“If you prefer smoke over fire then get up now and leave. For I do not intend to perfume your mind’s clothing with more sooty knowledge.
No, I have something else in mind. Today I hold a flame in my left hand and a sword in my right. There will be no damage control today.
For God is in a mood to plunder your riches and fling you nakedly into such breathtaking poverty that all that will be left of you will be a tendency to shine.
So don’t just sit around this flame choking on your mind. For this is no campfire song to mindlessly mantra yourself to sleep with.
Jump now into the space between thoughts and exit this dream before I burn the damn place down.”
Death of imagination.
It’s that thing that’s inside almost all of us, or maybe all of us, who knows. That thing that tells you things won’t be different. That dead thing inside that smells like rotten apple juice and puts its tentacles around your spine and tells you that everything those people say about you is true and you’re never going to be any better than that. It’s that thing that wakes you up at night, cold-sweat and chills. The pain of a rotting tooth you’re afraid to lose.
It’s a pretty horrible thing, and we all encounter it. It’s the shadow. What’s scarier than that?
Beautiful illustrations. Book of hours. Political. History. Women’s empowerment. Child like. Innocent.
Notes from Week 2 Coursera - History of Art
Struck me about this week: Books of Hours:
Cyclical (seasonal) 15th century illuminated manuscripts. Portable storytelling books reflecting a model for activities throughout the year for a devoted christian. Being that Christianity was the model for life in that time and place.
They contained texts, prayers, psalms with appropriate decorations.
Developed for lay-people who wanted to incorporate elements of monasticism into their daily lives.
Look at, enjoy, recite the hours.
Devotional art to better the reader, inspire the reader and be an offering to God.
Now there’s a practical, historically referenced, beautiful way to view art devoted to God and betterment.
Take this idea and make skin the book. The most noble sacrifice. Make the sequential stories of a properly lived life in accordance with the spirituality and daily activities of my historical moment.
Make a beautiful manual for better living. Wear it.
In the service of public storytelling and public memory making.
Of what is important to us. Right now.
Artists like Picasso rejected the language of history paintings and the representation of heroic figures in order to tell other kinds of stories and to make other kinds of memorials.
Making my heart beat faster (assignment 1, coursera)
I am a trainee tattoo artist, I am using this course to better myself as an artist in this medium, and I am constantly trying to evolve, asking; ‘what is my style, how can I apply elements from *this* art to make my work better, how can I modify that to fit the human form?’
To do this I am constantly scanning and critiquing pieces of art both ‘high’ and ‘low’ brow to see what elements I would like to steal… (After all ‘Bad artist copy, good artist steal’ said Picasso.)
So I am answering this in very narrow terms; terms of my own taste within the limits of practicality. I’m not going to wax philosophical!
I think my art should be
-a mirror to the way I see the world today with its current political and environmental issues,
-fantastical and allegorical
-images should tell a story and draw the eye round in a series of realisations
-the final designs should also be ergonomic and beautiful to me.
In short it should be charged with meaning. Not realistic.
To show this I’ve chosen Marc Chagall’s ‘I and the village’ as an example of how I would rather my art be; and for how I would rather it not be I’ve chosen a chosen a piece by Dutch realist Willem C Heda ‘Banquet piece with mince pie.’
Because… Well, technical ability isn’t necessary to make my heart beat faster. Magic is
'[What Boris said was] “Greed is a valuable spur to promote economic growth,” and I just want to take you to the root of this.
The reason why he said that… was because he believes there’s no alternative… but to pursue increased competitiveness at the expense of practically everything else you believe to be important.
He described the global economy to be a, “violent economic centrifuge” by which he meant that a large number of people will be spun out, into the outer fringes of that economy forever to suffer in poverty and deprivation - that’s what he meant.
So I’m not mis-representing Boris I’m absolutely taking him at what he said, and someone who stands up there and says “greed and envy” are the most important spurs to economic achievement for a country like ours.. Well, God help us.’
Jonathon Porritt on Boris Johnson, today on ‘Any Questions’. BBC Radio 4
I could read the original: In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the
Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
In a graveyard far off there is a corpse
who has moaned for three years
because of a dry countryside on his knee;
and that boy they buried this morning cried so much
it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.
Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth
or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead
But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;
flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths
in a thicket of new veins,
and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever
and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.
the horses will live in the saloons
and the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the
eyes of cows.
we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead
and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats
we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.
Careful! Be careful! Be careful!
The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,
and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention
of the bridge,
or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe,
we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes
where the bear's teeth are waiting,
where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,
and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.
Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is sleeping.
If someone does close his eyes,
a whip, boys, a whip!
Let there be a landscape of open eyes
and bitter wounds on fire.
No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.
I have said it before.
No one is sleeping.
But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the
open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight
the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.
Fedderico Garcia Lorca. “The City That Does Not Sleep”
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. It’s a story or everything is a story and you get into a story and you fall into a world. This is a completely different world I’ve been in. And it’s a world that’s unique. When you start feeling the story and feel the location and these different characters it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It starts talking to you and film is like action and reaction and falling into a world and that’s what it is.”
Still: David Lynch on set THE STRAIGHT STORY, 1999
"It’s a tricky thing," he continues. "When you’re an artist, you pick up on certain things that are in the air. You just feel it. It’s not like you’re sitting down, thinking, ‘What can I do to really mess things up?’ You’re getting ideas, and then the ideas feed into a story, and the story takes shape. And if you’re honest about it and you’re thinking about characters and what they do, you now see that your ideas are about trouble. You’re feeling more depth, and you’re describing something that is going on in some way. "In film, life-and-death struggles make you sit up, lean forward a little bit. They amplify things happening, in smaller ways, in all of us. These things show up in relationships. They show up in struggles and bring them to a critical point.