31 Images in 31 Days – Update One

Today’s word is: futuristic. Guess one will have to wait and see.
Yesterday’s word was: scary. I took a photograph of two pieces of charcoal on white heavyweight paper. Not everyone will find these two objects scary, not everyone will find the message I am sending scary. Not everyone should.
Tuesday’s word was: clever. I took a photo of my hay fever tablets.  Without them I would suffer.
Monday’s image was a small dish with ice cubes. The word was: frozen.
The first word was: empty and I took a picture of an empty birdfeeder.

What will tomorrow bring? Will I continue to shoot in black and white?
Thirty-one days and thirty-one images.
Empty: Well, every journey starts with a first step.
Frozen? In time, motion or matter? I am intrigued.
Clever? You are the judge.
Scary? Maybe. As scary as two pieces of charcoal on paper? Perhaps.
Scared yet or am I boring you?
Futuristic? Possibly. Only by looking into the past one will be able to tell whether the future was exciting or not – it becomes a waiting game. But wait, this is another project!

Today’s word is: futuristic. Guess one will have to wait and see.

The Story so far on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kurzgeschichten/sets/72157624505556195/

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August 2010

31 Pictures in 31 Days – my lates photo project

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kurzgeschichten/sets/72157624505556195/

Hippos in the New York Zoo

I am in love

Design Telling

I am a part designer, part writer and part photographer – I find myself walking through the notions of design telling. I design, I write and I take picture, all finding an outlet in telling stories through and within the fizzling boarders of Design.

I am me.
Design is.
Change is expected.
Flux is celebrated.

“Everyone is …”

People tend to fall in two categories over Joseph Beuys words “Everyone is an artist”. Of course there will be some that don’t really believe in  or agree with either side of the statement,  some that only agree  little bit and some that just couldn’t be bothered answering the questionnaire. But still one either leans towards an agreement with his words or an head-shaking-grumbling-something-about-education-and-knowldege-kind-of- approach (giving you almost the extremes here…)
So when I read those words on the back cover of a book I am trying to read for over a year now, but never really got down to it, I started thinking on which side I stand. Let’s play something:

“Everyone is an architect”

“Everyone is a writer”

“Everyone is a doctor”

“Everyone is a builder”

“Everyone is a photographer”

“Everyone is a psychologist”

“Everyone is a police officer”

“Everyone is a painter”

“Everyone is a designer”

“Everyone is a novelist”

Everyone is a goldsmith”

“Everyone is a politician”

“Everyone is a car mechanic”

“Everyone is a dentist”

“Everyone is a historian”

“Everyone is a cook”

“Everyone is a manger”

“Everyone is an athlete”

“Everyone is a teacher”

“Everyone is an engineer”

“Everyone is a baker”

“Everyone is a plumber”

“Everyone is a psychiatrist”

“Everyone is a racing driver”

“Everyone is a pilot”

“Everyone is a barrister”

“Everyone is a nurse”

“Everyone is a hairdresser”

“Everyone is an electrician”

“Everyone is a sales accountant”

“Everyone is a shepard”

“Everyone is a fine artist”

“Everyone is a lorry driver”

“Everyone is a ceramicist”

“Everyone is a beautician”

“Everyone is a secretary”

“Everyone is an urban designer”

“Everyone is an archaeologist”

“Everyone is a vet”

“Everyone is a journalist”

“Everyone is a landscape architect”

“Everyone is a captain”

“Everyone is a philosopher”

“Everyone is a fashion designer”

“Everyone is a musician”

“Everyone is a fitness instructor”

“Everyone is a life guard”

“Everyone is a dancer”

“Everyone is a florist”

“Everyone is a crime scene investigator”

“Everyone is a software developer”

“Everyone is a timber merchant”

“Everyone is a spy”

“Everyone is a zoo keeper”

“Everyone is a waitress”

“Everyone is a banker”

“Everyone is a potter”

“Everyone is a factory supervisor”

“Everyone is a security guard”

“Everyone is a lecturer”

“Everyone is a three dimensional designer”

“Everyone is a butcher”

“Everyone is a post man”

“Everyone is an agent”

“Everyone is a sculptor”

“Everyone is a prison guard”

“Everyone is an actor”

“Everyone is jokey”

“Everyone is a meteorologist”

“Everyone is a coroner”

“Everyone is a brewer”

“Everyone is a PR intern”

“Everyone is a surgeon”

“Everyone is a wood carver”

“Everyone is a publisher”

“Everyone is a scientist”

“Everyone is an illustrator”

“Everyone is a farmer”

[Hmmm, I thought so ] To be able or refer to oneself as, let’s say’ an architect, one has to fulfil certain criteria, undergo a lengthy study, be recognised and registered. So no, not everyone is an architect. Similar principles apply to becoming a doctor, scientist, pilot and police officer. So no, not everyone can be one.  Even if it all made sense I our childhood dreams and fantasies – we could be anyone just by imagining so- and don’t tell me otherwise or I tell mum / dad/ uncle /______________ (insert any primary caregiver)  – , we grew up. Or are still growing up…well, let’s just say once being faced with daily life (routine) we tend to realise that we cannot be anyone we wish to be. It starts with school and which GCSE subjects one should keep, which ones to ditch,  which A-Levels will propel the career, which university to choose, or would an apprenticeship be more appropriate, take the job offer or carry one with a research degree… the list never ends, does it?! Well, it is always possible to change once course, after all I’m not really sure when I’ ever going to use my A Level in Economics, so one doesn’t signs one’s death when choosing to open a different or new door.
Don’t get me wrong though, I have nothing against Joseph Beuys or his work, on the contrary! I even considered studying for an MA in Social Sculpture, a postgraduate course which is informed by refection on the social sculpture ideas and work of the man himself.

“My objects are seen as stimulants for the transformation of ideas of sculpture, or of art in general. They should provoke thoughts about what sculpture an be and how the concept of sculpting can be extended to the invisible materials used by everyone:

Thinking Forms – how we mould our thoughts or

Spoken Forms – how we shape our thoughts into words or

SOCIAL SCULPTURE  how we mould and shape the world we live in: Sculpture as an evolutionary  process; everyone is an artist.

That is why the nature of my sculpture is not fixed and finished. Processes continue in most of them: chemical reactions, fermentations, colour changes, decay, drying up. Everything is in a state of change.”[i]

Flux. Instability. Fluidity. Unpredictability. Change.  Impulsiveness. Spontaneity. Suddenness. Unrest.

Context is the key concept: Take anything out of it and its meaning can change.

“Everyone is an artist” as a quote on the cover of a unrelated book “Everyone is an artist”as part of a statement by the artist
 “Everyone is a cook”“Everyone is a manger”

“Everyone is an athlete”

“Everyone is a teacher”

“Everyone is an engineer”

“Everyone is a baker”

“Everyone is a plumber”

“Everyone is a psychiatrist”

 “SOCIAL SCULPTURE  how we mould and shape the world we live in: Sculpture as an evolutionary  process; everyone is an artist.”

 

I honour flux highly and my own (reflective) practise is influence by the instability of my surrounding. I’m very interested in the constant change and one’s own interactions, but personally I would not “go as far” as saying that everyone is an artist. The following quote is in German, but I shall translate and summarize loosely (if you don’t trust me, select a search engine of your preference and let it translate the words, or even better, go over to your book shelf and get the old and dusty dictionary out – will do you good):

„Jeder Mensch ist ein Träger von Fähigkeiten, ein sich selbst bestimmendes Wesen, der Souverän schlechthin in unserer Zeit. Er ist ein Künstler, ob er nun bei der Müllabfuhr ist, Krankenpfleger, Arzt, Ingenieur oder Landwirt. Da, wo er seine Fähigkeiten entfaltet, ist er Künstler. Ich sage nicht, daß dies bei der Malerei eher zur Kunst führt als beim Maschinenbau …”[ii]

Everyone is an artist. Duh! One could have guessed, but here Beuys weaves peoples professions into the mix. According to him, it doesn’t matter whether one collects bins for a living or works as a farmer , as long as one engages to one’s fullest potential in such activities.
[Hmmm….]  I am only at the very beginning of my journey through the “wonderful world of Oz”[iii] even though I have been drawing ever since I could hold a wax crayon, or a piece of red brick -creates beautiful red lines on a tarmacked or concreted ground, give it a try sometime, it is fun!  Moving on: I cannot agree with “everyone is an artist”. Without sounding like a snob or similar, I try not to, believe me, I don’t think picking up a paintbrush and oils and replicating the poppy field across the road, or attending a life drawing class makes one an artist. Some people have a fantastic talent, be it in creating two dimensional masterpieces or chiselling an updated version of Rodin’s “The Kiss” out of the most beautiful marble, but not everyone with talent is an artist. I studied art, design and culture now for several years, but I’m still taking baby steps. I will be graduating top of my class with a degree in Three Dimensional Design this year; does this make ma a designer?
If one visited my degree exhibition last month, one would have come across the following few words:

Design is not a movement;

Design is an outlook on life.

 

Design was not made, but came into being,

one cannot become a Designer,

one can only be one.

 

(After Van Doesburg, 1923)

What do you think: can anyone be an artist??

If you would like to find out what I think, drop me a line and employ me – I am currently looking ofr a position in the design environment – I’m sure we would have a blast!


[i] Harlan, V. (2007) What is Art? Joseph Beuys Forest Row: Clairview, page 9

[ii] Spiegel Online [WWW] http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/image/show.html?did=13508033&aref=image036/2006/06/13/cq-sp198402301780186.pdf&thumb=lse  [Accessed 08 July 2010]

[iii] Substitute for the world of art ,design and culture – everyone needs to listen to the voice behind the curtain from time to time, bearing in mind however the possible fraud factor

Opening doors

view my portfolio:
coroflot.com/touchingwetpaint

Paper Sizes

For all those sticky moments one finds oneself in from time to time:

 

How very true this is…

After several extremely engaging, sometimes frustrating, sometimes pleasing months, and very quick and challenging final weeks, it has come to an end. And somehow, I have seemed to miss this point in time – or am I still holding on to something that has long gone – one does wonder sometimes… occasionally more and occasionally less… Anyway, the current phase seems to fizzle out and I’m slowly moving towards a yet unknown state.
This morning, I decided to start my day with some light housework and carried a huge (let’s call it) cargo of washing down the stairs, not very designer’y one might think. Well, one might be very true here, but after the sense of accomplishment of loading the machine and pressing the specially designed button to start the thing, I can now sit in my garden and consider the finer things in life. Plus, I have just actively engaged with the world of design and can now draw upon my experiences, reflect and possibly one day re’collected this morning’s activities whilst sitting behind my drawing board. After all, in the words of Dai Fujiwara: “I sometimes feel that my process is digging, but other times it’s swimming and other times it falls from the sky.”[i] Well, I feel like hiking today.

It is now the fifth day I have been without phone service, which in today’s life, is rather a long time! And I’m almost ready for writing letter in open and ink… Not too sure how the phone company can make such huge mistakes, but apparently it wasn’t them, or something like that, and things shouldn’t have happened, that did indeed happen and blah blah blah… the end results is: I have no phone service and am very likely missing out on some massive / sad / intriguing / shocking / loving / hating / gossiping / ______________ news right about now. And now. And probably now! … Welcome to the wonderful world of design one might say! If someone hadn’t designed the mobile phone all those years ago, I would not have to be part of this consumer’y world and would probably be very happy sitting in a garden on a bench with a notebook and pen writing lovely letters to the world. But hey, someone did and probably made loads of money out of it… or didn’t…who cares, I’m in a dreadful situation right now, and all I care about at the moment is to get my life/live -line back. And yes, I am aware of how terrible this sounds, but then it is 2010 and it all feels appropriate.

Moving on. Well, to what actually?
Today has been the first day I didn’t do anything with a specific university-course-driven –motif behind it, and quite frankly, I believe I will have to re’learn the sweet’ness of doing nothing “planned or planning”, because I did struggle a bit to start with… I’m not a massive geek who just cannot wait until the next assignment or projects pours in, nor do I get over-excited with work. It’s just that I was deeply immersed in my work over the last few months; and … let’s just call it post-hand-in-empty’ness . So there I was, and still am, sitting in my garden, staring at the blue skies, wearing my most summery kit (yes, we actually have a summer in England), drinking tonnes of coffee, both hot and cold, and begin to wonder what this is all about. Big words like internship and MA studies, London and Ibiza, holidays, regattas, festivals and hay fever buzzing around in my head, and I’m getting slightly uncomfortable with the fact that an army of ants has just decided to walk across my deckchair… well as long as they don’t take me hostage I guess I’m ok, for now anyway. Even if they did, I would helpless, as my mobile is still “Searching / Limited Service”. Grrrrrr….!

What is it all about really? Time? Money? Family? Sex? Drugs? Rock’n’Roll? For the moment I think I go with a rather large bottle of water, a peach and a straw hat, but this might differ immensely in an hour, tomorrow or even in ten years. Should Design therefore predict what will happen in the future and act accordingly? Or should Design make the everyday, the here and now a more pleasant experience? Should or could Design do both or neither? Should one follow Javier Mariscal’s approach of “I want to be a rock’n’roll star.”[ii] Or exists along the lines of “I want to make bright peace world.” Nobumichi Tosa[iii]? One very current and personal question is :should Design remain in the background or be right in the front line of all the happenings?
“There are a lot of choices that as designers we can make alone, but there are also a lot of choices that that we can’t do alone.” Anthony Lebossé[iv] How very true this is…


[i]Design Indaba What can your creativity do? [WWW] http://www.designindaba.com/article/what-can-your-creativity-do [Accessed 28.06.2010]

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Ibid

The In/Visible

Sight – How much do we rely on our eyes?

Explorations into the role of vision and its potential hierarchy over our other senses, including the possibility of Braille being a three- dimensional representation of the spoken and written voice.

If we walk into a room we have been present in before, we recognise, we store, we categorise and we re/connect.
If we walk into a room we have been living in, we recognise, we store, we categorise and we re/connect.
If we walk into a room we have never been in before, we recognise, we store, we categorise and we re/connect.

I enter the room through a wooden door, after climbing a flight of stairs and see the space in front of me – grey, like a rainy day in November; the interior of the space is dark grey – just grey. After a few seconds, I can see shadows developing; I begin to find myself again. I confirm my place through my vision. Ah, yes, I can “see” where I am now, I can distinguish between objects, I can see the space between the objects – a grey galaxy filled with grey artefacts and shadows. I step further into the room and stop again to settle my experience. I have now fully arrived in “the Shadows”. Without them, the sea of grey’ness would just flood me, swallow me whole, but the grounding shadows hold each artefact, each being in its place and help me, the reader and explorer, to engage. I look down and see my own shadow on the floor. Without it, I would be absorbed – I would not be “seen” as individual being, but part of the greater grey background of existence. After co-ordinating my thoughts with my visual input, I proceed further into the room and stop at the dinner table near the windows. Almost peaceful, the table is set and is waiting for interaction. Every single object on the table top is the same grey as rest of the interior, every single surface is grey. I pick up a grey apple from the bowl. Can I be sure it is apple?
I recognise the “image” of an apple – it is round’ish, bears the signs of growing on tree, out of a flower, the weight feel about right for an apple, I would say it is an apple. Except for the fact that it is grey, and not the otherwise welcomed green’, red’ or yellow’ish appearance of an apple – even though, with the missing visual colour information, I can still assume it is an apple. I have learned that apples look like this years ago, I know how they taste, how they fell in my hand, how they grow, how they look on the insight, what happens to them if you heat them up, cook or bake them, mix them with other ingredients, I am aware of historical, religious and everyday connections– I have a working knowledge of an apple. I can draw an apple from observation as much as I could draw one form memory. However, this understanding is largely based on visual engagement – I see it, I touch it. How would the world have been, if I had explored with without vision, if I had learned to read through touch first, if I had developed a tactile exploration over my visual engagement with the world?

If I walk into a room I have been present in before, I recognise, I store, I categorise and I re/connect.
If I walk into a room I have been living in, I recognise, I store, I categorise and I re/connect.
If I walk into a room I have never been in before, I recognise, I store, I categorise and I re/connect.

I close my eyes and just feel the fruit in my hand. Still feels the same “apple’ish’ness” to me. The surface feels warm and I begin to engage with the object to a different level – I become aware of the small raised dots on the surface. I haven’t paid much attention to them before, possible due to the way I recognised categories, stored and re/connected the visual information, but now, I am aware. With both hands, I begin to “read” the object and realise that the little dots actually spell out “apple” in Braille, something that had almost gone unnoticed to me before – information in/visible.

I am a visual person, I cannot deny that. I like pictures. I like my world full of colours and moving images, I am intrigued by cameras and how they record the world, I like being able to “see” – to explore the world through my eyes. It is impossible for me to understand how the world is without vision having such a high priority in my life, I can only assume, but never fully understand – until I stop relying on my vision. However, I do believe that through all the visual noise surrounding us, it is important to close one’s eyes from time to time. The noise that surrounds us is not only acoustic or visual noise, our world is flooded with objects and their stories, our interactions and rewritten stories, our surrounding environment is over saturated with being. And even without vision, we can gain an insight into this. Should one consider Braille to be the three-dimensional representation of the written and spoken voices surrounding us?
I have recently used my Valentine typewriter to record some hi/stories. The surface of the paper becomes three-dimensional once the keys hit it. I am physically engaging with the information to be recorded, the keys become extensions of my own being, my arms, my fingers. My laptop represents a diluted version of this engagement – I am less aware of the happenings of writing, I am less involved in the making.
A result of the fast-paced life and environment in today’s world, one wonders?
I can almost make out the mark the typewriter created on the surface; I am almost able to “read” the information – almost. I recognise the letter on the paper as I have learned how they look like. Back in primary school, I have drawn each letter of the alphabet in wax crayon large scale on wallpaper rolled out on the floor, every time I trace over the round curves of the “s” or the straight and lines and harsh corners of the “k”, the letter became more and more solid, more and more recognisable, more and more me.

Should one consider Braille to be the three-dimensional representation of the written and spoken voices surrounding us?

Small round dots, universally recognisable, perfect to tell the stories of everyday happenings. Just round dots, raised from the surface they sit on, be it paper, metal, concrete or wood. Small round dots. Once learned, they offer a great vastness of informational input – they tell the world’s tales in three- dimensions, with or without a reliance on sight and visual participation.
Eternally round –  do they have a beginning? A middle? An ending?  Are they just part of a phase or phases we go through? Is it a question of beginning – middle – beginning?

They are .
Design is.  
I am.

Design is (or a year finds an end)

Design is not a movement;
Design is an outlook on life.

Design was not made, but came into being,
one cannot become a Designer,
one can only be one.

After Van Doesburg, 1923

 

Just working with my journal and came across a quote that almost sums up some of the shown attitude on my course – but bearing mind that I am saying this non-specifically! So no name calling or finger pointing, it could include anyone and no one, everything and nothing. Summing up the instability of the design world I guess. Think I may have also found the perfect ending to this year as well, and the perfect start to the next, if everything goes how I planned it, but will keep you updated on that one. Just keep your finger’s crossed for now! But before I waffle one, here’s the quote:

“Basic research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I am doing.”

Wernher von Braun, 1912-1977, Rocket scientist

Design is.