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Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

How to build a poem

In Thoughts on July 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm

What would a poem look like if you were to build it?

That was the question behind The Cloud Collective’s latest project, where they constructed Robert Walser’s “Oppressive Light” from three-dimensional white block letters, which rise and fall like styrofoam waves in an over-saturated room.

Read the poem. Then watch the video.

Two trees stand in the snow,
tired of the light, the sky
heads home – nothing nearby
where the gloom makes its abode.

And behind those trees,
houses tower in the dark.
Now you hear someone speak,
now the dogs begin to bark

The round, beloved moonlight
lamp appears in the house.
When again the light goes out
A gaping wound remains in sight.

What a small life to know
and so much nothingness nearby.
Tired of the light, the sky
has given everything to the snow.

The two trees dance with grace,
bend their heads and nod.
Clouds race across the sod
of the world’s silent face.

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Enveloped: A TBE SHORT

In Thoughts on July 25, 2011 at 6:06 am

While a brutal heat wave gripped Chicago, a massive blanket of fog advanced from the lake and closed down every single one of the city’s beaches, due to zero visibility. In one lakeside neighborhood it was 75 degrees; in a landlocked area it was 86 and felt like nearly 100. It was surreal to see from nearly any vantage point, but from the air, it’s especially incredible.

Places as Playmates: Alternative educational architecture

In Excerpts on July 19, 2011 at 6:52 am

Over on Bobulate, Liz Danzico asks what places we consider playmates:

“The simple form of a tree provides inspiration for a kindergarten space and movement as a tool for learning:

‘In “Philosophical Investigations,” Ludwig Wittgenstein writes that what children and foreigners have in common is the absence of knowledge of language and a set of codified rules. This leads them — in the first instance — to learn through the senses and the body. To give the children more freedom to move around the school, the directors of the Fuji Kindergarten requested Tezuka to design spaces without furniture: no chairs, desks or lecterns. As a result, “Ring Around a Tree” offers an architecture where there are no measures taken to constrain space, in order to liberate the body.’

And that includes the floors of the structure itself:

‘The space created by Tezuka seems to have just two floors, but for the children the building has six floors with volumes that are one meter high. The compressed spaces, which can only be reached by crawling, further the freedom of movement and ability to use the body as a means of learning.’

The tree was a “place-playmate” for several generations — a treehouse, a waiting shelter, a climbing space — before recently transformed. What places do we consider playmates, and how might they be, should they be, transformed?”