quinta-feira, 2 de outubro de 2014

McLuhan on metaphor

Language is metaphor in the sense that it not only stores but translates experience from one mode into another.
Money is metaphor in the sense that it stores skill and labour and also translates one skill into another. But the principle of exchange and translation, or metaphor, is in our rational power to translate all of our senses into one another.
This we do every instant of our lives. But the price we pay for special technological tools, whether the wheel or the alphabet or radio, is that these massive extensions of sense constitute closed systems.

Marshall McLuhan . The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man. (p.5)

Mexican paper money by Kevin Dooley

quinta-feira, 11 de setembro de 2014


Why I like erotica?...
It combines beauty and fun!
Tomi Ungerer 
("Far Out is Not Far Enough" - documentary)

quinta-feira, 17 de julho de 2014

Truman Capote on bores

Barbara Walters, in How to Talk to Practically Anyone About Practically Anything, points to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century to illustrate this intricate art, a practical embodiment of Susan Sontag’s memorable assertion that “a writer is a professional observer.” Walters writes: 
Truman Capote has a natural gift that makes him a great guest at a dinner party: he is always interested in whomever he’s talking to. For one thing, he really looks at the person he is with. Most of us see outlines of one another, but Truman is noting skin texture, voice tone, details of clothing. 
One of the reasons that Truman is always interested in people is that he won’t allow himself to be bored. He told me that when he meets a truly crashing bore he asks himself, “Why am I so bored? What is it about this person that is making me yawn?” He ponders, “What should this person do that he hasn’t done? What does he lack that might intrigue me?”He catalogues thoughtfully the bore’s face, his hair style, his mannerisms, his speech patterns. He tries to imagine how the bore feels about himself, what kind of a wife he might have, what he likes and dislikes. To get the answers, he starts to ask some of these questions aloud. In short, Truman gets so absorbed in finding out why he is bored that he is no longer bored at all. 

via Maria Popova (Brain Pickings)

Truman Capote by Irving Penn, 1965

sexta-feira, 16 de maio de 2014

Nietzsche, monsters and abyss

Dante's Inferno by Gustave Doré (detail)

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

domingo, 27 de abril de 2014

Berger on Drawing

For the artist drawing is discovery.
And that is not just a slick phrase, it is quite literally true. 

It is the actual art of drawing that forces the artist to look at the object in front of him, to dissect it in his mind’s eye and put it together again; or, if he is drawing from memory, that forces him to dredge his own mind, to discover the content of his own store of past observations. 

It is a platitude in the teaching of drawing that the heart of the matter lies in the specific process of looking. A line, an area of tone, is not really important because it records what you have seen, but because of what it will lead you on to see. 

Another way of putting it would be to say that each mark you make on the paper is a stepping-stone from which you proceed to the next, until you have crossed your subject as though it were a river, have put it behind you.

John Berger: Berger on Drawing. Aghabullogue, Co. Cork: Occasional Press (II edition, 2007), p.3.

Spinoza - Prop. XVIII

A man is as much affected pleasurably or painfully by the image of a thing past or future as by the image of a thing present. 

So long as a man is affected by the image of anything, he will regard that thing as present, even though it be non-existent, he will not conceive it as past or future, except in so far as its image is joined to the image of time past of future. 

Wherefore the image of a thing, regarded in itself alone, is identical, whether it be referred to time past, time future, or time present; that is, the disposition or emotion of the body is identical, whether the image be of a thing past, future, or present. Thus the emotion of pleasure or pain is the same, whether the image be of a thing past or future.

(Ethics, Prt III, Proposition XVIII)

terça-feira, 15 de abril de 2014


Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theater. It is the medium of past experience, just as the earth is the medium in which dead cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.

Walter Benjamin, 
Berlin Childhood: Around 1900