the darks were dark (I love underexposed photos).

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I took this one in Orsay’s Museum. Silhouette, vertical lines, the walls of Paris. I knew it was a great picture to “stop” the audience. The statue is so cool…

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Here I wanted you to feel the mood, ambiance. The concrete ruin of the war, my daughter in pink (in a coat). Feel the size, feel the wind…

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And here in Lille, the storm was coming. I made it blurry on purpose. The sky was dark, the night was coming, the lights were great, and the perspective cool (the red walls on the right). You can almost smell the first drops of rain, right? I hope so… Entre chien et loup (between dog and wolf is our way to say… dusk).

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So : I love dark & colors. I think on proportions, structures. I don’t do portraits. I do what I love. Each photographer works on something : the camera itself, the post-production, landscapes, animals, fashion.

There are shades and layers. What does the photographer want…

For himself, or for the audience?

In the end, I think we all do things in society… to be loved, to be liked, recognized, noticed… It’s maybe the core of all art.

No. Let’s go deeper.

While doing it, the photographer has fun. He looks for things, frames, moments. He is like a child. He plays. He is focused, busy, occupied, absorbed by their pleasant task.

That’s it, folk. The “child state”. This is pure bliss.

These are many layered reasons why we work, right?

Thanks for reading!!

 

 

From remaking “Suspiria”

Suspiria is a 1977 Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento. Today it’s a classic, grandiose and glossy. It’s also baroque in many ways : decors and colors are vibrant, the music is… not to be outdone.

Considered as a masterpiece, you have today to accept its… exaggerations. If your mind plays the game, it’s a very strange delight, full of great ideas.

When I heard about a remake I facepalmed, like many other movie lovers.

I’ll watch it soon but before that, I read interviews of other directors who reacted on the new Suspiria.

  1. One saying it was stupid to remake it because the first movie was such a milestone.
  2. Another one saying it was OK.
  3. The director, saying it made something totally different, with, for example, colors “à la Fassbinder” (the first Suspiria also happened in Germany).

Tilda Swinton, actress in the new movie, told something very smart (which made me write this article) :

As the story of the first Suspiria is very light (“An American newcomer to a German ballet academy comes to realize that the school is a witches coven”), it can be used like an opera libretto.

I thought it was smart. I know dozens of “Manon Lescaut” or “La Bohème”, the Puccini opera, and each time it’s very interesting to see what they do with the characters, the decor…

What does Manon Lescaut want?

I don’t know I feel this is a good tool, but I need help. How can I formalize it?

  • “When you think remaking something is useless, but you have to find a good angle to realize it’s not”?
  • “When you have to think about something in a new way (borrowing from another field) to find a new interest in it”?
  • “Once you have a core, a spirit, you can weave things around, it’ll be interesting to notice the differences”?
  • “Working on decisions : let’s keep this from the original/let’s change that”?

Tell me?

What’s the point to remake something frame by frame (like they’ll do with The Lion King)?

The Art of Unfinished Art

If you explore books, quotes, articles about Art, you always meet the concept of “finished/unfinished“.

And this is what you find :

ONE

A whole lot of “simple” authors who seem to have common sense and think Art is like a normal part of society. They all say that a piece of Art must be finished :

  • “Never show unfinished work.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  • “Behind unfinished art cries an unfinished artist.” – Terri Guillemets
  • “Finish the work, otherwise an unfinished work will finish you.” ― Amit Kalantri
  • “I know the sag of the unfinished poem. And I know the release of the poem that is finished.” – Mary Oliver

This sounds very good, right? It’s very satisfying. Everything must be finished, otherwise the world goes to chaos…

TWO

Another whole lot of artists, of course, say the contrary. Suddenly it becomes interesting :

  • “I always believed that my work should be unfinished in the sense that I encourage people to add their creativity to it, either conceptually or physically.” – Yoko Ono
  • “When I’m playing, I’m never through. It’s unfinished. I like to find a place to leave for someone else to finish it. That’s where the high comes in.” – Miles Davis
  • “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  • Put your energy into ‘finishing’ – and you’re missing your next great painting. (J.R. Baldini)
  • In talking about the necessity to finish a thing, we said American painters finish a thing that looks unfinished, and the French, they finish it. I have seen Matisses that were more unfinished and yet more finished than any American painters. Matisse was obviously in a terrific emotion at the time and he was more unfinished than finished. (William Baziotes)
  • I don’t like finished things, because finished is over, dead. (Norbert Bisky)
  • To the impressionist, the work was finished, no matter how casual the execution, when the idea was completely realized on the canvas. (Richard J. Boyle)
  • How do you complete a painting, really? There are paintings by so many different artists that are interesting precisely because they haven’t really been completed. (Peter Doig)

 

Many masterpieces are unfinished : symphonies and cathedrals, Proust “La Recherche”, but most of modernity artists and thinkers know that finishing a work is killing it, it masks the work, the soul…

I found dozens more quotes. Each one could lead to an article…

What do you think?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Cf Non Finito : Inchoateness in Art

 

 

Tools from an Opera director

To direct an opera is certainly a mess! You have to deal with a “text and music” system, then with musicians, singers, light, settings, the past… all this with a vision, right?

I read an interview of Claus Guth who directed a La Bohème (Puccini) in Paris this winter. Here are his ways :

  1. Two years before the opera, he takes the book, reads it, takes some notes, and… put it back in the drawer for resting.
  2. He listens to the music in loop, for days. He’s happy to not understand the words (he’s German, Puccini Italian), and writes the ideas he gets : irrationally, emotionally, viscerally.
  3. Then he works : searches about the opera the composer the writer the historical backgrounds…
  4. After months of thinking about it, he gathers his team to talk around a table, to get ideas. A concept emerges…
  5. One year before the opera, they try things with scenery, settings.
  6. Then he retires, alone, for a few weeks.
  7. He begins to work with singers and confront them with what he wants to do. Some play along rapidly, some have to be guided… to be creative.
  8. According to him, the main thing is the music. If the text is good but he doesn’t like the music, he can’t do anything. But if the text is weak but the music good (which happens often in operas), he will work on it, on elevation…
  9. He likes to keep rehearsals secret, wanting the audience to be surprised at the premiere.

 

La Bohème is about poor artists in Paris in the 1830s. For me it’s the best opera ever! Therefore I’m never annoyed by directing transpositions in other styles, the fifties, or other countries, etc. It can be ugly, but it’s most of the time interesting. I really think that we can do anything with a masterpiece : you’ll never hurt it really. Playing with archetypes, putting’em into other universes, it’s often amazing!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_boh%C3%A8me

I have to say that I already watch dozens of La Bohème happening in the streets of Paris and in frozen attic rooms (2nd picture). Guth decided to put it in space (!) (1st picture), in a lost spatial station, playing with a game of souvenirs, double characters, etc…

As they say in Libération, the French newspaper, it was “sidereally staggering” ( http://next.liberation.fr/theatre/2017/12/07/une-boheme-siderale-et-siderante_1615146 )

“we were flabbergasted (under the scream and catcalls) because we were suddenly seeing the bohemian lifestyle, from 1840 or 2017), on stage, all naked : artistically battybonkers, suicidal, not looking for approval, desesperate and sparkling like in a dream plunge to escape the misery of life”…

 

It’s true that the idea of Bohemian life (being a poor artist, with casualness and freedom (and parties and alcohol) it implies) is a problem : there’s a lie, a too big differences between your ideals and the reality…

 

 

I wrote this article to throw a few tools on my little table :

  • In Art, one pleasure is to compare readings, interpretations of a same piece.
  • It’s maybe creative to take a long time to work on something, with weeks or months of rest between work. Simmering.
  • Explore a masterpiece casually – without holding all the cards, just to see what it triggers in you. Then explore, read, and watch how what you fiund weaves with what you imagined.
  • Collaborations and conversations : sources of ideas.
  • Strength given by pauses alone. Watch things grow into you.
  • Find from where you can grow things (here : music) when a system in not entirely satisfying.
  • Keep things secret to have more impact.

 

These tools are somewhat obvious. Where will we apply them? Poetry? Photography? Couple? Teams? Companies? Literature?

 

Thanks for reading, and sorry for my English…

 

Continue reading

Should we know about the Masters?

I heard about an old French movies critic who was wondering about the fact that many cinema enthusiasts where like stuck in their time, knowing nothing about the Masters of the past.

That’s a good question, right?

It’s the same for other Arts. You can be a good photographer without knowing much about big photographers or movements in the 70s, or in the 50s, the 20s, whatever.

I do ask myself though. Who are the masters? What did they bring? What can we learn from them?

I do think it’s not really a problem, though. In Cinema, you can enjoy Nolan without knowing Kubrick, you can watch The Sopranos without knowing anything about Coppola’s The Godfather.

It’s a “me” thing, I beg.

It’s because I think that the main string in Art’s harp is this question :

“What newness is brought, here?”

Novelty is pulsing along the long course of human creativity. This is what I seek. As Zola says before Manet : “What I seek before all else in a painting is a man, not a painting.”

For example I love Stephen Shore‘s photographies, but I also love he’s a thinker, that he says that a photography has to be “solved”. I love to know what were his… concerns, and how he tried to find solutions, etc…

I’d say this is a trait. Thinkers. They like to do things with passion, but they also like to think about it, about the links with other arts, other eras, other times. Links. Links. Links. What grows. What dies. What moved, or rotated. Links. Links. Links. Words and analysis…

I like to know who are the Masters of the past, and who they were, how they were working, what they discovered and shared. Not necessarily to try to be better, my, oh no.

Just to have a map of the ground I’m walking on.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Supertramp, The Cure and Arvo Pärt : Where’s the new sound?

ONE

“Hey Arvo! What’s up?”

Today my colleague who is in her 40 pointed her finger at one intern next to her, who is in his 20 : “He doesn’t know The Cure!”.

I asked : “What about Supertramp?”. Never heard of it…

Well…

“History recalls how great the fall can be
While everybody’s sleeping, the boats put out to sea”

Fool’s Overture : 1977. I was 11 and get out of here : it was AMAZING!

TWO

In a way I understand! And in another way, it’s a proof of non-curiosity, and it’s sad. You don’t have to love Supertramp, or Genesis, or Talk Talk, buddy, but you should know about these…

In the end of the seventies, I knew about The Beatles, and Beach Boys or Cream, or Led Zeppelin, or Doors. Not my music, but I… knew about them.

I loved Supertramp, and Breakfast in America was a hit, and I was in love with some inaccessible girl at this time, and today when I hear Hodgson’s voice, my heart is pinched : someone didn’t care much about me.

THREE

I said to the little guy : “Supertramp is a pop group who understood the tools of Progressive Rock and made hits with them. Long songs, complex arrangements and harmonies, fractured forms. It worked pretty well!”.

In Fool’s Overture, the voice begins to sing after… like almost 6 minutes of music.

I wanted to tell him about Dreamer. Or about the choir, Churchill’s voice, the harmonica, or the pulsing rage of the end. Or how Faith, by The Cure, was incredibly grey. And the bass! But… I said nothing. Shup. I just wrote a few names on a paper. “Explore YouTube it!”.

Yes? Close to the Edge? Later…

FOUR

Deleuze says, and I agree : in Art, the only real question is “What’s new here?”.

I’m 52 tomorrow. I heard some violins in the radio tonight and my brain said “Arvo Pärt?“, and I was right.

Arvo Pärt was a new sound. ECM…

Supertramp too (this voice!!). Like Sting in Police. Or Disco music. Saturday Night Fever was a great new sound. Moroder. Then Marrs, or Frankie Goes to Hollywood : Relax. All were like : Oh oh oh I NEVER FUCKING HEARD THIS BEFORE!

What’s NEW. This is what we need, right?

“Dreamer, you stupid little dreamer
So now you put your head in your hands, oh no”

FIVE

I have to say I kept the pattern. I was and stayed HUNGRY of the what’s newn-ess. Then I explored, trying to find what was NEW in the Beatles, Mike Oldfield, Weather Report, Stravinsky, Brian Eno and Art of Noise and others.

SIX

Of course I sound like an “old fool”!

Now I hear big groups and I ask every lover : “Well, listen to me : what’s new here? Radiohead? Björk? What??”. I understood about King Crimson, and Kate Bush, but I don’t get it about Arctic Monkeys or… Drake.

Real new sounds are rare. Royksöpp. St Vincent. Who else?

Salve! Thanks for reading!

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Vincent Giarrano

Artists Unawareness & Prolificity

The single idea of “How we all create” and invent in art is fascinating. It’s a territory, where we can discuss about genius, work, inspiration, ideas, seeds, growing, building, speed, movements, failure, discoveries and bliss.

I could invent a whole blog about this – but it seems I like my “constantly random” thing. My French Toolbox is not a blog about this or that, but a state of mind…

I just read a Simenon interview (he’s a Belgian writer) who talks about “states” he crosses when he’s about to write a novel. He says that the story and the characters grows and simmers in himself for days, weeks, until he can’t restrain anymore and has to write.

Then he has to stay in that state for days, without interruption. He says that he has to be the more empty possible. Not thinking. As if he had to “receive” the story, without using his intelligence.

Simenon is considered as a master of crime novels. He wrote almost 200 books, and was said to be able to write 60-80 pages a day.

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

Well, prolific artists (like Picasso or Victor Hugo) are maybe linked to this fast-non-thinking process, a trance. I have also often seen the other side : where “inspiration” is like a necessary wind which have to be used, criticized, canalized and judged during the whole process of creation. The critic inside the writing poet, says Baudelaire…

Also, we all confusedly know something else : there can be no start, in creativity, without a little burst, a little rush of EMOTION.

Thanks for reading!

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Herb List / Todd Hido

The painter paints then steps back to judge then steps forward to paint then…

The painter paints then steps back to judge then steps forward to paint then…

All this in a loop.

As a perfect metaphor for creativity, which could be defined as :

a dance between effusion and lucidity

Every thinker-creator is aware of this dance of focus/de-focus, and this is a splendid territory to explore in its lightest nuances, its thinnest articulations.

I give you three examples I found from a book from Michel Thévoz :

  1. Artaud talked about an intellectual eye in the delirium : intelligence and folly never don’t merge, they revolve around each other.
  2. Dubuffet, a painter, advised practicing “alternated construction works”. One day on a painting, the day after on another one. A way to disembark as a visitor each morning.
  3. Michaud is famous because he tried drugs to create, but he was very clear on this : everything he wrote was after the dissipation of drugs effects, he wrote in the lucid phases of oscillation, and talks about “miserable miracles”.

 

There’s a need of a “New Eyes” state. Monet wished at times to be born blind and suddenly discover vision, to have a wished freshness…

Baudelaire and Valéry both talk about the urging need of having a critic inside a good poet.

Maybe one secret tool of every creator is disenchantment, is to surf on this descending wave which follow the “miserable miracles” of the fast defocused “inspiration”.

 

Tools :

We could go further, right? How, in your field (blogging, photography, poetry, teaching, management, advertising, writing?), do you articulate this necessary dance? Do you need external things to lose focus? Are you aware of useless rushes when you’re fast, effective and proud… to get nothing good at the end? Where and who is your inner critic? Is this person inside you too powerful, too weak? How is it activated? What would you add? You know what inspiration is, but how do you “fix” it? Do you need to? How do you canalize?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Poiesis & Craftman’s Task : two seeds for bloggers (and others)

In philosophy, poiesis is :

“The activity in which a person brings something into being that did not exist before”.

So what?

In itself, nothing, but I sensed around it a possible source of tools.

Paul Valéry – a French poet – in 1937, used this word in a more precise way :

To study the conditions of the generation of a work of art.

Ain’t it interesting? There’s meta here, of course. And I love to blog about… how, when and why we blog.

 

On Wikipedia I found this intriguing thing :

Dreyfus and Dorrance Kelly urge each person to become a sort of “craftsman” whose responsibility it is to refine their faculty for poiesis in order to achieve existential meaning in their lives and to reconcile their bodies with whatever transcendence there is to be had in life itself:

“The task of the craftsman is not to generate the meaning, but rather to cultivate in himself the skill for discerning the meanings that are already there.”

 

Ooohhh! Well, this could be one string of my harp, here, right? Seeking patterns and showing/sharing them is this.

 

Tools :

What do you think? Where is your “skill to discern meaning that are already there”? Do you use it? Why? What can it bring? Why is it interesting to study the way you work? Progress of course, but what else? Extension? Limitation? Effectiveness? Teaching it?

Thanks for reading!

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3 Quotes from Manet : a toolwaltz for artists, painters, thinkers…

“It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more”.

 

“There is only one true thing: Instantly paint what you see”.

 

“But to have spontaneity, one must be master of his art”.

 

Edouard Manet

 

These are good little seeds for artists, thinkers, and artists thinkers.

The middle one is linked to the 1st & 3rd.

The pack is like a loop, right? 1 – 2 – 3 then again. A braid.

Tool :

What’s your braid? When you write a poem, do you tell a story, do you picture a place or a mood, do you work on words as elements : jewelry or photography? If you’re a teacher, what do you weave? Watching the class, the students one by one? Do you invent, or do you follow? In jazz, do you listen to others or do you lead? What about sex? Marketing? Leading a battle? Politics? Making a speech? Being an actor? Conversation?

As always, it’s about

  1. thinking about what you’re doing
  2. draw or find lines, frontiers (spontaneity/mastering, freedom/constraint, casual/focus, one tree/the forest, respect rules/mind of your own, etc)
  3. choose how to balance
  4. move cursors (and pan scales) is necessery
  5. be aware of all of it
  6. or not

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Some examples :

 

 

“An artist should be a spontanéiste. There’s the right term. But to have spontaneity, one must be master of his art. Undirected groping never leads anywhere. One must translate one experiences, but translate it instantaneously, so to speak”

Manet

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Juxtaposition & Continuity VS Instant Nuggets : an efficient Art Pattern

When I find a structure like this, an Art-Pattern, I’m as happy as a kid who found a colored beetle under a rock. Here it is :

ONE

In the bonuses of the war movie Dunkirk, C. Nolan explains that he want to puts tension and stress in the audience. Firstly, he does it the normal way, with the story and its continuity/proceedings (suspense, following action, etc). Secondly, he wants that every little part of the movie to be stressful “in itself”, in the way it’s done at the moment (with sound, music, cut, etc). Cut 5 seconds randomly in the movie and bite your nails!

Dunkirk as a MAYA & Strangeization sensorial experience

TWO

The day before, I was reading an article in the train (there’s some bliss to read in a train) written by Paul Valéry about Marcel Proust‘s masterpiece “In Search of Lost Time”. He says something I already noticed & told you about : if the novel is great from its “stories”, you can pick ANY PAGE in the thousands, you’ll find a great idea. In each page, there’s a seed…

Proust was a blogger…

THREE

I bought two photography books last week. Stephen Shore‘s Uncommon Places (in USA) and Raymond Depardon‘s Habiter en France (“To live in France”). At first I was not that impressed by Depardon’s work. Shore’s photos are so gorgeous you can melt your brain into them, like in front of a painting. With Depardon in France, you have a little parking place, a road, a church. It’s touching, but it is almost “just ordinary”. BUT…

Watching many of them, though, you begin to understand there are patterns (like juxtaposing modernity and “old France”) : the pleasure is not in each photography, but in what you find when you watch many of them…

“Why do you live in this place?” – Shore & Depardon

Stephen Shore, mesmeric #Photographer

PATTERN/TOOL

How could we call that? There are two tools presented here, and I admit I’ve been amazed to notice them in a single week, in three differents Arts (Movies, Literature, Photography).

What could we say about this in Architecture, Poetry, Teaching? What about weaving them? Are artists aware of that? What could it bring them to be aware? Where is the efficiency? Can the artist offer a clue on more discreet propositions? What do you prefer? What is the more satisfying? To focus on each little part (moment, second, page, verse), or to focus on the proceedings, the long development of a piece? What other questions does it trigger?

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : beautifulbizarremagazine

Coding & Composing : What are your lost Kingdoms?

I call a Lost Kingdom an activity you loved in the past, and you don’t do anymore today.

For me it’s coding (I programmed a lot when I was maybe 15) and composing (from 20 to 25). Today, it’s over.

But :

  • In 1993 I had to learn HTML because I wanted to have a clean code for my http://www.maison-page.net – it was delightful, and I have to say I felt this really weird feeling to put on these old shoes. Coding is building something, with immediate tests and gratifications. It’s a little mathematics too. Logic. It puts your brain in a grid of logic, building, making tools. I love it so much! De facto, my page was and stays very fast. Sorry, no PHP or Java here…
  • Five years ago I bought a midi keyboard and began to work with GarageBand. It amazed me, gave me pleasure, and I composed maybe 20 or 30 new tracks. And I remember now… not the music, but the state I was in when I was working on them.

 

The idea of Lost Kingdoms leads me to this idea. Some activities push us in different states. You can play Lego, have a clever conversation for hours, write a poem, take your cam in the countryside, watch a mantis praying, build a cabin in your garden : it’s a “way of thinking”, and your brains knows and recognizes it. Your grow from this.

Lamenting on Kingdoms lost is useless, I agree. Go back to it. Or find new ones : learn an instrument, travel Italy, begin Chinese or horseback riding (question : why not simply “horse riding”??). Bake new cakes . Put your brain in new grids. It’s good, believe me.

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

 

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Instagram : teget

 

 

Dunkirk as a MAYA & Strangeization sensorial experience

I remember a scene from this movie, Sex, Lies and Videotapes, which won a Palme d’Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival. It was just a dialog between two characters, with a strange sound behind.

One would wonder what was this sound made of. Construction workers in the street behind the closed window, or abstract clinking soundtrack? It was disturbing, diverting and rerouting the whole scene : the dialog, the mood, the meaning of it. And thus… I never forgot it!

 

Yesterday I watched Dunkirk, the 2017 Christopher Nolan war film. Wiki says that the audio mixing team only was made of eight people!

One friend warned it to me before : the film puts you in a stress mode because of the SOUND. The music, textures, sound effects (including the fascinating Shepard_tone – which is an auditory illusion) are different. The stories (we follow three wires : on sea, in air, on earth) are kaleidoscoping. The movie sounds (helmet communication in planes, bullets impacts, bombs) are realistic (therefore you never hear them like that – excepted in Private Ryan). All this build a strong and effective symphony of war and survival. With oddness.

What’s the tool, dear?

STRANGEIZATION

I wrote this article a long time ago to explain strangeization :

Strangeization Tool & Eyebrow Criteria

“Distort some elements to catch back the interest of the audience”

Have a strange punctuation. Use inappropriate music. Add dissonances. The purpose is manipulation, here.

  1. An attentive viewer will have fun.
  2. An inattentive viewer will get your elbowpoke : “Hey, look, it’s different!”. Then he’s dropped into category one!

 

MAYA : most-advanced-yet-acceptable/ …is the secret for success with strangeization. Disturb, but not too much, or you’ll lose your public with avant-garde nausea.

MAYA is here like the restraining operator of Strangeization

Why not using it today? Where? Poetry or Photography? What else?

Have a nice day!

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PS : I would love to add this : My father’s father died in this war. And his grandfather in WWI. He didn’t remember his father, his voice, nothing. Just a coffin. He was too little. In a way, I’ve the consequences of 39-45 in my flesh. And I remember his emotion when he told me about the tall American soldier who jumped from a tank and gave him a chewing-gum tablet. He was a little boy. You guys saved our asses. Thank you.

“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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You’re great / You’re not great anymore : has your talent evaporated?

Break-ups are interesting – for this little dial.

When your lover is your lover, he (or she) admires what you do. And who you are, obviously.

You’re a great poet, a “great photographer”, a great musician, a great lecturer. “You’re great my love!”. “I love your work to much!”.

That’s cool, that’s common, that’s very invigorating : you have talent!

But after the break-up you’re not. You’re not “anymore”.

Blehhh!

You’re not that good anymore. You’re not a good photographer. You music is boring. You poems, lame. Shame on you, now! It seems that exes are exes.

Well, so what? Where’s the truth, Brady?

Your mind wonders. Your brain thinks. Your engine engines :

  • Maybe you “suddenly” are not good anymore really. You lost it!
  • Maybe he/she changed his/her mind.
  • Maybe he/she was fake from the beginning : you’ve never been good! Bim!
  • Maybe you stayed talented, gifted, but he/she won’t admit it. Pride.
  • Maybe you’re good, but he/she’s not interested now.
  • Maybe he/she found better. It’s relativism. You’re good but less good than.
  • Maybe he/she HAS to stay silent. Because.

 

What do you think? What happened?

Thanks for reading!

 

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