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"language" Category


The Code of Imagination


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

INTRO, OUR INTEREST

During 3 weeks of design theory, we came across many different font types, some of which were far from understandable. Some of these abstract types surpassed the intelligible and had a whole coding system for themselves, in which every letter of the alphabet had a symbol of its own, which should be able to be coded and decoded in order to write and read text.
In it’s own special realm of this font families, there is a book that navigates the imaginary, it’s the Codex Seraphinianus.

 

text in the codex

text in the codex

It’s creator, Luigi Serafini , was an architect, designer and painter, who published the book in 1981. It took him around 30 months, between 1976 and 1978, in a single room apartment in Rome to create the 360 pages of this curious “encyclopedia
The book describes almost scientifically a different and strange world, reminiscent of our own planet but equally strange and obscurely abstract and unfamiliar. It is composed by two parts, one which seems to be about human science and a second about general nature, society and ruling structures of this foreign world.
The piece stands for itself, it should be seen as an art book that does have an explanation; it is extremely fantastic and creative with wondrous drawings and ideas, which stimulate your fantasies, and invite you to dream along its colorful and psychedelic illustrations.

 

Codex-Seraphinianus-08

At a first glance you will be taken through constant confusion, where referencing what you see from what you know from the natural world leads nowhere. The feeling it creates could be described as the one of a child, scrolling through an encyclopedia, believing that what is written makes sense but is not able to verify if true or not. The pictures are all that is left to rely on and are the actual source of the story telling going on through our heads.
Ever since its publication, this book stayed as a mystery; intellectuals from all disciplines have tried to “understand” and “decode” it. Despite the familiar characteristics of language like rhythm, repetitiveness, paragraphs and even punctuation, there has been no success on making sense of this “text”. It simply can’t be figured out, but why should it? What would the decoding of this alternative encyclopedia bring and why are the efforts centered in doing so? Which interpretation would be the correct/truthful one?

COMPARING THE CODEX TO OTHER BOOKS

The Codex could be compared to the “Voynichmanuscript” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript), written around 1450-1520, which is also also written in a code impossible to decipher and is illustrated with bright colored images of a scientific nature, just as in the Codex Seraphinianus.

voynich-collage-pic905-895x505-95001

The feeling the codex creates could be compared to Aldous Huxleys  “Brave New World” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World);  a novel about an utopian or dystopian future where everything seems to be so great and neatly organized that it gets scary, and even though it is quite different from our world we see parallels that remind us on how easily our order can slip into the realms of suppression and absolute control, without us even noticing. The aesthetic of the world described in the Codex reminded me of this morbid perfection of the modern world.
In more general terms, the story of the interpretation, coding and decoding of the “Codex Seraphinianus” could maybe be compared as a more recent artistic Bible. “The Holy Book”, which sets a broad set of rules and explains stories through metaphors, could easily be compared since, for centuries, the scriptures have been read, analyzed, compared, re-written, interpreted and decoded by intellectuals and well as whole cultures and societies. But, which interpretation is the right one?

IN RELATION TO PHILOSOPHY

Interpretation is a key element to understanding, a fundamental capacity and force of the human essence. The reason for this need falls uncertain and as mysterious as the subject of this text, but somehow it’s force is so essential and true as any other basic necessity such as eating or reproducing, interpretation is key to learning, evolving, developing and creating, it is indeed inevitable and inescapable, nevertheless, when could we say an interpretation is true?
Plato, tried to explain the burdens/risks/nature of this issue, through what is probably the best known philosophical allegory. It’s the allegory of “The Cave”.

The Allegory of The Cave
People have always lived in a cave and haven’t seen the outside world. There is no natural light, and all the inhabitants can see are the shadows on the wall projected by the light of a fire. They are fascinated by the reflections, moreover they believe those shadows are real and if you concentrate, look and study them, you will understand and succeed in life. They don’t realize that they are looking at mere phantoms.
One day by chance, someone discovers a way out of the cave. At first he is simply overwhelmed and dazzled by the sunshine in which everything is for the fist time properly illuminated, and once his eyes adjust to the light, he encounters the true forms of the shadows he had been seeing on the cave. Previously he had been looking merely at phantoms, but now, he is nearer to the true nature of being.

allegory_cave

When the cave dweller crawls back into the cave, he is confused by the dark setting of his previously familiar space. Confused, he tries to explain his co-habitants about what he just saw and discovered, about the truth he had witnessed. At first, the other cave dwellers don’t understand his ideas, they believe he is being sarcastic and at some point, even plot to kill him.
This allegory is a symbolic explanation of philosophy and humanity; Cave dwellers are humans before philosophy, the sun the light of reason, and the messenger a philosopher (and what happens to the messenger, is what truth tellers can expect when they take their knowledge back to people).
This allegory is a warning as well as an explanation about the risks of pursuing the truth, of thinking and exploring, but, where does the force of wanting to understand, to think, to decode and understand come from? Science is maybe busy trying to find the truth of things, while art is maybe one of the fields looking to solve the bigger question, WHY?

MEANINGLESS ART, IS IT TRULY MEANINGLESS?

It is believed that the Codex Seraphinianus doesn’t have a purpose, but do purposeless things mean nothing? Is the same to make an incomprehensible statement than making no statement at all?
In art and out contemporary times this is a burning question looking for an answer. E.g. What is tho be expected from a stone carver artist today?
Stone Carver: I want people to see that I pushed the material as far as I can possibly go. I maybe want people to see themselves in it. Maybe that they wonder about my reasons for carving it. I want them to argue about why did I make it the way I did and maybe have different ideas of what the reason and its purpose is.

CONCLUSION

Philosophy as seen by Plato and many others, is a practice that will teach us to live and die well, some sort of therapy for the soul. Pieces like the Codex Seraphinianus, despite it’s attractive and superficial nonsense take a stand towards curiosity, imagination and discussion. It encourages doubt and reflection, study and analysis, key element to critical thinking and human/personal/intellectual development but most important, it encourages imagination.
The book gives us back that brave imagination of a child, that creates the story itself by looking at images and assuming what is written. The book is an invitation, to exercise our imagination again, another time, its another chance for the adult to go back to the golden age of childhood, before going to school.
Weather its real significance has, will or had ever existed shouldn’t be the main focus, instead, we should appreciate the process of adapting our eyes to the light and be courageous enough to be doubtful and think, go out of the cave even if what we see is confusing, truthful or not.

 

codex seraphinianus1

 

_____________

Before the first day of this world …


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

in the beginning

Before the beginning  of everything, there was only the unity of nothing
Within this nothingness, everything was in its total infinite potential

this particular representation comes from "The book of the netherworld" 14th century B.C.

Ancient beliefs say that   ….   Before the first day of this world
The Oneness just was, eternal, immobile, perfect, silent and harmonious.
  In its timeless existence , the Oneness, to experience itself, in all its realms of possibilities, decided to manifest itself in this world of dualities . A dress for nothing that is everything. A universe of dividable appearances, that are manifestation of one indivisible essence.

These ancient beliefs tell that  …  before the beginning
 the holy Oneness , was meditating on how to begin .

as there was only one nothingness , in which everything was in its total infinite potential, also the letters were in there total spiritual infinite potential, and the unity of the alphabet, represented all the possible realms of
a possible everything.
During the creating process of a everything, all realms of possibilities, represented by the letters, would have become manifest, so before the first day of this world , all letters proposed them self to the Holy Oneness, as realm through which beginning the world.

Six letters were chosen, to compose the first word of the world

in the beginning

In the beginning

Bereishit

 bet

Bet

was chosen as first letter, of the first word of the world; the realm through which the world has been formed is : blessing.
Bet is the container for blessing.
It represents duality, a one that contains two things joined together,
-one capable of being revealed , one shrouded in mystery-
. One appearance and one essence, generated by one unity .

Bet is the essential structure of our world,
a world where all possibilities can be.

-Bet means dwelling place, house, home-
Bet is a house in which all dualities are at home, where the essence is manifest in all its possibilities , our world .

But Bet, can be fully understood , only through

Aleph

alef

Aleph is the central letter of the first word of the world, and the first letter of the ancient alphabet.
The realm of Aleph is Oneness , the dimension of pure existence, of the goodliness, of eternal and perfect beauty.
-the pulsating unbridled force of the being of the Oneness-
Only through Aleph (the unity behind duality) , we can understand Bet ( the founding structure of our universe of dualities ) .
Only through being the unity, we can understand the duality of our existence.
It’s by being the essence, that we can fully be overwhelmed by the beauty of every manifestation of appearance.

Ancient beliefs, say that before the beginning of the world,
there was one, perfect, silent, immobile nothingness.

then came the beginning
-the creating process, which always is, which always is beginning ,and always will be beginning, that began with  –

in the beginning

emojis


Sunday, May 13, 2018

So what it basically iS?

.                                    Symbols, that help to describe/show things/emotions.

Did it all start from the primitive period, when people drew animals on the walls of the caves, using images and signs in order to describe?

2017-01-092_1300

 

 

Or from the first ‘:)’ in the poem from 17th century?

 

 

emojis

 

 

Anyways, it became popular in the 90s when in SMS people started using emoticons. Emoticons are punctuation marks, letters, and numbers used to create pictorial icons that generally display an emotion or sentiment.
Actually, it officially started in 1982, when in Carnegie Mellon University the joke in online message board went wrong and made a huge misunderstanding. Dr. Scott E. Fahlman came with a proposal to use emoticons in order to define jokes and non-jokes.  : – )

Kao(face)moji(character)s are Japanese emoticons ¯\_(?)_/¯ .

e(picture)moji(character)
the first emoji was made by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999 for the first Japanese mobile internet platform i-mode.
(the 176 original emojis are now part of the permanent New York MOMA collection)

In 2011 Apple (of course) made them famous by adding them in iOS 5, but only for the Japanese version.                                  (2 years later Android joined 🙂
After noticing the growing popularity of emojis around the world they added them to every keyboard.
Now every user can switch from English or German to emojis’ keyboard.

With the help of Unicode Consortium    (- a non-profit group that maintain text standards across computers) (and Google’s petition to get emojis recognized  )             emojis are (almost) everywhere.                                                                                                                                                                                                    O-:

in 2010 Unicode accepted 625 new emojis proposed by Apple.

in 2013 the US Congress Library added the ‘Moby Dick’ written in emojis languages

in 2014 the gender and skin-color issues raised

in 2018 157 emojis were added.

 

You can propose your emoji and explain why it is necessary to add it                                                                                                 http://unicode.org/emoji/selection.html

2 times a week the Unicode meets up to discuss wether the pasta should be on a plate or in the bowl

wether it is important to add a sugar cube to emojis’ list

wether the girl’s haircut should be till shoulders or longer

You can go to https://emojipedia.org/                if you are not sure in the meaning of the emoji and do not want the misunderstanding to happen

You can go to                                                             if you want to analyze the emojis you are using

http://emojinalysis.tumblr.com/                                                                            (sometimes they can tell more than your daily horoscope from Cosmopolitan)

 

http://emojitracker.com/                       if you want to know what is in trend on Twitter

 

 

We are now way more reachable for any person in the world

We are now able to understand people without words

 

                           are emojis the new Esperanto?

                                                                                                                                                                How are they effecting us socially?

In Japan, where the emoji was born, there are declining birth rates due to people loosing interest in romantic relationships.

 Hikikimori – a group of young men who dont leave the house and only communicate through technology.

                             We are loosing the power to communicate face to face.

However, Match.com released data proving that the more emojis a singleton uses on their dating site seems to result in more dates, therefore more sex.

      Our phones have become priority.               In general, if someones phone pings they stop their real life conversation for their phone.

Emojis are  proven to help dyslexic people – they help us to sense emotions in bland messages.

                                                                                                             what is the future of emojis and our language?

My predictive mother


Friday, May 12, 2017

Me: Mama, I’m laying in bed with fever. I caught the flu. Shall we maybe Skype later today?
My mother: me too and I think it’s time for a little more time to think about how I feel like to be a good mother.
Me: What do you mean?
My mother: my friend and my friend is the best friend and she was just so nice for you and me and my motherly motherland.
Me: Are you with her now?
My mother: my friend is a very nice person and she is really amazing. Yes let’s do this for you and me to be sure that you will be the best and most important thing to me.
Me: Is everything ok with you? I have the feeling that you are talking a bit strangely.
My mother: Me too and yes I’m sorry but it’s not really like that you don’t want to see me. You have a good time and then we can talk about it again maybe? I love you.
Me: Mama? You are scaring me. I want to talk with you now.
My mother: And I don’t know, what she would do if it was really bad but it was a really nice idea and then we maybe would be a great ideal.
Me: What?
My mother: me and my friend and she was so happy about it and now I’m just not really sure what to say about the other people.
Me: Stop!
My mother: When I see you and your sister I don’t know what to say to you but I’m sure that I can make it a good day for you too thank you for making me feel so amazing.

This dialogue is created with the predictive keyboard function of my iPhone. Everything that is said by my mother is Text that is created only by clicking the suggestions that appear on my screen. Even “My mother” are two words suggested by my iPhone. The parts that I say are my reactions to the generated text, acting as if it was my mother.
I did not research the mechanisms, that drive this predictive keyboard function, but I should state that my mother visited me 3 days before I wrote the dialogue.

Faux-Amis*


Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Sans titrop

 Learning and being confronted to new languages this year, I noted funny and intersting bridges inbetween languages. These are homonyms or linguistic loans interpreted differently ; nice coincidences, attesting of the different ways that each language deals with its reality. Here I propose to relate English, French, Dutch and even German, according to different homonyms that I was confronted by this year.

Understand what you want
or what you can.

Hier
[bijwoord]

Op deze plaats: van hier tot ginder (of: gunder), van hier

tot Tokio heel ver, heel groot; hier en daar op sommige plaatsen

Hier
[adverb]

1. a.Räumlich; hinweisend; an dieser Stelle, an diesem Ort, an

dem der Sprecher sich befindet oder auf den er hindeutet
b.Bezieht sich auf jemanden, etwas in unmittelbarer Nähe, auf

den bzw. worauf der Sprecher ausdrücklich hinweist
c.zur Verdeutlichung einer Geste, mit der der Sprecher dem

Angeredeten etwas überreicht, erteilt
d.in dem vorliegenden Zusammenhang, Fall, Punkt
2. zu diesem [genannten] Zeitpunkt, in diesem Augenblick

Hier
[adverbe]

(latin heri)
1. Le jour qui précède immédiatement celui où l’on est

(dans  le discours direct).
2. Il y a peu de temps, à une date encore récente ou proche.

Fast
[adverb]

kaum noch von einem bestimmten Zustand, Ergebnis, Ausmaß, einer Anzahl, Größe o.?Ä. entfernt; einer

genannten Angabe ziemlich nahekommend; beinahe, nahezu

Fast
[adjective]

1. Moving or capable of moving at high speed.
2. Predicative or as complement (of a clock or watch) Showing a time ahead of the correct time.
3. Firmly fixed or attached.
4. Photography(of a film) Needing only a short exposure.
5. (of a dye) Not fading in light or when washed.
6. Engaging in or involving activities characterized by excitement, extranvagance, and risk-taking.
7. West Indian (of a person) Prone to act in an unacceptably familiar way.

[verb]
Abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.

[noun]
An act or period of fasting.

Faste
[nom masculin]

(bas latin fastus, luxe)
Étalage de magnificence, déploiement de tous les signes extérieurs

du luxe : Le faste d’une cérémonie.

Gift
[Substantiv, Neutrum]

In der Natur vorkommender oder künstlich hergestellter Stoff, der nach Eindringen in den Organismus eines Lebewesens eine schädliche, zerstörende, tödliche Wirkung hat (wenn er in einer bestimmten Menge, unter bestimmten Bedingungen einwirkt).

Gift
[noun]

1. A thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present.
2. A natural ability or talent. 2A natural ability or talent.

[verb]
Give (something) as a gift, especially formally or as a donation or bequest.

[noun]
Medicine Gamete intrafallopian transfer, a technique for assisting conception by introducing mixed ova and sperm into a fallopian tube.

 

Ziel, das

[Substantiv, Neutrum]

1. (a) Punkt, Ort, bis zu dem jemand kommen will, den jemand erreichen will

(b) Sport Ende einer Wettkampfstrecke (das durch eine Linie, durch Pfosten o.?Ä. markiert ist)

2. etwas, was beim Schießen, Werfen o.?Ä. anvisiert wird, getroffen werden soll

3. etwas, worauf jemandes Handeln, Tun o.?Ä. ganz bewusst gerichtet ist, was jemand als Sinn und Zweck, angestrebtes Ergebnis seines Handelns, Tuns zu erreichen sucht

4. Kaufmannssprache veraltend Zahlungsfrist, -ziel; Termin

 

Ziel

[meervoud: zielen]

1. (de; v(m)) het niet-stoffelijk gedeelte vanwaaruit de mens leeft; (religie) onsterfelijk deel van de mens: ter ziele gaan

(a) sterven;

(b) ophouden te bestaan; God hebbe zijn ziel gezegd van een overledene; met zijn ziel onder zijn arm lopen doelloos en zich vervelend; zich methart en ziel aan iets wijden met zijn hele wezen; iem. op zijn ziel trappen hem krenken, beledigen

2. (de; m,v) persoon, mens: hoe meer zielen hoe meer vreugd hoe meer gasten hoe prettiger; zieltjes winnen bekeerlingen maken

Soul

[noun]

1. The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.

2.  Emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.

3. The essence or embodiment of a specified quality.

 

Soûl, Soûle

[adjectif]

1. (familier) Qui est ivre, qui a bu avec excès d’une boisson alcoolisée .

2. Qui est pleinement rassasié de quelque chose, qui en a eu au-delà de ses désirs.

3. Qui est grisé, enivré, étourdi.

 

 

* False-Friends

 

THE DUCK AND THE WHALE, A Play.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

To give my best overview of the creation of the play below is to say a visual campaign was of supplement to a mashed alphabet. Gravity helped me to sit on slow chairs in front of the digital art that was my photo achieve of personal stories, social history and environment. Maybe a dog popped in here or there. It was a process of critical thinking and curiosity to make a personal repossession of the photography. A bit like IKEA did with furniture. I gazed upon the hand in silence, with hidden feelings that I was living the lifestyle of William Chester Minor. My role was a kind of craftsmanship to dye the rules in nature with my own words, words that came to me from simply looking. Some would deem it additive manufacturing, like the work in progress of a futuristic master Azart artist. I was left with a list of words the size of a paperclip compared to the one to the left of me. I don’t disbelieve that if I were to continue my list would fill the human body, now it could fill a large poster made by Jan van Toorn or part of a suit or outfit. Although it would be a never ending process to fill Boijmans van Beuningen. Big here long now I was faced with the problem solving of a typographer, not like Sagmeister but one whose work was fair to say of careless design. The problem was generating a random selection of words to use like animal resources in chaos and order to be the leader and kiss the dialogue. I used a programme that was like some kind of Greek Thonic, that spurted words at me, a surprise selection, which I had to use like a Situationists. On the page the words look like a decoration or embroidery to a narrative surrealism, which imbedded hints of sexuality. To dream like a cyborgian I think I gave the sense of words in animation that in turn has self-made a whole loaf of poetic bread.

Theatre_text1_950Theatre_text2_950Theatre_text3_950Theatre_text4_950Theatre_text5_950Theatre_text6_950Theatre_text7_950Theatre_text8_950

Species of Magnets in my house.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

 

“Every word was once an animal.”

 -Ralph Waldo Emerson 

 

Scan-51_p50 Scan1_950

figure 1                                                        figure 2

 

 

Argument

In his 1974 essay Espèces d’Espaces (Species of Space) Georges Perec [x] states the following:

‘To live is to pass from one space to the other, while doing your very best not to bump yourself.’ (Espèces d’Espace, Georges Perec, p. 6)

 

Tine Melzer [x] in her 2016 essay (hand-out) subsequently notes that words are ‘magnets’:

A word has two ends and each awaits ties with another word.

Furthermore that the poetic ‘charge’ of several words together is based on such bonds:

When words meet up, they generate a field of tension, they go together!

In his 1958 book La Poétique de l’Espace (The Poetics of Space), Gaston Bachelard [x] points out that our whole perception of the world we inhabit based is upon our first encounters with the first universe of mankind: the house, the spaces we inhabit. He construct his argument by using the tactic of ‘Poetic Phenomenology’, which is to say, a philosophy built up while reading the poets.

Texts are a constellation of words, the same logic applies so to speak. Texts also have a magnetic effect. A late, albeit, useful discovery. They meet up as well, go together, and charge the field with the same sort of tension. And it this very tension that leads met to the following conclusion.

Something happens when we enter a room or when a work of poetry gently leans upon us. Something, to removed to mention, but there non the less. It leaves us tantalized. This is what we could call ‘the oneiric effect’. The tension, the magnetism has a familiar sound. It is in fact a logical extension of things I have referred to previously. Shortly put, I conclude: a word is a room and a room is a word.

Now what are the implications of such a statement? To illustrate further, this means that magnetism of words and text are played out on an even more poetic and fundamental level, for the visual has to be resolved and is dissolved by words and vice a versa. The visual and the language are (and become) then, in term, the concepts, notions, names and words we call upon to name our interior spaces, our inner houses, the room’s of our own.

This tension can even lead from time to time to vibration, think of Kandinsky’s ‘Seelische Vibration’, Think of a Paul Klee picture, think of the last time you drew a straight line, out of the blue. Try to imagine it again and try to measure it by using the corners of your childhood bedroom and you’ll see what this tension, this magnetism, this vibration, the poetic charge produces first and foremost: warmth, heat.

The subject of this research, this article, is informed by all of this, that’s why I called it: Species of Magnets in my house -see figure 1 and 2-  (small reference of course). For I have in my possession three texts that all deal with the design of such things, but all push and pull the same way, that is to say; like a magnet do. For to live is to imagine, is to speak from one magnet to the other while doing my very best not to bump myself. All these texts I wrote while walking in out of my house, while I did my very best not to bump myself  (of course).

 

 

Texts

 

I

I am the translator.

I am the the one who was too late. But I am the one who in time, has to defy and define, a divine straight line, or something in between, a shape and a dream.

Escabeau, 60° 55″ 6,54′

L’été, 51° 33′ 7,43′

 

II

In 1972, my grand-father left my grand-mother’s house in Strombeek, on the hilly outskirts of Brussels, for the first time. Just before his departure, he poured Pisang on the balcony, sealed off with dead plant leaves and broken pieces of glass, the apertures in which the different rooms were discussed and assembled, made alterations to the provision of shadow cells by taking 100.000 Belgian franks and left a feeling of sultriness and a trail of ashes on the radio, bookshelves and the countable rugs and carpets, making these regions of the house the most fertile for the following thirty years. But it was only during the last act, the act of inserting a silver object into a vexed area of a piece of wood, that he pronounced the terms of condition, while exposed to the strange and morose rendering of the orange light.

They are the following:

Vincent:

A day run astray but not lost. A dried-up carpet stain, a spastic vibration, taken faraway. A closed sometimes, while the sun comes in, anew.

Douffet:
A choice that at high temperatures glows in an environment of nitrogen and/or carbon monoxide and disposes, by means of evaporation a ceaseless flow of microscopic particles, which settle themselves on the inside of the house, whereby the house, in time, dusks.

Honte, La:

It is either a military tactic or an ululation (Klaagzang) that has it’s origin in the first sounds. It is a particular, grievous mode of weather which is converted into language upon its death.

Brasschaat, Belgique:

A form of rain that is neither poor nor stubborn. Theoretically, there’s an occurrence of acuity when approached, but acuity is relative and subbordonante to the songs and the smoke of the sea, plus, lake and the melancholy which is cherished by a diffusing sky.

 

III

Index of words used in this article:

Act

Albeit

Am

Anew

Animal

Aperatures

Are

Argument

Ashes

Assembled

Astray

Bachelard, Gaston,

Balcony

Bedroom 

Belgian

Best

Bump

But

Carbon

Carpets

Ceaseless

Childhood

Choice

Condition

Corners

Day 

Deal

Dispose 

Douffet

Dream

Dried-up

Each

Effect

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Environment

Escabeau

Faraway

Feeling

First

Following

Forms

For

Franks

Grievous

Hand-out

Heat 

High

Honte, la

I

Implications

Inhabit

In

Klaagzang

Last

Leans

Level

Magnetic

Military

Morose

Neither

Nipomo

Nitrogen

Notions

Object 

Occurrence

Off

Orange

Outskirts

Phenomenology 

Pieces

Pisang

Poetic

Questions

Radio

Research

Room

Run

Shadow

Shape

Something

Spastic

Straight

Strombeek

Sultriness

Sun

Tactic

Tension

Time

Together

Too

Trail

Translator

Ululation

Universe

 Very 

Vice a versa

Vincent

Visual

Waldo, Ralph Emerson

Warmth

Weather

With

Words

Years

zig zag

 

Roots and Branches


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Go on Wikipedia and start a research for something, it can be the most common thing or notion you think about. Then, start clicking on the first link you see, in the sentence that defines what you are searching for. Again and again. If you arrive on a webpage where you have been before, just click on the next link, so not the first but the second one and see where you will end up. Here is my example :

London

london_1100

> capital city

capital_1100

> municipality
> urban area
> human settlement
> geography
> science
> knowledge
> awareness
> perception
> sensory nervous system
> nervous system
> eumatazoa
> clade
> organism
> biology
> natural science
> natural phenomena
> phenomenon
> experience
> philosophy

SQLtree1

So, this brings us to a crucial point. It shows how important arborescence (which means in French from the trunk to the branches) is in a research process. By starting from a very specific subject, you can end up on something you don’t expect to see, something really independent from your first research. By a system of hierarchy, websites choose for you what you should see, in order to make your research larger and more relevant. The concepts presented through the pages are of course connected, because terms are presented to define the notion you are looking for. That is by the way essential for every website : to give a hierarchy. But how? On what logic?

If you follow the previous example on Wikipedia, you can try how many times you want, you will normally end up on the Wikipedia page related to philosophy.

By placing some hyperlinks, you can give an orientation on an internet reasearch. In that sense, links are super efficient tools. Just have a look to what is offered on an everyday internet journey.

But more widely, from the easiest thing, you can always go to something larger in terms of meaning : groups of living species, geographical regions, etc. By defining something, you need an element with a bigger concept to categorize it. Then, is philosophy the final notion, the highest point to reach?

It is basically more than just a simple category in which we can put everything like a cellar where you come to take an old box once a year to remember your sweet childhood.

 

A dopamine delivery service

By spending time by scrolling down, letting my eyes wandering a bit on the DesignBlog, and repeating the same process previously experienced, I found that article by Olya Troitskaya about a concept that defines pretty well this process. It is called “cyberflânerie”. Have a look at it here.

flâneur (word which comes from the french verb flâner) is according to Baudelaire, quoted by Olya Troitskaya, “a person who walks the city in order to experience it”.

By experiencing a part of the internet content in a certain order, you expect something to get, a crucial information, or just an everyday surprise, your dopamine doses maybe. At least some satisfaction.

Play at this (not)serious game, make this fantastic tool a hijacked object, follow the lines, think about this endless journey, how you move through this digital space in terms of pictures and map, with a starting point and an unreachable end.

NOTES FROM THE DEAD


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 19.07.24
Dying is something we all have to face one day.

When it finally happens, we trust on the people closest to us to give our remains a place to rest, playing the right music at our funerals and keeping us from being forgotten, by remembering us, and telling stories about us to our grand kids.
 
But what if a person dies who doesn’t have any close ones to remember them…
Who doesn’t have friends or family to attend their funeral..
 
In Amsterdam it happens multiple times a year.

 

The Pool of Death

Drug addicts, drunks or abusers rejected by friends and family…

Illegal migrants, wanderers and hobo’s without papers, permits and names…

Rejects and the misunderstood, whose mental disorder kept them living in seclusion… Recluses who cut off all social contacts or lost everyone that was ever dear to them… Elderly who outlived every last relative… Youth, abandoned and unable to survive on their own…

The pool of death is a group of poets, who honour the lonely deceased.

As the sole attendant of a lonely funeral they accompany the lifeless remains to the grave where they recite a specially written poem.

To write about someone, and give their story to the world, a poet needs to learn as much as they can. Like a detective, they look for clues. They visit the homes of those lost, talk to their neighbours, and search through city archives gathering as much information as they can to form a sense of the person that was.

The same week i received the assignment (to meet up with someone that inspired me), I attended a funeral, my second of the past two years. This very present sense of death and mortality made me think of the Pool of Death and the Foundation of Lonely Funerals, a project by artist/poet F. Starik.

 

ZW_EENZAME-UITVAART-20090305-_253 ZW_EENZAME-UITVAART-20090305-_202 ZW_EENZAME-UITVAART-20090305-_204 ZW_EENZAME-UITVAART-20090305-_228 ZW_EENZAME-UITVAART-20090305-_039 ZW_EENZAMEw-UITVAART-20090305-_027

Images above by Jan van Breda

 Frank Starik

I had met Starik once before, about a year ago, when he was clearing out his workspace. He was leaving his current atelier to work from home, and couldn’t bring all the things that had come to fill that space. I got a tip from someone very close to me who was helping him sort out what he would take with him from what he would sell, that the rest would be thrown out.

Amongst all the things, I found this big box. Inside it, were all these wooden crosses. They were old crucifixes that all seemed to be missing their christ figures, leaving them to look like movie props for an old Hammer production starring Christopher Lee. When I asked him why he had so many of them, and what happened to their prophets, he addressed me in the solemn but raspy voice of a chain-smoking reverend:

“Well my son, I have dedicated a great part of my life to freeing Jesus from the cross…he’d been hanging there long enough!”

When I later continued my look around, I found an army of Jesus dolls lying carefully displayed on the ground, as if they were all out sunbathing on the beach.

Along with the crosses, I left with some old photo works. Most of them were collages made on old canvas frames, all black and white.

 

 The Detective

On an early Sunday afternoon I went to my appointment with Starik at his house.

Next to his writing table stood an enormous plant and above his couch hung a note saying: “we are decent and normal”. Some of his work’s consist of a note or message, handwritten on a painter’s canvas. I really like these works. They might seem simple but they work really well.

I was curious about the proces of writing a poem for a person that just died, in total solitude. Somebody you’ve never met: how do you learn about them? Are you allowed to visit their homes and search for clues like a detective?

He told me that sometimes it was very difficult, depending on the situation. He was allowed to go into their homes, but a lot of times these were in total chaos. The anonymous deaths are often discovered when the neighbours call the police to complain about the smell. It can be weeks before they are found, and by then, the bodies are in a state of decay. But sometimes you can find something that can be of use. He confirmed my suspicion and said it was very much like being a homicide detective. He always makes a talk with the neighbours, and if the person still has some long lost family members, searching the city archives can be a big help.

Sometimes people have a strange relationship with public workers, relationships that in a way replace the lack of closeness with anyone else in their lives.

He told me of the anonymous death of an autistic man, who had a special relationship with his plumber. Being extremely parsimonious, he was particularly stingy about his water-heater, and feared spending even a single cent too much. Every day he would blow the flame out, fearing it was burning away a lot of unused gas. Sadly he was never able to reignite the flame, so every day, when he needed hot water, he would call the plumber to reignite it. Because the plumber understood the man’s condition, and knowing this system would actually cost him significantly more than he was trying to save, they worked out a deal. Each day he called, he paid only 10 euros. This was still significantly more than he would pay if he simply kept the water heater running..

He also told me about another man who fabricated the whole of his own history. Among the stories he told people is one about him as an important war hero with the resistance. His long lost family members however, said he had actually been working for the Germans. He kept on with these stories for so long that he came to believe them, and lived on in his own fantasy, in his own fabricated biographies. In the poem Starik wrote for him, he kept those fabricated stories alive and didn’t kill them off.

 

 The Design

After you die, you sort of live on in marks you’ve left behind..in handwritten letters and notebooks…in old grocery lists…in doodles and scribbles… because handwriting is really someones second voice. Handwriting is personal, has a character that speaks for itself: a voice that is read instead of heard. Reading a person’s script, you can almost hear a person’s voice talking.
De Dichtkist
I wanted to make a sort of vending machine, containing unopened letters written by somebody that passed, so that the living could receive letters from the dead.
This transformed into the big turning of the wheels, and then to the transfer turning of a scroll from the bottom to the top. Inspired by Starik’s written canvasses, it became a sort of alter, displaying a composition of words.
output_aysYPv   31_1100
De Dichtkist (translates into “sealed burial box with poems“) is a tribute: a coffin for handwriting, an open casket, a single space for the second voice and all of its marks to collect, and with a bit of turning, display. As it fills up, that turning can lead to a sort of conversation. The second voice can speak with itself. Built from the wood of century old doors, de Dichtkist houses the marked memory of lives that will some day, come to end.

 

Analyzing Modern Religious Writing


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

 

Time Spend Analyzing After Meeting A Modern Cult (The Introduction).

Recently, I have been looking at language while diving into modern religious or cult-ish writing techniques and aesthetics. This is mainly the language used by Scientology and the way its founder L. Ron Hubbard confuses the reader, which then, makes it possible for Hubbard to arrive at simpler conclusions. I have looked at the writings of William S. Burroughs in his book The Job, where he argues for the seemingly nonsense idea of language as a virus.

The following is a result of these readings made with the agenda of publicizing these techniques for us to advantage of.

 

I: Using “Mental Fogginess” To Simplify Conclusions

In the first chapter of the very first scientology book, Dianetics: the original thesis (1948), L. Ron Hubbard concludes after a small, compact and confusing rant on topics such as heuristic science, workability contrasting idealism, semantic difficulties, psychosomatic ills, the unknowable/the knowable, spiritualism, deism, telepathy, clairvoyance, the human soul, field of thoughts, dynamic principle of existence, that the first cornerstone of what for the reader seems to be everything, is for the human to SURVIVE!. This is just after the section entitled important notes, placed on page four, where the church informs the reader that:

 

“Trying to read past a misunderstood word results in mental “fogginess” and difficulty in comprehending the passages which follow. If you find yourself experiencing this, return to the last portion you understood easily, locate the misunderstood word and get it defined, using a good dictionary or the Glossary at the end of the book.”

 

The problem is not that these difficult concepts such as telepathy, dynamic principle of existence, etc. are hard to grasp. The problem is that Hubbard is using them as a sort of “mental fogginess”, so when he finally concludes that the essence of all this is to SURVIVE!, the reader might not have understood what was meant above but the essence of it (to survive) we all surely understood, and we then do not need to use a good dictionary to understand this.

Hubbard also tells us in the text that we do not need to concern ourselves with the basic questions to our existence. He says that by dividing everything in the field of thoughts into two categories, the unknowable and the knowable, we then do not need to concern ourselves with such indefinites as spiritualism, deism or the human soul. This is of course addressed towards those who search for meaning. Hubbard constantly plays with concepts that an ordinary person will be confused by, and what the ordinary person will easily understand and in these easily understandable parts, he then gently pads our backs to ease our worries.

L.RonHubbard

 

 

II: An authoritarian language.

As William S. Burroughs writes about his invented professor, Professor Wilson Smith, he does it in a very scientific and authoritarian way. He uses this authoritarian language as a tool to create confusion and chaos, so his own radical and confusing statements have a chance of being seemingly logical. He writes:

 

“The word has not been recognized as a virus because it has achieved a state of stable symbiosis with the host, though this symbiotic relationship is now breaking down, for reasons I will suggest later. I quote from Mechanisms of Virus Infection, edited by Mr. Wilson Smith: “Viruses are obligatory cellular parasites and are thus wholly dependent upon the integrity of the cellular systems, they parasitize for their survival in an active state. It is something of a paradox that many viruses ultimately destroy the cells in which they are living.”

 

After Burroughs has claimed that The word has not been recognized as a virus he then quickly makes a shift to Professor Wilson Smith, making it seem like it is exactly this that Wilson Smith argues for, although Wilson Smith is not. But when Burroughs then quickly again reassures the reader that the spoken word as we know it came after the written word due to a virus infection, which also is a highly speculative statement, Borough is then again putting this idea of the word as a virus into our minds, and it is only made possible by the use of an authoritarian language.

We see that Burroughs is using language like it is an actor in a hidden camera show. Like a scene where an actor is dressed up as a police officer on a train station, ordering passengers to get out of the train, only to be left on the station, tricked by what they thought was the law. This is just as I have done by manipulation all of Burroughs’ statements for my own agenda.

 

III: Take Advantage. 

But what I in generally would like to propose is this: Let everyone take advantage of these techniques to create a more chaotic environment, were illogical facts can sprout in the chaos of all other illogical facts. But to make this environment to perfection, there are other techniques we need to acquire. Luckily every technique can be learned for this purpose since much of it already has been produced for us to observe.

 

fcec6bfd258dc344b5b5b553975743bd

Mads B Sørensen: Text from the essay collection “Language and Technique”

NU- A N C – ES OF NO.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

giphy 2

 

The book design has a strange appeal;

boring Facebook blue and random pages in between. Unsettling uppercase letters of split up words all over one page, very prose looking straight aligned text on the other. A woman holding a picture of another woman lying naked under a zebra. Low resolution smiley face.

 

Nuances_of_no_5Nuances_of_no_4

 

Hanne Lippard graduated Rietveld as a graphic designer, but then carried her words from printed matter to sound files and live performance. ‘Nuances of No’ is her book, a collection of written work released in 2013. In making the book, she designs her own content, which allows her to create a similar voice to her sound work.

Visual information like spaces provoke silences in the readers head voice.

By the placement of the words on the page in relation to each other, or switching or removing letters and making slip of the tongues, she also plays with language, takes attention to sounds and stretches their meanings.

(variations)
[audio:http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/variations.mp3|titles=variations]

As your eye is guided through the page, text sounds like poetry.

(every word)
[audio:http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/every-woord.mp3|titles=every word]

The design of the word becomes the form of her voice.

In her spoken works she has a monotone, articulate, clean and soft tone which is robotic yet sounds as if it could be coming from somewhere inside your head.
This similar feeling is present in the book as well, this time through the colour of Facebook; trustworthy, artificial and sort of anonymous. Some pages in between have pixelated smiley faces and click button images taking the reader into a virtual world context, which adds to the atmosphere she creates.

(underscore)
[audio:http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/underscore.mp3|titles=underscore]

The design of Hanna Lippard [x] serves to vocalize her written thought in ‘nuances of no’; making the words surround the reader in the mind.

(echo)
[audio:http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/echo-she-wants.mp3|titles=echo]

One or two voices.

(goodbye)
[audio:http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/end-goodbyee.mp3|titles=goodbye]

 

*soundfiles are readings from the book in my voice. only (echo) is my words in my voice.

 

 

Nuances of no. /Rietveld library catalogue no : lippa 1

Programming language as a System of Thought


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

by Medeina Musteikyte

From a conventional viewpoint programming is a process of command execution that brings about a certain result; a problem-solving tool to produce a desired outcome. Aside from its practical usage, coding is expanding to a different sphere of interpretation where new meanings gained, outgrow its primary function.
My essay examines the role of non-function oriented programming, the artistic value of the concepts behind works of code and experimental programming languages. An overview of examples from Algorithmic Auction to ‘Esolangs’ — Esoteric Programming Languages is questioning the boundaries between programming and artistic practice and exploring the creative potential of such method.

bodyfuck – undo from nik hanselmann on Vimeo.

 

A work of code can acquire different forms and exist as an object, text or music piece gaining new definitions and material qualities.
[audio:http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/castleman_css_descramble-.mp3|titles=castleman_css_descramble] Likewise conceptual programming languages can be perceived and interpreted by their instructions alone, without executing a command or using a computer. Designed for experience of thinking through them, esolangs unfold the confrontation of computer logic and human thinking in the most rational or the most absurd processes [x].

Sound file: castleman_css_descramble

 

pdf-scan_cover [click on image] to download thesis by Medeina Musteikyte

all rights to this thesis are property of the author © 2016 : http://medeina.xyz/

 
 

Approaching the Archive


Sunday, December 11, 2016

‘Approaching the Archive’ begins from a coincidence that becomes an unexpected point of access to the archive and book collection of artist, writer, editor and graphic designer Will Holder, in the context of his exhibition ‘Sorry! NO we don’t do REQUESTS’ at Kunstverein in Amsterdam.

The essay deals with the successful as well as the unsuccessful attempts at trying to grasp a lot of material in a little space, and the systems that one makes up in order to organize and process content through. Moreover, it is an essay about books and the stories and associations they convey, as well as it is about the finding of an unexpected relationship between ‘typography’ and ‘topography’.

Will Holder click on the image to download the pdf

WHERE DID YOU HIDE THE GUN?


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

text by Celina Yavelow

 

Guilty_Screen Shot

She changes this thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and she changes this other thing in the house to annoy the other, and the other is annoyed and changes it back, and then she tells all this the way it happens to some others and they think it is funny, but the other hears it and does not think it is funny, but can’t change it back.

The Other, by Lydia Davis

 

Loaded Language

 

The fact that language can change a state being is pretty much wow to me. Say the word and there’s a chance something will change: your insides start hurting (“Cunt”), you’re suddenly single again (“I’m breaking up with you”), or forced into a guilty state (“You’re under arrest”). The load in this kind of language is taken literally here, considering the body not only as the agent for speech, but also as physically subject to the force and effect of loaded language — realizing you can actually do things with words, and realizing also, that its authority can be both threatening and empowering.

Complex_Screen Shot

This thesis is titled Where did you hide the gun? because it’s a famous example of a question deliberately loaded by its formulation. It does not ask if there is a gun, but ensues there is, and where did you hide it? According to the question you’re already guilty of the shot — regardless (“POW POW!”). I’ve connected this mechanism to a term in language philosophy and theater studies called performative speech utterance, which is quite a tough shoe to chew, so my theoretical framing is constantly interrupted by metaphoric associations and a fictional narrative, offering a melodramatic illustration of the concepts employed.

And_Screen Shot

Meanwhile, I became completely hooked to the thought that language can be so directive, that we are so easily affected, seduced or tricked by it. I continued my research in a sound piece called Hi, Mary, which was set out to be a subjective audio tour of a small part of the GRA graduation show of 2015, but was mostly exploring this reflex in our body to surrender to a voice and its language. Listen to it here!
Sound file: Hi-Mary

[audio:http://designblog.rietveldacademie.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Hi-Mary_Celina-Yavelow.mp3|titles=perfect fifth]

650-Celina_Yavelow_LS_05_low_res audiotour at Rietveld graduation show

 

the thesis
The subject –loaded language– is in itself interesting. But what makes the thesis original and engaging is the way in which she approaches the subject - a mix of various types of material (film, language philosophy, literature, current events, memories) and registers (short story, academic prose, interview, collaged/found text), all capably, impressively intertwined. Yavelow presents the reader with both basic and not-so-basic linguistic concepts, each of which she proceeds to explore through various perspectives.
The writing process is thus integral to the subject matter. The bluntness of certain images (for example guns) and juxtapositions (for example romance with guilt) is largely offset by the assured writing style. A range of literary devices are used to good effect: repetition, sentence fragments, double meanings, omission of conjunctions. An enjoyable, kaleidoscopic read.
[text by Louis Luthï]

Screen shot 2016-05-15 at 3.23.50 PM download this thesis by Celina Yavelow

 

Hardly readable – A graphic translation, the sound as a last abstraction


Sunday, February 21, 2016