Friday, February 6, 2009

Falling in Love with this World

Two quotes from Encounters at the End of the World, the outstanding Warner Harzog film set in Antarctica:

"And again, we have the same theme of falling in love with this world and trying to understand the people in it and trying to understand ourselves" - Warner Harzog commenting on film in the extras

"Through our ears the universe is falling in love with itself and becoming in love with its magnificence" - a bulgarian philosopher, now fork lift driver in Antarctica, saying when interviewed

Fritz Henle Talk

Fritz Henle, photographer talk with his wife and 2 of his children, 2/3, Harry Ransom Center

[This is what I see when I look at this first image on the slide projector: relationship between images, a woman, one hand up resting on her head - her elbow pointing out making her arm into the shape of a triangle or sail, her other arm supporting a round basket on her hip. Behind her, the ocean with a boat whose triangular sail seems to repeat the shape of the woman's arm, and whose round vessel seems to repeat the the basket on the hip]

Inspired by beauty.

Lived most of life in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, death: 1993.

Meditative photographs, different ways of seeing, not just straight image, never cropped photos, "The gift of being able to see the image right there" About the moment, capturing the moment as its happening, the first spontaneous shots usually the best

Philosophy was "don't over-shoot"

Precise technique extended into the dark room making the prints, very sensitive to light and timing

Loved black and white and people

[I love this photo too, an ariel view of school boys who look kind of like soldiers on the big slide, all lined up with arms out horizontal to the ground, the lines of soldiers seen diagonally across the picture, what I love though are the shadows of the soldiers, also making diagonal lines, but connected ones, all the shadows are holding hands. This is what I see when I look at this image.]

He was probably looking for beauty all of his life. Freedom and beauty. When he captured the essence of something, he felt like he was capturing beauty, even if the subject wasn't necessarily a beautiful thing, even if he was shooting devastation.

He loved Mozart his whole life.

His children say he imparted that sense of freedom and being yourself, finding your own self-expression, to them

Monday, February 2, 2009

From Thursday's Lecture

Jacqueline and I went to the Blanton last Thursday night for a lecture, but no one was present when we arrived, a little late already, and the doors were locked. Then, on the ground, ON THE GROUND! where it is dark, by our feet, not on the door where you'd expect it, was a poster-board sign with permanent marker directions for the new building location - which the lecture had apparently been moved to... and an arrow pointing...straight? Neither of us were familiar with the building mentioned, so we started walking in the direction the arrow appeared to point. Almost too much of a distance later, we came to another poster-board note pointing...straight still? Okay. Walking along. There's a street to cross, guess keep straight? Almost another too much of a distance later, we come to third poster-board note pointing...left? And then, not too far away, but not on the ground where we've come to expect it, is the final poster-board stuck on the doors of a building. We enter, 20 minutes late. Someone is up there talking. We think it is the speaker until he says, "It is my pleasure to introduce Zach Booth Simpson. 

Notes on a guest check from the talk "The Evolution of Evolutionary Design" by Zach Booth Simpson

- genetic art design
- Art/science intersection

What is art? Unanswerable. Art is whatever you say it is and good art is whatever I say it is. You know it when you see it.

What we are going to talk about is the evolution of evolutionary design.

- splitting of art and craft [Jacqueline and I think Lisa would be interested in this part]
- week link has been the mechanical reproduction
- first began to split with emergence of architecture

- the future is mass customization...and 3D printers
- we can explore objects we've never been able to make before

- the way nature builds things...organisms build things from the inside out BOTTOM UP ASSEMBLY whales and trees built from seeds, contains the instructions to grow into these from the start [Jacqueline and I think Cecelia would find this fascinating]
grow, self-repair, adaptation all built in

When you create something, it gives you new questions that you never knew to ask before! [I like this part]

Form = Process
Life is a process
Form = Function

Art is about distilling the essence of something [I like this part too]