for mr omulecki
imitations of life • mike hoolboom
wind riding over/cloud shadow-painting
“I MUST FORGET EVERYTHING in order to finish this work, you have to get yourself in harness, no enmeshed, once you get involved in a writing project a writing diktat, there is no going back, or everything will be ruined, isn’t that right, maybe it’s getting your claw hooked into the robe of language, you attach yourself, you get snared, you get snagged in language in the MATERIAL in the TEXTURE, etc., and in the same way language seems to get hooked, attached, it hooks its claws into us the moment we acquiesce, so, we lead we guide each other, in equal measure …”
–Friederike Mayröcker, brütt, or The Sighing Gardens
Len Lye - Free Radicals (1958)
Len Lye stated that he approached every film project trying to do ‘something not previously done in film technique’; with a focus on physical sensation and non-rational experience he strove to create a new language of the medium. His sense of movement was always kinaesthetic and physical. He was not interested in moving objects or in visual patterns, but in what he called ‘pure figures of motion’.
Free Radicals (1958) and Particles in Space (1966) are maybe the films in which he comes closest to this idea. In making them Lye reduced the medium to its most basic elements, scratching marks onto the black film using a variety of scribers ranging from dental tools to an ancient Native American arrowhead. In Free Radicals the result is a dancing pattern of flashing lines and zigzags, creating equal associations to microscopic movements and gigantic lightning bolts in the night sky. Synchronised with the sounds of rhythmic drumming and singing by the African Bagirmi tribe, these pure figures of motion become hypnotic. [+]
Helen Friel’s “Here’s Looking at Euclid”
Mathematics is like art; you either understand the concepts (i.e., you ‘get it’), or you become completely lost when coming into contact with them. Some people are able to understand both complex theories and expressions in art, and equations that, for some people, look like a bag of numbers and symbols exploded onto a piece of paper. In 1847, Oliver Byrne, a civil engineer and author, published a book called “Euclid’s Elements” which used coloured graphic explanations of each geometric principle. The style of graphics is similar to that of the Bauhaus and De Stijl movements, but since the book predates each, it could very well have been an inspiration for the creativity of the modernists.
Fast forward to the present, and a new rebirth of this book’s mathematical illustrations is inspiring paper engineer and illustrator Helen Friel to create three-dimensional sculpture replicas of the exact graphics in the book. The artists’ series, entitled “Here’s Looking at Euclid” (2012) uses the instructions found in Byrne’s book to create tangible mathematical theorems in the palm of your hand. Sure, it is a cool sculpture all on its own, but it is also an amazing tool to help teach people these theorems, especially those who are more visual learners and have difficulty concentrating on a page full of numbers.
If you would like to make one of these sculptures yourself, you can download and make your very own paper model of Pythagoras’ Theorem here.
Keith had found a new way to head bang to his favourite bands. (where’s your head at)
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