IWorking along the margins
No edge, no margins, no bounds or fencing. On the contrary: freed of all purpose are the fetters that represent what they, as a frame, otherwise protect and are supposed to intensify (ennoble). Now stripped: the nakedmaterial - skeletal, like a scaffolding - arms, legs, torsi. The frame elements can also form script (lettres) set in letters, messages, and news.
But how? What happens when an added value acts crazy because the frame (the excluding boundaries) marks the price (the apprised value)?
Taking things at their word
Doing the impossible and maintaining the limits - or breaking through limits?
Claim: The ban on images will remain unique. Once expressed, it was immediately circumvented or never radically realized.
Calligraphy, for example, is one of the most impressive forms of art, whether
in Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, or Chinese script or in the script of some other country.
The ban on images will remain unique, because the idea will never disappear again.
The materials used in the project - frames and elements of frames - will not be able to exceed the boundaries radically. Or only conceptually. Each
individual frame element is a virus that brings back the picture. Each individual element of a wall becomes an image.
Frames signals boundaries As given frame elements, they have the character of signals or signs.
In his Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Gregory Bateson takes up his daughter's questions:
Daughter: Daddy, why do things have outlines?
Father: Do they? I don't know. What sort of things do you mean?
Daughter: I mean when I draw things, why do they have outlines?
Father: Well, what about other sorts of things - a flock of sheep? or a conversation? Do they have outlines?
Daughter: Don't be silly. I can't draw a conversation. I mean things.
Father: ...Do you mean "why do we give things outlines when we draw them" or do you mean that the things have outlines whether we draw them or not?
Daughter: I don't know, Daddy. You tell me. Which do I mean?
In our context,
what is fascinating is Bateson's lack of response to his daughter's
answer that she means things and not conversation, thus excluding
signs (tones and script) without contradicting.
Working along the margins
That the signs represent something in their absence makes sense and, with adequate coding, functions quite well in proximity; but in the distance? Fire, for example, appears to be the first means by which messages were conveyed abstractly and rapidly across great distances, since by day the resulting smoke and by night the glow are visible from afar. It is thought that the Talmud is the oldest source describing a communication system based on such fire signs.
The ceremonious geographies of human limits
Since Paul Klee,
the Russian Constructivists, Henri Michaux, and American Pop Art, not
to mention the undisputably great calligraphers, who nevertheless worked
within precise limits, art has taken up signs, without purpose, and
plays with them.
Much has changed since it was discovered that the visible appears in its most striking form as soon as it moves away, gaining distance and contour.
But inside, no more boundaries (Jean Tardieu)
The ceremonious geographies of human limits
Today, nothing holds the artist back. Everything is at his disposal, every material, every media technology, and (almost) every site. This surfeit stands against the fact that precisely the most creative direct their entire power toward a single point (even if they approach it from all sides). It is not a matter of experimenting or of questioning and transgressing the limits of acceptance. Beckett says it for the writer and in proxy for the other arts: "Since I do not know how to speak, since I do not want to speak, I must speak. No one forces me to...it is a chance situation, it is a fact." The picture or figure, too, remains without distinct painter or sculptor, for it is made out of the disappearance of statement (even if this disappearance can consist in surfeit). "Too much space crowds in on us much more than when there is not enough space."
I dreamed of a nest where the trees repulse death.
"Life is probably
round", wrote van Gogh. It is assumed that images of perfect roundness
help us gather ourselves around ourselves, in order to confirm ourselves
from within. From the inside out, without outward form, existence could
only be round. The bird, says Michelet, is completely spherical. A higher
degree of unity cannot be found, an excess of concentration is great
strength, but, as social weakness, contains ist isolation.
|© Urs Jaeggi / Website: Universes in Universe|