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Curator of becoming, Artist, Writer, Urban Tiger
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    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.

    ‘Matter’ becomes soft. It is the softening of matter, of ourselves, of our genes, of our beliefs, the softening of our mindset and base-images, which is distributed all over as the voice and signal of the 21st century. It is the softening of ‘matter’, of the concreteness of our precincts and restrictions that allows us to choose our identity, to shape it as malleable substance. Fundamentalism, the historical mindset of fundamentalism is becoming obsolete. (From notes in black and white)

    Migration into the Soft

    When we speak of the “middle” in a hard medium, what we see is the center in a structure, an a-priori privileged location, a unique point of view, like the control tower in a panopticon, or like reason in rationality, like good in morality or the truth in validation. It is the center from which to behold the symmetry of architectural virtuosity.

    When matter becomes soft, ‘middle’ loses its structural image while sustaining the potency of relation. Where is the ‘middle’ of flowing minds? The ‘middle’ of imagination? Where is the middle of an evolving phenomenon? Even the middle of a living town… and we are in the middle of each one of them. A shift in meaning, the middle in a soft medium depicts a state; it is a within, a between, an un-pictured touch-like equidistance from everything reaching from the inside out.

    Letting oneself into the “middle”, the solid concreteness of restrictions is re-examined anew and projected into possible tensions that generate change. The structural stability of the hard yields to the dynamic potential of the soft, giving play to corridors of yet unexpressed opportunities, momentary shapes, endless reshuffling of landscapes.

    In a momentary crossing over from a world of definite restrictions toward the wilderness of dynamic tensions, mind learns to morph singular states in soft matter.

    The ‘middle’ is an aesthetic attitude of mind.

    We are in migration; we are migrating into the soft; first generations to step into a soft universe, to cross over into softening selves and softening “matter”. And migration, this new form of migration, is reshaping our minds, our perception and intelligence.

    Between mathematics to imagination

    The works of Diana Al Hadid are to me a window into the Soft, a private window into the indefinite opportunities hidden in the ‘middle’ of ‘Matter’. The works occupy the infinitesimal space between construction and deconstruction, between emergence and entropy and between mathematics and imagination.

    Her unique ability to walk these shifting lines, to operate intuitively membranes between construction and deconstruction, is reflected in her inspiring manipulation of shapes. It seems as if matter in her hands is indeed becoming soft, enriched with undomesticated opportunities for re-viewing.

    The works are like a descriptive poem of the gradual coming into existence, a poetry of poiesis – the bringing of a ‘form’ into the light, layer by layer, time after time, process after process, a becoming, a long becoming, a very long becoming that resonates with a million years.

    Yet there is a discernment between natural evolution and conscious poiesis, there is a difference between nature and culture, and between the processes through which forms are produced. A conscious catalyst that interferes with becoming (of form) becomes in its turn intimate with the process of exceeding itself while in the ‘middle’. Thus opening doors that are disengaged from the natural.

    The difference, where manifested, is not a matter of perfection or imperfection as in the world of Plato, rather it is an aesthetic probe, sensing where to make the difference visible, harvesting its power to un-domesticate form. From cracks on the surface of the familiar into the liquid streams of possibilities, emerging as the singular.

    At the inexistent heart of soft matter, aesthetics is rumbling, probing new grounds for thought, portraying the “middle”, not as locus nor as subject, but as a new intelligence within the flow of human minding.

    Aesthetics, the ‘Middle’ of Minding

    “When the lines of distinction between Matter and Mind are fading, that is when an artist begins to work. When matter is soft and mind is clear, when matter and mind become a ‘Brain’ that thinks, then thought begins to move in alternative paths.” (From notes in black and white)

    It is this state of affairs that I call the ‘middle’ of minding, and the ground of aesthetic thought. The intense and singular emergence in which mind and matter forge a ‘Brain’ that thinks and exceeds. A virtual ‘brain’ that moves and emotes along the line of tension, stretched between the intimate and the alien.

    Like those moments in which a sculptor merges with the substance she is working with, and a painter migrates into color and a photographer blends with light, it is not the union that matters but the kind of ‘brain’ that emerges.

    It is with the emergence of these virtual ‘brains’ that we realize; we are not ‘caged in matter’ as much as we are not ‘caged in selves’, rather, we have just begun our journey into flows of concrete potentialities that unfold through and emerge within the amalgam of ‘mind’ and ‘matter’.

    ‘While going to a condition’

    “I want the audience to experience the space” - Hiroaki Umeda

    “While going to a condition” was the first work of Hiroaki Umeda, performed in 2002. It is an enlightening work, brilliant in its simplicity and elegant and modest in its use of technology.
    It ventures away from the standards of perception into an alternative phase-space, into being intimate with an alien mindset of sight. It is a reminder, so to say, of the endless opportunities that constitute the space between forms and language.

    The elements from which the work is composed are brought to a plane of equivalence - body movements, sound, light and technology - so that, the basic unit, the ‘Atom’ from which the performance is made, is an alien composition of multiplicities.

    The hard distinction between the elements is replaced by soft distinction. Making clear that softness is not about a collapse into one amorphous substance, but rather it is pointing to endless relational opportunities, existing in the space that enfolds between the elements.

    Sound, light and movement are as if physical substances, materials that he strips from melody, text and continuity; so that the relation with them and between them is a flesh of direct contact.
    Once the index of patterns is cracked open, and softness fills up the fractures, space is exposed as an eruption of unpredictable spatial opportunities, the ‘middle’ of undefined possibilities becoming tangible.

    The volume of possibilities

    “It's not easy to see things in the middle, rather than looking down on them from above or up at them from below, or from left to right or right to left: try it, you'll see that everything changes”. — Deleuze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus

    Both intelligence and evolution operate upon multiplicity of options; our tendency to anchor an understanding to a single point of view or a specific form is a bias of linear perception. Moving into softness we need a metaphor expanding awareness to unexpressed multiplicity and parallel waves of possibility; together with the accuracy of calibration we need corridors into the ‘middle’.

    In cinema the set of coordinates in space are defined by the location of the camera, the motion of it and the kind of lenses that are selected, together coalescing the type of perspective. These are the vectors mapping the phase-space of sight (the volume containing all possible perspectives applicable to a given cinematographic moment, whether actuated or not).

    The question of where and how to operate the camera is an exploration of such phase-space and any shot is in fact a particular state within the volume of optional perspectives.
    The evolution of technology in relation to cinema did change profoundly the volume of possible sights and the set of restrictions operative in it – thus altering the way to navigate and create within a phase-space, which is itself in change.

    The matter of cinema progressively becomes soft, but this is not necessarily enough in making greater cinema; on the contrary more often than not it reflects a gap in speed, between the growing freedoms of technology, reducing restrictions, and the fragile freedom of our minds in being able to extract singular states out of equivalent multiplicities.

    It is not that it is less easy or more difficult to make movies today; it is a different task altogether in terms of operative intelligence.

    The great masters of the medium indeed begin with softness of ‘matter’, they transform restriction to tension, and then when Mind and Matter, sight and observer, co-forge a ‘brain’ that thinks, they move to a new path in the phase-space and bring to fruition a singular state of sight.

    Much like the first moment of “The consequence of love” by Paolo Sorrentino (2004). It is a still shot, an airport landscape, a long and empty conveyor belt, in the very end of it, far in the depth of the frame a human enters moving towards the viewer. Step by step, as the human figure is approaching and closing the distance, the sense is almost transforming into a thriller.
    The thriller though is about the viewer migrating into the world of the movie.

    Just before the human figure is about to leave the frame, the camera begins to move. But now the camera is very tangibly loaded with the viewer mind and emotion, as if the ‘mind’ of the viewer and the ‘matter’ of the close-up co-forged a brain that emotes; the gap is engulfed into a new corridor of possibilities, and bravely gliding to a new and singular path.

    For a blink of a second time stands, space opens, the seeking of a new encounter and the apparently bland first contact with the movie is suddenly overwhelmed by information.
    From then on the viewer remains in longing for that kind of moment, while the story of the hero of the movie is exactly the same, longing for that kind of instance in which matter is soft, and contact produces different versions of ourselves, even if the consequences are deadly.

    The magic of art is in the accessibility to singular states of sight and emotion, which provoke deep and inexhaustible observation. So that it allows us, while being no more than a case in evolution, to sustain corridors of observation upon matter becoming soft.

    Matter loosens its grip

    The becoming soft of matter is riding multiple ruptures in technology, science, society, subjectivity, philosophy and art, if just to name some of the realms in which it is gathering momentum. It is this network of ruptures that makes matter soft, or differently put, makes matter pregnant with new clouds of opportunities and sights.

    It is connectivity, hyper connectivity and the incoming interfaces between the physical and the virtual, between brain and machine that make matter soft. These coordinates in which domains overlap, oscillate and gently seep into each other are corridors into the middle.

    Matter loosens its grip, its hardness and rigidity, becoming malleable, pliable, a quasi-solid stream of opportunities.

    Yet, we do know how to operate in a hard world, and we are only now gathering the intelligence and speed that fit softness. The softness of matter calls for the softness of a new aesthetics, to fit the radical ongoing change.

    We need to rethink intelligent operation in a soft universe, extraction of singular states out of flowing streams, instantaneous processes of reconstructing mindsets together with the art and science of curating becoming.

    It is Aesthetics that provides us the grounds to a new system of navigation.

    Image 1 – Santa Cruz - Cueva Manos
    Image 2 – Diana Al Hadid - In Mortal Repose, 2011
    Image 3 – Diana Al Hadid - Self-Melt, 2008
    Image 4 – Tara Donovan - Untitled, 2003
    Image 5 – Neri Oxman - E,X,Y,Z,S,S,T

    Thu, Jan 19, 2012  Permanent link
    Categories: Intelligence, Aesthetics, Soft, Middle
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    What Aesthetics dictates is the political act of infiltrating the sign; to infiltrate and to reprogram the commonplace of language.

    (From notes in black & white)

    Noun, in function of a verb.

    ‘Apocalypse Now’ by Francis Ford Coppola took 16 months to shoot, “Fitzcarraldo” by Verner Herzog was shot in 4 years, and ‘Dau’, a movie by Ilya Khrzhanovsky, has been shooting for 5 (five) years and still in the process of making.

    “The set of Dau is an enclosed bubble called the Institute; Khrzhanovsky came up with the idea of the Institute not long after preproduction on Dau began in 2006. He wanted a space where he could elicit the needed emotions from his cast in controlled conditions, twenty-four hours a day. The institute is where thousands of actors have been living the lives of their characters 24 hours a day, ever since production began, using Soviet passports and money, in a world that is exactly as things were in the 1950s”. (Edited from an article by Michael Idov, rest of the article is here)

    In language as in common sense the ‘making of’ (shooting) is a function of the ‘product’ (movie). In this story the line blurs as to what is in function of what? The making becomes a volume in itself, overlapping, intersecting and generating a value that may or may not end up being encased in the movie itself.

    There is no room in language for ambiguity in terms of directionality of function; the verb (the making) belongs to the noun (the movie), so that the process is a function of the form and the becoming is a function of being.

    The unidirectionality of the function (the verb) towards the noun is a basic precept of our perception. Thus language suggests a hierarchy between noun and verb, such that the verb is always an instrument of the noun, which is the axis around which the coherency of language rotates.

    The consequences of this are two-fold, a colonization of values towards one preferred structure - process as function of product and verb as function of the noun -, and the domestication of all flows of migration into a fictional unity directed by the noun.

    And yet, isn’t it in fact that:

    Form is function of a process?
    Noun is function of a verb?
    Being is function of becoming?

    “What are we longing for? Where does all this yearning come from?”

    Pina Bausch


    Form, in function of a process.

    Pina Bausch did not tell stories about life, or humans or relation, She tried in her work to make the ‘matter’ of being a human - the stuff that becomes, visible through dancing.

    She arranged that stuff in a political way – as an agent for social change, which was her way to assign meaning to Art. The beauty of her performances was undeniable, but it was never alien to human emotions, it was in actuality a stage upon which human emotions honorably become dance.

    Editing on the verge of chaos, this was the magic of Pina Bausch when in the creative process with her dancers. She guides them, without a clear frame of direction, into a ‘zone’ and a ‘darkroom’, in which the stuff they where made of could come out without being framed by a regime of domestication.

    When those shapes of raw stuff were interesting enough, real enough, She would ‘cut’ it into a dance through the dialogue with her dancers. This unique process unfolds a set of values different from the performance itself, the aesthetic of it lying in a sweating raw motion-sentence as a sign of realness.

    Dancing was not at the center, nor was art, it was the human in the action of becoming which clearly took the center, so that the making, the process, could stand out on its own account. Enveloping the axis of value was the impossible action of real and undomesticated becoming.

    Unlike in language, the stage of honor is given and belongs to the making, to the verb, to becoming. The noun is always in the periphery, surrounded by the aesthetic action of curating the (undomesticated) becoming.

    In Art the noun can indeed be a function of the process. It is the noun that is an instrument of the verb and not the opposite.

    “Fitzcarraldo is close to my heart. It’s not only just a movie, it’s really my life.”

    Werner Herzog


    Being, in function of becoming

    “Shooting Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog undertook the most insane project of his entire career as a filmmaker. Everything in Fitzcarraldo is real. No camera tricks, no special effects, no miniatures - Herzog insists on framing nothing else but the truth. In a way, Fitzcarraldo is a film that Herzog made mostly for himself.

    “Pulling a ship of this size over a real mountain in the jungle in the middle of nowhere creates a great many moments of unexpected texture and wildness and ferocity,” he points out enthusiastically. The stress, the fatigue, the breaking of branches and ropes, the sounds of the jungle, the sweat and everything around the scenes is what ultimately makes them so alive and intense. “I pulled the ship over the mountain not for the sake of realism,” he confides. “What you actually see is a very stylized thing. It looks like an operatic event, like a dream-event, and that’s what’s so strange about it. It’s not really a paradox.” (edited from site of Wener Herzog)

    In Fitzcarraldo Werner Herzog brought the becoming of a dream into the ‘Frame’. It could not be a story about a dream, or about becoming. It was ‘the becoming itself’ and not a story of ‘Aboutness’ that the camera revealed, naked and real.

    It is the singularity of becoming putting the impossible in the frame of the possible, the value of it, the commitment and integrity that goes with it, the madness that slides, the ways life opens or closes the roads in front of it, and all that of which Fitzcarraldo is a real portrait of.

    The story of Fitzcarraldo and the extremes that overflow bring into presence lucidity in exposing a state of affairs different from the ideologies embedded in the commonplace of language. A state of affairs in which being is a function of becoming, the noun is a function of the verb and form is a function of the process.

    It is through these stories that the nature of our language is exposed, making its reality limits visible.

    The history of beauty is the history of our language; the future of beauty is captured in the evolution of our language. (From notes in Black and White)

    Oscillation between modes of language

    There is a correlation between language and visibility; the visible is what is expressed, dressed with a manifest and by that earning a momentary permanence; thus any Encounter is being ‘cut’ (made visible) through language.

    Beauty is a reminder of the inherent non-similarity between the encounter and the available linguistic maps. It exposes the relation of tension existing between any encounter and the language that describes it, so that minding the tension between the encounter and language creates an infinite game of approximations.

    In the world of cinema that which is under the light and seen by the camera is the visible, the making in its fullness is the production of the visible. In fact, Cinema is art because the movie in all of its layers is a totality of designed visibility (including that which is ‘out of the frame’).
    Indeed, cinema, the art in and of it, lies in the immersive experience of a total designed visibility, which is proposed as a function of a further becoming (this time of the beholder).

    Art leverages the passage between ‘out of the frame’ to 'visible' as a membrane of discontinuity, to bootstrap becoming, decomposing and recomposing the coherency of process to a new and elated plane of freedom. Yet it knows the membrane to be fictional and not a structured separation. The mutual function of visible and invisible is an oscillating directionality, never structurally encased. And look around we have a multiplicity of such live, breathing membranes that have been colonized by language, encased in pre-set structures of value, the flow of passage through them domesticated to a preferred functional direction. Thus functionally: process to product, verb to noun, chaos to order.

    Cinema provokes oscillation between modes of language, so that it is not just ‘lingua’ that leads the unfoldment of the visible. This oscillation between modes of descriptive languages (light, image, sonic just to name a few) is ‘natural’ to our minds.

    It is in fact essential to our mind-flow, the switching between different modes of visibility and types of signs allows the yield of our enriched mind ecology. Thus our understanding of becoming that is not arrested in language, but rather seeks to infiltrate the sign and reprogram it, altering the reality that the common place dictates.

    Minding the sign is a poietic instance

    Beauty is a ‘Dreamware’ for the evolution of language, in which the sign is pregnant with approximations. A sign thus is a pointer to a space of exploration; a sign enfolds interesting, expressive and inexhaustible shape of becoming.

    It is after all Language that stands between our insights and our perception of the world, it is language that stands between thought and thinking, between sign and meaning; beauty is a reminder that the imperceptible awaits our evolution.
    Being language the medium of in between, the sign sets the syntax of engagement, language in this sense is political - the politics of embedding models of reality. Beauty is a reminder that the syntax of engagement (sign) is open-ended and inexhaustible.

    Minding the sign is an open poietic instance, multiple styles of composition awaits, minding a sign enfolds opportunities of becoming, to infiltrate and reprogram the sign means to alter the ready-mades.

    Infiltrate the sign

    Beauty reminds that the ‘what’ is not separated from the ‘how’, nor from the ‘who’, the sign is an interplay (of minding).

    Thus, to curate becoming, hence, aesthetic, means at first not to fall prey to the separation between form and becoming.

    Curating becoming begins by infiltrating the sign, while consenting to the understanding that our language has evolved in tandem with the need for form.

    Thus all our signs, while being a triumph in our thrive to grasp and occupy the realms of space-time encounters, are “infected” with an underlying agenda of coming to a hold. A hold, which best suits our needs by taming our many speeds and stabilizing the event of encounter at a consistency of sorts.

    The speed of our cognitive event isn’t one. Yet the speed of coherency in which signs are stepping stones of stability takes advantage a-priori. It is that tendency, to sustain this particular advantage that gives political power to signs.

    A language of ataraxia (a lucid and free state according to the Greeks) is a language with which we are not bending our cognitive knee to the determinacy of form. On the contrary, it is a language with which we open up the ‘end-station’ regime of our pragmatically shaped perception. A language with which we taste the ambiguous non-saturated nature of becoming. In which allowance for simultaneity of noun and verb adds rather than subtracts from clarity.

    Beauty. Again.

    Language seems the undercurrent basis of history. Now, in seducing futures, we cannot afford to think of grammar and syntax as any farer than our own flesh.

    Beauty, unlike the stories of old, always was and is the site of the edge of language, there, oscillation between modes of language, between visible and invisible, unfolds an inexhaustible encounter. Whose entities (signs) are a composition of form and becoming immersed in silence.

    A composition of process and snapshot, of verb and noun, of participation and observation, of individual and collective, of self interest and collaborative pleasure, of one and multiple. That breath into each other, whisper into one another and flow into one another, like my little daughter and old age, like longing and me, like this lighted screen - a form and becoming on a plane of silence.

    Image 1 - “Only when I break this language can I speak”—Susan Hiller
    Image 2 - Mel Bochner, Language Is Not Transparent,
    Image 3 – Pina Bausch
    Image 4 – Klaus kinski in Fitzcarraldo
    Image 5 – C.E.B Reas, process Compendium
    Image 6 – Joseph Kosuth, box, 1965
    Image 7 - Marco de mutiis - "ʌnˈrɛst" - video installation
    Sat, Dec 3, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: language, aesthetics, Sign, curating becoming
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    “Whether the cloud of alternatives that is yet hidden in our eyes; Whether the soft snow that falls upon the palace of certainty; The invisible is, always, the greatest friend of emotions that are searching, not for an author, but for depth. “

    (From “notes in black and white”)

    Where do Visions come from?

    Visions are those rare kinds of thoughts that do not unfold the existing mindset but disrupt it; they do not concur with tendencies in thinking, as they carry a critique of what and how we tend to be. They emerge in fractures as curators of change.

    Visions are curators of change;

    I believe Visions are an aesthetic category shaping the action that one is, holding subtle corridors in becoming while everything around is unclear, providing an alternative to that which is already set and thus has no room for beauty.

    The complexly hued fabric of visions that are constantly refurnishing the “human”, its culture and community, is probably the true capital of humanity, when coming to life.

    Call it meaning, narrative and mythology, call it ethics, value and morality, call it freedom, wisdom and contemplation, call it respect, honor and sanity, call it intelligence, sobriety and art. Call it the quest for enlightenment, call it the integrity of the scientific method and technology.

    It is the aesthetic activity, generating visions as curators of change, which makes us what we are. Each of the maze carvings which we call vision, is an aesthetic tool in the shaping of ourselves and of the resulting space of possibilities.

    Strike a Balance

    Politics on the other hand is a texture of power, a ‘webware’ of habitual culture that dislikes visions in favor of a stable mindset. Whether in a private mind, or in a public society, politics is always rooted around pillars of identity and strongholds of stability.

    When intersecting the web of politics, visions are a disruptive force, since by quickening the texture of emotions they raise the curtain upon the unpredictable; and in the face of chaos politics is slow, very slow.

    The simultaneous breaking through of our own fate and the recurrent fall into our greatest despair, do Visions need an efficient webware of sorts? A network of veins and capillaries, preventing the rich convolutions of multiple voices to collapse into one straight, if not rather flat line?

    And yet a webware that will keep the liveliness of visions is not to be readily found on the horizon.

    Politics can provide the frame, the signal of sanity in front of visions, for visions walk unleashed. Politics can serve a balance between continuity and change.

    The Encounter That We Are

    Our times produce ‘strange’ trajectories of motion, of reflective and interactive motion, which do not rest upon the subject-object relation but are open to the possibility of emerging co-intent.

    Crossing these trajectories, I find aesthetics, as the essence of emphatic action, to be a coagulating nucleus of the encounter we are.

    Looking for the invisible, one shouldn’t think it is to be found just and exactly at the edge of visibility; no, the invisible exists in the visible as much as it does beyond and around the visible.

    I call it silence,

    It is made of a cloud of alternatives,

    Alternative is a potential space in space,

    It is a Reflective-Ware,

    And it is endlessly expressive

    It is in the expressivity of silence that Imagination reshuffles the shape of things, extending beyond the obvious and the tedious, and orienting the encounter that we are.

    Visions live in the communication between the visible and the invisible, upon the fine vein which is the subject matter of any aesthetic venture, the naked line moving between skeletal structures, that is revealed to be as well the ephemeral trail of enticement leading to a meeting of minds.

    All visions begin with an encounter. All visions begin with silence, unfolding the looseness of reality, the inherent softness of it.

    Silence is visions’ inborn forgiveness of factuality.

    Empathy, provoke a continuum, dismantling certainty and weaving nets of wormholes between the visible and the invisible. In the inextricable friction of our diversity as rare spots of silence we are opening the gates to visions.

    The Aesthetic Ground

    Isn’t it that when we gaze at the future, when we pull our eyes from the impossibility of change of which politics so easily convince us, that we are instilling the life of interaction within the frame of art?

    I sketch the dynamic lines of it through the veins that are rooted in our bodies, and which I observe at times pulsing under a casual skin.

    Before being a theory aesthetics is an action, the action of undeterred insistence in refurnishing becoming.

    Before being a theory aesthetics requires the necessary non-act of disclosing a shape of silence in and around minds, in and around things.

    Before being a theory aesthetics is an inter-action, the empathic weaving of threads across the frontier between visible and invisible, the ephemeral mind of beyond born of encounter.

    Thus before being a theory Aesthetics is possibly about the apex of our action as humans.
    Aesthetics is the verb of curating becoming.

    Almost Constrained Always Open

    And so aesthetics is the activity based upon the intuition that the ‘universe’ is open at core, yet ‘almost’ constrained by its current state.

    Aesthetics thrives upon the random-chaotic motion of the gap, the invisible formless potency of change and undomesticated love.

    Aesthetics, the conscious activity of carving in transcending the current restraints, minding the gap of becoming in forming visions as curators of change.

    Keeping the clay of mind malleable, or simply soft. So that in the encounter that originates we will still be able to listen beyond the cliché of the last moment and beneath the politics of the future (next moment).

    To be continued..

    Image 1 – Zadok Ben David, from the installation “Human Nature” - 2006
    Image 2 – Hakuin (1685 - 1768), Fragment from: Blind man crossing a log bridge.
    Image 3 –Paul Villinski - Ardors
    Image 4 – Chris Gentile - I’ve just seen the rock of ages - 2006

    Sun, May 15, 2011  Permanent link

    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    The creative process emerged with the writing of Montevideo, here on Space Collective, and the dialogue that accompanied it, took me to quite a tour, urging me to explore unmarked intersections of abstraction, time and expression. A culmination of it is a new body of works, which I decided to first expose here in SC, and that will be exhibited this month in a solo in TA.

    The ‘middle’ of my longing?

    This body of works represents as a whole an approximate answer to the question that is an axis of reference for me through multiple fields. A cluster of questions to be more precise, for it always varies slightly, that accompanies me on the escape route from the ontology of identity, out of the local and binary.
    Ask, and then again, asked, what is the “middle” of my longing?

    Anarchy is an Aesthetic Necessity

    The idea fundamental to this process I call Aesthetic-Anarchy; a conscious avant-post to the mainstream of identity.

    Anarchy in greek means without archon, where archon is the name designating one of the nine chief magistrates of ancient Athens, and a synonym to ‘Leader’; etymologically speaking Anarchy means the absence of localized authority.

    I do not read it as chaos as much as a mind situation in which authority stands as an open system of conscious deliberation. Authority in any given context is a conscious assignment that is never final or fixed; it does not collapse upon a specific locality, self or other, but rather stands as an arena of individuation. Given such an arena of enhanced reflection, aesthetics can be understood as a particular style of individuation and mind composition.

    In my proposition Aesthetic is an action, the (conscious) action of becoming another. The poietic and experimental action of self-creation, that fertilizes it self through change. The absence of fixed and absolute authority in mind is in fact an aesthetic necessity.

    Aesthetic Anarchy

    Aesthetic-Anarchy is a core attitude of mind charged with experimental restlessness. Its working assumption is that existing systems of order, mind order, maintain their power by producing a dichotomy between the visible and the invisible, the conscious and the subconscious. Language as a system of representation preserves the binary aspect of thinking and perception, while Aesthetic-Anarchy exposes the state of affair of duration and continuum between the invisible and the visible. It appears on the borderline and brings into presence the dynamic relation of between.

    Escaping from the stable separation and hierarchy between the visible and the invisible, aesthetic anarchy allows creativity and imagination to become the force that undermines the existing situation of a matrix of order, and to be the existential texture of a becoming.

    Future is the Muse of Alternatives

    Aesthetic is a narrative of becoming, a corridor between history the provider of a canon, the background and texture used to articulate a difference, and future which is constantly present as a web of potential articulations and yield itself as an inspirational muse for alternatives.
    The works are a distilled view of reflections sharpening into the gap between silence and creation, between the one and the many, between breakthrough and collapse, a profile of poetic cracks, allowing nomadic motion entangled with a dream without a name.


    I use the circle as a constant symbol for monothematic authority, in contrast with the multiplicity of open edges that forever disintegrate the domestication of life. Across human history the circle stands as the high symbol of perfection, in itself a requisite for Beauty. To Aristotle "perfect" meant "complete" ("nothing to add or subtract").

    The circle, here, metaphorically speaking, stands for the conditions in which the knowledge in us is faster in addressing our thought than our creative-imagination processes. Aesthetic-Anarchy is therefore a stance at the roots of re-creation, charged with the substance of silence. A constant reminder that authority in minding is a very subtle and influencive substance.


    The name Montevideo (I see a mountain) I choose not because metaphorically speaking it is breaking out of a limbo situation into some sort and style of revelation, but on the contrary, to signify, in a way, the situation before the occurrence of a ‘Montevideo’.
    The situation in which one is charged not with confidence, but with uncertainty. When the distance between catastrophe and breaking through is made of the fragile carving of individuation. It is indeed an uncomfortable home, a home always on fire, and yet animating profoundly the expressivity of silence.

    It Is Now
    To be continued…

    (I wish to thank starwalker for the sober dialogue along the writings)

    Image 1 – Montevideo - by JD Doria
    Image 2 - On love and brain - by JD Doria
    Image 3 - I am a thousand selves - by JD Doria
    Image 4 - Aesthetic Anarchy - by JD Doria
    Image 5 - 23andMe - by JD Doria
    Image 6 - Genesis 2068 - by JD Doria
    Fri, Nov 12, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: Montevideo, Aesthetic=Anarchy
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    A collective experiment in re-imagining the Human. A Question to interact:

    What would you take with you to the future?

    And what would you not?

    "A mind once stretched by new thoughts can never regain its original shape."
    Albert Einstein

    In deepening the immersion unto the growing coalition of forces with which we set sail towards a futuristic human, I thought to propose a line of teasing through which a collective portrait may emerge. Considering it as a poietic act of individuals sharing momentous care and merging threads of hope, by gathering passion and creativity, old and young spirits of revolution, foresight and intelligibility into this Collective Space and one cloud. And so, i am proposing a question to play with, to turn around, to stretch, to interact.

    A collective experiment in re-imagining the Human

    What would you take with you to the future?
    And what would you not?

    Would you take Friendship? Would you take your body? Would you take reproduction? What about sleep? And wine? Genders? Would you take abundance and leave behind scarcity? Would we take our fellow humans? Which concepts, which emotions, which ideas, which chapters in the global memory, which narrative, which visions, which states of mind?

    Words are not a necessary dogma. Please feel free to free-style.

    Image 1 - Suitcase Wheel by the Art Guys
    Image 3 - Beyond Human Nature - by Olaf Schlote

    Sun, Jan 24, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: Future, Futuristic Human, Experiment
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    An Endless becoming whistles at us, to investigate the skyline of our emotions, challenging our thought sensations in forming the passion to think different, defying the sensibility of our existential situation.

    The contour of being a human lays on our upturned tables, the logic gate to our identity next to undergo siege. Is our conscious event bound to a given and stable contour?

    The cycles of seasons are dissolving into a dawn without pause. Within our veins of knowledge the endless sequences of peripeteia are crawling like a storming swarm, challenging the mind into unnatural fitness.

    To flame a departure is indeed the sound of minding.

    (Peripeteia – from Greek, a turning point)

    What is a human being?

    It is for few days now that I am observing the question, the constellation of words I painted on a big canvas, and in front of it I have situated my self in lotus position with a bottle full of mud in my hands.

    I do recall the moments in which the question makes sense, as if meeting a good old friend, but then, I do recall the moments in which it does not yield any intuitive trail.

    It is clear for a soft duration that accepting the question may imply that it will carve in me a stronghold of identity and I will carve through it a stand.

    I choose to postpone the bargain while embracing the growing texture of noise, the question itself remaining the only silent thing. Does a constellation of languaged words, carry an advantage upon the raw clay of silence?

    The first hint buried in silence, I move on.

    Again, I pick up and test the question, what is a human being? I am almost surprised to discover a line of space.

    Indeed, I remember, two advantages I am when confronting a question. The conscious ability to implant a fresh dimension, first. A dimension empty of precedents, virtually opened to re-consider what is in question. So I step on a momentary balcony almost free from the sight of history, relieved from heavy connotations and pre-defined images ‘about’.

    The surprise grows, folding me into re-imagining a ‘human being’, mirroring not that which is all too evident in time.

    But something more is clearly different from previous senses and tastes attached to the question, some of the objects forming the human case seem to have disappeared.

    The intersection of times in which I, we exist, a trace mark of the second advantage. The era of continuous turning point, peripeteia. The historical invariables of the human case are being infected by variability. Riding technological waves we raise metaphorical heads to tackle the fixed stars.

    So there it is, a pulsing strange-space, accurately sweeping through all the closed-corners of imagination, from mortality to perception barriers, from scarcity to inevitability, introducing a fragile, undefined freedom into the language of thought-sensation, disrupting foundations of identity, delivering a thousand packages of future becoming.

    The second hint is landing charmed into a strange space.

    The irony, the archeology of irony is to be found in the history of belief. Each era provides us with a set of visions of becoming, yet each and all competing under one corked roof, that of being mutually exclusive to each other. Competing, if so, upon the dream-power of individuals instead of unleashing it.

    This era, of the year few thousands of our own making, provokes again its own hubris. The possible convergence of all the means, of mind and technology, by which we interfere upon our own make up. The renaissance machine to coalesce once more dream power in our hands. Are we up to making it the first cent of a great something else? Peripeteia, is it the turning point of us?

    It was irony that brought a graceful sanity and a simple instruction:

    The motive is not to use vision for self-realization, but rather to loose the self in vision and gain an open becoming.

    What is a human being?

    Now, with two hints, one instruction, a brave bottle and the lure of intensity, I was ready for unguided unfoldment of a shape of consciousness.

    Bypassing the paradoxical circumstances of existence of the question in my mind I search for a respectful answer.

    What is a Human being?

    The human being is a vision

    A vision does not hold a specific form at the end of the tunnel, nor at the beginning of it, but an open, continuous and composite tunnel of becoming. Cinema is a vision, philosophy is a vision, ethics is a vision, aesthetics is a vision, love is a vision, the human is a vision.

    Our basic definition, human being, is a symbol signifying vision as space of becoming, a space in constant rhizomatic expansion. A space of becoming that both exceeds the contemporary embodiments of it and is influenced by them.

    No, I do not deny the contour, the context, and the say of the many archeological layers of which we are formed, I do however suggest to replace our existential coordinates in front of it;
    To define our being human as a reflective and self-describing event, that operates upon a space of becoming. To situate ourselves by that at the infinitesimal necessary distance to observe that which defines us. To place ourselves in front of all the ‘what’ the ‘who’ and the ‘how’, and make it a matter for our reflective self-description, before it has us fully defined.

    Unleashing by that the creative aesthetic verb to mind not only what the context indicates, but a ground seeded with all the skies, furthering passion to rule the day.

    I am a human

    The human, I read now as a symbol pointing at a space of becoming, an open and live intersection of potentiality and multiple processes of approximation, to which individuation (dynamic of self-description) is a current interpretation.

    A human seen as a reflective and self-describing event replaces a stable contour (its defined humanity) with a space of becoming (human is a vision). By that she finds not only an infinite game within finite circumstances, but also all the ‘others’ as threads of embodiment.

    It is the evolution into a shared space of vision that promotes access between minds as an available global workspace.

    It is in my eyes an ultimately ethical act, one, which provides the process of individuation with a constant potent source of freedom and dream power to face the plexus of conditions and the conceptual environment from which it arises.

    An act that allows by definition diversity and endorses respect as an integral disposition of the collective sphere.

    Undefined Space of becoming

    Vision remains always undefined, incomplete and ever in becoming. ‘The human being is a vision’ proclaims the human empty of pre-defined essentiality.

    The space of becoming is necessarily influenced at each stage by the finite composition of possible paths, yet what matters is that pointing at ourselves we point at a dynamic space, partially always unknown, and not at a single a-priori particular image. Diversity becomes an essential aspect of our processing unit not the beast to be hunted down when fear grasps our throat.

    Vision behaves as a ground open for self-description. It generates an infinite game whose aesthetic necessity is to keep the pattern alive and unclosed, in the process of spawning a transitory shape via multiple processes of individuation.

    ‘The human being is a vision’ is the description of a primary existential situation, one that brings into presence the creative force in its strength and fragility. We stand, facing the limits of ourselves, while loaded with the acute tension of conceptualizing non-essentiality into aesthetic freedom.


    Just before being this or that, we step into the endeavor of changing the skyline of our emotions, provoking the eventful and experimental adventure of minding a meta-narrative. We breathe a-new into the rhizome of vision a life with no distance. Now, when we hide our revolution in thin air and deep space, it is empathy transforming into a telepathic wave, flaming the corrosive Nano-bots upon the prison of hope.

    It Is Now
    To be continued…

    Image 1 - Turquoise, 2003, By Michal Rovner
    Image 2 - Arsene by Xavier Rey
    Image 3 - Island Bridge by Xavier Rey
    Image 4 - Concept sketch by Mondolithic Studios
    Image 5 - Fling by Maria Kong Dance Company
    Image 6 - Border #8 by Michal Rovner

    Sun, Jan 10, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: Vision, Human
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    Now, when the tears find no ink but a keyboard to excite. Now, when the arch of life is eloquently stretched between Eros and Cantos. Now, when infinite hands are diffusing in the machine and log into inexcusable horizons. Now, when culture is extended across multiple revolutions and time zones. Now, while the odds are gathering a last resistance, the renaissance machines are replicating un-beheld. When the speed is clear and the sane-clock is ticking, memory holds just a vision. Now, the long tail of awakened-dawns kisses the plexus of conditions.

    In the corner of tomorrow a story is traveling in deep space carrying a broken image of man, at long last.

    Now, when the image of man belongs to no-one and no-thing, some call it freedom and some call it the death of man, but I am conditioned to see else and read just that; Auto-poiesis is metamorphosing into poetry of individuation, the specie of humans plotting not continuity and reproduction of sameness but a bare exposure of the sexuality of life.

    Now, a line of “otherness” is being crossed, and beside the complex sense of both vision and grieving that accompanies any serious crossing, that which is emerging and flaming is the necessity of being a human, at long last.

    Through the indefinite number of cracks that cross that complex image, life is flowing closer, but not only life, everything is flowing closer. Suddenly the layman is not a layman anymore, and the artist is not just an artist, suddenly one cannot lean anymore, but rather has to compose oneself within a multiplicity. Now, after the past century revolution of self, comes the evolution of Auto-Poiesis.

    Now, it is not just mortality that shapes the vision, as well indefinite time partakes in the shaping of consciousness. It is not only natural selection, man-made evolutive unrest partakes as well in the shaping of consciousness.

    Now, the human outline is becoming the Petri dish within which spawning is exploding. It will be an evolution of kinds; it is man that dies not humanity, it is humanness that opens its envelope and finds a synonym to life, and we are so young in mind.

    They say that all life emerges from one cell, and it will be said that all kinds emerge from one human form. And it is frightening; the idea that from my womb that which comes forth is not a reflection of me, but the potentiality to shape a kind. And our brains are recoiling; control, we must control the beast of kinds, but no, it is a moment shaped by uncontrolled powers, it is not just the energy locked in the atom that we unleashed, it is the energy of life, it is Eros with infinite hands playing in deep empty spaces of form that is unleashed. And we may need to let go for a duration.

    That which is changing the world and us is that everything becomes closer, so close that one needs to be a philosopher, a poet, a lover of life, no human can leave anymore what one is to casual storytellers. That which is changing is the closeness of it all, provoking a moment out of controls for each one to shape an image of human.

    Now, when everything becomes closer, it is the necessity of being a human that is shaping the future of consciousness.

    It is Now
    To be continued..

    Image 1 - "Painting Pigeons" by Walton Ford's
    Image 2 - "Feeling Material" by Anthony Gromely
    Image 3 - "Angel of the North" by Anthony Gromely
    Wed, Dec 9, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: Image of man, Auto-Poiesis
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    It is an open and never ending question, the yeast that animates the brush into a stroke and ‘me’ into a substantial adventure.

    It is the taste of a question, a shape without a form, a drive without a content, that makes my now, stirring the culture of my emotions, provoking a current existential need, that of articulating that sense of becoming perceived as ‘me’, while capturing a new event-horizon in the act.

    To the credo of today, ‘I am an individual’, and so are you, though together we are something much less clear (unless we define a-priori where to fit in). To that, I pause. It is the poetry of individuation that I am after, not the consequences of an epithet. But what is it that correlates, if at all, that sense of becoming, so undeniably intimate in us, to that flattering pointer - Individual?

    And so I ask, how are we to use the verb Individual?


    Within the creative event I read a radical difference in the ‘physics’ of the Individual. It is within the continuous creative process that one finds that he or she is not an indivisible unit, but rather is being bound to think in these terms. Within the creative event one finds identity - as one of many - to behave as a body of knowledge in the action of exceeding itself.

    It seems that in direct correlation to the mounting of intensity and the expansion of passion, the term ‘individual’ transforms its ontology and points to an ‘other’ conceptualized space, within which the architecture, disposition and function of the term alter the mundane reference to one-self. It is within the creative ritual, that of erasing the locality of self, that one logs-into aesthetic playing.

    While enveloped by the creative event, the indivisible central and ever present sense (of my self) is seamlessly replaced, emerging as a phase space of possibilities of self-description in exploration of itself, a motion of aesthetic sensibilities navigating between streams of thought and of emotions.

    The individual I am is a procedure. It is the operator of an entanglement of iterative relations, finding its multiplying folds of emergent meaning in casual and yet persistent interaction.

    And so, the creative process exposes the map of unstable layers of meaning, exploring volatile lines of correlation and longing, in which the artist finds open fields, faces and passion.

    Aesthetic Playing

    It is never about what there is (or isn’t), it is about what may arise, now. The now is a nomad land that calls for active arriving, a precarious substance between patterns of choice, an open gap for irregularity to mark a difference between yesterday and tomorrow.

    Wandering a nomad land we seek difference, yet a difference which is worthwhile condensing life for – I call it an aesthetic difference; Then we can embrace our selves as a continuous work in progress.

    By a motion and play of aesthetic sensibilities we tune in and carve our eventful experimental process of arriving. It is a lively, free, unimpeded motion that one taps into, capricious yet meticulous, yielding a nest for irregularities which is blind to directionality till arrival.

    It is only then, among stations of arrival, that aesthetic difference becomes available for conscious selection. An aesthetic play is an eventful process of producing irregularity, a precipitating core of spontaneous occurrence in the hands of conscious selection. Aesthetic play is the evolving drive altering the existing reflective circumstances of the Individual.

    And the growing roar of the cross-talk echoing through virtual halls is at moments not that unintelligible.


    Along corridors of words the realization keeps nagging, suggesting that ‘individual’ is a substance under questioning. It surfaces a view requesting a layer of meaning that is independent from the existing ones of specific ‘body’ or particular ‘identity’.

    Individual is neither divided nor undivided, it renders itself accessible as the ecology for an aesthetic creative procedure of producing identities, a flow-space never fully identified with any of the particular instances but rather with an over-arching image that reflects the act of becoming as exceeding the currency of identity.

    Individual is the locus and procedure of bringing into presence a continuous cross-talk between states; where a state represents a distinct volume of sense and cross-talk evokes the interference, coupling and eventful conversation taking place among distinct volumes of sense.

    Individual is the virtual enclosure integrating a cross-talk between distinct volumes of sense into a singular coherent act of becoming.

    The individual is a core reflective composition (eventful conversation) and a contour of a multitude of identities in motion; a flow-space that embodies the aesthetic play of correlating core and contour in an expanding dictionary of being.

    On the outer-rims the artist constantly meets the growing culture of identities as traces of an adventure, the adventure of drifting through the event horizon of the cross-talk between states, saying yes to all possible variations and yet animating through aesthetic sensibilities a singular shape of the flow as the individual ‘mind’.


    We are in actuality and presence a multitude of beings, yet one at a time. Being is a temporal shape of the cross-talk between clusters of states. Being rises to the state of entity, for the span of a moment, when the cross-talk is resonating into a shape. Individual is that which trails along the temporal shape.

    The inbound tension between being, as a resonating shape, and aesthetic creative motion, as an evolutionary drive, yields an open cross-event; open to constantly include new states.

    An individual is an event in progress that recursively recomposes itself with a difference. An open-ended ecology, embodying an open architecture of sense, a becoming, reflected as a long tail of identities.

    For, what is it that we are after? A future or an origin? My bets are that it is that sense of becoming, an open ended becoming exposed to all directions, selecting through the current narrative a tunnel of actuation.


    All of which entails diversity as an explorative adventure of the phase-space of being ‘an Individual’. It is this diversity that should not be reduced to statistics but rather be embraced and facilitated allowing a real jazz of becoming.

    The individual is not an icon for separation of distinct emotions and interests; it is a fresh plane and possible solution for containing diversity.

    A culture of individuals that at times behaves like a flock, at times behave as competing trends, at times surfaces differences that animate the palette of existing nuances, and at times reveals an entanglement of resonating echoes exciting the relation between descriptive circumstances and the play of aesthetic sensibilities into an outstanding work of art, of science, of technology, of being.


    In our time, the individual is what overlooks upon the cross-talk between times, and more than ever, signals from the future are partaking in the conversation, and we? We, as an individual and as individuals, are committing ourselves to mind our own evolution. We do not ask our gods and myths, nor our history of power, neither the circus of ignorance; we ask each other, we ask recursively, from within our iterative relations, our casual yet consistent interactions, our intelligent emotions. And suddenly, for a brief breath, ways are open and the individual is an open source community, and it is between you and me, the future of man.


    It is Now

    To be continued..

    Image 1 - “Entering the Work” by Giovanni Anselmo
    Image 2 - The 'other' Me by J.D. Doria
    Image 3 - Fractal Effervescence (2006), David April
    Image 4 - The contact by Philippe Ramette
    Image 5 - Chronology of Desire by J.D. Doria
    Thu, Nov 12, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: , Individual, Individuation
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    Within our mythological sphere an epic-edge is unfolding, disclosing the current narration: we as humans are re-positioning ourselves. Re-placing our location and standing in the crossroads of a cosmos. That is the myth of our times. On the fresh brink of myriad new narratives with which to re-array our collective and personal mythological arches. And if I were an artist, then the portrait of the human is an iterative open-ended myth, exposing each moment in a close-up, veiling not the iceberg of void.

    Close-Up is an Erotic Irregularity

    It was many years ago when I became aware of that sense and taste of mind arising while being engulfed in the ritual that cinema proposes. Sitting and floating in a dark space, in front of the wide screen that becomes as if the very surface of my mind, upon which an image in motion arises and shapes a moment into a close-up.

    A mind-arousal of intense sense and intimacy provoking and animating the silhouette of indefinite paths ahead of me, negating the mundane, the known, the repetition of my self. That which till a moment ago was out of the frame (of perception), out ‘there’, suddenly becomes the star of my thought and the champion of my emotions.

    Absorbed and penetrated by the immediate sense of exposure, i recognize the urge to place myself in the narrative, to take a stand, to redescribe myself. And while narration lures the plot of becoming into presence, I shift towards a close-up into the sense of mind that is arising.

    What is a good narrative, if not the arena in which a close-up situation can emerge in the mind as a potent ground for self-reflection? Isn’t that very sense of exposure and unfamiliar the urge that provokes cracks and turns, that opens sudden passageways between universes?

    It was and is a close-up inciting mind that changes my life. An erotic irregularity, negating the lines of distinction and embracing differences as corridors of expansion. It is a close-up in which I catch the future of me as a present in the act of becoming.

    And again, it is a close up of the aesthetic epic of art, a blow-up into the open negotiation of placing art within human narrative, which exposes the way art punctuatedly re-portray us anew. Critical junctions co-emerge with a difference in the image we hold and behold; a non familiar close-up; a passageway for self-reflection to cross over into the arisal of new narratives.

    So I ask, is art the window to human nature? Is art the tool to shape human nature? Or is it a live crack around which human nature is continuously composing itself?

    All of which, I read as narration silhouettes, propositions for a close-up. Each close-up leads, in the immediacy, to the emergence of a different beholder. Who shall be the guests at the live edge of your myth?

    The Forgotten Power of Close-Up

    In “The Forgotten Power of the Close-up” Kevin Johns writes: “As hard as it is to believe, someone had to invent the close-up, and that someone - like most early narrative film techniques - was director D.W. Griffith”.

    In exploring the fine line between the evolution of technology, visual language and the conceptualization of cinema, the old masters of cinema and of silent movie, tied themselves to the inspiring process of “placing” cinema as art. Each one of them created a binding parallel in between the subjective act of placing themselves, placing cinema and the carving of the place of cinema in humanity.

    In 1928 Carl Theodor Dreyer, with “The Passion of Joan Arc” provided cinema with a poetical stance. Through meticulously crafted aesthetics, he situated the close-up itself at the heart of cinema. Most of the movie is a silent exposure (through close-ups) of the inner life of a human, a woman, in a situation of trial.

    So yesterday night I took my eyes and balls and watch again the movie, at eighty years from its release, the amazing thing was, it left its marks on me.

    It was indeed a reflection into our mind. The mounting progression of close-ups manages to animate an awake-space in which the movie is being re-created in the act of beholding.

    Taking the aesthetic line enfolded in the close-up, Dreyer manages to avoid imposing upon the flow of images his a-priori trends of judgment, allowing the act of beholding rare latitude.

    Dreyer succeeds in actually opening the reflective event of a trial, burdened with competing mythos unto naked and clean exposure of the primal intersection of self-reflection with contradicting frames of narration, by that placing the beholder in a situation of a close-up.

    It is the recursive situation of close-up, leading the beholder breathlessly from one intense face to the next, which addresses the subjective discourse as the one setting the context, much before the place, space and time. It is about me, you and our internal reflections when coming to merge with an interesting other, when placing our selves in an interesting narrative.

    It is through the close up that the so called inner life of the character crosses over to enter my space of existence, and seduces me to do the same. It is at these reflective turns, that I am incited emotionally both to expand and to include. I came out from this night with the understanding that close up, when masterfully used, is in our human mind a system of inter-penetration.

    Close-up is an aesthetic exposure

    For Bela Balazs, who wrote the first major work in silent film aesthetics, the close-up was "the technical condition of the art of film". Jean Epstein, a film director and early film theoretician, described the close-up as the "soul of the cinema - the invocation of an otherwise unknown dimension, a radically defamiliarized alterity”.

    Gilles Deleuze, citing Bela Balazs, claims that "the close-up does not tear away its object from a set of which it would form part, of which it would be a part, but on the contrary it abstracts it from all spatio-temporal co-ordinates, that is to say it raises it to the state of Entity”.

    It brings me to reflect upon the tunneling effect between the heart of cinema and the core of thought-sensation, the expression of art and the reflection of mind, it lies I believe in the power of interpenetration shared by both, the open-end exposure of a moment and the rising sense of mind while in a state of close up.

    Extending the analogy, one may say that the act of placing oneself in a narrative is an act of self-description – a situation of close-up, a moment perceived as out of time.

    Moving an open reflective space into an eventful space of mind is primarily an act of minding through narration, of coming into close up via narration. For however poetically-strange, it is this very act performed in luring the narrative to the surface and placing ourselves within it that makes us, and simultaneously renders us mysterious to ourselves, opening the infinite fields with which we harvest becoming.

    Narration itself is the concurring aspect in the arising of self-reflection. Not one specific narrative itself, as much as the effectiveness each provokes in continuously shaping the moment into a close up.

    We moved beyond the paradigm of reducing all narration to one book, one truth, one god, one set of images or facts. It is the multiplicity of subjective spaces engaging the journey towards a more complex and yet effective architecture of co-existence.

    We walk the fine line of evolution of technology, language and meaning with the latent knowledge that if, in the days of old, placing the human in a narrative was an act performed once in a thousand years, today we develop the muscle to perform it more than once in a lifetime.

    It is the editing room of our open-end, placing and re-placing ourselves in the proliferation of new narratives that is portrayed as the ‘mise en scene’ of humanness. In it one finds not the one exclusive image of man but rather image in motion.

    The aesthetic of close-up is ‘bringing in’ that which is out of the frame of perception, that which is always in presence, yet, empty from image. As if to say that the soul of art is a close-up into a substantial absence.

    Faces of myth

    And now that the future becomes the stirring element of consciousness, it is the montage between placing self-reflection and replacing narration rafts that rises into the forefront. We are as if hacking an open end to our mythos to accommodate the myriad of styles of narratives exposing ‘being’ in a situation of close-up.

    By that we sculpt the space for a Polytopic-myth, no more myth versus myth, in a hall extruded from our immediacy and yet impinging upon our life for centuries, rather an aware-space (as culture is) in which thousands of fresh mythological arches can carve ways and eventually co-exist.

    And so I ask, what is narration? It is the break-through we need now to accommodate the sight of our-multifaceted-selves; the intimate leverage resolving a strip of furious chaos into a multi-voiced sea of possibilities. It is the future of us captured as a present in becoming.


    An epic edge is unfolding, a mythological provocation transporting myth into the evolutive fields. It is an iterative open edge upholding itself without excuses, an aesthetic close-up into a polytopic-myth in becoming.

    It is Now


    To be continued..
    Sun, Sep 27, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: art, , Narrative, Close-up, Cinema
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    Now summer has passed,
    As if it had never been.
    It is warm in the sun.
    But this isn't enough.

    By Arseniy Tarkovsky


    Today, when cinema fights hard not to drown in a sea of glamorized triviality, and baseness seems to rule the day; I find myself engaged with the memory of Andrei Tarkovsky.

    Today, my reflection begins with the taste of longing, not for what cinema was, as the medium has changed and developed across the lines of technological up-grades, but for the intimate deep reflective atmosphere that some of the grand artists of cinema cared to deliver, forging the tints and shades of it in our mind.

    Not many directors held such a dramatic stand for the human spirit as did Tarkovsky. “Stalker”, 1979, was his fifth movie (out of seven), and I wish to use it as a preface with which to continue the unfoldment of this series.

    Stalker Synopsis:

    Twenty years ago, a meteorite falls to Earth, and decimates a provincial Russian town. Villagers travel through this curious area, now known as The Zone, and disappear. Stories purport that there is an inner chamber within The Zone called The Room that grants one's deepest wishes. Fearing the consequences of the knowledge of such an inscrutable resource, the army immediately secures the area with barbed wire and armed patrols. But the desperate and the suffering continue to make the treacherous journey, led by a disciplined, experienced stalker, who can stealthily navigate through the constantly changing traps and pitfalls of The Zone. A successful Writer perhaps searching for inspiration or adventure, and a Scientist searching for Truth or salvation, enroll the Stalker to guide them through The Zone and to reach the doorsteps of the Room.


    All that might have been,
    Like a five-cornered leaf
    Fell right into my hands,
    But this isn't enough.

    Sculpting time

    “Stalker” is a movie that deals with the uncertainty partaking in spiritual longing. It is a movie about the life of self-reflection, the hunting of a passageway between unfulfilled spiritual longings and the integrity rising from self-discovery. All of which is portrayed in the background of human attempts to cross over towards the “there”.

    Tarkovsky developed a theory of cinema that he called "sculpting in time". By this he meant that the unique characteristics of cinema as a medium take our experience of time and alter it.

    Bringing closer the texture of the inner reflective ground, where one engages oneself in deliberations of integrity; where one enacts a fragile freedom and elects one’s longing.

    In the cinematic language that Tarkovsky developed there is a direct and innocent presentation of the inner life of a human, mainly a masterpiece portrait of longing, human longing.

    In our time, when new technological lines are rising by the day, proposing to reshape our basic grounds and inviting our imagination to ‘pick’ ourselves anew, I find that the metaphor of the “Room” is still standing.

    What are the consequences of a situation in which our longing is exposed to lead the actuation of our dreams and wishes?


    Neither evil nor good
    Had vanished in vain,
    It all burnt with white light,
    But this isn't enough.


    The Room is here, an actuation machine that every day grows its technological wings, but where do we turn when in the Room? To which orientation facility?

    The Room will not deliver an answer of who we are (nor inherently disclose our profound wishes or deepest nature), it will reflect however that which we can do, plugging our dreams and wishes to a can-do instrument and not necessarily to the voyage of self-discovery enclosed in longing, nor in the richness of mind and emotions proper to it.


    Life took me under its wing,
    Preserved and protected,
    Indeed I have been lucky.
    But this isn't enough.


    A compelling attraction

    And so, while dwelling in the imaginative participation of sculpturing a far future, it comes to mind that the very lines of our longing can serve us as an instrument of orientation.

    I turn to longing when the Room is now rising around me. While our endless can-do machines keep on growing our powers of influence, I do find it relevant to wrestle a crack into the chain of actuation.

    Longing opens as a virtual bridge in between different states; a tension searching to rest not in established capabilities, but in the constancy of disclosing the moment.

    It is a voyage towards the possibility of a friendly universe; a soft erotic passion towards the unknown, including the past as a vehicle and the future as its open field of roaming.

    It is the leverage by which I do keep an open-end bare with no-restraints, allowing the emergence of an imaginative space. A compelling attraction to walk beyond a contour of knowledge, being it the knowledge of one self or any other body of knowledge.

    In this sense I read longing as an emotional verb, free from specific objects, emoting with that rare intimate sense of emergence of a singular mind, breaking-through the contour of mortality.
    Longing is a catalyst bringing forth the event in which, through minding, potentialities are eventually being cut into form.

    Isn’t longing the potent and intense mind situation in which what, how and who we are, is being re-shaped; isn’t it the moment in which the unimaginable becomes believable?

    A change in the curriculum vitae of men

    Longing, a raft of the futurist as that of the artist, the stuff upon which imagination glides and cares to deliver a change in the curriculum vitae of man.

    What is mortality?
    Is it life that enfolds the irregularity of death? Or is it a multiple set of limits, the very defining contour of oneself? Is it the conceptual end or a repetition of history? Is it the sound of the monotonous or the pristine taste of mystery?

    Mortality I understand, mostly, as a restrained imagination, justified by the irregularity of death. While immortality I choose to read as imagination with no-restraints.

    Imagination glides into existence upon the synaptic tentacles of our longing, and it opens into an unrestrained space for our mind to expand.

    It seizes the possibility we entail to be emotionally active and reactive beyond the immediate sense of reality. Imagination is the ability to reintroduce again and again a lucid spark into the appearance of the concrete.

    In it I find the origins of the portfolio of significant moments, those we address with terms such as insight, intuition, creativity and understanding. Don’t they all begin with imagination approximating no-restraints?

    We are human when the taste of infinity is crossing ways with us; we are human when the indefinite shades of it are falling softly like snow on a crisp morning, unveiling rafts to cross over into the ‘resuming’ of sanity.


    Not a leaf had been scorched,
    Not a branch broken off. . .
    The day wiped clean as clear glass,
    But this isn't enough.

    And so I elect my longing… rising in my mind as a ‘disciplined stalker’ needed to stealthily navigate through the constantly changing traps and pitfalls of unrestrained open spaces. A time and space folding machine, bringing from within potentialities as a crossing surface to emote with, yielding an imaginative space within which to maneuver the mind in a singular fashion. Longing, the provocation of an un-ending mind, walking futures in the process of self-discovery.

    It is Now

    To be continued..

    The Poem was written by Arseniy Tarkovsky, the father of Andrei Tarkovsky, a renowned Russian poet, one of the poems I love and find always contemporary.(Poem of Arseniy Tarkovsky Translated by Maria Pearse)

    Image 1, 2, 3 are from the movie Stalker
    Image 4 - Giacometti preparing an exhibition

    Wed, Aug 5, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: Tarkovsky, longing, Emotions, Imaginiation
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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