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!

 

 

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Not “Evil vs Good”, but “Chaos vs Order”

Many mainstream movies have this pattern : “Evil vs Good”, and a good villain is funny, right?

Today I’ll play a cross-game with another pattern : “Chaos vs Order”.

It can be similar : “Evil brings Chaos, and Good brings back Order”.

But of course you’re like me, sensing, that the contrary is true, and probably more interesting…

Evil = Order, like the First Order in Star Wars, and the perfectly aligned Nazis army.

Order means “every rule obeyed”, and that’s a bit 1984…

Yesterday I watched “A little Chaos“, a charming little film (directed by Alan Rickman!) : chaos brought by an inventing gardener hired by Le Nôtre – while Louis XIV was building Versailles, in France.

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

“Something uniquely French”? Order, but with a little chaos, or a casualness, maybe a slice of disobedience (to the rules), effortless elegance, imperfections embrace. Yeah, that’s the Parisian Elegance…

 

Well, I have this in mind since I saw “perfect gardens” – my brain was craving for fantasy! There’s a wiki for https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_garden_types –

 

Well, is it an article? Beginning with cinema, then France, then gardening? In what other fields of the human activities do we have to find our own frontier, balance, between chaos and order? In rocket science, 100% order, right? Art of Battle : 80%? What is discipline? What and where is invention? Can we have both at the same time? Differences of nature, quantity, places?

Have a nice day!

 

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“What do we displace, today, dear?”

There’s a French/English problem with the word “Translation” :

In English, you use the same word to translate a word (in a language to another language) AND to translate in geometry (which “moves every point of a figure or a space by the same distance in a given direction”).

In French, “to translate a word” is Traduire, and “to translate geometrically” is Translater. Which becomes for nouns : Une Traduction / Une Translation.

 

I had fun one day writing an article about concepts translations, which is, for example, to pick an architecture concept (“the door”, “the archway”) and to use it in another discipline (in poetry, in photography, or teaching).

“Displacing Concepts” : from Architecture to Poetry ?

 

I admit my brain is in some places connected like that : as soon as I notice a structure, I want to extract it and play with it around, in… another discipline.

  • The idea of verse in poetry would become interesting in photography.
  • The form “sonata” in music is maybe something in architecture.
  • Etc.

 

Today I take my magnifier and I realize we could do this “exercise” with other things than concepts.

  1. Methods
  2. Models
  3. Invention
  4. Team
  5. Supervision
  6. Training exercises types
  7. Risks
  8. Out of the box thinking
  9. Paradigm changes
  10. Etc

 

I know someone who studied how music pedagogy could be useful to language learning. That’s a fantastic idea!

Now this is a subject for an afternoon conversation, right?

If you don’t have a partner for that, read some prefaces or thinkers’ interviews, find the seeds and patterns, and apply them elsewhere.

What is impressionism (art) in teaching? What is a corridor (architecture) in marketing campaign? What is a fade to black (movie editing) in poetry? What can a street photographer bring to a lecturer? Etc.

Have fun. Thanks for reading!

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Make your “not enough” a SCFIM (a Splendid, Complex, Fast, Interesting Machinery)

Make your “not enough” a SCFIM (a Splendid, Complex, Fast, Interesting Machinery)

This tool is used when your you don’t have the means to do your mission.

  1. You can lead a military team – it’s way too small for what you’re asked for into battle.
  2. You’re given a corner in a big store – too little to reach your goals.
  3. You have to take pictures at a wedding but your big Nikon just died and you have to use a point an click shitty camera.
  4. You’re a composer but you’re locked for months with a flute and sheet paper.
  5. You feel that your destiny is to write a book but you have no ideas at all.
  6. Etc.

 

Lament! Rage! Despondence and frustration! You have “not enough”! You could do much better, right?

This is the path we all take. Along with all these :

  • Sarcasms
  • Trying to convince upper hierarchy that you’re spoiled
  • Watching the disaster coming
  • Run away
  • Become cold or indifferent
  • Sacrifice
  • Say “I told you so”

 

That’s boring. My pattern is to roll up your sleeve and build a SCFIM. Make your “not enough” a Splendid, Complex, Fast, Interesting Machinery. It’s elegant!

Smile! Amor Fati! Mute your carps into dolphins. Be fast and elegant. Invent your effectiveness. Surprise yourself. Find possibilities. Open doors. Make it mobile, splendid, clever, complex, fast, elegant, surprising, interesting!

(OK let’s call it MSCCFESIM)

Thanks for reading!

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Jazz your creativity (the cinematographer’s example)

I’m watching a GREAT documentary about cinematographers, named “Cinematographer Style” (it’s there : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0847474/ and it’s 7.1 on IMDB, which is not bad at all if you know what it means).

110 of the world’s top cinematographers discuss the art of how and why films look the way they do.

What impresses me is that the director trusted the WORDS of these cinematographers (yes, directors of photography, the guys responsible of the image in movie making) so much that he never shows extracts of movies. You just have these geniuses talking about what they do.

And they’re clever, they’re smart, they’re THINKERS!

Something emerges of this :

There’s a dance between :

  1. They are skilled and they have ideas and a vision and they exactly know what to do.
  2. They adapt, they watch “the moment”, what the city gives, what the actors give, what the sun or the clouds give. They are opened and they dance with the necessities and what happens.

I also love these guys because they lecture us the splendidest way, and they’re always dancing with two sides of reality :

  1. They are artists but they are technicians
  2. They use natural light and artificial light
  3. They have a strong personality but they have to follow the director
  4. Thinkers but practical

Well, that’s all. Watch it if you find it and have fun : apply their words to your field. Learn from them. And if you’re interested, watch the films they worked on!

It made me happy, because they are generous thinkers…

Thanks for reading!

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Where to apply modernity?

Reading my Jeff Wall book I found this little paragraph about certain movie directors who were modern (and even avant-gardist) BUT in a tradictionnal form.

Fellini, Bergman, Rohmer, Bunuel, Eustache or Fassbinder, making movies with this idea :

Putting modernity pressure not on the form itself, but elsewhere, on elements of the classic form.

Each example is very clear, when opposed to Jean-Luc Godard, who killed, enstranged, deformed, distorded, dented the classical forms of movies : experiences on the sound, narration, superposition, edition.

“Rule Breaking Films” (you can YouTube this) are interesting ALSO to find out (and list and sort) where modernity has been applied.

Kaleidocopic (Persona), surreal/casual (8 1/2), jazzyist jumcuts (A bout de Souffle), no sets (Dogville), refusing artificial dramas (Patterson), watching the camera (Pierrot le Fou, Monica, Do the right Thing) : you’ll find your own examples with Google.

 

Anyway, what’s interesting me here is this tool :

Apply modernity, break some rules, push avant-garde elements. OK, but what if on some places only, letting the rest totatlly “normal”?

Where? Poetry? Photography? What’s your field? How will you choose your “element”?

 

Thanks for reading!

JP

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Tropes & Clichés and other blocks of storytelling

I write this because I believe that English uses the word “trope” in a different way than in French. It’s a rare word here, and I had to check in dictionaries to understand it.

I hear that in the world of telling stories, a trope is like a “little structure”, linked to other words : conventions, stereotypes, clichés, but also “twists and turns”.

  1. Big tropes, archetypes with capitals like : The Chosen One. The Artifact of Power. The Damsel in Distress. The Knight in Shining Armor.
  2. Typical narrative structures like : enemies to lovers, tough guy secretly sensitive, forbidden love,
  3. Situations or plot elements : “there’s only one bed”

 

It leads to many questions & paths :

  • Tropes by categories (ex : Fantasy Tropes : quest, dark lord, hero, good vs evil, blah blah)
  • Clichés are boring, aren’t tropes boring?
  • New tropes?
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clich%C3%A9 Clichés are irritating, right?
  • Platitudes. Stereotypes.
  • Tropes are good because familiarity.
  • When tropes are predictable to the point of boredom.
  • Are predictable tropes clichés?
  • Tropes as metaphors.

 

Well, it’s too big. Creativity and storytelling, finding the frontier between good tropes and boring ones, etc. I need a book. You have an idea?

Thanks for reading!

 

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