As night falls new radiation patterns emerge in the streets of Florence. Creative tools are infinitely malleable. Being aware and open to possibilities is the most essential perimeter.
“What is absolutely true is always correct, everywhere, all the time, under any condition. An entity’s ability to discern these things is irrelevant to that state of truth.” – Steven Robiner
In the castle
Positive reinforcement of current place in time and specific physical position, located at the top of the stairs in the Villa, when heading towards my assigned bedroom.
“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how to respond to them.” – Epictetus
Nothing but images
On exit from The Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, more art literally exhibited in the street becomes part of the overall experience. Recontextualized images randomly juxtaposed together on the ground serve to deflect traffic flow. Few pay any attention.
“And if there is nothing other than the image, the very notion of the image becomes devote of meaning.” – Jacques Ranciere
During my visit to Florence, moving from the interior of art galleries and museums out into the public arena made for an interesting transition. Differentiating from tightly controlled institutionalized art to a cacophony of random artifacts challenges observational skills. Both intentionality and value assessment come into question in a communal world mediated by images.
“But for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, appearance to essence, . . . truth is considered profane, and only illusion is sacred.” – Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach
On the edge
Revisiting the frog pond numerous times, it began to have an intimate feel, offering new awareness potential with enhanced acquaintance. Being close to the castle, yet tucked out of sight, it always provided a place of quiet contemplation. The combination of its history and current state of neglect presented a certain dignity.
“We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything.” – Thomas Edison
As part of the whirlwind of activities involved in the summer IDSVA Italian residency, we entered into various magnificent religious citadels. These imposing historical structures are incredibly lavish and flamboyant, built to overwhelm their congregational followers into meek servitude. Although most of the elaborate ornamentation was designed to dwarf an observer when looking up towards the heavens, I was more interested at the messages delivered when looking down towards the center of the earth.
“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
In a mobile computing age, it seems anachronistic to attempt street selling from a small random collection of printed books. As I observed this Florentine scene while taking a short respite, these two apparent locals were the only interested parties. The swarming tourists had no curiosity, but did approach other nearby vendors that were promoting cheap jewelry or novelty clothing.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
Develop and change
When traveling it is necessary to work with the conditions presented, without the luxury of scouting a subject or venue to preselect the paramount position, time of day, and weather conditions for optimal image capture. Nevertheless, there is a certain sport to a spontaneous creative activity, working to make the most of what is available, and quickly to move on to the next image opportunity. So it was, on the several day trips to various locations made during the Spannocchia residency.
“What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?” – George Carlin
Chair shadow interplay
While at the Spannocchia residency, a stylish “Wine on the Terrance” event was scheduled each day proceeding dinner. This pleasant social occasion always seemed to occur under magical ambient lighting conditions, catalyzing a few image captures to punctuate the accompanying philosophical conversation focused on art and aesthetics. In addition, the wine was exceptional.
“The amount of sophistication varies according to the quality of the medium, and to the state of the same medium at different times; it must be attributed in the best cases physiologically to the medium, intellectually to the control.” – Oliver Joseph Lodge
Built to impress
When on sensory overload, responding to stimulus begins to be mechanically restricted. With perceptual processing at capacity, the floods of incoming images are loaded into a mental buffer. Old reaction patterns emerge even when confronted with novel subjects. To compensate artistically, it is useful to categorize input relative to extant ongoing creative projects, to build on an established parallel image series.
“Most of our lives are a series of images; they pass us by like towns on a highway. But sometimes a moment stuns us as it happens and we know that this instant is more than a fleeting image. We know that this moment every part of it will live on forever.” – Lucas Scott