Tuesday, April 22, 2008

On the concept of figure and ground

click for video: Quicktime / .m4v for iPod / other versions at Blip.tv

"The Theater of the Absurd dramatizes this recent dilemma of Western man, the man of action who appears not to be involved in the action. After three thousand years of specialist explosion and of increasing specialism and alienation in the technological extensions of our bodies, our world has become compressional by dramatic reversal. As electrically contracted, the globe is no more than a village. Electric speed in bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion has heightened human awareness of responsibility to an intense degree."

While being aware of the possibility of arranging the human environment as a work of art or as a didactic machine designed to maximize perception and to make everyday learning a process of discovery, Sam Renseiw passed by some cherry trees recently. View the ensuing, languishing, contextually geo-tagged, ambient spring voodle by clicking here or on the links above. (patafilm # 591, 04'24'', 24.4MB, Quicktime/mov - other versions at Blip.tv)

Today's Bonus Lumiere Video features a feeble, flying advertisement banner over an old willow, quite apropos the figure/ground topic of this post. (Lum # 107 " flying banner" 00'38'', 3.1MB, Quicktime/mov)

Today's Patalab Metaphor Video re-play-supplement features riveting, bifurcated repetitions; Again, a very appropriate theme to the overall topic of today's posts. (patafilm # 436,[14.06.2007 post] 03'58'', 18.3MB, Quicktime/mov)

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Anonymous Robert Croma said...

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

The notification of Spring via the magnificence of cherry blossom, especially when shot poetically by Sam Renseiw against a palette of blue sky, fills me with deep yearning and hope. My favourite time of year, of course, at least in temperate zones.

The bonus lumiere is just stunning.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 4:11:00 pm  
Blogger Steven Ball said...

Very interesting, there is something approaching the Horizontal Rule here, but what is more interesting is the way you create a false horizon from a low angle shot which creates a close horizon, defying perception and expectation simultaneously producing both spatial conflation and expansion - in that sense it's a very contemporary landscape!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 11:21:00 pm  
Blogger gurdonark said...

The rhythm and the alignment of the trees gives a martial feel to this piece which is the best kind of semi-intended consequence of the wandering eye and ear of the composing vlogger.

Rapoon's music is often beatless and ambient, and yet here it is as if the work was designed for a parade of cherry trees.

My own daydream, as I listened, was not of some Cherry Sousa Extravaganza, though, but instead a casual reflection about landscape architecture.

We know that architecture, art, literature, poetry, music and theology were all transformed by the events from 1880 through 1920, when the advent of a new science and the advent of its employment in new methods of mass warfare
changed the way we see so many things, right down to the root of representationalism, the meaning of events, and the ways we perceive.

I wonder,though, about how landscape architecture was affected by the changes. I am not well read in landscape architecture. So often it is treated as a kind of craft and skill with artistic edges, rather than as the artistry in reputation accorded to gallery art or to building architecture.

Were there landscape futurists?
An abstract expressionism in garden plotting? I know nothing of these things.

I love the way that particular pursuits have by-ways and in-roads of which nobody would dream--like the book of orchid species I own, listing thousands upon thousands of orchids known from almost every continent, in so many different conditions.

When I view this video, I enjoy it for what it is--and for the interplay of soundtrack and image and my notions of "martial" sound.
Yet I also have this second daydream--this note to read up on landscape architecture--and it all works in my mind at the same time, but on a different level, than the
simple visual of the first.

It is as if we geotag each image in so many ways---"this is what I see", "this is what I think I see", "this is what I imagine I see".

I perceive that your work is changing and becoming more full in addressing the ephemeral and yet real issues of perception.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 1:22:00 am  
Blogger SAM RENSEIW said...

thank you all for the comments!

thoughtful conversation, inspiring and enjoyable too.

i am lucky to have this scenery on my way home (that is, if i choose to bicycle that way around). the trees must have been planted recently, as i did not notice them before. i had noticed them last week already, but then if was rather greyish weather.

the "sudden" sight of the trees in bloom, the clear sky, the fresh sea breeze (just a 100 meters from the little mermaid, btw), was indeed overwhelming. i just had to record the sense of humble and joyful awe that i experienced. i came somehow close to it.

the travelling pan was orchestrated in a very simple way: just placing the camera on my bicycle saddle, and thus using the bike as a low-tech dolly, moving forwards... Thus the camera angle- and the "eye" seeing- were far lower than the usual perspective, giving the imagery a surreal (or a hyper-real) twist.

(the idea comes, of course, from j.l.godard; he used a tricycle in "breathless" and a wheelchair in "alphaville" and "vivre sa vie")

re. futuristic gardening:

one of the most "futuristic" garden scenes can be seen is in jacques tati's " mon oncle".
my own favorites in that "genre" would be:
museuminsel hombroich > http://www.inselhombroich.de/tour.htm
and donald judd's chinati foundation in marfa, texas : >

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 9:25:00 pm  
Anonymous pepa said...

it´s beautiful.
those trees are not real.
i like the angel.
thanks for sharing that moment.

Thursday, April 24, 2008 5:33:00 am  
Anonymous Hekla said...

oh yes the trees are real - I walk that park in copenhagen often - what is unreal is the fact that we are so busy that we haste life and forget to stop and wander - I LOVE TREES - they open hearts, thanks Sam, as always you capture THE FEEL of something...

NB. My designs are not in Designeriet anylonger - but could we shoot a film with my new Amnesty tee one sunny day - http://www.facebook.com/pages/TRASHshop/7797191750

love hekla

Thursday, April 24, 2008 9:52:00 am  

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