“What is missing, the absolute, cuts its presence in the shallow furrow of its absence…. The end of the night forever begins.”—Jean-François Lyotard, from The Confession of Augustine (via amoratumbeneficus)
“For language to have meaning there must be intervals of silence somewhere, to divide word from word and utterance from utterance. He who retires into silence does not necessarily hate language. Perhaps it is love and respect for language which imposes silence upon him.”—Thomas Merton, “Disputed Questions” (via litverve)
“When we think about this remarkable invention of the Greek alphabet and think about how a human mind operates when it uses the alphabet, the remarkable operations of eros stand forward for comparison. We have already detected an ancient analogy between language and love, implicit in the conception of breath as universal conductor of seductive influences and persuasive speech. Here at the entrance to written language and literate thinking we see that analogy revivified by the archaic writers who first ventured to record their poems. The alphabet they used is a unique instrument. Its uniqueness unfolds directly from its power to mark the edges of sound. For, as we have seen, the Greek alphabet is a phonetic system uniquely concerned to represent a certain aspect of the act of speech, namely the starting and stopping of each sound. Consonants are the crucial factor. Consonants mark the edges of sound. The erotic relevance of this is clear, for we have seen that eros is vitally alert to the edges of things and makes them felt by lovers. As eros insists upon the edges of human beings and of the spaces between them, the written consonant imposes edge on the sounds of human speech and insists on the reality of that edge, although it has its origin in the reading and writing imagination.”—Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet (via ghoulchantsister)
“It’s true, I think, as Kenko says in his Idleness,
That all beauty depends upon disappearance,
The bitten edges of things,
the gradual sliding away
Into tissue and memory,
And dazzling impermanence of days we beg our meanings from,
And their frayed loveliness.”—Charles Wright, from “Lonesome Pine Special” (via litverve)
“The night never wants to end, to give itself over
to light. So it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows.
Even on summer solstice, the day of light’s great
triumph, where fields of sunflowers guzzle in the sun—
we break open the watermelon and spit out
black seeds, bits of night glistening on the grass.”—Joseph Stroud, Night in Day (via fables-of-the-reconstruction)
“Who, constructing the house of himself or herself, not for a day but for all time, sees races, eras, dates, generations,
The past, the future, dwelling there, like space, inseparable together.”—Walt Whitman, from “Kosmos” (via mitochondria)
“Unlike other subcultures—skinheads, Teddy Boys, and Rude Boys in Britain; hippies, Beats, and bikers in the States—mods were something radically different: in their bespoke suits and careful haberdashery, they looked sharp because, to some extent, they were desirous of great things. […] And unlike so many later subcultures that announced themselves in absolutely oppositional terms—punks, say, whose aggressively shredded look served as a general fuck you—mods didn’t hide the fact that they shopped, and cared about what they bought. While they attacked middle-class office drudgery and lily-white respectability, they also rejected a rigid British class system that denied them access to a life of consumer luxuries and services—a life brimming with the very stuff work would enable them to purchase. Mods were, in short, a half-rebellious youth subculture that kept one eye trained on the rewards of adulthood. Mostly working-class kids, they railed against the system because, deep down, they wanted their share of its bounty.”—Going Underground by Raphael Allison - Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics (via guernicamag)
Sol LeWitt’s exhibition at the Gallery of NSW is one which leaves you with a profound resonance. What at first glance resembles a drawing you scribble at the corner of your page through utter boredom, the beauty of Lewitt’s work resides not within the final product, but the initiating idea. One mustn’t be deceived by the works simplicity on face value. What you see is not merely a drawn line or a semi formed cube, but a line which is representative of a mathematical logic process which as an end product, produces a single line within space. Thus, embedded within each line is a history of a procedure initiated by a concept.
The form within artworks like LeWitt’s “The location of twenty-one lines with lines from midpoints mostly” (1974) illustrate the dynamics between the simplicity within the idea verses the complexity of it’s execution. The artwork is complete with twenty one lines which are drawn within the boundaries of a canvas which forms the two dimension space. Penciled along these lines are the individually unique descriptive characteristics which despite being chosen at random, define the lines in a detailed relationship to each other in that each line exists interdependently, in association with another.
As LeWitt points out, the artist’s role within conceptual art isn’t the transcription of the art onto the canvas, but rather the conceptualization of the process which will govern the arts form.
The conceptual artist doesn’t control the art’s direction but merely initiates it. It is then the rules which the artist has conceived which transcribes the idea onto the chosen medium.
The arithmetic repetition became so complicated within “Incomplete Open Cubes” (1974) Lewitt had to consult a mathematician in a process called combinatronics and exemplifies his desire to reach the logical extremes within a rational process.
Take a shot drawing your own LeWitt line. Here are the instructions! (The answer can be found at the exhibition within the books cabinet)
“A line equal to half the length of the axis between a point halfway between the centre of the page and midpoint of the left side and a point halfway between the midpoint of the bottom side and the lower right corner, drawn from the midpoint of the axis and perpendicular to the axis, in the general direction of the upper right corner.”
“Being tired of all illusions and of everything about illusions – the loss of illusions, the uselessness of having them, the prefatigue of having to have them in order to lose them, the sadness of having had them, the intellectual shame of having had them knowing that they would have to end this way.”—Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet (via acontentmentwithobscurity)
“It’s the same feeling as playing music. When the instrument is in tune and you sustain a note, you’re not just hearing a note in tune: you can actually feel it. It resonates and almost vibrates your body in a certain way. It gives you as close a feeling as you can have to instinct as you can recreate it… The “Aha!” moment is the feeling you get when you’re totally in sync with what you’re doing and there is no difference between the note you’re playing and the note you’re hearing; or what you’re making and what you’re trying to communicate.”—Interview in The Great Discontent, with writer, designer, editor, and educator Liz Danzico, NPR’s first-ever creative director, echoes Tchaikovsky on the exhilaration of creative flow. (via explore-blog)
“There are always meaningful songs for somebody. People are doing their courting, people are finding their wives, people are making babies, people are washing their dishes, people are getting through the day, with songs that we may find insignificant. But their significance is affirmed by others. There’s always someone affirming the significance of a song by taking a woman into his arms or by getting through the night. That’s what dignifies the song. Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.”—Leonard Cohen, from Songwriters on Songwriting (via brainpickings)
“For centuries, the myth of the lone genius has towered over us, its shadow obscuring the way creative work really gets done. The attempts to pick apart the Lennon-McCartney partnership reveal just how misleading that myth can be, because John and Paul were so obviously more creative as a pair than as individuals, even if at times they appeared to work in opposition to each other. The lone-genius myth prevents us from grappling with a series of paradoxes about creative pairs: that distance doesn’t impede intimacy, and is often a crucial ingredient of it; that competition and collaboration are often entwined. Only when we explore this terrain can we grasp how such pairs as Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy all managed to do such creative work. The essence of their achievements, it turns out, was relational. If that seems far-fetched, it’s because our cultural obsession with the individual has obscured the power of the creative pair.”—
“Ah, but I love to draw beautiful words, like trumpets of light…I adore you, words who are sensitive to our sufferings, words in red and lemon yellow, words in the steel-blue colour of certain insects, words with the scent of vibrant skills, subtle words of fragrant roses and seaweed, prickly words of sky-blue wasps. words with powerful snouts, words of spotless ermine, words spat out by the sands of the sea, words greener than Cyrene fleece, discreet words whispered by fishes in the pink ears of shells, bitter words, tornado and storm-tossed words, being beaten, evil words, festive words, tornado and storm-tossed words, windy words, reedy words, the wise words of children, rainy, tearful words, words without rhyme or reason, I love you! I love you!”—James Ensor, Belgian printmaker and painter on language. (via beingblog)