Le Jardin des Géants, Lille, France

This “Garden of Giants” in Lille, France, is a small and quiet place. “The creation of the garden was entrusted to landscape gardeners from the Mutabilis workshop and to the architect Duncan Lewis”.

In the North of France, Giants ( https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9ants_du_Nord ) are like figures from the Middle Age traditions. Today they are showed in carnivals…

Thus, the park is full of symbols, tall unattainable chairs, silhouettes, mysterious places and paths, old plants…

 

I took these pictures in 2010 :

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When you ask a stranger about your country…

When you ask a stranger about your country, you probably trigger a good conversation. Cultural differences are infinite, and an attentive person will probably be amazed by daily things you don’t notice anymore : the way people talk to each other, the way stores are organized, the houses, the sky, churches, markets, TV, the way people walk, or dress according to their age, food, car, driving manners, books’ colors.

I love this kind of conversation, mainly because it’s interesting for both camps. Your friend from abroad will, in a way, give you new eyes to see your own country. Disillusions or amazements with all the shades between, all this make you think…

Therefore you want to hear more, you both laugh and smile, you compare with what they have to say about their country. How is it different? Why? Is it good? How is the wind? The air? How do men watch women? Do people talk to each other when they wait in line? How is politeness, manners?

You will want to visit the other side, right?

But sometimes I ask too much. I’m like “Hey hello! Do you like it here? What did you notice?”, and I get “Nathing. Everything’s normal. It’s cool”. Well. OK!

Have a nice trip!

Have a nice day! Bonne journée !

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Isn’t there a little tool here? When and where, in our lives, would we need to have “fresh eyes”? How can we get that? Alone or with a friend who’d play the stranger? Why do I think about the frog in boiling water?…

“Please glance and tell what you see…”

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The Future of Transportation : Rent a louteuse!

I posted this article on https://brainsunite.wordpress.com/ – a collaboration based wordpress page I’m proud to work with…

 

Foresight is a risky field. Writing, in France, in my wobbly English, an article about the future of transportation is even more risky. Donc, well, you go girl! (or boy).

25 years ago I wrote a story where young people used what I called louteuses (could be “looters”) which were flying cameras you could hire for a certain amount of time (in my story it was used to spy people in their homes). Let’s say I invented self-service drones, parked everywhere at the top of buildings, computer piloted.

Drones! I’m proud! But I’m really today not able to imagine the future of transportation, though. Of course, I could watch some levers and pull them. Change of “nature” (teleportation?), or intensity (go “faster”), or go elsewhere (space?) etc. That’s boring, it’s just dial-watching.

I prefer to imagine an oblique way to move for the future : Not moving any more.

Virtuality and powerful computers will allow you to “travel” with 3D-glasses. You probably will be able to walk in every street of the Earth (or the Google Earth, hmm). Ahhh wandering in the suburbs of Yalta in autumn!!

But maybe you need real time?

There will be hundreds of ready-to-use self-services drones EVERYWHERE. They will be clever enough to navigate between your orders and security issues and laws. If you want to fly over Greenland NOW, let’s hire one sponsored-therefore-free drone, put your glasses on, and have fun!

My future of transportation : virtuality.

Of course it is baaaad. Nothing is better than to go “on site”, meet people, see the sky, and feel the air of Delhi. For this : read my colleagues’s articles, OK ?

Thanks for reading, and sorry for my Frenchenglish!

 

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Instagram : featureshoot

 

 

 

 

Fixin’to #traveling (again without moving) in the #USA

Sweatin’ like a sinner in church…

I downloaded a bunch of Smithsonian TV episodes of Aerial America. I just watched the Michigan one, and, say, I’ll probably watch the whole pack!

It’s just one hour long, it’s “taken from helicopter” so I see the country from above, it’s… interesting. There’s a little of History and some funny stories (Kellog’s, Detroit, Eminem, General Motors, Ford, the German population, lakes, and the fact it’s divided in two pieces). The flaws are : there are not enough maps to explain things. It’s not linked enough to the neighbor states. And the narration is a little too much American-TV (so everything is “THE BEST OF THE WORLD” – or the biggest stadium of the country, the greatest factory of the fifties in America, or the longest bridge EVER, etc).

I also have a pack of movies about American History. It’ll help, this summer, I bet, to move forward.

You’ll find plenty of arrogant European people telling that people in USA are non traveling ignorants who don’t even know where Belgium or Italy are on a map. But ask a French what is the capital of Colorado, or to place Oklahoma on the US Map, and you’ll see.

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I began to read the hilarious Bill Bryson book called The Lost Continent. This guy is from Iowa and decided one day to explore his country with two big loops (cf map). So my next episodes will be Iowa and maybe Missouri. It’s another way to visit without moving, right?

When Bryson crosses some cities like Des Moines, Hannibal or Palmyra, I often stop reading and I go on Instagram. I search Pella, Iowa, for example, and, well, I see the land, the sky, the church, the roads, what people do, what people like (cycling or all terrain vehicles?). Do I see vineyards or corn fields? I can’t wait for Wiscasset, Maine, right? I Google-mapped too, a little.

I wonder what you people “feel” when you see one of yours words written in the UK way. For example with realise/realize or colour/color.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time on YouTube exploring accents. What is really the Southern Accent? So I watched this :

 

Sorry for my English, it’s difficult some days. I’m French, after all!…

Thanks for reading!

JP

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Instagram : la_fille_de_la_cote

“Consider other doors, gallivanter!”

Sometimes you’re less interested by the works than by the theories, discussions, struggles, articles and letters by those who invented it or studied it.

Imagine you’re interested in cubism, or new wave music. You can study the paintings and listen to OMD’s albums, but you could also dislike all of it, and at the same time discovering plenty of good ideas and concepts in the articles, books, letters around these subjects.

Go to France, but visit other cities than Paris. Read a poet, but not his poetry. Focus on trains when you study WWII.

So what? Well, nothing more than :

“Consider other doors, gallivanter!”.

I’d go further : choose a field you really don’t want to like (pick one : Street Art, Turkish Music, history of the Loire Castles in France, early movies of Brian de Palma, African food, or Nicolas de Stael’s paintings), and you go girl!

You could be surprised. Or find harmonic links with what you like, concepts you could apply to your discipline, or other doors to even more interesting territories.

Thanks for reading!

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Inner Travels are cheaper

I don’t travel, I never took a plane : I know I’m wrong. I knowwww!

I like to read books; though (I’m an astronomer, not an astronaut) about traveling.

Every tourist will say he’s “not a tourist”, but each good traveling authors speaks about other things than local shopping or visiting “what you have to see”. Carrière tells us that he founds many beautiful things in Agra, India, which are NOT the Taj Mahal. And there are others things to see in Paris than Le Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

Deleuze says that traveling authors always finish by saying they were seeking… a father. Beckett has a character who says something like “We are stupid, but not stupid enough to travel as a leisure”.

Proust says that we travel to check something. Mmhhh?

I would imagine, like Deleuze again, an immobile travel. Or a VERY SLOW travel.

So I like to read about these. And I like to prepare a good inner travel, too. With books and Internet, you can travel through the American Civil War, or the French Revolution, the life of Faulkner or Bartok, Stanley Kubrick movies or whatever. Choose your study. It’s a travel. Learning a language too. I had a friend who travelled through India, learned the language, and got married there. Good!

OK, I’ll get a passport.

Have a nice day!

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