“they say there’s nothing more difficult than to define a spiral in words; they claim it’s necessary to use the unliterary hand, twirling it in a steadily upward direction, so that human eyes will perceive the abstract figure immanent in a wire spring and a certain type of staircase. but if we remember that to say is to renew, we will have no trouble defining a spiral: it’s a circle that rises without ever closing.” fernando pessoa [1]

13/07/2012 § Leave a comment

toyo ito, white u (1976)

 

yesterday’s post concerned circles and mindless task of drawing.  so, while on the subject of circles and the act of doing: a u is a circle split with both ends pulled away and held parallel to each other.  white u is a house which no longer exists.  more specifically: it was a house designed by toyo ito for his grieving sister who’s husband had recently passed away.  less specifically: it was a white circle split with both ends pulled away and held parallel to each other, never to intersect again.  currently: white u is a set of images disintegrating under the process of print, scan, post, repeat.

 

 

a year ago (plus or minus a week), i made a promise (which claudette recently reminded me of, thanks!) to print, scan, post, repeat.  a process that has no serious goal in sight, other than the task of seeing what will happen and i’m pretty sure i know what will happen.  which reminds me:

“look,” said rumfoord, “life for a punctual person is a like a roller coaster.”  he turned to shiver his hands in her face.  “all kinds of things are going to happen to you!  sure,” he said, “i can see the whole roller coaster you’re on.  and sure – i could give you a piece of paper that would tell you about every bogeyman that was going to pop out at you in the tunnels.  but that wouldn’t help you any.” [2]

the fun part is doing, because while this process is cyclical, the result is more of a spiral than a circle.  this process is not a closed circuit; each iteration loops away from the origin.  i’ve already begun to notice small bits of information disappearing or maybe another way to think of it would be, the noise is starting to fade and the sentiment is coming forward.

 

 

this time around, as the white light of the scanner passed over the freshly dried ink of the 8.5×11 sheets of paper, i began to think about a recent lecture i read by john sarkowski concerning journalistic photography.  at one point he said:

the history of photography as a radical picture making system, can be defined as the history of the definition of new subjects.  sometimes these new subjects are extensions of ideas that exist in latent form in the work of exceptional photographers of an earlier generation.  sometimes they are genuinely primitive ideas mothered by a new technical breakthrough or a new market demand.  but in either case, the picture’s new meaning and its new appearance are the same. [3]

there seems to be a new subject arising today in photography: scanned imagery.  every day images in books, catalogues whatever are being uploaded to blogs, tumblrs, twitter, facebook, whatever.  point being, we are all essentially photographing photographs.  which might mean we are all following in the footsteps of sherrie levines [4] but then again it feels like we are also circling away from her.

 

spiraling controllably

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[1]     Pessoa, Fernando. The Book of Disquiet. [s.l.]: Penguin, 2003. P: 107. Print.

[2]     Vonnegut, Kurt. The Sirens of Titan. London: Millenium, 1999. P: 54.  Print.

[3]     for the entire lecture check out this american suburb x post.

[4]     specifically after walker evans.

[images]     the original photographs were taken from this toyo ito monograph:  Scheider, Ulrich, Hayakema Sakamao, Manfred Speikl, and Toyo Ito. Toyo Ito: Blurring Architecture 1971-2005. Milan: Charta, 1999. Print.

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You are currently reading “they say there’s nothing more difficult than to define a spiral in words; they claim it’s necessary to use the unliterary hand, twirling it in a steadily upward direction, so that human eyes will perceive the abstract figure immanent in a wire spring and a certain type of staircase. but if we remember that to say is to renew, we will have no trouble defining a spiral: it’s a circle that rises without ever closing.” fernando pessoa [1] at a young hare.

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