“in punte pite, i went there and i knew the place and i said: ‘listen, this is for everybody because there is such beauty.’ this public space makes everything better, for business, for nature, for the people, for everybody. i think that the place talks by itself. if go there and walk along the coast as i did, you can feel that it’s a special place. so you build a path.”

24/08/2012 § Leave a comment

teresa moller, punte pite (2005)

 

caitrin daly and adrian keene:  it’s almost like you mediate a way for people to negotiate and experience these sites.

teresa moller:  yes, with one little line, it helps you to go from one place to the other but you don’t need more than that.

cd + ak:  in terms of your process, when you design a landscape do you design piece by piece over time, or do you create a whole plan?

tm:  i make a plan because you have to have one vision, one idea.  one vision for all of it and you must know that you want something to come from this place.  you may go in different ways, but you have to know where you start and where you finish – it doesn’t work to go little by little.  because then it becomes like all different things together and you will never get the feeling of something that is a whole vision.  for instance, a park design (named ‘casablanca ii’), started by discovering a circle that was there but you didn’t see it because it was hidden under many trees, i cleaned it and then suddenly i saw all these other trees that were also planted in a circle.  somebody made this many years ago.  from these discoveries i make a plan.  but if i start in one place and i do one thing and then another thing it doesn’t become one experience.

cd + ak:  so you must walk and experience the terrain and landscape before you begin designing…

tm:  oh yes or else i can’t do anything….

cd + ak:  if you could tell us a little bit about how you approach a site?

tm:  i think it is very important to be in the place.  before doing anything, you need to be aware of what is there and what that place wants you to do.  i think it’s really the most important thing.  it is something that one cannot overlook.  you can’t design a project without spending time in the site because your design is empty without being connected with the place.  for instance we are going to shanghai to design a project with a chilean architect.  i told the client that i can’t think of something without first being there, even if it’s a patio inside a building.  i could design it on the computer and create all the plans, but how can i understand what i want – or what the place wants – if i don’t know the landscape.  so we have to go, just to breathe the air in shanghai, to know what we want to have there.

cd + ak:  more and more, people work with photographs or on the computer in order to create a design.

tm:  yes, people often work from photography.  i would prohibit this.  it happens so much that you go back to the studio, you do the plans, you do the work and then you start building.  then you realize that you didn’t see that there was a hill that you could have put in the view.  you have to be in the site. 

….

cd + ak:  you describe your design practice as being a tool which can completely immerse people in nature.  how do you think that your work does this?

tm:  not as good as i would like! because people are really difficult.  i work in nature because it is not so serious.  it’s not like if you were a medical doctor working in the intensive care unit where people are about to die.  nature is all the opposite.  everything is… very clear.  we cannot say what it is though! it is very difficult to have people to get the feeling of immersion and to take advantage of what that means.  of what nature means.  i think the world is becoming so strict, we are so far away from what nature is and we need it to be alive.  so now you will have anything at home to remind you of what nature is, even if its a pot of tomatoes.

cd + ak:  would you say the artificial is becoming more natural, or that nature is becoming more artificial?  for example parametric modeling that simulates natural growth patterns?

tm:  it will never work.  for instance the 3d computer, i don’t think it’s trying to become more natural i think it is trying to help you in building an artificial environment in a better way, using a better tool to work with.  but it is still artificial, made using a better tool.  so i think artificial has to go very artificial.  it will never become natural and it cannot be in between these things.

– excerpt of the article a conversation with: teresa moller from kerb 19 – paradigms of nature: post natural futures

 

build a path

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[title + text]     Daly, Caitrin, and Adrian Keene. “A Conversation With: Teresa Moller.” Paradigms of Nature: Post Natural Futures. By Caitrin Daly. Melbourne: Melbourne, 2011. 18-23. Print.

[images]     i can’t remember where i came across these photos.  but there are several nice ones from the landscape architect teresa mollers own website.  well worth a visit.

“a research project on visual representations of traveling by photographs of travel agencies in downtown cairo. here traveling is not embodied by images of palm beaches, but maps let the ‘client’ in fact imagine its own pictures of destinations. world maps figure as projection surfaces.” – maia gusberti

29/06/2012 § 1 Comment

maia gusberti,  travel agencies (2008)

 

aleya hamza  how did you become interested in working on the travel agencies series?
maia gusberti  i have a special interest in maps and geography and one of my older projects was based on mappings (www.logicaland.net).  this photography project began spontaneously when world maps in small travel offices catering locals in downtown cairo caught my attention.  at the beginning i was fascinated by one or two examples of world maps until i realized that the world map is a central object in many travel agencies, and that they all have totally different forms from reliefs to old fashioned maps to light-boxes.  meanwhile i wondered about the quasi absence of photographic depictions of travel destinations when these representations of the ‘dream-destination’ are a key tool to promote holidays in europe.  there we often encounter the image of the palm island, the sand beach, the exotic street life…commercialized, globalized and standardized products selling personal leisure, glamorous tourist adventures or cheap flight tickets for a jet-set weekend elsewhere.  here in downtown cairo if at all you’ll find one photographic image of the kaaba in mecca.  so instead of photographic representations we are confronted with world maps as ‘projection surfaces’ for imaginations.  maps allow us to produce our own private images, to travel in our fantasies.  this replacement of the image by the map made me want to take images about the absence of the image to produce imaginations.  the map is therefore a wonderful example of a standardized symbol stimulating individual interpretations.  my photographs are about places void of pictures but rich in dreams, images, imaginations and promises.

aleya hamza  your images have a deliberate snapshot appearance, informal and un-composed.  why?
maia gusberti  i did not want to have well-composed and perfectly styled pictures since it was practically impossible to pull through a strong composition concept.  when i began asking for permission to take pictures of the maps in travel agencies telling them i’m an artist interested in maps i was often grilled about the project with curious questions, amused nods and a general lack of understanding of how anyone could possibly be interested in such an issue, but i was more or less allowed to shoot every time.  usually i took more than one picture – but lots of the employees were uncomfortable and just left while others continued with their work – but of course i felt like i was disturbing them after a while especially since clients sometimes had to wait while i finished.  most of the offices are very small and narrow which made it difficult to find a good spot to compose my image and i had to get what i wanted by finding (more than choosing) a possible angle and the light conditions were very different between offices that had daylight or neon-light.  initially i was more or less ‘documenting’ these places with my old analog nikon, judging the images after developing the film, until i realized this could become a series.  i also didn’t want to change the rough-and-ready style of these offices.  i deliberately wanted the atmosphere of a temporary and provisional space – lost somewhere between imagination and realization.  i see myself as a passenger, passing by these places in transition or about to transition.  the project has never been about a shiny composed study or a record of 60’ies and 70’ies interior design.  it is about an atmosphere and a location existing somewhere in the ‘in betweenness’ of fantasia and on a first step towards a destination.

aleya hamza  why does the representation of travel interest you?
maia gusberti  it makes me think about possibilities, conditions or reasons for traveling and their relationship to desires, promises and illusions.  here in cairo traveling means something totally different than it does on the high streets of western european cities and on some level they both refer to socio-political realities.  many agencies here are specialized in hajj and sell tickets to saudi arabia for work purposes.  it’s not really about the ideal of the palm island.  who can afford a dream of palm islands here?  the reality is more about survival strategies, working abroad, pilgrimage, fighting for a visa etc.

these travel-specific desires and illusions can be somehow summarized in maps.

as a designer and artist i try to look out for visual signs and i wonder about the layers of meanings which can be imagined and explored by digging a bit deeper.

 

– interview between aleya hamza and maia gusberti

 

maps of desire

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[title + images]     today’s title is the project description for today’s photography.  all of which can be found… here on maia’s website.  check out travel agencies and the rest of her work.  great stuff.

[interview]     the following interview was found on maia gusberti’s website.  for the complete interview click… here.

[more everyday photography]     for a previous essay excerpt on photography of the everyday terrain, follow this link.

“because i don’t make drawings i wanted to find a way of making marks, but without the subjectivity of moving the pen across the page…. rather than turning the pen kind of in its correct orientation the pens are now stood upright on the table so their tips are kind of in the air.” – daniel eatok

09/01/2012 § 1 Comment

 

great playful prints from daniel eatok.

 

a simple transformation

a young hare

“but i would say this: what i have found over time is that i am surprised at how subtly responsive photography is to the state of the mind of a photographer. there is an old arab saying, “the apparent is the bridge to the real.” all i have to work with as a photographer are surfaces. the surface of a thing is an indication of deeper forces.” – steven shore [1]

03/01/2012 § Leave a comment

steven shore,  U.S. 97, South of Klamath Falls, Oregon, July 21, 1973 (1973)

 

the following might or might not have anything in common, but, at the moment they make perfect sense together:

1)   american suburban x recently posted an interview between steven shore and rong jiang at icp.  is photography analytical?

2)  a slate article (via wac) about the “greatest” paper map of america.  does imus act intuitively?

3)  finally, today i learned a new word: greeble (thanks things).  a greeble is an added piece of information on a surface, which has the effect of making the surface look more complex.  which reminds me of a line from viktor pelevin’s oman ra “the human psyche works in peculiar ways: it needs details first of all.  i remember when i was small i often used to draw tanks and aeroplanes and show them to my friends, and they always liked the drawings with lots of lines that didn’t really mean anything, so i actually began adding them on purpose” [2].

 

do you need details?

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[1]     today’s title (and photograph) comes from asx rong jiang’s interview of steven shore.

[2]    Pelevin, Viktor. Oman Ra. Trans. Andrew Bromfield. New York: New Directions, 1998. Print.

     

“within the best surrealist spirit, the nuclear motif of bo bardi’s work – the void as an intermediary element is the place where no impulse is repressed. bo bardi like to quote john cage (1912 – 1992), who, upon encountering the huge span of masp, exclaimed, “this is the architecture of freedom!” as a matter of fact, the free span of masp is an exact silent interval in the music of john cage: a place to listen to another, open to the indefinite.” [1]

11/11/2011 § 1 Comment

via (adalgisa campos)

 

on the back of researching lina bo bardi and discovering connections between her and john cage i was pleased to find this video on adalgisa campos’ blog.  check out adalgisa’s blog, it’s filled with her beautiful and curious drawings, objects and performances.

 

open to the indefinite

a young hare

 

 

notes:

[title]     oliveira, olivia de. “lina bo bardi: towards an architecture without borders”, in cruelty and utopia, brussels: civa, 2003.

“well, i use the ground of the already prepared canvas. i can’t tell what this ground is exactly.”

24/06/2011 § Leave a comment

robert rauschenberg, white painting (three panel) (1951)

 

interview with edward hopper, conducted by john morse, june 17, 1959

john morse:  this is an interview with the american painter and etcher edward hopper conducted by john d. morse for the archives of american art.  it is being recorded in the board room of the whitney museum on june 17, 1959.  mr. hopper, in 1933 you wrote a very interesting statement called “notes on painting” for the catalogue of your exhibition at the museum of modern art.  i wonder if first of all you would mind reading that for us and then perhaps commenting on it?

edward hopper:  it goes thus:  my aim in painting has always been the most exact transcription possible of my most intimate impressions of nature.  if this end is unattainable, so, it can be said, is perfection in any other ideal of painting or in any other of man’s activities.  the trend in some of the contemporary movements in art, but by no means all, seems to deny this ideal and to me appears to lead to a purely decorative conception of painting.  one must perhaps qualify this statement and say that seemingly opposite tendencies each contain some modicum of the other.

i have tried to present my sensations in what is the most congenial and impressive form possible to me.  the technical obstacles of painting perhaps dictate this form.  it derives also from the limitations of personality, and such may be the simplifications that i have attempted.  i find in working always the disturbing intrusion of elements not a part of my most interested vision, and the inevitable obliteration and replacement of this vision by the work itself as it proceeds.  the struggle to prevent this decay is, i think, the common lot of all painters to whom the invention of arbitrary forms has lesser interest.  i believe that the great painters with their intellect as master have attempted to force this unwilling medium of paint and canvas into a record of their emotions.  i find any digression from this large aim leads me to boredom.  the question of the value of nationality in art is perhaps unsolvable.  in general it can be said that a nation’s art is greatest when it most reflects the character of its people.  french art seems to prove this.  the romans were not an aesthetically sensitive people, nor did greece’s intellectual domination over them destroy their racial character, but who is to say that they might not have produced a more original and vital art without this domination.  one might draw a not too far-fetched parallel between france and our land.  the domination of france in the plastic arts has been almost complete for the last thirty years or more in this country.  if an apprenticeship to a master has been necessary, i think we have served it.  any further relation of such a character can only mean humiliation to us.  after all, we are not french and never can be, and any attempt to be so is to deny our inheritance and to try to impose upon ourselves a character that can be nothing but a veneer upon the surface.  in its most limited sense, modern, art would seem to concern itself only with the technical innovations of the period.  in its larger, and to me irrevocable, sense, it is the art of all time of definite personalities that remain forever modern by the fundamental truth that is in them.  it makes moliere at his greatest as new as ibsen or giotto as modern as cezanne.  just what technical discoveries can do to assist interpretative power is not clear.  it is true that the impressionists perhaps gave a more faithful representation of nature through their discoveries in out-of-door painting.  but that they increased their statute as artists by so doing is controversial.  it might here be noted that thomas eakins in the nineteenth century used the methods of the seventeenth, and is one of the few painters of the last generation to be accepted by contemporary thought in this country.  if the technical innovations of the impressionists led merely to a more accurate representation of nature, it was perhaps of not much value in enlarging their powers of expression.  there may come, or perhaps has come, a time when no further progress in truthful representation is possible.  there are those who say that such a point has been reached, an attempt to substitute a more and more simplified and decorative calligraphy.  this direction is sterile and without hope to those who wish to give painting a richer and more human meaning and a wider scope.  no one can correctly forecast the direction that painting will take in the next few years, but to me at least there seems to be a revulsion against the invention of arbitrary and stylized design.  there will be, i think, an attempt to grasp again the surprise and accidents of nature and a more intimate and sympathetic study of its moods, together with a renewed wonder and humility on the part of such as are still capable of these basic reactions.

jm:  thank you, mr. hopper.  now that was thirty-six years ago you wrote that.  how would you change it today?

jo hopper:  twenty-six.

eh:  well, i don’t know.  well, i’d change that last paragraph.

jm:  twenty-six, of course, that’s right.  you’d change the last paragraph regarding the forecast.  well, we’ve all had to eat our words now and then on making prophesies.  i have, i know.

eh:  i think it will come true, but no one can tell when.

jm:  we don’t see, of course, much sign of it coming true today, a return to nature, which i, myself, predicted about fifteen years ago.  but you’re still convinced that ultimately we will.

eh:  i think so.

jm:  do you suppose, just to speculate, might it come from its impetus in america?  apparently america is now leading in a style of abstract expressionism.  i wonder if this return to nature, as we both have referred to it, might come out of here or out of france?

eh:  i don’t know.  france has always been the leader in aesthetic movements, so it may come from france.

jm:  am i right that the current movement of abstract expressionism seems to be primarily american. we, in effect, are influencing france.  do you find that to be true today?

eh:  i think it is so, but i am not quite sure.

jm:  but in any event, do you feel that any new movement will possibly come again out of france?

eh:  i think so.

jm:  mr. hopper, in your statement you referred to eakins as using a seventeenth century technique, which brings me to what to us a very important subject, and that is the materials which you have used, the ones you have found most successful and the ones that sometimes have not.

eh:  well, referring to eakins, i had rather meant his larger naturalistic method as opposed to the abstractionists.  that’s what i had meant.  i didn’t refer to all the glazing and under-painting that was done during the renaissance because i don’t think he did that.

jm:  then back to your own techniques, you mentioned that only one painting that you know of of yours has had to have some attention, nighthawks in chicago.  what was the occasion there?

eh:  well, i think it was because in order to get a greater whiteness and brilliancy, i had used zinc white in a certain area of the picture.  i think that had cracked or scaled, whereas the parts where i had used lead white did not. this is my remembrance of it.

jm:  was that due, do you think, to an inferior quality of the zinc white or to the nature of the materials?

eh:  no, i don’t think so.  i think that zinc white has a property of scaling and cracking. i know in the painting of houses on the exterior, zinc white is apt to crack and scale, whereas lead white merely powders off.

jm:  i see.

eh:  so i think that the same would be true in pictures.

jm:  and since that experience you have avoided zinc white?

eh:  yes, i use only lead white now.

jm:  well, what pigments do you use normally?

eh:  well, the maker is winsor and newton.  i can’t remember all the colors exactly. there are about twelve or thirteen of them.

jm:  and what about the support of your paintings, the canvas. do you have any preference?

eh:  yes, i get the best winsor and newton linen i can acquire.

jm:  i remember lloyd goodrich describing your studio as looking somewhat like a carpenter’s shop.  do i imply from that you make your own stretchers?

eh:  no, i do not.

jh:  god forbid!

jm:  you do not make your own stretchers.  on your winsor and newton linen, what sort of a ground do you usually have?

eh:  well, i use the ground of the already prepared canvas.  i can’t tell what this ground is exactly.

jm:  you simply trust winsor and newton?

eh:  i trust winsor and newton and i paint directly upon it.

 

more of the interview at american suburb x.

 

a young hare

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