“There is no script for social and cultural life. People have to work it out as they go along. In a word, they have to improvise.”
– Tim Ingold & Elizabeth Hallam, ‘Creativity and Cultural Improvisation’, Routledge, 2007
A. “coping with complexity and uncertainty”
[2000-2001 Advanced Diploma in Capacities for Managing Development, Open University]
The methods of planning and management associated with earlier strategies were found to be less useful in coping with the uncertainty and complexity of development problems.
– Dennis A. Rondinelli: ‘Development Projects as Policy Experiments’, Methuen, 1983
…there is no sense of ‘going anywhere’ or of ‘getting anything’. The text communicates directly, immediately – gesturing again and again to what is present, what is the fact, here, now, always and everywhere. Moreover, ‘the text’ is in actual fact nothing but a bunch of small texts that are by-and-large unrelated to one another. … / This dislocated, disassociated textual form is designed precisely with the disabling of ‘progression’, ‘movement’ and the senses of ‘being taught’, and ‘being in good hands’, in mind. For, the sense that reality is divisible…is precisely the illusion this text seeks to expose and disperse. / Nevertheless, the sense that something, a thing of form and therefore of distinction and separation, is being ‘grasped’ in one of the texts, or ‘pieced together’, ‘formed’ amongst a number of the texts, may occasionally emerge. … / There are two possibilities. In both cases these little black squiggles will be translated into sounds, images and feelings called ‘thoughts’. One possibility is that this thinking will not only appear but will linger as solid, continuous formations that are definite, definable somethings, and are therefore separate, abstract and limited…continuously threatened by doubt and death. … / The other possibility is altogether different. As these little black squiggles are being translated…the sense of something beyond thoughts, or rather in the thoughts and in everything else as well, will emerge. The thoughts will give way to this sense, this omnipresence. …so that nothing is left. …not only in the black squiggles and thoughts they conjure…[but it] has filled and encompassed the entire landscape around [them], leaving only…oneness.
– Guy Smith: ‘This is Unimaginable & Unavoidable’, Non-Duality Press, 2005
action research / action theory – creative spaces / the artist as a creative space and/or action – field of potential working
[2005-2006 Action Research Evaluation On-Line, Southern Cross Institute of Action Research, Australia]
post-representational theory / Nigel Thrift: ‘Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect’, 2007 (summary)
1. capture the ‘onflow’…of everyday life…desire to do more than simply squeeze meaning from the world…intentionality…performative…adaptive living, as an instrument of sensation, play, and imagination
2. anti-biographical and pre-individual
3. practice, action, and performance / joint action
4. relational materialism…co-evolve with things
5. be experimental / “poetics of the release of energy that might be thought to resemble play” / don’t explain
6. [Dewey] embodied, antidualist, aesthetically sensitive, “personal authorship” of one’s life while rejecting fixity
7. “jump to another world” [James] / the craftsmanship of everyday life and existing on the “interstices of interaction” / new forms of neighbourliness and community.
“more action, more imagination, more light, more fun, even”
What is obtained from architecture, at all levels, is graduated experience. I would regard this as a fundamental problem. …the attempt to fuse all forms of visual imagery with architecture and architectural concepts. It also poses the question – an immensely important one – of whether the essential act of contemplation of a work is at all possible outside that graduated experience… / What is envisaged is people working outside the context of highly structured institutions but – this is essential – possessing the identity of the one to which they belong, engaged in work involving interested specialists in other fields and thus breaking down the mutually destructive isolation and exclusivity now common to both. … This would go some way to re-define the role of experimentation.
– Peter de Francia: ‘Mandarins and Luddites’, RCA, 1973
C. “he is in substance a fielding power”
Once upon a time a field of sky-and-earth unfolded itself and man found himself standing upright therein. Man has no choice but to play the field: he is in substance a fielding power – a power which is as much his as it is not his. … Between the fielding power that man is and the fielding powers that things are, there lies manifested a realm of double openness – what we habitually call the world. For what is manifested as the world is concurrently an openness of significance and an openness of reality. There is no reality without significance, and there is no significance without reality. We appropriate the significance of things, while we posturalize their reality. Man is a being in the world in so far as he is an appropriator of significance and a posturalizer of reality. More exactly, what is appropriated is, in the final analysis, the proper/rightness of things, while what is posturalized is always some figure in a configuration. For proper/rightness is the thread of significance, and figure/configuration the quintessence of reality. … We appropriate the significance of things, while we posturalize their reality. Man is a being in the world in so far as he is an appropriator of significance and a posturalizer of reality.
– Lik Kuen Tong: ‘The Art of Appropriation, Towards a Field-Being Conception of Philosophy’, in Bo Mou: ‘Two Roads to Wisdom?’, Chinese and Analytic Philosophical Traditions’, Open Court, 2001
D. Well-Making & Well-Doing
W R Lethaby: “Art is the well-doing of what needs doing” / “Work is a sacred thing and I have wished above all to stir the instinct for making and doing.“ / “Making things opens out minds.”
Ananda Coomaraswamy: “…just as ethics is the “right way of doing things,” so art is the “making well of whatever needs making,” or simply “the right way of making things”; and still addressing ourselves to those for whom the arts of personality are superfluous, ask whether art is not after all a necessity.” [‘What Is the Use of Art Anyway?’, The American Review, January 1937]
[1979-1980 ‘Post-War Public Art in Coventry’, Research Assistant, Herbert M&AG]
E. fragile architecture / [Juhani Pallasmaa] | fragile thought [Gianni Vattimo]
“…the architecture of weak image is contextual and responsive. It is concerned with real sensory interaction instead of idealized and conceptual manifestations. This architecture grows and opens up, instead of the reverse process of closing down from the concept to the detail.”
“Strong strategies are reinforced by the eye, the sense of distant control, whereas weak principles give rise to the haptic townscape of intimacy and participation.”
– Juhani Pallasmaa in Helskini (1996) and later in ‘The Embodied Image: Imagination and Imagery in Architecture’, Wiley, 2011
F. Prefiguration & Spontaneity
prefiguration / prefigurative approach [Atelier Van Lieshout]
[Longchenpa] spontaneity = a transcendence of pre-existing structures and social networks found in organized situations –> prefiguration (act of representing, suggesting, or imagining in advance) as ethics [Benjamin Franks]
transgression / dispersion of the self as artist through constant transgression…beyond ‘this and that’
[Foucault] “I speak”…“an absolute opening through which language endlessly spreads forth, while the subject—the “I” who speaks— fragments, disperses, scatters, disappearing in that naked space”
– Michel Foucault: ‘Aesthetics, Method, and Epistemology – Essential Works of Foucault 1954-1984’, Penguin Books, 2019
“…a convergence of lines of interest rather than a bounded field of study”
– Tim Ingold: ‘Resisting Culture, Embracing Life’, 2010
not sown / not strewn / not explained / not taught / not made known / not established / not unveiled / not explained in detail / and not made manifest / nor shown
– Niddesa II 350
Det var ingen observation. Det var en stigande totalbild, en uppmärksamhet som berusade inte bara ögonen som såg utan hela …som levde, såg, visste – utan form eller gränser. / It was not observation. It was a rising in total view, an attention that intoxicated not only the eyes that saw but the whole …that lived, saw, knew – without form or boundaries.
– Emilia Fogelklou: ‘Form och stralning’ (Form and Radiance), 1958
“…the absolute communicated solely by means which are proper to pictorial art”
– Tim Hilton: UK commentary: notes on threes exhibitions | John Walker at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Studio International, December 1972, pp 238-240