28 Feb 2006, 7:35pm
1 comment

Architect Massimiliano Fuksas

[Now in syndication at Architypes]

A full house at the National Art Gallery got to see Fuksas [fook suss] from Rome on his first speaking engagement to Canada on February 27, 2006. Massimiliano Fuksas’ work in the last few years look as though it were inspired by eggs, clouds, or balloons extruded out of either side of a fist.

He said he has asked himself for 60 years why he does as he does in architecture. He explains his work as doing something like light does to the sculpture which is a city block. Light destroys flattens form and makes is more spiritual, a chaos sublime.

armaniHe has been constructing works since the 1970s throughout Europe in Italy France, Spain, Israel. In the 1990s he was fascinated with combining opposites, dark with light, square with round, contrasting materials, solidity of concrete and glass cutaways. In the 2000s he finds himself looking at free, happy “organic” shapes. He draws on inspiration of funnel clouds for tornados for shapes. He is interested in not adding but taking away, simplifying, playing with planes.

His talk was largely slides of examples of his work, more than some of the presenters. He is a multilingual man of renown, but due to my ear, unfamiliarity with his cadence and my fatigue, I missed more than I could have I’m afraid. However, in no situation can anyone grasp all and report all so I’ll go with what I have.

He likes to work with transparency and solidity. In one piece, he used hundreds of workers to set a sort of harlequin pattern of metal framework for glass, drooped over many planes. When LPs first became less popular, did you participate in putting them in the oven to soften and reshape into remolded ornaments and vases? Some of his work (at the link above) have something of that reduced simplicity of shape.

That architectural piece is commemorated on a 0.45 Euro stamp. You know you’ve made the big times when you are on a stamp and not even dead yet. Because he is old now, over 60 now he is honored with medals and certificates and honors. He says he knows this is just how things is. It is his age, not the quality of his work compared to any time. When he is dead, there will be exhibitions, but not until then.

What is architecture? he asked. The dialectic concept that has been for more than 200 years is ending. Before we could build in schools of styles. We could build for a century. Now we build in a month or a year. We can build architecture that is for now and here but not to make one thing for a century. We live in a compressed time-space culture.

What is architecture? It is shape. It is form. It is also democracy and symbol. When you destroy a building, you destroy a form, a shape, but not architeture. When you destroy a symbol of a concept, such as the Golden Dome that was bombed, you hurt more than building, you hurt architecture and democracy.

Architecture, he explained is not shape, and not form it is something more the way that erotic is not just shape or form. greek sculpture from almost 2000 years ago [Who’s to say what makes Barberini Faun from 200 AD still work? It’s the same sort of something indefinable.]

Word Chain: the crucial crucible of moments, the crux of crossroads, cross bore, bored, born, borne up, bear down, bare down, strip off slings and eye bandages, unclutched crutches and major fluxes, (fluxi?), fuss, I?, nay, say prayers early, World Prayer Day, March 3, universal, peace!.

Glad Game: The cat purr has a back whistle like a snore.

It was an earthquake I felt on Friday. It was 4.6 on the Richter scale. Or maybe I felt the 3.5 one.

Good conversation with a friend, and another on the horizon.

Menu: Grazing all day with no “real meal”: fruits, soup, crackers, nuts, bit of fish, bit of Dagoba hazelnut chocolates, juice, cereal. It all adds up to no photo.

27 Feb 2006, 10:37pm
Poets Stress/ Relaxation

What I’ve Been Reading

story of stress relief
In getting back to reading Louis Nizer’s autobiographical essays, Reflections Without Mirrors I came across this lovely story of how letting go mentally or emotionally, releases physically, as seen when litigation ends.

Featured Poetry: from a book by Dahms called “Thriving: Beyond Adjustment, I saw this gem by D.G Decker [have to check this guy out]:

physical touch significance poem

[Follow-up: No sign of him apart from a elementary school text in Colorado out print and an obituary from 2002. Hope that’s not him.]

Menu: Fried gnocchi in a tomato-spinach sauce with brussels sprouts and Yellowtail Chardonnay for my charming and conversational dinner companion.

Word Chain: incredulous brow waggling, up and down my neck a forehead rub, scrub snug cud, blood curdling yawn, toes to dawn.

Glad Game: That I can speak up to exit city buses instead of saying excuse me and not being heard and being carrying along another stop or two past mine.

Not many big blocks of time but satisfyingly used little cubes. But after the bigger stuff, small bits can fit in anywhere better as the story goes

The architecture lecture was good. He had a lovely Roman accent. Wild droopy stuff going on, simplified lines like that late phases Group of Seven guy who did simplified mountains. I can write about the architect later tho. No promises on tomorrow for M. Fuksas but soon.

That that’s enough to gather up today. Time to move on.

Moving Forward Steadily

I cleaned up a bit of post. I added a picture to the story of my dad and horses of dad. I added a bit to yesterday’s entry too. After all, the net isn’t written in stone.

In a way I’m tempted to go back and make more reader-friendly some older entries and follow through on the notion of migrating my old blog to the new one. However, life isn’t long enough to re-edit hardly anything, much less everything, that has gone before, (even if one were immortal). I shan’t 1984 it all (sigh) 😉 It’s for the best I suppose.

Top 6 things judging by frequent search strings that bring people to Humanyms in 2006 are [spelled out to avoid people bring brought for naught to this post rather than go there directly]

  1. p-lay-do-e,
  2. sewing a-ba-ya-s,
  3. Katie-and-Orbie,
  4. Country lyrics,
  5. Habitat 67
  6. Poet Dwayne Morgan

And, this is fun, 😀 I am the #2 MSN hit for “women in compromising positions” due to women in election coverage. Really should I be higher ranked higher for that phrase than erotic bondage pictures? 😀

Featured Architecture/Thought Link: An interview with architect Joseph Fujikawa that in part talks about his mentor, Mies.

In problem solving, Mies always took the approach of not jumping to a solution or an answer immediately. That would disturb him tremendously, because he’d say, ‘Well, what have I forgotten?’ So his approach in problem solving, which we used so much, was to say, ‘Well, what else is possible?

Regardless of how bad you think it might be, put it on paper.’ He constantly said, ‘We’ll put them all down. If you have six possibilities, put them all down. If you have ten, put them down. Whatever you think is possible, try it.’

If you had an idea, all he’d say was, ‘Try it.’ You know, he gave you that freedom. Then by a process of elimination, we’d line them all up and say, ‘This one is better than that one because…,’ so that one goes out.

I suppose some would consider this a holistic approach, or others a stick-to-it-iveness. I like the level-headedness of it.

Just watching Fujikawa in interview is such a pleasure. There’s a humbleness and delight, something like the Dalai Lama. Not by what he says but how he reinforces: life doesn’t have to be struggle against bad to be real. It gives power to the “bad” to pour good energy after bad. Let us listen and not be so reactive instead. It’s not saying that things aren’t wrong. But just moving on with good gives energy for that.

Soundtrack: A Mhic Fain ‘Ic Sheumais by Flora Macneil and Sarah Harmer’s Basement Apt

meatloafMenu: D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub had a cozy ambiance, elegant service and well prepared food. Definite plans to make repeat visits for things like sweet potato fries, boxties or champs (buttermilk mashed potatoes)

Here’s the grill bread and meatloaf wrapped in bacon topped with carmelized onion (pictured) that we shared this time. [Sorry about the color; wrong camera setting; it looked better on the table.]

Around home the food was stirfry veggies and sauced seitan, heavy on the rosemary and thyme, with spaghetti topped with basil-tomato sauce, romano-jalapeno bread on the side.

Word Chain: enraged beaver, indolent receiver, fumble, stumble, trip, almost collide, tangle, tumble, slide, recover, regather scattered footing, akimbo, astride, stride, strum of footfall, rhythm, finding its pace, spaced steady not beats so much as last fingers wiggling quieter on the drum rim, feathering to awe

Featured Link:101 Zen Stories, such as The Moon Cannot be Stolen

Glad Game: I feel this exercise of glad gaming is bringing the effect I wanted, which is to train my mind to be be more receptive to good things, less harrowed by the cloud for every silver lining.

Paczki’s (Pounchki) Day weekend. Shall I save the chance for next year?

Architecture lecture tomorrow.

Glad for this moment of physical sunshine, time with a friend, the remembering to send a birthday card to another friend, that Metahara had a good birthday, the number of people who take their time to read what I’ve written. I’m honored.

25 Feb 2006, 10:27pm
Life Anecdotes

First Times

Sure and steady, constant, thought out, considerate and under consideration is best but sometimes leaping without a full field study and environmental report and charted probable outcomes is freeing.

By times I have a penchant for jumping into things waist deep. For instance, when I wanted to learn how to bellydance, I don’t buy a video or read a book on it. I signed up for a term of classes, having at that point, never heard Arabic music, nor ever seen bellydancing done. [Did it on and off. May return at some point.]

Having moved, I thought I’ll invite some folks over; never having hosted a party before, I thought 40 invites would be about right. People dropped in a few at a time. Worked out fine as it turned out. It was good fun.

Immersion is best, right? Having a mild curiosity about what this Chinese language thing is, I didn’t immediately pick up a wikipedia article or book…no, didn’t take off to Northwest China in this case. I signed on for the first of a few terms of classes and eventually, got a shelf full of books.

Why do things in half measure? An article in a magazine was the sum of my knowledge on massage, so for my first time, I signed us up for 2 weekends worth of a couples workshop where I a) wore a bikini for the first time, and b) volunteered to be the instructor’s example person. It seemed like a good idea. And it was really. Downside was a dozen or so people crowded around me, having the instructor’s fingers dig into my shoulders as if stripping a turkey carcass. (It was the unfamiliarity not the technique.)

One gets oneself into the most interesting places by impulsively dashing forward. For example, traveling to a conference on minimal budget, we booked by phone the cheapest hotel we could find. Why not?

Upon arrival we were asked if we wanted to rent by the hour, night or month. Blink. Not the usual question. Walls up the stairs had holes kicked in them. Heavy metal doors slamming continuously while we were there and continued all night. Lights not all working, faucets, not entirely present but these are small things. The mattress rather caved in. I speak of the second room, since the first we were sent to from the front desk didn’t have a doorknob. But $20 for 2 people for one night. Why not? It was fun and no harm comes of most things.

It reminds me of when my dad went fishing when I was small. My mother considered the cleaning of a fish inappropriate for tender eyes but when first allowed to see, I wasn’t distressed by the gore but snatched up a swim bladder and boing-boinged it around off surfaced while peppering my dad with questions over why there is a balloon inside the fish and what it does.

Life isn’t half so bad and traumatic as you would picture it to be.

Soundtrack: Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, Foreigner I Want to Know What Love Is and Lenny Kravitz Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone

Word Chain: leader, lever, beaver, industrious, illustrious, illustrated, ill, krill, ocean spill of argonauts, seed pearls, paste pearls, baubles, mica, blur jade beads, jaded, her? [From Middle English iade, cart-horse, nag; akin to Swedish dialectal jälda, mare, possibly of Finno-Ugric origin.] curr cursed, accused, excused, exuded, broo-hoo-hooded, defused, snip, clip, nip it in the butt, er, bundt?, but, bud.

Bonus Poetry Link: Want to participate in St. Patrick’s day contest of limericks or blessings?

Reading: Metamorphosis: Stages in a Life by David Suzuki, In/Words which has Amanda’s work in it.

Featured Link: Global Media Watch has done their 3rd report. In 1995, 2000 and 2005 they took one sample day and thousands of media samples from various countries and languages and looked at how women are represented. Funnily even though women are 52% of population, there are 4:1 stories about men, or else taking as sources interviewing men. Women are even referred to as first name, last name, wife-of, mother-of, even if they have titles. :-O

Here’re quotes from pages 17 and 18 of the full report.

• Expert opinion in the news is overwhelmingly male. Men are 83% of experts, and 86% of spokespersons. By contrast, women appear in a personal capacity – as eye witnesses (30%), giving personal views (31%) or as representatives of popular opinion (34%).

Women are more than twice as likely as men to be portrayed as victims: 19% of female news subjects, compared with 8% of males are portrayed in this way. News disproportionately focuses on female victims in events that actually affect both sexes – accidents, crime, war.

The ‘mirror’ of the world provided by the news is like a circus mirror. It distorts reality, inflating the importance of certain groups, while pushing others to the margins.

Why this disproportional representation? Women over 50 years are only 7% of journalists or news presenters but in the under 30 year old set is in the 40% range. Change coming? Whether males of females are journalists make little difference when the culture of news-consumer expectation, payment, and cultural perception filter of news gathering persists.

soup veggiesMenu: Clementines, melba toast rounds, Lady Grey tea and homemade soup of pasta shells, chopped spinach, lots of shallots, carrots, celery, sundried tomatoes, kidney beans fake chicken bouillon and basil bouillon.

24 Feb 2006, 10:17pm
Stress/ Relaxation

Energy Use

I seem to be saying far more than I’m hearing but then, all the ratios this week seem to be tilted. I’ll right it.

Tangentially related, Curt at the The Occupational Adventure picked up on something that twigs my interest: personal energy audit.

1. List all of the people, groups, beliefs, habits and past people and events that receive a piece of your energy.

2. Now assign each investment a percentage out of 100 percent. If you add up all your investments, the total should be 100 percent.

3. Then designate each investment as positive, negative or neutral.

Part of this is done automatically without running the numbers. Mindfulness is early turn interim reports on what impacts I can expect, good or less desirable. Mindfulness is being aware in rea;-time rather than let things be assessed quarterly or once one runs off the rails.

The chocolate cake I made was good but it displaced/replaced nutritious meals that really are non-negotiable. leftover cake

I ran that line out too far and snagged it on the tree boughs on the other shore and wonder why I have no energy left? My body lets me know in no uncertain terms that I don’t have the luxury, (back spasms reminds me, headache binds me), into being more sensible with choices about how I think and move, what I take in mentally or physically.

Soundtrack: Jimmy Buffet, Hey, hey Good Lookin, Django Reinhardt’s Shine and Friday Night in San Francisco acoustic improv with AlDimeola, McLaughlin and Paco DeLucia.

Glad Game: Visited with my parents and uncle. Not too long, not too short. It took ages, but I was glad to finally host a visit from them again.

Found a cat food the cat approves of and gobbles down.

Did a good setting in order:

Took the car to a manual car wash, saw the people in the other wash bay giggling and chasing each other with the hot water spray.

Signed up for a weekly pilates class.

The strength of fingers of massage therapist combing muscles, untangling trigger points.

Got paperwork sorted for government ID updating of photos. Pleasant man behind the counter made it a pleasure.

I do believe I just felt an earthquake. Too big to be a truck crashing into the building. It rattled the window. Felt the vibration through the desk. That’s the 3rd I’ve been awake for here in a decade or so.

[P.S. the wave through the feet knocked out of my head the other setting in order small achievement of finally getting winter footwear and a leather protector spray to make them last. :-)]

spaghetti and salad Menu: Spaghetti and mixed salad and the rest of that cake of prior post-fame.

Light Link: John has a lovely story about Harry the Cat and catching Moles

Word Chain: federal caucus, pianist, juvenile chortle, hurdle, steeplechase, rat race, mousy, lousy, dozy, tea-cosy, macrame, appliqu�, resum�, resume, loom, weaving doom and occluded extruded, seldom uprooted, uncloyed, uncloistered, unfestered, unsemestered clove of pure joy to the warble to tangential tangos and mango mangroves dribbling tree of life nectar.

Featured Quote: “A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.” ~ Marshall Mcluhan @ QuotationsBook

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