​”The struggle of maturity is to recover the seriousness of a child at play” – Nietzsche

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

Nietzsche

 

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

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

There’s a Wikipedia page about Ambiguity.

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

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

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

Ambiguity as a force, not a weakness.

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

Hmmm?

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

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

 

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

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Non Finito : Inchoateness in #Art

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tools & Dials :

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

Thanks for reading!

(So sorry for my bad English)

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Instagram : pleasesoft

 

 

 

 

 

Dexterous Swinging Between Two Properties

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

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

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

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

dexterous swinging between these two properties

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : ashleymcky

 

Rubscrubbing Smart Neoclassical : Hindemith, Ives, Stravinsky

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Thanks for reading! Keep cool! Bonne journée !

 

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Release tension / Increase tension

Repetitive music is interesting to study, though you… rapidly understand what’s “going on”, right?

Propellers (Philip Glass) or Pulsations (Steve Reich), all have a way to repeat (obviously) patterns until you CRAVE something different. In Music for 18 Musicians, it’s wonderfully weaved. YouTube it if you want!

Modern dance often use repetitive music. They can use the same structure : repeat-repeat, making the audience wait for something. It’s one knack, after all, to… catch attention. And it’s rhythmic, thus energetic. It works! The risk is to lose everybody in the process, héhé…

OK. A friend of mine told me about a modern dance ballet he saw recently. It was about, if I remember well, naked men and woman queuing and repetitively walking in line. Yikes!

The beginning of this piece was long and… interestingly boring. The fact that dancers were naked was implying an erotic tension in the audience, this kind of electricity (made of “blushing with pleasure”) we call in France “Le Trouble” (how come you don’t have this word in English??). Understandable…

But it was long, repetitive… (sigh).

So a strange weaving was weaving its weave in my friend’s mind :

  1. Decrease the “blushing tension” because you get “used to” these naked bodies walking in lines.
  2. Increase the waiting, the “crave for something new” in the ballet.

…which eventually happened. Of course! It was all the engine of it, obviously, and, well, he LOVED it!

 

Here, I grab a pattern, it could be a tool : Increase A while Decrease B.

What would you do with that in Marketing? In a poem? In a music? In therapy? Elsewhere?

Tell me.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Instagram : itspeteski

One purpose of Art – Is it yours?

I’m no Art Historian, but today I will link two French artists to write a little article about the Purpose of ArtPaul Gauguin (1848-1903), Painter, and Paul Valéry (1871-1945), Poet and Philosoph. Both were artists but also thinkers.

Valéry says that Art has an object, a purpose, which is to grasp, to understand, to give birth to Poetry. Not the “poetry of words”, of course, but the Poetry of things, of Art, of Life, who knows, Poetry with a capital – you and me we exactly understand what he means, right?

Poetry is EXACTLY what you can not explain with words. It’s “between” concepts, between all words. It’s above them all. It’s richer, and more complex. Words are weak, in this kingdom…

But, says Valéry, Art uses little tools, particular “low level” objects, the “things you notice” : likeness in painting, plot or descriptions in literature, energy or rhythm, in music. All artists have knacks and tricks. Impressionists used a certain way to paint. Psychedelic rock groups have a certain sound. Some photographs have a blurry style, or a particular way to use black and white. Some movie makers – choose Tim Burton – do “their thing”, right?

Why not? These are tools, the soil you manipulate, the knacks and the style you like to use. This is “you, working, doing your thing”.

The danger, says Gauguin, is precisely here.

the danger is when the audience drains in assessments

The audience is smart. People NOTICE what you do. They’re like : “Haha, this was smart!”. They see what filters you use on Instagram. They see you like slanted frames. They notice what you want to tell us in a blog. They smile, they notice the music in the film, the way you “sound” in your novel, the way Seurat used DOTS in pointillism. This last example triggered Gauguin’s remark :

the audience drains in assessments

(You can almost get the invisible rest : “And where is poetry?”)

Well, yes, “OK he’s smart”. People see and understand what you “do”. They have fun! But THIS IS NOT POETRY. Magic appears out of your little knacks – and I hope you know it!

 

The audience must wait. They wait for the song of life. They wait to be touched in their most treasured intimacy, with good, complex, mysterious energy. It’s about Wizardry, right? YOUR wizardry. This energy awakes things in people. And THIS is what is important. And like says Valéry :

What I hold now makes itself desirable

Hmmm, ain’t it poetry?

 

Thanks for reading!

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