Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Anchors



Photographs are, in many ways, anchors launched from the unstoppable stream of time, an attempt to redeem images from their inevitable disappearance. Why do we focus on image? Why has not become common the use of sound recorders leading people to walk around, recording the sounds of events for eternity?

First of all, because we would have to listen to them in real time. Images allow us to imagine movement from still, and we can look at several at the same time. We have learned to put sounds and smells on each of them and the photographers learn how to suggest the ways. This is an important part of our apprenticeship as visual interpreters.

The same way as we learn to decode, organize and select the multiplicity of senseless light reflections received by our two dimensional eye, so the photograph can present its own magic gimmick to make us see through it and beyond our time grids.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Time


“Time is an enormous problem to us, a tremendous and demanding question, perhaps the most vital one of metaphysics” Jorge Luis Borges, História da Eternidade, 1936

The velocity of the tree deceives our fast eye. We look, it is still. Turn around and look again? Still still.

And yet it moves, as Galileo would say.

It twists, turns and interacts with other trees, with us.

It may even walk.

And, every time we look, it's still.

Likewise, we may be blind to the effects of our deeds on history, to the effects of our actions (and omissions) on the TV news. And one may be blind to the growth of an addiction, whilst enjoying a fag, a pint, a shot of heroin, or the adrenaline of a high bet.

Time is as hard to understand as it is our hugest collective construction. It was circular when, in the traditional rural society, it was commanded by the sun and the seasons. It became linear when industrialization brought the belief in progress, science showed us a history beyond creation and urbanization tuned our lives with the clock. Now it coexists with the multiple shapes introduced by relativity physics.

And yet we feel its force throwing us to the emptiness, a feeling best expressed by Walter Benjamin’s reflections before Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus:

“…The Angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from the Paradise; it has got hold of the wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him to the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward…” (1969: 257)

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Blog Bodies

Where is home? What is home? Why doesn't this word exist in my home language? The one which involved my coming to existence. My physical architectural structures growing from the ground. Discovering visitors. Understanding what were those other people doing there, inhabiting me since before the very first cell of the building. My home is my body, at the moment sitting in front of a computer terminal and feeding the future archeologists of Silicon Valley.
Bog Bodies have preserved skin and organs; we will preserve the bidimensional world of words and images we've exchanged with other people. And the ones we've stored in our blogs. Plus the history of our internet searches. How different will it be from dissecting anonimous bodies?

The History of Words

Before words, each person's thoughts could develop freely without the intervention of strangers’. If someone liked an other, a warm gest...