My “Casual Minimalism” on Instagram

You’ll always find here or there some articles from “real” photographers mocking people taking pictures with their iPad, selfies makers, instagrammers.

I know the difference between writing a symphony or a book, and quickly taking a filtered pict of some clouds for my Instagram account – I need five seconds to to that. I agree : it’s some low level creativity. So what? So there!

The wrong thing would be to consider oneself a “great photographer”. Nevertheless, I take this activity very seriously at time (you too, right?)! And I really love to feel this little chill when I found something… interesting. A finger-triggering sight (if you allow my neologisms). It’s a pleasure from childhood. Something like :

Look mom! I found a little white rock!

 

Real photographers shouldn’t care about casual instagrammers and selfies anoraks (in France, an anorak is just a coat, I didn’t know “this” meaning in English). Maybe one day they’ll take this Art more seriously? Let them playyyy…

And you probably already know this : we post because we want to have “likes”. Like kids. We just want to be loved!

This week I was walking in the French city of Belfort, and in la Rue Gambetta, my eyes lifted up to see this view. Nothing special, right? But “something”, nevertheless. I saw :

  1. A contrast of texture.
  2. The neat color.
  3. The reflection of light on the left.

OK : I took the picture, blurred the chimney and all. This day I also took a little carpet on a church’s stairs. Cold and velvet, etc. Voilà.

With some hashtags, these two pictures got like five of six times more success than more gorgeous ones. Why? Who knows? Not me. A mood?

What are my tools here?

  • Let the amateurs be casual, it’s their good childish pleasure.
  • If you are an amateur in a field, try to make some progress, of maybe to learn what the good pros do. You maybe won’t be a pro on this matter, but take pleasure where it is, and knowledge is one.
  • Well, if you’re a casual amateur, don’t play your smartassness in front of a pro. And please, don’t ask stupid questions, it’s better to listen!

Awee sorry for my English! I do my best.

 

Thanks for reading! Bonne journée !

 

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“Ways of hiding intentions”, the Humor example

I read an interview of François Damien, a Belgian actor who just directed his first movie, a comedy. He talked about the editing process, saying he was afraid of comedies, in which each part “has to be funny”, which is boring and dangerous.

He said, therefore, that each time he felt “a will to make people laugh”, he cuts the sequence, then concluding with this : “Humor must be an accident. Thus even you build it, you have to build it like an accident”.

You can also read :

Intention of effect kills effect

I do agree with him. When the audience notices you “want” to make them laugh, most of them won’t! Or maybe they do, if they’re polite, haha…

Tool :

What does that mean? That humor is like elegance (don’t show off, make it a feeling)? How will you do to “not show” you’re preparing something? A sudden thing (the accident type)? Something climbing under? A complexity, detected only by smart brains (and then you put your audience in your pocket)? What else? What’s the speed dial, in humor?

Have a nice day!

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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

 

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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Your Field : Topology & Radars

What’s your field? You’re a CEO? A poet? A photographer? A blogger? A cook? What do you do, what do you explore, what is your field, your… territory?

You probably like to “Think about your art”, where things are not that obvious. A map is not the territory, but it helps you : “A model is a lie that helps you see the truth”. Why would you study your own field? Make progress? Extend your possibilities? Detect dangers or mistakes? You feel stuck? Going too fast? Other reasons?

Do you think about your art when you’re working on it, or after? Alone or with another person? What happens?

You can also read :

When you work, what radars should you use? What model? Do you draw? Do you imagine? In fact, it’s a good opportunity to use topologic or other fields vocabulary, and tools…

  • If you dig, what is a lode? How do you find it? What do you do with it?
  • What if you were stuck in the narrow neck of an hourglass? What does that mean? Do you have to wait? To push?
  • If you find grains and rocks, are there a pain, a chance, a luck?
  • What could be a compass, in your field? A magnifying glass?

Other ideas of tools to use to study your own activity?

Take these jobs : clockmaker, a topology specialist, a miner, a gold digger, an entomologist. List their tools, their concepts. Then apply on your field. How do they use it? What happens? A nugget? A change? A new map? Vectors? Paths?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Follow Fallow & Charging Up, the other way of non-blogging…

There’s a type of weapon in different video games like Marathon from Bungie or even one of the first Star Wars game : Dark Forces.

This “pistol”, phaser, whatever, is empty. You have to pull the trigger, then you hear it CHARGING : PiiiuuuUUUU – you have to wait – when it’s ready, there’s a little light showing and you can shoot. Bang! (or PEWW!).

L’idée of pushing on something to charge up it until it’s “ready” is a pattern, a tool. Call it a structure if you want.

In special intercoursing inbedweekends, a smart lover is able to keep his partner on a high plateau for hours. He watches her closely, he charges her up – not constantly, but regularly – never reaching the explosion. When things become serious, she’s like a planet of high energy, ready to reach the stars…

OK let’s back to business! :

There are two ways of non-blogging.

  1. You need sometimes to stop writing, that’s it. Most of the time, it’s because your mind is busy elsewhere : you’re sick, you fall in love, you’re out of good ideas, your gas tank is empty and your car stopped. This is really no big deal. You’ll find it back. Keep a white fragile string linked to it, ready to pull. It’ll come, you know…
  2. The other way is… because you “charge up”. You stop blogging, but you feel that your brain stays “on” : you read, you think, you gather ideas, you write many drafts, you keep working! It’s about seeds, and energy. It’s not empty waiting : you write a paragraph or two, then you go to another draft, etc. It’s like the pistol in the games. Your don’t post, because your writing skills are charging up!

 

This little dial is interesting to find, then to watch. What, in your life, in your job, in your creativity, is charging up? How is it weaved with waiting? Can you work on something else while you do?

OK, now the pistol is charged, green lighted, ready to shoot. After a couple of days (weeks?) of non-blogging, here you are, looking like a sphere of pulsing magic energy : now you’re ready to post five articles a day. Ain’t it too much, silly?

Bahhh nope. Your followers will deal with your sudden generosity, don’t worry…

Thanks for reading!

 

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