from the preface to the Phenomenology of Perception;
I cannot conceive myself as nothing but a bit of the world, a mere object of biological, psychological or sociological investigation.I cannot shut myself up within the realm of science. All my knowledge of the world, even my scientific knowledge is gained from some experience of the world without which the symbols of science would be meaningless. The whole universe of science is built upon the world as directly experienced, and if we want to subject science itself to rigorous scrutiny and arrive at a precise assessment of its meaning and scope, we must begin by reawakening the basic experience of the world of which science is the second order expression. Science has not and never will have, by its very nature the same significance qua form of being as the world we percieve, for the simple reason that it is a rationale or explanation of the world…Scientific points of view, according to which my existence is but a moment of the worlds, are always naive and at the same time dishonest, because they take for granted, without explicitly mentioning it, the other point of view, namely that of consciousness, through which from the outset a world forms itself round me and begins to exist for me. To return to things themselves is to return to that world which precedes knowledge, of which knowledge always speaks, and in relation to which every scientific schematization is an abstract and derivative sign-language, as is geography in relation to the countryside in which we have learnt beforehand what a forest, a prairie or a river is.
To build the Thanatoscope from hardwood was to continue the traditions of the instrument and clock makers at the turn of the last century and before, hardwood is valued for its stability and unlike metal it is imbued with the “naturalistic attitude” of objectivity through seasons of steady growth, immersions and susceptibility to seasonal fluctuations, coldness, heat, wetness, dryness through the moderating parameters of its being a former tree, imbued with manyfold influences and deep seated characteristics which extol discernible aesthetics by simply existing.
Although hardwood is stable, the inside of the Thanatoscope would be painted with a reflective Gesso Sottile made from hide glue and Cornish China Clay and the outside would be dyed with a black stain obtained by collecting Ink Fungi after being covered in Irish Flax.
Materials that recall their existential genesis, described by Merleau-Ponty as the Logos of the aesthetic world, he understands the term ‘aesthetic’ in the original Greek sense of aisthesis, meaning primary mode of experiential expression which embraces both perception and imagination.
A Video of Mischas performance with the Thanatoscope will appear here when I have the time/knowledge.
Page one of Things that changed other things, a sketchbook project that is archived by the Brooklyn Art Library ,who allocated broad themes hence the clunky Things that changed other things, specifically;unspecific more absolute generality wherein the fiction of history as a fixed datum is bashed into a more user friendly prospect. Focusing upon the mournful but oblique looking stone-lined cockpits that would appear each autumn from beneath the dying bracken on the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall. These kilns or Kelp Pits have a pragmatic history that seems hellbent on refuting any humanistic element. Surely such long suffering landscape features have more to reveal than being a handy place for a childs game or even a seabirds nursery, used sometimes in what may seem defamatory as a barb-e-que by the serendipitous tourist.
The Kelp Pit, subject of School natural history rambles and picnics on uninhabited islands ,
is imbued with an array of socio historical strands that lead to many further questions. Starting on The Isles of Scilly we see an early development in Soda Ash making , introduced from Brittany with whome The Isles of Scilly and Cornwall were much more favourably aquainted than the heavy handed Landlords of English Monarchy. A Mr Nance whose name would stem from Nantes, Brittany was licenced by the afformentioned authority to burn Kelp in the manufacture of Soda Ash on Gwynynys :White Island, (Blessed Island) and Tean Island. to this day the “local” name for the inhabitants of St.Martins Island is Gynyk, dialect is rapidly being transformed by mass media and relocation but this would appear to be poetic link as well as a potentially informative one. The remaining Kelp Pit evidence on Scilly is scant compared to the former activities popularity, one perfect example on the island of Gugh, some on Samson Island, some on White Island and some on Tolls Island, they seemed less valued than the bronze age antiquitaries of which there were and are, so very many excellent and unique examples. The socio historical connections with Kelp Burning are generally centred on the the widely accepted inhumane clearances of the Scottish peoples, who like their Cornish counterparts were forced to leave their homelands and resettle in the colonial margins that had been acquired by the very authority responsible for their eviction. Kelp Burning was, it seems a cash crop situation that bought actual money into the equation as opposed to subsistence of farming and fishing which provided food and shelter, possibly some other tradeable materials but Kelp was bought for cash, it involved the whole family and although licencing was imposed by the English , it seemed to be a way out of the cyclic seasonally dependent existence. Writers like Quiller-Couch attempted to romantice Kelp Burning by transforming the act of burning a six hour bonfire into a ritualistic ceremony with pagan attributes, this treatment was clumsy as I believe there are real connections of gnostic and sacred history with Kelp Burning, the alchemical act of transforming an elemental feature such as seaweed into a chemical to be used in the process of textiles, linen bleaching, aniline dye manufacture, early photographic chemistry, medicines like Iodine and later alginic acids in foodstuffs and manufacturing processes.
All books will be included in an exhibition that tours the following cities:
Brooklyn, NY Austin, TX San Francisco, CA Portland, ME Atlanta, GA Chicago, IL Washington, DC Winter Park, FL
2010 Sketchbook Tour
2010 Sketchbook Tour
Rook Lane Arts : Event Details – Exhibitions, Entertainment, Community Events and a Wedding Venue in Frome, Somerset
The Photographer David Partner invites you to experience the Tedna Ve Camera Obscura and to sense the essential physical and phenomenal aspects of capturing visual imagery with this basic device. David is showing his photographic portraits at Rook Lane Chapel in Frome Somerset, come and draw portraits with the aid of a camera obscura – all materials are free.
Draw Me/Tedna Ve at Arnold Circus Sharing Picnic Artfair 100
|Some additional festivities and activities at Arnold Circus – none of these are neccessarily optical but suffice to say “sensational” in that they exist for the stimulation of which ever senses the author/audience/auter/voyeur cares to apply, eyes and ears are probably the hot favourites, fingers and other bodily bits are best used when stationary.|
The Arnold Circus Sharing Picnic 100, 18th July, 1pm-5pm Arnold Circus, E2,
The Sharing Picnic 100, produced by home live art in collaboration with The Friends of Arnold Circus, invites you to join in and celebrate the renovation and centenary of The Arnold Circus bandstand with: a grand community picnic, artists’ fair, music on the bandstand and 100 lap cycle ride & alternative vehicle parade.
The Sharing Picnic 100 Alternative Vehicle Parade, created by artists Francis Thorburn and Richard Elliott features a new vehicle, ‘Intransit’ created from a customised Ford Transit van powered by a spectacular hand-crafted wheel, which will be pushed round Arnold Circus by sixteen performers. Inspired by Henry Ford’s evangelical idealism and Werner Herzog’s ‘Fitzcarraldo’ the new vehicle comes close to Herzog’s characterisation of his struggle to drag a 320 steamer ship over a hill during the film as a ‘Conquistadour of the useless’. The parade will lead into the 100 Lap Cycle Challenge, where you are invited to register during the afternoon and ride your own bike, tricycle or rickshaw around Arnold Circus 100 times. The cycle challenge is organised by Tower Hamlets Wheelers,
|home live art is a dynamic team of creative producers with a passion for presenting live art and performance work. We explore diverse spaces and environments, playfully referencing traditional, communal and celebratory events to develop new modes of cultural experience that question and challenge wide ranging audiences, whilst remaining wholly accessible to all.|
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Several decades after Ibn al-Haytham’s death, the Chinese Song Dynasty scientist Shen Kuo (1031 – 1095) is known to have experimented with camera obscura and was the first documented to apply geometric and quantative attributes to it in his book of 1088 AD the DREAM POOL ESSAY’S making references to an image of a pagoda projected onto a wall of a darkened chambre, he quotes from the MISCELLANEOUS MORSELS FROM YOUYANG by Duan Chengshi and posits the idea that the Pagoda image is invertred as being entirely due to the close proximity to the sea. Imaginative. In Britain in the 13th century Roger Bacon is recorded as being able to see the eclipse of the Sun with the aid of a Camera Obscura, describing the device as a safe method of viewing solar eclipses. Most people including me – had no notion of this “secret knowledge” being traded upon by civilizations and regions that are not famed or given due for such discoveries, Leonardo Da Vinci on the other hand is probably the most likely name to be commonly connected with Camera Obscuras as well as an experimental nod to artwork generally. Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519 AD) describes the Camera Obscura in his CODEX ATLANTICUS. A title I knobbled for a poster at Redruth College of Art without having the faintest idea about the meaning thereof.
OCULUS ARTIFIALIS TELEDIOPTRICUS SIVE TELESCOPIUM by Johaa Zahn in 1685 contains diagrams and discriptions of both camera obscura and projectors using artificial light as the title implies several times over.
The likes of Johannes Vermeer are speculated to have generated their detail in skillfully produced paintings via camera obscura’s, the term Camera Obscura was initially coined by German astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1604.
Sir Thomas Browne in his 1658 Discourse The Garden of Cyprus.
For at the eye the Pyramidal rayes from the object, receive a decussation, and so strike a second base upon the Retina or hinder coat, the proper organ of Vision; wherein the pictures from objects are represented, answerable to the paper, or wall in the dark chamber; after the decussation of the rayes at the hole of the hornycoat, and their refraction upon the Christalline humour, answering the foramen of the window, and the convex or burning-glasses, which refract the rayes that enter it.
One might be forgiven for misunderstanding but the prosaics inform.
David Hockney’s use of photography, particularly in his early portraits of friends and associates during the seventies helped him to recognize the difference between the traced line – what he terms “confident” – I would call insensitive or desensitized, publicly he identifies Warhol as the chief exponent of the “confident” line but I’m sure his own expertise in this is adequate even if his denial is a little shrill, I’ve no argument with Hockney, he’s taught me more than two Art Colleges without any contact whatsoever. Hockney says that after deliberating on certain portraits by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, he noticed this confident line- “One morning, studying and thinking – where have I seen that line before? And suddenly I realized, Thats Andy Warhols line” Hockney went on to talk about his supposition about Ingres use of the Camera Lucida, a prism on a stick, Hockneys idea’s caused quite a stir but the impact on the value of Art both the aquisitional and the cultural aspect is yet to be realized.
The Gaze has cultural meaning which is impossible to separate from the circumstance – Navaho People are taught not to look directly at another person during conversation.
The eyes are probably the most openly romanticized part of the anatomy in art and literature, mythologized and eulogized but impossibly complex as a phenomena and a dynamic focus point, the term The Gaze is often referred to the work of portraits both photographic and drawn, the process of drawing is a time consuming process requiring a stillness in both the subject and the artist, unlike a glance or a peek, the Gaze is destined to haunt beyond the fripperies of flirtations or sound bites.
The eyes are possibly the defining visual characteristic of our relationship to each other, the importance of looking into the eyes of another, both a search for meaning and a surrendering or displaying, as in the “windows of the soul”, the contrast between the surface and luminosity of the eye and the sorrounding facial characteristics through identities of human recognition and personal cognizant markers, verifying and understanding ourselves and our relationships.
The world famous setting of the Arnolds Circus, in the Boundary Estate is the location for Artists 100 Artfair with the A Foundation, Bill Leslie, The Albion, Arnold & Henderson, The Arts Council of England, Awards For All, Bishopsgate Foundation, Calvert 22,Canary Wharf Group, Cowling & Wilcox, Foodcycle, Friends of Arnold Circus, Garfield Weston, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Joule, The Live Art Development Agency, London Borough of Tower Hamlets Arts and Events, Spitalfields Music and a part of Create 10 * The Big Lunch
The Arnold Circus Sharing Picnic is a great opportunity to visit one of the most historically fascinating locations in contemporary London, take a look around at some unique and creative artforms, performative and environmental, witness the thrilling 100 lap Art Vehicle rally around the circus with artists Francis Thorburn and Richard Elliot, check out Rock-ahula, Tatty Divine, search party and Society of Wonders, do these things and draw a portrait in the revolutionary sorroundings of the worlds first social housing.
Events run all afternoon 19th 07 2010
Thank-you Arnold Circus, Home-Live-Art, Bill Leslie and all the friends we made on the 18th of July 2010.
Sunday 18th was a very sunny and busy day in Londons Arnold Circus where the beautiful – and as far as I’m aware – unique raised “birthday cake’ wedding cake” or elevated bandstand creates a totally central feature, the scenographic idea that ascention, (walking up a hill) is a significant sacred influence, from the top of a Tor, a man-made-contrivance, the Tatlin Tower or a pyramid they all imbue the visitor with particular stimulus that infers or creates spiritual dimensions. Scenographically the top of the Arnolds Circus Bandstand acquires a peculiar form of light, one that reminds me of the light around the Penwith Peninsular as the sun and clouds conspire over the sea to fetch up the extraordinary set of changeable nuance.
Alfred Watkins, a key exponent in the science of Ley Lines and Geomantic Power wrote a most fascinating study on the subject of dragon lines or ley lines and includes the Arnold Circus in his reckoning of the network of geotropic magnetics running from Londons Strand Ley and another he terms as The Coronation Ley.
The fact that this raised oasis is sorrounded by the red brick mansion block housing of the boundary road estate increases the specificity of the location, the effect like all ascents is uplifting and the various streets become more plan like and unfolded and therefore more legible to the viewer, the structure of the bandstand itself feels post colonial in its rural Englishness, like a church lytch gate beneath which the widest global influences mingle and confer, music from many cultures and periods, foods and domestic comestables, games and conversations all conspire with this beautiful seaside light to create a most memorable experience. The fact that the mound is a construct formed of the rubble from the pre housing scheme slum gives further specifity to the consciousness of this place. Uplifting.
The Boundary Estate was opened in 1900 in Londons’s East End right on the boundary of Shoreditch, Hackney and the Borough of Tower Hamlets, the Estate was constructed from 1890 and as one of the earliest social housing schemes deserves recognition as one of the most significant elements in the heritage of Britain, you could say that the implications for the Boundary Estate, architecturally and socially far outstrip those of the many lauded stately homes that are deemed exemplars of creativity and social development.
The Tedna Ve – Draw Me Installation is simply a big box camera, one that the person who is being sketched and the person making the sketch can walk into. The correct term is a Camera Obscura (chamber of darkness), usually employed as Landscape viewing device, the Tedna Ve is specifically employed for Portrature. Camera Obscuras are optical devices that project an image of the sorrounding scenographic terrain and projects this image onto an interior wall, It is used for drawing and for entertainment and for teaching since it was one of the precursors to photography. Of course the Tedna Ve is fitted with a lens but the original design used a pinhole reproducing an upside down image but retaining the perspective and colour, the image – once projected onto paper, can be drawn into or traced to produce a highly accurate representation, I don’t encourage artists to fuss during the use of the Tedna Ve as the upside down drawing process encourages the pen to wander off alone from the projected image, putting a bit more of the artist into the portrait.
As a pinhole is made smaller so it produces a sharper image but this takes a while for normal eyesight to adjust to the low light image. The earliest mention beyond Cornwalls frontiers about camera obscuras is attributed to Mo-Ti (470BC – 390BC) a Chinese philosopher and founder of Mohism, Mo-Ti referred to the camera obscura as a “collecting plate” or “Locked treasure room” The Mohist tradition is unusual in Chinese attitudes because it followed principles of total logic.
Aristotle (384BC – 322BC) demonstrated a good understanding of optical principles in pinhole occlusion – an account of him viewing the crescent shaped light pattern made from the partially eclipsed Sun as it projected a beam of light through domestic utensils onto the floor – such accounts humanise the historical dimension whilst questioning the vale of obfuscation that sorrounds contemporary science and medicine.
In the 6th C. Byzantine mathematician and architect Anthemius of Tralles ( celebrated designer of the Hagia Sophia) is acknowledged for his familiarity and use of the camera obscura in a range of unspecified experiments. Certainly one of the first recorded makers of camera obscura’s was Abu Ali Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haitham, born in Basra (965 – 1039 AD) He was known in the west as Alhacen or Alhazen, and known to experiment in his book about optical science.
Although credited to Ibn al-Haytham ( Alhazen 965 – 1039, the analogy of the camera obscura was known to early scholars, accidental artists at various moments in history including Mozi or Aristotle.
Euclid describes the effect of the camera obscura in his demonstrations featuring the nature of light travelling in straight lines. Ibn al-Haytham was bestowed with modesty as well as intelligence in his statement :’Et nos non inventimus ita” lat ‘We did not invent this” my translation simply realizes the mans sense of discovery in that it is a natural phenomenon rather than a mechanical device or some adapted contraption, so rare to find a humanist approach among those who love the credit for the work of others.
I’ve a half a mind to write Ibn al-Haytham’s wise words on the side of the Tedna Ve box as a tribute to a modest genius.