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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