Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category
Posted in Architectural Photography, Architecture, architecture, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Cures for the Nothing, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, History of Architecture, Photography, photography, tagged abandoned grain elevators, Buffalo, ghosts, lost america, rugged beauty, ruin, the steel towns on April 19, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Writing, Photography, Digital Collage, Spontaneous Constructs, Quotes, F R A G M E N T S, Design, Experiments, Architecture, School Work, art, Collage, History of Architecture, Digital Manipulation, Theory and Criticism, Research, Featured Architects, Architectural Photography, tagged Rumi, collage, Photography, Architecture, dream, deconstructionist, jim kazanjian on February 4, 2013 | 1 Comment »
You have to keep breaking your heart
until it opens.
Without the use of a camera Portland-based artist Jim Kazanjian sifts through a library of some 25,000 images from which he carefully selects the perfect elements to digitally assemble mysterious buildings born from the mind of an architect gone mad. While the architectural and organic pieces seem wildly random and out of place, Kazanjian brings just enough cohesion to each structure to suggest a fictional purpose or story that begs to be told.
Reblogged from here.
Posted in art, art,poetry,writing, Featured Artists, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Writing, writing, tagged cancun, cruel winter, featured artist, jason de caires taylor, Photography, poem, Poetry, underwater sculpture on January 24, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
‘We should be so anchored in that stillness of the ocean,
so much so that waves do not bother us.’
‘Avoid the bridge, he says.
We need all the poets.’
One last brilliant morning, and watch,
I become seagull.
Has poetry ever brought back a lover
except in dreams
Has it ever changed one heart
Have words ever mended
That is a job for Time.
My poems are songs for no-one, you see.
I sing them on a street corner
For the wind, for the rare passerby
There is no hat on the pavement,
You can keep your change.
Respectability will not keep you warm at night.
All these books, my house is made of them,
their wondrous stories
they are but paper and weight in the dark.
The sun kisses me and I fall asleep
in a room bathed in golden light
the sunsets are getting longer these days
- look at this cloudless sky, the heat of summer in January,
how can one not be happy?
That is not what I came for.
There are constellations on my skin
You will never see
Here is Ursa Major,
Yours was the final, absolute silence
Of deep space -
I was tethered
Night stars are beautiful to look at
But, oh, they cannot warm you
Diamonds are heartless
In the dark,
He speaks a tongue I do not understand.
During the day he absolves me.
When Life gives, take.
She is a miserly landlady, sometimes
And this is not a kind Winter.
When the thick walls of the city are besieged,
they absorb the injury of cannons,
fiery arrows, climbing soldiers.
To a point.
A fortress, like a ship, like a dam,
is still made by human hands.
Lo, the smallest breach and the tiniest rivulet
Bring down civilizations.
San Diego, January 2013
Posted in Architectural Photography, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Digital Manipulation, Music, NaBloPoMo, Photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged digital manipulation, Gillian Welch, Jenna Ann MacGillis, performance art, Photography, Poetry, san diego space for art, the desperate characters of Mercer county, the way it will be, throw me a rope on November 10, 2012 | 3 Comments »
The set above was designed by Jenna Ann Mac Gillis for the performance
‘The Desperate Characters of Mercer County’ which took place at San Diego Space for Art on November 10, 2012. Read all the lurid details of this Americana story here.
I can feel poetry
rise out of silence
like an undeniable tide,
a Polaroid floats to the surface.
The words appear
Oh honey, just take out your lighter,
they are written in lemon juice
Loving you was like
carrying a cardboard suitcase
in the rain
In the absence of
I collect mugs by my bedside
Ride in empty buses
-straw bale leggings-
and always get to the theather
after the movie ended
I walk among the Saturday night revelers huddled around a screen
-the miniskirts march in lockstep
It’s date night in San Diego
a cold one too
knights in shirt sleeves have donated their coats
and presents are opened inside cars.
I steal glances and compose poems
that don’t help anyone tonight.
The lines start to sound
like a Gillian Welch song.
If you have a mind like a diamond,
expect it to cut.
I was in love with the dream of you
And now I am shackled to a ghost.
Some kinds of pain never die;
they can only ease a little,
and not every day.
Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven,
Pour, cupbearer, the wine of the invisible,
The name and sign of what has no sign.
Pour it abundantly.
It is you who enrich the soul–
Make the soul drunk and give it wings.
Come again always, rich one,
and teach all our cupbearers their sacred art.
Be a spring jetting from a heart of stone;
Break the pitcher of soul and body–
Make joyful all lovers of wine.
Ferment a restlessness in the heart
of the one who thinks only of bread–
Bread is a mason of the body’s prison;
Wine, a rain for the garden of the soul.
I’ve tied the ends of the earth together.
Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven
Close those eyes that see only faults
Contemplate those that only see the invisible
so no mosques or temples or idols remain
Posted in art, Film, Habana Diaries, Photography, Poetry, Thought in the Alley, Writing, tagged Habana, Havana, Movie, night, Poetry, rain, Strangers (2007), street on April 25, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The Arms That Wouldn’t Let Me Go
On this sweet, rainy evening
My thoughts run to you
Like water towards the ocean
In the city’s gutters and roofs
Towards countless drainstorms
Powerless in the face
Of a calculated incline.
It is a sweet rain that is falling tonight
It wears your scent of promises
It is music, it sings of gentle breezes through wooden wind charms,
Of a veranda in the Caribbeans.
A scattering of drops
Like miniscule sand pebbles on my books
As I wait.
O Night, your silence descends upon me like a mantle
It calms me
I could write lines like an ode to your burning eyes
Your long, long lashes that caught my tears
Brushed away listless years
And changed me.
Tonight I don’t see the bus stop in front of me
Or the muted lights of cars
I see you waiting for me on that street
The staircase that separated me from bliss
[I met my two loves on the steps of Italian cathedrals,
they gave me their blessings]
I know you are there
And when you see me, your eyes smile stars,
twinkling benign in the skies between us.
If the world ended in two days,
I would have felt safe
Your broad shoulders would have protected me
From all the walls and crumbling houses of the City.
Sleep, days, a thin membrane
Before and after us
A tender gauze between dusk and your sunset skin.
We stole nights
Like compassionate thieves
Time measured in kisses
A perfect, impossible life
Soft like the sound of a far-away gramophone
Or a clavichord in Vienna
(Will you come with me to cobbled alley-ed Vienna?)
I am home now
The lanes are deserted and streetlights have relinquished
their daytime tyranny
The night is wide with the tabac scent
Of water falling on hot concrete and asphalt
It is a summer night somewhen, somewhere else.
I am home now
The house is still
And bathed in red solitude
I need to stop writing
And conjure up what I’ll be wearing tomorrow
I need to stop thinking
That I could die happy tonight.
San Diego, April 25, 2012
Posted in ArchistDesign | Studio, Architectural Photography, Architecture, Art Show, art,poetry,writing, Books, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Habana Diaries, History of Architecture, Le flâneur, Lectures, Music, Photography, photography, Quotes, Reading, Research, School Work, Traveling, tagged Alejo Carpentier, Architectural Styles, Architecture, Centro Habana, city of colums, cuba, Cuban eclecticism, El Malecon, Federico Lorca, graham greene, Habana, Habana Vieja, Havana, havana as a rose, images, La Habana, literary quotes, Lost CIty, photographs, Photography, Quotes, ruins, urban design, Vedado on April 20, 2012 | 1 Comment »
‘Habana is very much like a rose,’ said Fico Fellove in the movie The Lost City,
‘it has petals and it has thorns…so it depends on how you grab it.
But in the end it always grabs you.’
“One of the most beautiful cities in the world. You see it with your heart.”
Enrique Nunez Del Valle, Paladar Owner
Habana’s real essence is so difficult to pin down. Plenty of writers have had a try, though; Cuban intellectual Alejo Carpentier nicknamed Habana the ‘city of columns,’ Federico Llorca declared that he had spent the best days of his life there and Graham Greene concluded that Habana was a city where ‘anything was possible.’
Habana is, without doubt, one of the most attractive and architecturally diverse cities in the world. Shaped by a colorful colonial history and embellished by myriad foreign influences from as far afield as Italy and Morocco, the Cuban capital gracefully combines Mudéjar, baroque, neoclassical, art nouveau, art deco and modernist architectural styles into a visually striking whole.
But it’s not all sweeping vistas and tree-lined boulevards. Habana doesn’t have the architectural uniformity of Paris or the instant knock-out appeal of Rome. Indeed, two decades of economic austerity has meant many of the city’s finest buildings have been left to festering an advanced state of dilapidation. Furthermore, attempting to classify Habana’s houses,palaces, churches and forts as a single architectural entity is extremely difficult.
Cuban building – rather like its music – is unusually diverse. Blending Spanish colonial with French belle epoque, and Italian Renaissance with Gaudi-esque art nouveau, the over-riding picture is often one of eclecticism run wild.
Posted in ArchistDesign | Studio, Architectural Photography, Architecture, architecture, art,poetry,writing, Competitions and Collaborations, Design, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Photography, photography, Portfolio of Work, San Diego, tagged archisdesign studio, ArchitDesign Studio, Architectural Concepts, architectural photographer san diego, architectural photography, Architecture, architecture project, interior design, interior photography, Margit Whitlock Espinosa, Photography, San Diego Architecture firm, san diego designer, san diego interior architecture firm, san diego interior design on February 22, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Apparently this is my year. The year of the Water Dragon.
I am happy to say, I am finally completing my architecture website.
This other digital studio has been on the back burner for about a year , but it looks like 2012 is the antithesis of procrastination.
A year that quickens…like a strong sun that vanquishes the fog.
I have added some photography work for my friend and mentor Margit Whitlock at Architectural Concepts. Photographing these well-executed design projects was a joy.
Still few portfolio items to add to the site (and three new projects on the boards!)
Will keep posting updates as they happen, and hope to finish in few weeks.
Posted in Architecture, art, Books, Drawing, Photography, Poetry, San Francisco Diaries, sketchbook, sketching, Traveling, Writing, tagged berkeley sign, Drawing, Photography, san francisco, sketches on February 19, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Posted in Architecture, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Artuesdays, Competitions and Collaborations, Digital Manipulation, Experiments, History of Architecture, Photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged fotografia., Inverno, Photography, Venezia., venice, winter on January 3, 2012 | 3 Comments »
In the winter, Venice is like an abandoned theatre. The play is finished, but the echoes remain.
To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.
There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.
It is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.
I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand.
A train-ride takes you from Milano to Venice..whose real name is Venezia, the Most Serene city and splendid, golden Republic. On the train you think about Byron, his letters written on trains, his Venetian Countess.
Through frozen fields and dormant earth, through fog and long-gone rice paddies , you deboard to the Sublime.
At dusk the lights from bars and cafes shimmer on the dark waters, and you start thinking in cliches, such as temporarily inhabiting an Impressionist painting.
Yet the feeling is fresh and true: each visit to this surrealists’ dream had its poignant moment of suspension of disbelief.
Each time the city grabs you and takes you away with her.
Here’s a taste of today’s acts of flanerie in La Serenissima.
Posted in art, art,poetry,writing, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Painting, Photography, photography, Quotes, Spontaneous Constructs, tagged art, art palette, brush, painting, Photography, Poetry, Quote, rag, Van Gogh on December 24, 2011 | 2 Comments »
“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”
Vincent van Gogh
Think in images, not sentences anymore
or better, fill yourself with food-sounds
against hollow silences.
Colours are a kind of music
and music pours a red-yellow wine here.
Sit like a cat in the Sun,
this warm December Sun that heals
this warm December Sun that lights
all dusty corners of the soul
My California, My South,
My brilliant blessing, I thank you.
Year, rush to an end.
Is it Spring when the birdlets leave the gilded cage?
Open all doors.
Is it Spring when the starlings return from Southern latitudes?
Then burst open shutters and windows
They never do close here.
In the photograph, the hand is like a wing that shelters
It is always there,
in the heart-home
that has no doors
Posted in Architecture, architecture, Articles & Essays, Collage, Cures for the Nothing, Design, Digital Collage, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Experiments, F R A G M E N T S, History of Architecture, Lectures, Photography, photography, Quotes, Reading, Research, San Diego, Spontaneous Constructs, Theory and Criticism, Writing, writing, tagged bridges, collage, context, deconstructivist approach, Deconstructivist architecture, defamiliarization., familiar, mark wigley, photomontage, reading on a bridge on November 26, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
” In recent years , the modern understanding of social responsibility as functional program has been superseded by a concern for context. But contextualism has been used as an excuse for mediocrity, for a dumb servility within the familiar. Since deconstructivist architecture seeks the unfamiliar within the familiar, it displaces the context rather than acquiesce to it. What makes it disturbing is the way deconstructivist architecture finds the unfamiliar already hidden within the familiar context. By its intervention, elements of the context become defamiliarized. In one project, towers are turned over on their sides, while in others, bridges are tilted up to become towers.”
Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrong doing
There is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
مولانا جلال الدين محمد بلخى
I am sorry
For my jumbled mess of thoughts
my ash offerings
I am sorry
for my sterile hips
for burning like a fallow candle
for not fathoming your fullness
(I salute it now).
Penelope undoes at night
her morning’s narrative.
It changes with each day:
two steps forward and one back
is not a step forward.
In fact, it is very much like
marching in place
while wearing a hair shirt.
I am sorry for my darkness
For wanting to hurt you with dandelions
for standing by a ripped promise
like a stubborn stone.
I write because
I have to.
If necessary, I can beg for a pen and paper
to hold again my favorite barbed wire.
(Sylvia Plath tell me again
how much fun it is
to write a poem).
I move my arms to caress
the petals of a giant sunflower
In my raw silence,
my shard-sharp mind, my heart-awareness
forgetfulness is that one wine
I cannot purchase:
The door was ajar
yet I chose not to enter.
“Forgive my thoughts,
for they bloom at night
banished by light”.
San Diego, November 2011.
Posted in Photography, Poetry, tagged Beyond right and wrong, dark night of the soul, Giovanni della Croce, Le Marais, Paris, Photograph, Poetry, Rumi, St.John Of the Cross, Sufi and Christian Mystics on November 8, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
The Dark Night of the Soul
St John Of the Cross
On a dark night,
Kindled in love with yearnings–oh, happy chance!–
I went forth without being observed,
My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised–oh, happy
In darkness and in concealment,
My house being now at rest.
In the happy night,
In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught,
Without light or guide, save that which burned in my
This light guided me
More surely than the light of noonday
To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me–
A place where none appeared.
Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!
Upon my flowery breast,
Kept wholly for himself alone,
There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him,
And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.
The breeze blew from the turret
As I parted his locks;
With his gentle hand he wounded my neck
And caused all my senses to be suspended.
I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.
Balzac called the boulevards of Paris what the Grand Canal was to Venice,
saying that whoever stepped onto them was lost to their charm:
“on y boit des idees.’ (here people drink in ideas).
Edmund White, The Flaneur
” If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man,
then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you,
for Paris is a moveable feast.”
Posted in art,poetry,writing, Photography, tagged art, Cloudy, Drama, gilded statues, Gold, imperial, overcast, Parigi, Paris, Sculpture, Statue, Storm, Temporale, Tenebre on November 2, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in art, art,poetry,writing, Books, Photography, photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged art, fog, Huda Ablan, marine layer, Photograph, poem, Poetry, poetry and photgraphy, Strangers, the poetry of arab women on October 30, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
by Huda Ablan
No one belongs to the path
except a pocket
stuffed with the leaves of the night.
It keeps steps in stock
from a shop at the crossroads of the will,
patched with the skin of an old dream.
it invites them to a dance
with few feet and much madness.
it devours their warm, ripe whispers.
it drinks their cries washed with holy water.
it forsakes its lenght and shrinks
to a remote corner of the heart
leafing through pictures of those
who have passed away
ensnaring with their song…
It will cast glances,
No one belongs to the rose
except its melting
in the hand of a sad lover
who plucks it from slumber
and plants it in the vase of a tear
overflowing with pain.
He teaches how love sings
and how to breathe the secret
hiding behind the eyes
so it may reveal itself
No one belongs to the heart.
Immersed in opening its chambers–
Shut tight with red forgetfulness–
It stirs the beats of a love
over which a curtain has been drawn
for a thousand nights,
and shakes a cup of blood
freezing as it faces circulation.
stabs the rug of a wound
made ready for crying
There is no one in the house
is dozing cracks obscure
the rounded journey of a small sun.
In the enclosure of the spirit
its walls bend in the face
of blows from the winds.
Its warmth ages and shrinks
in the coldness of waiting.
With the eyes of the absent
it soaks up warm places that flow
at the very edge of the passage
and melts in the shudder
of an endless beckoning.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted in art, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Featured Artists, Film, Paris Diaries, Photography, photography, tagged Dianna Ippolito, Movie, Movie poster, Parapluies de Cherbourg, photographer, The umbrellas of Cherbourg, umbrellas on October 26, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Architecture, art, Collage, Digital Collage, Paris Diaries, Photography, Writing, tagged collage, Digital Collage, fans, la rose de versailles, marie antoinette, Paris, Photography, rose, slate roofs on October 25, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
To walk in Paris is to behold, and be part of, a living and continuously changing painting.
“Inside a lover’s heart there’s another world, and yet another.”
rests on no foundation.
It is an endless ocean,
with no beginning or end.
a suspended ocean,
riding on a cushion of
All souls have drowned in it,
and now dwell there.
One drop of that ocean is
and the rest is
Posted in Architecture, architecture, art,poetry,writing, Cures for the Nothing, Photography, photography, Poetry, Writing, writing, tagged 2011, bankers hill, blackout, caffe' letterario, city, espresso, Hillcrest, iniziative letterarie, José Luis González, La Noche que Volvimos a Ser Gente, people, Photography, Poetry, san diego, september 8, The Night We Became People Again, urban moments, Walking on September 11, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
It has been ten long days since my last post, ten days of travels, of letters written and not sent, of (re) search.
In the middle of it all, I experienced the ‘biggest blackout in the history of San Diego county’. Thursday, September 8th, 2011, power went off for millions of people in Southern California, Baja California and Arizona. No ATM’s , shuttered stores, nowhere to buy food or water in a world where, when the machines stop, the city stops. The blackout lasted for almost nine hours, from 3.30 Pm till just before Midnight, and it was all it took to plunge my two neighborhoods in an atmosphere that was at times apocalyptic, at others, surreal, magical, “european”. Beyond the novelty, even excitement, felt by some there were people trapped in high-rise elevators, in trolley cars over canyons, in mid-rise buildings without water. It was a time where everything stopped and a battery radio and candles (my only emergency preparedness) help whiled away the hours. It was a movie. And a dream.
Before I share what I have been working on in the past few days, here is my dispatch from the Blackout and some urban moments caught on camera.
PS: From http://www.nakedtranslations.com/en/2004/entre-chien-et-loup nakedtranslations.com:
Entre chien et loup is a multi-layered expression. It is used to describe a specific time of day, just before night, when the light is so dim you can’t distinguish a dog from a wolf. However, it’s not all about levels of light. It also expresses that limit between the familiar, the comfortable versus the unknown and the dangerous (or between the domestic and the wild). It is an uncertain threshold between hope and fear.
The night we saw the stars.
Full moon, venus, motherlight.
Flaws and flames
It is so quiet
we can hear ourselves
If the end of the world comes
I want you to know
We are fine.
Read ”La Noche que Volvimos a Ser Gente”or “The Night We Became People Again” by José Luis González, a short story on the big blackout in New York City.
If you are left with a battery powered CD player when the world ends- and speak italian- you could do worse than listen to Caffe’ Letterario.
Posted in Architecture, art, Collage, Digital Collage, Photography, Poetry, school, School Work, Writing, tagged architectural narratives, ballerina, Casablanca quote, cityline, Digital Collage, ink drawing, leopold lambert, poem, Poetry, RIetta Wallenda, suspended at 300 feet with no harness, the funambulist, tightrope dances, tightrope walker, woman on September 1, 2011 | 1 Comment »
To Rietta Wallenda
Tightrope acrobats dance above safety nets
Nerves taut like violin chords
Pulsing on neck, tendons stiff.
The fisherman spreads his father’s nets
Repaired a thousand times, damaged again
He sews his wounds on the beach
Fastens the corks
The old man with the young eyes
who listens to Mina and
–faraway look toward his sea,
a cigarillo in his mouth–
dreams of America.
Or, once a young girl
with a butterfly net
out to catch impossible sprites on hilly fields
On the outskirts of the city.
You don’t know where I have been
and what I have seen.
The spider crochets his architecture
His gothic cathedrals
With divine geometry
With infinite patience
Behind the mirror.
Addendum September 5, 2011:
A search on the term ‘funambulist’ and inquiries about Moussavi’s “Function of Ornament” led me to find an incredible blog and post:
The editor is a fellow ‘literary architect’ interested in theory, film, art, books.
Won’t you join me down the rabbit hole of Borgesian architecture for a read of ‘Aleph’?
This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Posted in Architecture, architecture, art, Art Show, Berkeley Diaries, Competitions and Collaborations, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Experiments, Le flâneur, Photography, photography, Portfolio of Work, Spontaneous Constructs, Thought in the Alley, tagged city imagery., COmpetition, flaneur, international photography, one life international photography competition, Photograph, Photography, photography competition, trip around the world, Urban art on August 19, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
I decided to participate ( characteristically last-minute) to ONE LIFE, an international photography competition, in the ‘City Imagery’ category.
Click here (or on the image above) to see the entry at a higher resolution and, if you like what you see, vote and share my photograph.
The prize is $10,000 or a trip around the world. Guess what I would pick.
Posted in Architecture, architecture, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Photography, tagged Central Park, greeks, lumix camera, Mad Men, Manhattan, new york, Photograph, topos, Utopia on August 12, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in art, art,poetry,writing, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Drawing, Ink, Photography, tagged Drawing, les demoiselles d'avignon, moma, museum of modern art, new york, new york city, New York Diaries, Photography, Picasso, sketch, subway on June 23, 2011 | 1 Comment »
Presently and present in New York City.
Conference sessions, museums, walking walking walking. Design, Architecture, Art.
The energy of the City. Ideas like kites move slower than the city moves. Slower than pedestrians at a busy intersection, slower than subway trains with their human cargoes.
A musical: Death Takes a Vacation.
Absorbing and consuming the city, which becomes a commodity. Getting lost in the city, a bus to New Jersey, a ride to the Bronx.
Will post few dispatches, I have been absent with no written excuses.
My fabric city map is almost done, it took almost a month. I have the utmost respect for seamstresses.
Until next time, with a summer-light heart, looking forward to sharing more experiments.
Posted in art, art,poetry,writing, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Photography, tagged breathtaking photography, frans lanting photography, june issue, morning sun, Namibia, national geographic, Photography, Travelling on May 27, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
…but a photo taken in Namibia by Frans Lanting for a story in National Geographic’s June issue.
Lanting explains how he did it in a Nat Geo Q&A:
It was made at dawn when the warm light of the morning sun was illuminating a huge red sand dune dotted with white grasses while the white floor of the clay pan was still in shade. It looks blue because it reflects the color of the sky above. … The perfect moment came when the sun reached all the way down to the bottom of the sand dune just before it reached the desert floor. I used a long telephoto lens and stopped it all the way down to compress the perspective.
What a breathtaking world we live in.
Time to travel again.
Posted in Architecture, architecture, art,poetry,writing, Artuesdays, Book Reviews, Books, Collage, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Collage, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Digital Manipulation, Featured Artists, Photography, photography, Writing, tagged Arab cities, Cities of Salt, City of Salt, Digital Collage, escapism, fable, fantasy, favorite books, fiction, Invisible cities, Italo Calvino, Miniature cities, nicholas kahn, orientalism, Photography, photography spread, prose, reverie, richard selesnick, tales on May 24, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
“Here is a splendid volume from the Terry Gillam school of fictional photography… The book comes in a sturdy slipcase and features complex landscapes, painstakingly created, and digitally peopled by actors playing out scenes which conjure up a mystical Middle Eastern civilisation. Enigmatic, but beautiful.”
“This is a beautifully structured text with an imaginative use of words and photography. This wondrous book of tales is a complex work of art that will be read throughout our generation.”
Focus: Fine Art Photography Magazine
“City of Salt… creates and documents alternate realities in miniature, accompanied by narratives inspired by Sufi tales, Italo Calvino and more.”
Michelle Wildgen –Publishers Weekly
Posted in Architecture, art, Artuesdays, Books, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Collage, Drawing, Essay, History of Architecture, Ink, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Research, school, School Work, sketching, Theory and Criticism, Writing, tagged 'spiro kostof, ability to visualize, architect: chapters in the history of the profession, architects, architecture academia, architecture curriculum, artist, balboa park san diego, communication for architects, criticism, curricula, designers, downcast eyes: the denigration of vision in twentieth-century french thought, draw it, Drawing, drawn, essay, eth switzerland, importance of literature, inchoate, ink, intellectual dialogue, literature, mandatory poetry, marc angelil, meditating, pen, Poetry, poetry humanities in architecture curriculum, powerpoint, read in the park, read outdoors, resolutions 2011, sketching, the picture is worth a thousands words syndrome, tyranny of the visual, visual people, visualization techniques, war, writing, writing for architects on March 9, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
As designers, architects, artists, we use the ability to first visualize then communicate a desired outcome. Implementation means having the courage, discipline and perseverance to bring that vision into the physical realm. I love to write, and to write lists, but this year I am doing something different with my 2011 resolutions. I am drawing them. It sems to be working. On good days, and they are abundant here in San Diego, you can find me in the park, chasing the sun and reading. An old-school physical book. The previous specifications is now necessary due to the variety of reading options we have (what is your pleasure, or rather, your poison: smartphone, kindle, ipad, TMZ on your laptop?). These are my immediate, must-finish charges:
Sketching and meditating. Two resolutions, perhaps one and the same.
Pondering on drawing, as opposed to writing, resolutions led me to think about visual vs. written and oral communication.
While drawing-or diagramming-a goal may help provide us with clues, visual or other, that help us actualize it, I don’t buy the argument that ‘visual’ people can only best communicate their intent through images. This is also known as ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ syndrome. By the same token, I refuse to accept that ‘visual’ people only understand material if it’s accompanied by images and therefore should be excused if they are poor readers or listeners. That is plain laziness. There are notions and topics in this world that cannot be boiled down to neat Powerpoints (even though, heaven knows, we have tried to even run wars through the ubiquitous slide application), but require flight of the imagination, suspension of disbelief, and the ability to follow (picture-less) complex arguments. In trying to explain critical thinking, images run the risk of appearing like obtrusive clip-arts, obfuscating rather than enlightening.
The tyranny of the visual often lets us get away with having inferior written and oral communication skills. I don’t buy the ‘visual’ doctrine (or fallacy) with my students or my architecture colleagues. Maybe it’s because I come from a linguistic lycaeum, was an English Minor, and come from Italy, but the way a person speaks or writes is more important to me, or revealing of their character, than any imagery or composition she or he can conjure up on a board. And here I need to say that, lest I behave like a whitened sepulcher, I know I have failings when trying to communicate: typos due to late night writing, listitis (I make too many lists), lectures that tend to go on a tangent and probably what is called mild A.D.D in this country (or severe A.D.D…depending on what day you ask my students;)). Lastly the fact that, no matter how many years I live here, my soul is Italian and so is the way to express myself, and we do use lot of what here are called ‘run-ons’ in writing, and perhaps even talking. We are peripatetic, scenic-route communicators.
Ok, so I am not perfect: let the flawed still admire and aim at beauty.
I ask the person I listen to to paint a convincing, even seductive picture with their words, to evoke the sense and meaning of their process. Of course exact,clear words go well with exact, clear drawings and diagrams, but seductive images without substantive explanations or clear, logical statements leave me dry. The literary arts are for the most part lost to modern architecture students, beyond the required ‘humanities’ and enticing (but seldom frequented) advanced elective courses. The result is professionals who are literate in CAD, codes, building, or even ‘architecture’, but illiterate in the sense of the global collective written word, and therefore culture. Shouldn’t the designers of shelters for the human race understand its most lyrical expressions? Shouldn’t they design for man and woman’s highest aspiration, rather than the lowest common denominator? We ask architects to create places of Beauty, places that inspire, to design poetic aedifices. Without knowing what poetry is, without at least having been exposed to it, that is an impossible feat. If architecture is the Mother of all the Arts, should it not contain them? Literature, philosophy, liberal arts, music…Where are you Muses in our curricula? We have modified –and are moving towards transforming–the academic requirements for the make-up of the future architect based on the needs (vocational at best ) of field practice, a large number made up by corporate building farms, where architecture is just a sign on the door. Of course we aim for graduates ready to enter the profession, but hopefully we are also aiming for critical thinkers, whole individuals who can inspire, not just perform. What should lead, follows. The trend can only go downward. I am talking about cad monkeys, or people who are paid ‘to draw, not think’ –I was actually told that many years ago. Call me irrational, but I call for mandatory poetry courses (mandatory poetry! an oximoron). Call me utopian, but world literature should be as much part of an architecture curriculum as world architecture. When you know, you cannot unknow. I always say that. When you are exposed to possibilities and ‘big questions’ you cannot accept passively that things are just the way they are because they have always been. Poetry and literature are democratic expressions, highly dangerous to the status quo. And therefore highly desirable.
In my quest, I ran into this book. I am collecting a body of critical readings (for myself!) and this book will definitely be included.
Posted in art, Digital Collage, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Digital Manipulation, Experiments, F R A G M E N T S, Photography, photography, Spontaneous Constructs, Uncategorized, tagged android app, digital manipulation, filter, photo illusion, Photography, red, special effects on March 6, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Architecture, art, Books, Cures for the Nothing, Design, Digital Collage, Digital Manipulation, Drawing, Featured Architects, Lectures, Museum WOWs, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, San Diego, school, School Work, sketchbook, sketching, Theory and Criticism, Writing, tagged 2011, AIAS NSAD, Allen Ghaida, Autograph, BIG, bjarke ingels, california, danish architect, Drawing, february "%, Hybrid notes, lecture notes, museum of natural history, newschool, NewSchool Arts Foundation, newschool of architecture and design, notes from the lecture, NSAD, NSAF, Review, san diego, sketches, visual notes, yes is more on February 28, 2011 | 2 Comments »
Bjarke Ingels came to speak to our school Friday night.
The venue was the Museum of Natural History in scenic Balboa Park.
I am still blown away by the lecture and, more importantly, the message.
It was truly (r)evolutionary. The fact that BIG’s insanely brilliant concepts not only get built but a) give back to the community in terms of urban interaction b) are socially and ecologically responsible and c) are giving him fame and making him a household name is galvanizing.
Expanding the collective idea of what is possible through architecture: this is the optimism we need after years of gloom, in face of all the naysayers and ‘pie-in-the-sky’ disablers. Something is blooming in the state of Denmark.
What an event. My friend Alan Rosenblum told me it would be as if ‘Lady Gaga came to San Diego’.
And. It. Was. The students loved it. Three days later, and we are all still giddy.
I could not agree more. Thank you Mr. Ingels.
You intensified the dialogue between students and educators, and showed us how the ‘crazy’ ideas that are developed in studio and propose new typologies for the city are not only possible but timely and welcome. This creates a better learning environment, where pragmatism actually means being part of the solution, not propagating the problem.
I had the same dilemma when working in traditional, corporate offices and found refuge in academia. BIG showed us that there is a third way, the ‘Bigamy’ way. You can have it all. You can be good and successful. You can be extremely famous
and not be arrogant. He spoke of pragmatic idealism, and hedonistic sustainability. He demonstrated how to create building that are fun to experience as inhabitants and city neighbors and yet are sustainable. He showed us the intellectual approach and use of hybridization of traditional typologies to achieve new functions and forms. To wit: the Garbage to Energy plant in the middle of Copenhagen, which will be the city’s tallest structure and will house a ski slope (!) and blow smoke rings each time one ton of CO2 is burned. These are usually ‘crazy’ projects that we see coming from the upper studio division, when we ask the students to ‘dream big’ (pun intended) and question the drab, anti-interactive reality of center cities such as San Diego. The students, deep inside, try to dream but are conditioned to think that projects such as the one we saw in the lecture could never be built due to various factors such as financial interests or politics of control, or even lack of relevance of our role as architects.
We have been liberated from all of this because we can now point to BIG’s projects. Here it was demonstrated that the only limits we have as architects and human beings are those self-imposed, or those we feel ‘reality’ has burdened us with. I know that as faculty we felt validated by BIG’s successes ( does it make sense?). The music and videos, the whole presentation and BIG’s infectious enthusiasm, warmth and positive energy were, in the words of a student ‘AWESOME’. Another student told me he learned a lot about diagrams from the lecture.
The lecture also was a model for engaging presentations. I have been toying with the idea, but now I am committed to use music and pop references in my History of Architecture classes; I ran the idea with few students and they were all for it. I will quote Ingels when he says that we need to ‘cease to consider the building as objects but focus on what they do for the city’ : this informs and generates a new approach to ‘sacred architectural monsters’ and teaching history of architecture (or as I like to think, architectural stories).
A big thank you to Allen Ghaida, the AIAS and all my colleagues at the NewSchool Arts Foundation for making this dream of an event a reality.
I sketched feverishly- and took down all the provocative quotes. Here are my hybrid/computer-augmented notes.
I will add all of the proper building names and location as soon as possible.
click to enlarge
…..and this was my present
Posted in Architecture, art, Artuesdays, Cures for the Nothing, Photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged Inverno, Milan, Milano, Navigli, Photography, sunset, tramonto, winter on February 1, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Before the first day of the month comes to a close…
Posted in Architecture, art, Artuesdays, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Collage, Digital Manipulation, Drawing, History of Architecture, Paper Goods, Photography, Poetry, sketchbook, sketching, Writing, tagged Bramante, card making, digital manipulation, Drawing, hand book sketchbook, Harry Seidler, horizontal sketchbook, Milano, penholder, recipe for sketching, sketches, sketching, sketching in cold weather, tea, The Grand Tour: Travelling the World with an Architect's Eye, travel sketches on January 18, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
In the monastery adjacent this church, just a few minutes’ stroll from my house, one can find Leonardo Da Vinci’s ’Last Supper’. The apse (widely attributed to Donato Bramante, and dated around 1490) is significant as it signals a crucial transition from the Late Gothic style of the nave to a splendid Northern Italian Renaissance in the apse, the choir and cupola.
MITI’S RECIPE FOR SKETCHING:
Day One: Look. (First Encounter)
Day Two: See. (Visual Analysis;walkaround…resist the urge to take photos. Training your eyes will not only lead to better sketches, better lessons learned from the Architecture itself, it will lead to–if you are so inclined–even better photography in the end. Notice, examine and mentally record -on the exterior- connections, details, rhythms, proportions, materials; on the interior: spaces, rituals, light, sequences, apertures, passages…)
Day Three: Sketch. (even quickly…by now you learned the lessons, you acquainted yourself with the building. You begin to understand.) Use the verb ‘to draw’ as in drawing water from a well, draw information (this last advice comes from Travelling the World with an Architect’s Eye)
Tips for cold-weather sketching: stop when your legs fall asleep. Wear half (I call them ‘homeless-style’) gloves to keep the hands free. Listen to warm music on your ipod. Bring a thermos or mug with hot, organic, unsweetened english breakfast tea.
for impromptu urban sketching, carry your pens with the very handy penholder by Muji (did I mention before that I love Muji?)
Posted in art,poetry,writing, Cures for the Nothing, Design, Photography, tagged Design, happy new year, interios design, michael buble', Milano, Photography, typography, vetrine, windo dressing, window dressing, wishes on January 1, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
While the first day of 2011 is coming to a close here in Milano, I think of what my mom always says: ‘What you do the first day of the year, you do all year’. I am happy to report I sketched today and fed my mind with architecture, art, and words. I also wanted to post my Milanese wishes to set the tone for this fabulous (I just know) 2011.
It was a week full of adventures here: walking in the city, enjoying aperitivi in cool lounge bars, ringing in the new year with family first and then in a club inside a deconsacrated church (can someone say adaptive reuse?). I saw two exhibits at the Palazzo Reale: Dali’ (thankyou Sara!) and, today Al-Fann l Islamic Art, the Al Sabah collection from Kuwait.
I sketched my favorite pieces, took notes (and even some clandestine photos), and have couple of ideas for near-future experiments.
For now, Happy New Year (I’m feeling good, are you?); may it be your best yet.
Posted in Architecture, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Photography, tagged el prestin del cantun, ftografia, italian bakeries, Milan, Milano, panificio, strade di milano, streets of milano, vetrine, window shopping on December 30, 2010 | 1 Comment »
Posted in Architecture, art, Artuesdays, Books, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Collage, Experiments, Photography, Poetry, Spontaneous Constructs, Writing, tagged 2010, Firenze, firenze architettura e citta', fiume in inverno, giovanni fanelli, library books, libri e citta', outdoor living room, Piazza, river in winter, world atala of architecture on December 21, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
This is my piazza, do you want to join me? We can walk inside the Battistero and talk about Islamic influences in the architecture of the Rinascimento in Firenze…or maybe just stroll about like tourists. Let’s take that via,the one on the left, do you want to come with me?
Every time I consider imaginary spaces, my mind wanders to The Forgetting Room, that magnificent book.
Should we build a forgetting room for this year (to let bitter memories flow onto Oblivion)? Or a remembering one (to extract poetry and melancholy …even, ah, wisdom…out of hardship? – the feeling of seeing a familiar river in winter). God knows I built enough altars, and burned enough. I haven’t yet learned if sadness is better than anger.
2010, what a stubborn, bittersweet, impenetrable year you were….I release you, since I could never reach you, no matter how hard I tried, or how much I mentally applied myself to understand you.
Perhaps you were never meant to be comprehended. Perhaps you were not worthy.
Posted in art, art,poetry,writing, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Manipulation, Drawing, Photography, tagged diagram, Drawing, multiplication, open culture, think better, visual math on December 20, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in art,poetry,writing, Cures for the Nothing, Experiments, Photography, photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged arab music festival 2010san francisco, magnetic word games, paper cutouts, rearanging words, word play, words as art on December 18, 2010 | Leave a Comment »