Monday, October 31, 2011

Of Fire Ensemble

This is a little exercise I've made trying to identify the forces inside me as characters. Kind of building my own mythology or something like that. Unfortunately there was no time to write down their characteristics in time, mainly because this idea was really hard to be materialized in a proper way.  So here it goes who they are, and someday I'll have their story written down.

Hephaestus' Fire - The Forge - The Creation and Enthusiasm

Aine's Fire - The Sun - The Life and Passion

Trygve's Fire - The Ignis Fatuus - The Sour and Resistance

Vesta's Fire - The Hearth - The Protection and Temperance

Zhu Rong's Fire - The Campfire - The Courage and Vigour

Of updates (Prime Undertones)

So, if a past perception is a different generation that rolls into the unconscious and become cobwebs that influence me, the prime undertones are also in this mess. So there's some thoughts regarding it, divided in three main subjects. First, how they get formed, and second, how they are shared with others. Third, their relation with vortex.

First, they seem to be originated from mindscapes, that belonging to a past generation, their imprint in my mind makes it become a minor undertone. I have some of these from the mindscapes I experienced last month. Apparently the undertones are created by the level of intensity of each mindscape, so when there's any recalling of a past generation, these undertones will spring out from the unconscious as a desire to be reexperienced. And this way, by repeating the experience, the undertone will gradually grow to become a Prime Undertone.

So, regarding the second topic, the undertones seem to be created by experiences we have. So, the more people share experiences, the more prime undertones in common they will have. As a braudelian concept, the surface levels are the experiences I had which are unique to my own, because our amount of experiences are unique. Then comes the people who share most of our experiences, like our family and our closest friends. Movies, books and songs also count as experiences, which can connect people together. And then this will go until the deepest bottom of the framework, in which only the most primordial experiences are shared, probably universal undertones. Maybe those are jungian archetypes.

And the third topic, the prime undertones come to us like vortexes, in the sense of any elementality that calls our attention. They stand above the vortexes, because they influence what we'll identify as a vortex. And that's the reason why things sometimes seem so desperatly subjective, because we're recalling only things that already belong to us. This is, after all, one of the reasons why I am always looking for new mindscapes, as they'll grant me new undertones that will broaden my subjective horizon a little more.

Of Generations

Months have passed since I have first thought about things that were forgotten, but it seems now I'm finally starting to understand what's going on. Probably what makes my perceptions change are the accumulation of information. They are changing every moment. The news tomorrow are going to be different ones, the thoughts we'll have tomorrow are going to be different. Even if they are the same thoughts than today, they are accumulation of today's thoughts. Our mind has to adapt to that and it becomes everchanging to be able handle this everchangingness of the events in this world. I haven't read anything about it, so there's no theoretical backup here.

The changes and different perceptions occur, obviously, according to Braudel's Framework. Some are minor ones and change our perception about, I don't know, someone else. Some others are major and change our perception about something bigger, like the whole world.I'll call Generations these middle-ground perceptions between minor and major ones, the medium-term process I haven't payed much attention before. My long-term perception remains the same, the thirst for knowledge and development, but something in-between medium and short-time perceptions change and because of that, for my mind to deal with the overwhelming accumulation of thoughts, so constantly I'm losing track of important thoughts.

In fact, I can recall the change of generations seem to happen every month or so, since recalling something from weeks ago already feel much in the past. And this is how I'm going, always feeling like the whole of my thoughts are slipping off my grip. It always feel like having to go back to get one that has fallen behind. Every generation seems to learn everything all over again if the previous one doesn't leave any legacy to teach them the important things that take too much time to learn by trial-and-error.

So, the issue is, I have the problem of communication in-between generations. I don't want to forget what past generations have already learned, so I need to find a way to overcome this. Except I already did start a project like that, it's the Inner Constitution. It's great how a key element connects everything.

Of accumulative past perceptions

It's amazing how one single epiphanic realization can tie everything up so nicely and organically. It's one missing sylvan being that makes the whole asymmetric flock of unpaired motifs to suddenly become one single unit of a concept. It's the key element that makes the overly complex mess become a graspable idea. Probably this is the last step before going deeper, as the current motifs can be packed in single unit with a slightly-more-finished-business stamp on it that grants my mind a blissful weightlessness with the sense of accomplishment before the Aftergoal Disillusion. Then I'd be able to store it on my shelves and fill the floor with some another puzzle, if things went as planned.

This quest started some time ago when I first got the glimpse of the motif I've been charging until the current concept I'm calling Prime Undertones. I've given some thoughts on cobwebs, and how they are formed. There's this thing about life being a non-stoping machine that pushes us out toward the world before we're done with the meal. In this never-ending evolution things are left behind in the constant evolution of ourselves and they end up finding themselves in the unconscious alleys of the mind, where their screams are dampened by the dark.

So here's the thing, this change of perception of the world I just perceived lately seemed to be something I couldn't quite relate to the cobwebs, but the epiphanic realization brought them together, and I could see how it was one surface event in this whole life-pushing-me-forward business. The past perceptions being left behind are just being stored in the unconscious, because, as I said, they're unfinished business. My mind evolves before I have the chance to deal with them. Interesting plot twist, the past perceptions of the world are the cobwebs.

Of Mindscape Categorization

I always find it hard to explain what a mindscape is, and the reason for so is that they vary highly in kinds. I could identify some kinds so far, and here they are seen as distinct ones, but in truth constantly several will interweave in one experience. It's still a highly underdeveloped categorization, so it'll look pretty cryptical, but I think writing it down will help me organize it a little furthar.

Emotional Mindscape: Simply known as "feelings". They influences the sensorial ones. For instance, when deeply in love, the wind and the air feels different.

Dreamful Mindscape: the emotional mindscape from when we wake up contaminated by an intense feeling we had in our dreams. Be an intense feeling of love, fear or the grief. It's dangerous to wake up reloving someone we have to forget.

Expectant Mindscape: the feeling we develop about something not real or that hasn't happened yet (that will turn out to be not real exactly because of that).

Neighbor Mindscape: it's a special kind of expectant mindscape, as we develop it to understand what other people are feeling. It comes from the saying "the neighbor's lawn is always greener", as the neighbor mindscape always makes us think of the mindscape experienced by the other to feel better than it might actually have been. It's the idea that someone who's living in another city is more fulfilled than us. This mindscape is some sort of a mindtrap, as it makes us forget that they are probably as lost and unfulfilled as we are.

Unseen Mindscape: the ones we aren't aware we are experiencing. For instance, the sense of place, the Genius Loci that each city has and that we are only aware during certain epiphanic moments. Can also be applied to things we are so used to we can't realize, such as the gender we belong to, or our body and our life simply as it is. So, because of some kind of Blindfold we can't see it. It's somehow related to the Neighbor Mindscape as in, could their mindscapes be real and it's unseen to them and not to us?

Anti-mindscape: If a mindscape is to be seen as a sensorial and emotional state that allows the mind to feel inspired, then things that bring us any sort of discomfort can't be considered an actual mindscape, but rather something that prevents us from achieving it. However, present anti-mindscapes, if experienced routinely, can become nostalgic mindscapes, such as the smell of campfire smoke and mud now bring me back memories (they are undertones).

Mental Mindscape: the experience in our heads, usually helped by soundtracked mindscapes, as songs help creates imagery. Emotional responses can be part of mental mindscapes, not sure yet.

Sensorial Mindscapes: the feelings experiences by our senses. Are the most pleasant ones, as sometimes emotional mindscapes don't always are too peaceful to be enjoyed.

Combined Mindscape: The combination of two or more senses to create a mindscape. Usually visual and musical, sometimes featuring the help of scents. Can be Ephiphanic.

Harmonic and Dissonant Mindscapes: a subcategory of combined mindscapes. Harmonic is when the sense are similar in meaning. Dissonant is the contrast among the senses.

Epiphanic Mindscapes: Those are the mindscapes experienced when senses get connected in a spectacular way, most commonly through Soundtracking. One can only prepare the ground for one (mostly by exploring Prime Undertones), but the epiphany itself is a random phenomenon. Not exactly rare, but immensely treasured nevertheless.

Soundtracked Mindscape: is a mindscape created with the help with music. It can be the combination with the outerworld. Can be Combined or Epiphanic.

Internal and External mindscapes: subcategories of the soundtrack mindscape. It's the way a song will estimulate a soundtracked mindscape. Internal means that the song works the way it feels naturally. External means the external quality of the song, such as the year it was made, for instance. The fact that you're listening to video game music on the bus is an external soundtracked mindscape (also epiphanic, dissonant and sometimes shameful).

Nostalgic Mindscapes: It's the recalling of past experiences. As they create our Prime Undertones, not every time it is a nostalgic mindscape, but a fondness towards a special feeling.

Routine Mindscapes: They happen after stablishing routines. They can be natural or artificial. I usually do the chores by listening to a different podcast with each one, so there's a routine that makes the task unique, almost like a rite. Can become nostalgic.

Moody Mindscape: the doing of a task is influenced by how well we feel doing them. Certain subjects feel good to study because they remind us of something, like studying History or Science reminds me of some childhood times when those subjects fascinated me. Gamification is one form of Moody Mindscape (studying makes my knowledge become solid, so it feels like getting experience and becoming stronger). Routine and Nostalgic Mindscapes can allow Moody Mindscapes. As it's constant, it's the opposite of the Epiphanic, which has an intense peak and quickly fades.

Of observer's interference

It's weird how Mindscapes and Prime Undertones and other more emotional ideas seem to become different than they first were simply because I've started paying attention to them. Sometimes thinking about some emotions they seem to become different. It's as if the idea about writing about and analyzing them stain their purity.

But how can I truly know if there has been any interference or am I just witnessing a natural evolution?

Of metawriting

Writing allows mankind to develop more complex thoughts, and I can feel it here. Writing helps me to notice flaws and underdevelopment of the logic and it helps me to to expand it, and to think of details and learn new possibilities that would be too difficult without writing. And the most important part, at least for me, is that it allows me to focus on the subject.

But as they get more complex, they also can become too complicated to handle. I wonder how the texts feel to the other side, to the readers who are unaware of the whole process that led to the words they are reading, making them to have an almost virginal vision of what the text really is. It's something that I, as a writer, became uncapable of perceiving, blindfolded by the overloadness as I always get myself too contaminated with all the possibilities and crossroads I meet. So the possibility of the final result being something understandable or unbearable to read is something I can no longer tell.

After all, it seems that writing makes the idea always grow into something different than first intended. The materialization of an idea seems to end up being only one of the endless ways it could be shown in this world.  Due to crossroads and possibilities, the consequence that follows each different stroke, the path that changes after every note and the unrepeatable accumulation of sequential words makes the final conclusion that seems to be always only a fragment of what the idea truly is.

And at the same time, the very process of writing is also makes the idea paradoxally more real and intense. Some of these ideas I've written here have existed long before they were named, and when I've expressed them they finally seemed to begin existing, like a second birth, a second wave of enthusiasm that ensues. So it becomes an obsession, the feeling that ideas aren't official before I have materialized them with words. I begin really thinking of them after they were posted, mainly because I start realizing things I should have included.

So there's the problem that is the possibility that the materialization makes that small fragment of the idea being turned real and intense, making the materialized idea feels limited (and probably why some old ideas feel alien to me already, as the emotional response comes from the word that didn't capture the essence of my thought). And that's how I can see simplicity can be harmful, as expanding the idea into complexity gives room for it to manifest itself fully. But maybe it's when I have it nuclearly explained it creates the vortex, the simple phrase that seed thoughts in the reader's mind (making then the exploration of idea occur inside their heads). Maybe sometimes the overly complex subject is only absent of the key element that brings it all together.

But despite its limitations and paradoxes, what matters is that it's an important exercise, as the best thing it does is to unload our mind. Still I find it really interesting, this need of the human mind to express things for them to feel real. It's interesting how opening your heart to someone suddenly makes the burden lighten up a little. This need to materialize things out ourselves makes the purpose of art make more sense to me.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Of updates (undercurrents and vortexes)

There once was something I awkwardly called Diving Events, which are the superficial, concrete elements that make structural, broad and abstract ideas visible, the unseen undercurrents behind everything, the "decisive moments of change". As what I called a Vortex that is the concrete element from the surface that unconsciously call my attention to what can be harvested in an undercurrent motif, they share very similar elements. And I noticed I can fuse them both together, or, more appropriately, let Vortex take the intellectual property belonging to diving events, let him die poor and alone. Because he has a foul name and also because it helps me get things more simplified.

From now on a Vortex is no less than any concrete manifestation of an abstract force. For instance, historians strive to understand the reason for events to happen. For example, why did Lady Godiva rode a horse while naked in broad daylight. Eitherwise, they also look for vortexes to explain changes in the structure, like the catholic schism, probably started by Luther's 95-thesis (and that's what diving events served for).

Also a vortex is the apple that is told to have given Newton the epiphanic realization about the undercurrent force in the world that made that happening possible, which he called gravity. That's one of the things, how does something become a vortex, since everybody is used to see things falling all the freaking time. Probably it's a matter of preparation, as in truth, professionals are those who are the most prepared to see the undercurrent behind the vortex. A doctor looks for symptoms in his patients, vortexes to a possible disease (patients not always are aware of what could be a symptom, like not everybody could see things falling as a symptom of a pulling force). An experienced engineer has flaws called to his attention that are symptoms of an ill-planned structure, the same way a professional illustrator easily spots the anatomy issues in beginner's work.

And it seems to be the source of knowledge, the taming of undercurrents (they are the obviousness of the logistics). The idea of undercurrents is that the broader it is, the more important it gets. We can find vortexes to that the whole time. Everybody is always doing it the whole time. Arguments and opinions and every kind of abstraction is an undercurrent. I personally find it important to use vortexes to base our arguments. Scientists are an example to us, as they have the liability to make their theories, undercurrents, plausible through experiments, vortexes. Examples and proofs are vortexes to my idea about the relation between vortexes and undercurrents.

In a way I've had it in mind since a long way ago, which I once called deexemplification, so here it goes an old idea that has changed throughout the time, but fortunately, an evolved kind of change. I was once telling about this idea to my sister, and I told how weird is that it seemed that I was making it sound like a world-changing discovery because I was really enthusiastic with it. But that's a symptom of the mindtrap known as Aftergoal. So it'll probably keep evolving, either by finding flaws in it or meeting Aftergoal Disillusion. For instance, the better idealization of how vortexes work would help me find more ideas more easily, but I had an overload of vortexes, trying to see a vortex in everything, which only proved to make my mind overloaded and not actually have grasped any true realization, which only made my mind disorientated with broken thoughts. The speed of realization, and naming them all, therefore, still remains slow. I still have to let the natural vortexes make their way into undercurrents in my mind.

Of Aftergoal Disillusion

Sometimes when I feel that I'm capable of doing something in the level of quality I desire, I feel I've been dreaming too low. Or maybe when finding a new idea that helps me enormously, the feeling of reward usually lasts too little, soon to be replaced by the disillusion that reaching in the aftergoal things haven't all been resolved.

To believe in the Aftergoal is in truth very childish, so much it's classified as a mindtrap. Clearly the Sylvan Star won't be found there. And it'll never be, I think it's supposed to be an abstract goal, while I must remain earthly. But it's the foolishness that makes me charge toward each goal with so much strength, enthusiasm and impetuosity. And maybe the Aftergoal Disillusion is such an important step in the pursue of development, because, after all, nothing deters development like the sense of accomplishment.

Maybe I have to keep that in mind when I'm feeling disoriented and troubled. When I meet the Aftergoal Disillusion I should just gather some strength to keep hitting the road. And so far I have always found a next vortex that could hint me that... the princess is in another castle! (who'd guess any Mario game would feature such a deeply meaningful symbolism). Anyhow, at least I'm coming out with new treasures after each journey. And as journeys go, I have to start enjoying every part of it, I shouldn't have forgotten that.

Of disorientation

Today my thoughts are broken. It's quite the status quo of my mind, feeling a mix of being lost and missing something (that sylvan being, the intensely desirable star forever out of reach) that would make it all fit. If I were to speak my mind more constantly as it is, this blog would be mostly about this. But it's amazing how hard it is to talk about this. To word a solid idea is so easy, no way to be compared with explaining how messy, troubled and unsure one head is, or why it's so.

Though I value being like this for it's exactly what triggers my desire to create, to map things I feel in order to feel just a little less bewildered, to name all these different feelings storming me and to understand why these things are happening inside me. But also sometimes it's exactly what makes this to become such a heavy burden, there's always something ahead, always a piece is missing, always a tremor bringing me down, that in these times seem to take advantage of my sudden weakening. Seems the more I try to understand who I am, the more I introspect, the worst it gets. The more you look for it, the farther away it is. But if I ever abandon this quest, it won't be because of a confirmed limitation.

It's annoying having so many ideas that don't match or always realizing something being done wrong, an important element and factor being forgotten, or finding out that there's no way one can't ever be completely safe from contradiction and hypocrisy. But unbelievably there are things worst than the a feeling of heaviness and shame pushing my chest down. It's one of those Blackouts. It's happening again and it astounds me how it scares me to find the absence of meaningful vortexes, finding  that nothing is calling my attention, nothing triggers my interest. It's not even the feeling of pointlessness, just apathy, though I dread carelessness so much that it brings me the worriment that the hollow is what I am. It's the fear of the confirmation that I'm aware that I'm not suffering from a meaningless delirium again, but rather being so aware of my insignificance to try, and that I'm only dreaming I can make it because I'm too blindfolded to realize what it truly takes to make it. I always seem to feel like being on the verge of falling down. There's always something about to bring an end to everything I'm building here.

Although I feel so tired, this probably is the reason why I can never let myself rest. It's because it makes the engine slow down and stop. The engine cools down and then becomes frigid and careless. There I go into one of those states of mind that are always feeling different in each occasion. Is this one of those dead-ends, or the realm of uncertainty? It's as if what these words meant was lost and I was left with these empty vessel that the name became. Or maybe it is like a chord, that always sound different depending on the progression that led me to it.

So sour still fires inside my body, but here I ask myself what the point for this development is. Sometimes it feels like I'm only using it to hide from some kind of damage I can't resolve, or maybe it is exactly what's fueling me. Sometimes it grows to become a genuine desire almost independent, but somehow not as motivating and resistant alone. And I ask myself how dangerous it is for the safety of this quest. Now, could I really be asking to remain damaged and to keep bearing this feeling of heavy restlessness?

Of drawing rules

For now these ideas are quite enough, I just need to master them, so I have to start fully practicing them. And to close the issue, I'll write down some half-assed rules for me to follow that I need to pay more attention and work on until they sink in to my unconscious.

First set (Mood)
In order to draw, there must be the desire to draw. Remember the qualities in your art that you want to master (and make yourself aware of the already-unconscious principles). If they feel to far away, taste some inspirational and influential art, fuel in some enthusiasm, even if it's delirious. With the desire to feel the strokes summoning new worlds, it's easier to get immersed in the job.

Second set (Charging)
Even a developed skill rusts and withers, so warm up before the real challenge (frustration removes immersion). When the pencil is dropped, the skill will cool down again, so make good use of the concentration and sharp connection between mind, eye and hand to try new challenges and break new barriers, in a way such barrier will remain open with the next return.

Third set (Method)
Analyse and find the prime vertices, lay out the Base shape, then Layer it up. The image must be structured matematically, but the use of behavioral elements along with Edging over them makes them feel real. The pressure of the pencil on the paper also grows equivalent to the layer it's in, so strokes can't never be too close to being hard-edged unless it's Edging time.

Fourth set (Dangers) Don't forget the method, so pay attention to what you're doing. Do it slowly, don't hurry. Find the line that is needed and pay attention to it in relation to the others, always. Be careful with repetitions and the vices they feed, so never let skills stagnate. Don't forget the principles, so avoid straight and flat lines. Keep trying to make the lines manifest depth and volume. Analyse the failures and successes, and in the process find the undercurrent motifs and name them (although overloading, the important ones will last).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Of being blindfolded

I've been making progress with my transference skills, I guess, but there's the thing, although the result can come out alright, it's never really like the original. It really bothers me. It's as if the original was mocking at me. Here's what I mean:

Of course mine's the left one.

Despite my effort to convey as much sensibility to transfer every line as equally as possible, and the effort turning out to be a good work on its own, it astounds me how I compare them both afterwards and notice how there are such obvious differences there I was so oblivious during the process.

It's something I can quite recall in my texts here. When I read them afterwards, they always feel really stupid, but when I'm writing I can't notice it because I get so intimate with it, and so overloaded and contaminated with it all that I lose the ability to notice the obvious mistakes. It really annoys me to think that I'm missing exactly what I'm striving for, exactly when I'm the most dedicated to achieve it. Seems like there's some sort of uncanny valley going on here too...

It's an issue I'll have to return later as my ideas on it charge a little more, so I'll give it a name so I can know what issue it is, and it'll be Overloaded Blindfold. There must be a lot of other things that blindfold me, such as mindtraps like polarizations and petty realizations (so a Biased Blindfold), but I'll have to charge some more thoughts on it.

Probably the solution for that would be some Seasoning, and do it even slowlier and with no hurry, and give myself time to compare them both, the current status and the objective. Maybe that's the reason why there are those paintings that take months to be made.

Of Points of Expressivity (crossing the Uncanny Valley)

As desirable as it is, the flexible manipulation of vertices isn't a cure-all resolve. Simply practicing transference will not make me achieve all the skills that are needed, and something that I find as important to go along with it is a much, much bigger concern of mine. It involves something which I call Points of Expressivity.

Basically it means the parts of the human body that are expressive of mood, personality and overall identity. Usually the joints (and angles they form) and movable parts of the body are more clear points of expressivity, but even something as blocky as the chest can express something, as an inflated chest shows pride and confidence.

However, the most nuclear points of expressivity are on the face, as they alone can show pretty much all emotions through it. The mouth and the eyes are the most expressive parts of the body, and I particularly find the eyes the most of them all. It's interesting how everything converges to the eyes, those shining gems that never stop moving, the vortexes to the human soul.

I've been learning in my recent Transference studies that the points of expressivity are where a mastery of the line is most required, as the chance of wronging the angles and lengths of lines rises along with the expressive potential the place has. After all, this is the place where every subtle change for some reason makes the greatest difference in the whole, unlike less expressive areas. For instance, while I may transfer the body lines with a satisfactory success, heads, hands and feet remain in some kind of resistance field that makes all my skill be reduced to a 5-year-old's.

It's weird how lifelikeness is so hard to be tamed. Or how hard it is for us to reproduce it, for that matter. It's what they call Uncanny Valley. And this is my fear, that this is the ultimate challenge, and that I'll never be able to make my way to cross it.

Of Broken Stasis

There's yet another mindtrap that I find when drawing. It's a flatness that makes the drawing really awkward. For instance, a face isn't just a flat surface with eye, mouth and nose stickers on it. And although front, profile and certain angles are easier to avoid flatness, a face turned up always become too flat, and it's highly frustrating to attempt moving a face around and have the face parts attached to it realistically.

In a desperate way to find a way to heal this flatness in faces I draw I got obsessed with the idea of finding the opposite quality I see in human faces. It turned out to become a motif that got my attention, and I'll call it Broken Stasis for a lack of a better name, so this one will paliatively represent the idea's existence.

It represents is a design principle of mine. A principle of dynamism and expressivity of shapes and crossing angles that stir visual interest. But this idea has matured more in musical lands, so I had to go learning a little about musical terms to describe it, which is harmful. But since musical theory is full of amazing italian terms that vortex my mind to the music world, and I have to hold control of my mind not to go that way. Yet.

Songs need design principles as visual art, as they also need dynamism and expressivity from chord progression and rhythm that stir auditive interest. And the analogy of a flat line or surface is linearity of steps of notes. The variation between steps and skips in the ascension makes the melodical line more interesting, and it's known as conjunct and disjunct motion. Also, melodies usually have variation of ascension and descension of the notes. Even if the undercurrent movement of the arpeggio is ascending, no arpeggio sounds possibly interesting by only ascending in step notes. It'd be no song, just an exercise, actually. And then again, ideas run too short if notes are always chosen the same way.

The rhythm of the melody also isn't always synchronized with the the tempo, so breaks in the flow like syncopation make it less predictable. Unpredictability is one of the things that create dynamism, thus vortexes in design, therefore, a subprinciple of the Broken Stasis.

And then, all I have to do is to analogize it back to ungap my visual ideas. The aforementioned Broken Line is one of the ways Broken Stasis can be used to bring an appeal to the design of the piece, a little of asymmetric and chaotic appeal well known in japanese art that make it visually engaging. But the Broken Stasis is also used to correct proportions and give them a dynamic appeal. And if the proportions and angles and dynamics are well-used, the gusto effect makes itself present.

Here is a study of mine in which I attempted to summon Broken Stasis, though there's a lot for me to master my own idea. But there's some of it there already, and you can also recognize it if you watch it with the musical terms in mind.
Can you feel the syncopations and skips?

Of Gusto Effect

Nothing compares to the feeling of breaking the neck of your enemies with a crowbar or pushing them towards the car coming from the opposite lane when you're playing a Road Rash game. However, it doesn't seem like it is exactly because of the violence that it feels so engaging.

It seems like it has some sort of phychological meaning behind it or something. After all, it can happen everywhere in game, from making that specific action and making that little sound to simply walking the character around, those things that feel delightfully real,or simply feel so good to do, for some reason. Maybe storming into a dark nightmarish castle feels nice because they used a psychological appeal as an undercurrent of the allegory. I don't think the developers of games were all this avant-garde, but it seems that some of them truly knew that there was something that make things groovy like that.

I still don't really know how it's caused, so that's the reason I can only recognize the result. So there's some lot to think about it, but the name is already there to remind of the idea's existance, something that until today was only a blotch of unconscious ideas.

The Gusto Effect has origin in gaming, but it can be felt in other areas too, at least for me. My favorite movies are the ones that I like every little thing about it, the dialogue, the music, the ideas and pacing, etc. And it can be used in drawings as it's something like a design quality. I think the Gusto Effect is the reaction we have to a vortex, or more specifically the vortexes created by artists. The whole combination of the image, its dynamics and strokes and everything that seems to create that visual engagement.

It's a rather subjective idea, as solidity and firm grip and edging personally are the things that give me gusto. But I think that the creation of vortexes is a nice objective for any artist to have, as I think honesty and sincere dedication are things that more easily will allow that.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Of Vortexes

In the backyard there's a tree that inspire me to realize ideas. There's also words that make me excited with the undercurrent meaning or phrases that seed thoughts in my mind. I'm calling a Vortex  those elements that stand out for me and that grab my attention and make my mind go astray with wonderings.

They can be elements in the landscape and in a drawing or song that highlight my attention. They can be everywhere, they can be scents or colors, words and ideas, boobs or jokes. They are the sources of my motifs. It's exciting to find an unexplored vortex, as there are motifs to be mined from analyzing it, and unsually a new unexplored vortex becomes something like a new addiction. And one of the characteristics of vortexes is that they never get old (they never run out of undercurrent motifs to be explored). The main melody of a song that seems to be a feeling captured by musical notes or my favorite movies and games are vortexes because they always engage me and make me think of new motifs when reexperiencing it.

I happen to have a "character vortex", which is an essence that can always be explored to create actual characters. So far I've only got one, which I call Ana, since this vortex was born from Silverchair's Ana's Song. Ana's leitmotif is more precisely the "and I need you now somehow" guitar melody. Sometimes when I manage to get immersed in the feelings of that song alone (because my Ana doesn't suffer from anorexia) I can deeply feel the character, sitting on the floor, crying and sobbing, a feeling of bitterness ripping her body apart. There's also Yann Tiersen's first Mouvement Introductif from La Valse des Monstres which actually is a mindscape vortex, as I can picture a whole scenario in my mind. It's an early autumal sunrise, and it feels like a watercolor painting, a park with some benches and some fuchsian flowers (when the violin starts). As there's a feeling of serene love in this mindscape (and sometimes I also feel a slight feeling of sadness) a character can be created from that vortex too, so sometimes I'm not sure how to differ a mindscape from a character vortex, and of course I can explore this boundlessness for creative endeavours.

In my mind my emotional responses also turn out to be motifs that I tame with a name, so they are my mental vortexes, and that's one reason why I entertain myself so easily with my eyes closed. Being aware of the existence of a vortex helps me to develop the Planner's Eye skill, as prime vertices are the nuclear point of origin of the subtle unique characteristics of the image, this uniqueness being a vortex. It's the reason why the eyes and mouths draw my attention, and how I can spend centuries studying and tasting the beauty of femininity.

Sometimes when I'm too long without a vortex nearby I start feeling down or empty inside (that's the reason why I'll listen to songs that remind of what I desire, they imitate the actual vortex). The Blackout that once happened was when vortexes seemed to have stop existing, my greatest worry being the mental ones, the emotional responses. So, as long I can keep vortexes on, I can taste them and mine motifs from them. And my curiosity and enthusiasm to keep developing will keep existing.

So, as the sources of motifs, they are all bounded to it, such as Tasting, Spices, Prime Undertones and Mindscapes. As different as they can be, apparently they will vary in kinds, as the mental and artistic vortexes were already identified. This concept is a vortex in itself, and it has a lot of potential to be unfolded, a whole lot to think about it (mainly because it's one more idea to fit in the whole mess), so this was just an introductory post to it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Of Mathematician's Eye and Referencial Lines

For some reason, some people have the utopic vision that art has to be inherently emotional and intuitive, and that a piece of art made with rules and rocket sciences is not, uh, honest or whatever. I agree art has to be honest and even have an emotional value to them, but when it comes to develop discipline and techniques and achieving precision and accuracy, I don't see why should I avoid the purest logic for art.

And using mathematical elements like, obviously, perspective, but also perpendiculars, parallels, coordinates and overall geometric concepts for composition help me save a lot of time unlike if I just avoided it because of some petty realization that thinking of the technical aspects makes the artist lose the main point of art.

This separation of emotion and logic really makes no much sense to me, I don't feel those things to be as opposite like they were goddamn rivals. Also because when using logic and reason I always noticed a certain sensibility is still needed to connect dots. So here I stablish another principle for my art (and also for my Inner Constitution too): seek to balance a Hybrid between the two dualities

And then again, I'm using mathematics mostly for the Base Line. The later layers are the emotional ones. It's like engineering, the foundations are mathematical, and the architecture, the more artistical and subjective element, are layers over it. Spices and personal elements like the Prime Undertones go on the surface layers.

The Mathematician's Eye is the solution for the Unthoughtful Lines, which are the opposite of being accurate. When I started avoiding these amauterish lines, I noticed still I was making a grave mistake, measuring the angles and lenghts on their own, instead of making them behave with the whole of the lines.

Referencial Lines are the nearby or parallel lines that guide to both the starting and ending point of the current line being drawn, as to keep proportions and areas equalized during the transference. When I ignore the drawing a line in comparison to another one, it feels loose in that space and the odds of damaging the whole of the proportions skyrockets.

Of Planner's Eye and Prime Vertices

What makes logistics so maddening is that every element in logistics has a sublogistic of its own. Transference is one of the subskills needed for the major skill that is drawing, and it has subskills inside it, and it probably keeps fractalizing forever. But luckily I don't feel my mind too overloaded with all this stuff as I'm trying to focus entirely on this section (just slightly unsettled with this kind of parochialism).

There are a few important tricks for transference I've already learned, and I think it's best to write them down. It's interesting how they involve more the eye than the hand. After all, this is again something obvious; if I'm drawing a image I see, I must know what I'm seeing it in order to know what I have to draw.

The Planner's Eye is one of the Transference's subskills, and it's the perfect emphasis on the "know what you're seeing". There's this vice I have that I need to set loose, the vice being the unconscious act of always going directly to drawing without first analysing the image. So, after noticing this I've learned I have to spent more time simply watching and analysing silently the image. The Planner's Eye will help me getting into the work already knowing what elements I must pay attention. 

It all comes back to tasting, learning the uniquety of the elements of the image and how they stand out, and the nuclear angles and lines that stir the overall emotional response towards the the whole image. And this is what the Prime Vertices are, those nuclear points. The whole purpose of the Planner's Eye skill is to collect them. For instance, illustrators who are specialized in making caricatures have keen eyes for identifying the Prime Vertices (and them exaggerating them).

Being honest, I have virtually no experience with this skill (as I used tasting more for self-entertainment and creative endeavours), but I'm quite satisfied at how this seems to be heading me towards the most nuclear origin of my drawing deficiencies.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Of Transference

Whenever I'm trying to copy something from reference, there they always are: Locked Vertices, and that vice of reproducing the identity-less template is annoying me. So it turns to be an exercise I end up avoiding, as I fear having the image telling me how bad I'm with Vertex Manipulation. But it's a fear I have to face to improve, so I'll give the skill a fancy name, Transference. So now I know how I can refer to the issue, and I can try building up an emergency mindscape with a panel showing "transference skill: red-low" and a sounding siren screaming "IMPROVE, you bastard".

Transference is in itself the exercise to loosen the Locked Vertices vice, since the challenge to transfer the seen lines to the paper exactly as it is seems to be the nuclear treatment for the issue, if done consistently and with enough discipline (to be honest, this is actually the issue). In theory, my eyes and my hands will have to be more synergical, and my eyes will have to learn the sensibility to compare the equality of the lines, the one being transfered and the one being drawn.

The matter of transference is analogous. It's a quality I also have to improve in my musical skills, since finding the note on my guitar still seems to be the most handicapped, as I have a vice that leads my hand to usually guess the same interval between the notes, instead of letting the difference in the two notes tell the length of interval it needs. I'd say putting my thoughts in words are a matter of transference as well, but I think sometimes it's more of a matter of intersemiotic translation.

Anyway, with discipline, this kind of exercise will loosen the vice and I'll be a step closer to be a master of the lines. And being a master of the lines I'll be able to handle angles and lengths and to manipulate the vertices with flexibility, and so my drawings will have identity, which allows them to be diverse and unique. So I have to work on having discipline and force myself to practice Transference. The Rancor monsters with Joker makeup still turn up and make my gut wrench with disillusion. But Spins always come for the dedicated and hardworking, so I have to work with the feeling of the siren thing bringing pressure, which makes the Sour fuel me.

Of Vertex Manipulation (angles and lengths)

Although I'm finding myself a little more confident about my drawing skills, I'm always feeling threatened by the fact that I'm always finding areas I lack basically all the skill that is needed. And one of these areas is the ability to convey a imagetic message into my drawing.

After Unthoughtful lines, the second worst problem I have are proportions and, consequently, a sense of identity. The issue has its nuclearity in the elements of the logistics of drawing subsequent to lines: angles and lengths. It requires an obscene sensibility, as slight changes in the lines and angles makes our emotional response to the image be completely different. As an example, all eyes (even animals') have basically the same base and behavior of composition, but each eye shows a very slight change in angles and length of the lines, and that's what makes them so unique.

My goal is to master the lines, so their angles and their length is part of the challenge. So far I've managed to achieve certain templates of lines and angles, but they inevitably became Vices and so far all faces are too alike because of that. However, the template granted me vertices to work on, and albeit my skills are locked in certain distribution of vertices, I need to start studying these vertices and be more flexible with them. If it turns out as I'm planning, they can be manipulated and I can achieve diversity.

Of Behavioral Learning

I like resorting to the thought that if only the literal idea is copied, its reproduction is flawed in some way. And if the idea behind them is used by someone else, I can only be happy with that, since that'd be a sign of getting eloquent enough, which is my goal here.

And for me that's what influence means, to learn the idea behind instead of literal body of work. It's learning the undercurrent style of the work instead of using the work itself. For instance, the Indiana Jones movies are based on the behavior of adventure series that inspired them. So much that it's not considered a copy but an addition to the genre. So one can understand the undercurrent behavior influencing events in terror and horror movies. Or what made the ships in the original Star Wars trilogy look so cool, instead of copying surface elements.

This concept is clearly analogous to the Behavioral Line. When one understands the patterns and undercurrent characteristics and ideas of any artstyle, they are able to understand the flow and create works that add to the style. It also helps intersemiotic translation, since one's paying attention to the ideology traveling in the undercurrent and that can surface in different modalities of semiotics.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Of Unthoughtful, Behavioral and Broken Lines

As drawings happen by making lines, the undercurrents influencing the behavior of their composition that is making the drawing a failure or a success also can be found in the study of the lines. For instance, one of most awkward things I have in my drawings is an unconscious habit of mine that I call the Unthoughtful Lines. They stand for the visual fallacies, imagetic mindtraps. They are inconsistent lines that happen when my hand is leaded by a rushing mind that usually ignores the Base Line Prior To Layering rule, which results in one hell of a mess.

The worst thing isn't the Unthoughtful Lines making my work look amateurish, but allowing them to happen progressively drags the whole of the skill back in quality. They prevent me from attaining Solidity and even hurts the ammount of skill carefully builded so far. So, as a mindtrap that is a menace to my most fundamental principle, it must be obliterated.

One of the ways to to avoid these are what I call using Behavioral Lines. They happen by trying to make the lines emulate the undercurrent behavior of the element they're trying to express. It's not as complex as it sounds. For instance, when drawing hair, one must try soft and curvy lines that behave the way a hairline does. And the same goes for muscles, or trees and textures in general. The idea of Behavioral Lines is giving the thing being drawn the line it needs. An Unthoughtful line usually ignores that and gives everything the amauterish flat line.

So, as a consequence of the Behavioral Line (instead of being a polarization against the flat line), I've learned that rarely, if ever, lines go straight for too long. Symmetries are exception, so machinery and architectural require a straight, rectilinear behavior. For natural behaviors one has to understand its inherent asymmetry and aesthetical randomness. For natural behavior it's important to use the Broken Line. It's a kind of line that fits Firm Grip, as it works better against hard-edged looking objects with sudden breaks, so hairlines don't usually look good with Broken Lines, though Edging (which has an influence Firm Grip in it) was born from an epiphanic realization when drawing hair. Go figure.

Of Z-lines

What makes Logistics stand out as a concept for me is that we get better in a skill by simply paying attention to its most obvious elements. And I want to use this to the fullest in my drawings. One of the most obvious aspects of drawings is that they're lines on a surface. Even if one uses only shape or lineless values, an outline always stands out. And the attempts to break the rule allow creativity to be born, at least the what-if kind of creativity.

All the emulation of the world in the drawings happen through lines in a flat surface. It's about the 3D graphics in that game we see on screen not being actual polygons but the machine resolving equations and understanding the disposition of vertices (and the lines that connect them) to portray the illusion of a tridimensional image. The computers' increasing capability of resolving more vertices, corners and angles at once allows us to see progressively less squary polygons. The process of adding vertices is analogous to Layering.

So the composition of an image with all its proportions and sense of depth follow the same rules of those 2D vertexes. Perspective point and other tricks like overlapping gives a sense of depth that isn't real. That's one important thing, there's no tridimensional axis when drawing. It's impossible to have a Z-Line in a drawing, only Y and X lines. And that limitation is what triggers my interest, the prospect of fooling the viewer to believe there are Z-lines in a drawing.


edit: I was quite in doubt about Z actually being the "depth" axis, and it turned out there's no exact answer to that: "In animation and visual effects, the tradition is to use Y as the “up” or elevation axis, with X and Z as the 'ground' axes. However, some other industries traditionally use Z as the up axis and X and Y as the ground axes.".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Of Loudening

Firm Grip is also a skill-oriented motif, as before the fluency of the skill, the expressivity in a underdeveloped skill results in... awkwardness. So the development of the skill, in its stage of repetition (layers of performances?) for the muscles to understand its logistics and be acquainted with them is a time for pragmatical discipline, as the Firm Grip also equals to poetry in writing.

It's when I noticed a certain phenomenon happening in some of my skills simultaneously, which helped me to become more conscious of it. What I noticed was how the muscles seem to relax and be able to do the task more graciously. Although I noticed it in my guitar-playing skills and in driving too, it was more epiphanically when writing, and noticed my hand was more comfortable to make letters bigger with the same accuracy as writing them small.

And that's a characteristic of all my skills in their early levels, I begin doing them shyly, and gradually I become louder with it, and so I become more expressive as the comfort zone expands. But as the matter of comfort zones go, this is opposite to the process of development by settling for the harder mode, which is to gain experience in a more risky area, which seems to develop the skill faster. Eh, not really sure about this contention yet, so these gentlemen should keep playing their chess match.

Of Base Line, Layering and Edging

With the fundamental principles stablished, I had to come with more techniques.
The first one is a motif with musical origins. Any melody has its main notes, and they can be noticed by the head of the tempo, or sometimes by the bass line. The most important thing about this motif is that it portrays the core of the idea. The Base Line influences all the rest of the work, as it is its foundation. Its identity and originality is found there.

Next comes Layering. Some songs feature different melodical lines that rettain the same Base Line as an undercurrent. What differs them are the different layers that are added later. It's a gradual process in which each added layer becomes less influential to the whole, but still important as being a guide for the next ones. One who ignores the steps and makes details after the base line is bound to have a piece of work with no concise identity, or worse, no right proportions, hence violates the Principle of Solidity. Layers must never come before the base line and this rule can only be broken if Solidity is not required.

The Base Line is closely related to Templating, though this one is a more skill-oriented motif, and Layering is also the reason why Templates are important, as so many different identities can be added in one single formula. And this is the most interesting part of the whole process, as the same base line is the origin of a whole different world of ideas, and the wise use of layers is to explore the base line to bring all the most different results from it, even if each layer is a guide to the next one and shortens the options.

To sum the process in one example, drawing a well-proportioned human head is the template for drawing heads, so the Base Line is the human identity, and Layering gives it progressively more personal identity, like a fractal process. After the species identity, comes the racial and ethnical one, and then the familiar and lastly the personal identity. But this is only one very simple example, as it can vary a lot on how a base line and its subsequent layers are assembled. For instance, a personal characteristic (weight, for instance) can be more of a guiding base line for the construction of the character than the ethnical background.

Anyway, the later layers show the fancier details of the work when spices and the personal element (like the Prime Undertones) are used. It's when Edging is used. It has its origins in my drawings, and it was hard to find a name for it, as in the intimacy of my mind I refer to it the emotional response from making a certain kind of stroke that usually gives it a sense of hard-edgedness. One of the uses of Edging is to reaffirm the base line throughout all the layers. It's also where Firm Grip makes itself most present, because its inherent expressivity in early stages of the process can result in unmendable mistakes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Of sequentiality

Since I've ccome with the idea of chainposting and making sequential posts, I've noticed a lot of possibilities, an endless ammount of different subjective results that allow forms of art to be made from it. But not only chainposting is a more structural and broader form of sequentiality that end up too big for me to handle at this moment, but soon I had to face one bigger problem.

How do I deal with these goddamned crossroads? After all, by the logistics of sequentiality, you're bound to show one event after the next one and not rarely subjects will sprout themselves in different routes that simple techniques like parenthesis and listing will not work. I am quite sure sequentiality is the thing that makes all writers out there to lose nights of sleep, as the problem is that it isn't only a matter of sequential events and posts, but also paragraphs after paragraphs, lines after lines, words after words. Even musicians, they spent their composition time thinking of the best note to come the last one, of the sequentiality that brings the most interesting or cathartic buildup, and leaving the unchosen behind.

As there is an endless ammount of possibilities I also end up having enough freedom to countour the issue, like not being punished by leaving a random subject like a loose end and then hook it back as soon as possible (and in fact the use of these hooks can make interesting effects with the reader). I assume most readers aren't that exigent, but I find it an obsession to first master sequentiality in its primal form, linearity, and to keep it flowing as naturally as it can. It can become quite a maddening obsession if one's to try to unveil the best way to keep a linear flow, or how to hook back to a previous topic left behind in the crossroad.

Of catharsis buildup

In works of art there are certain things that have to be handled carefully, because they have impact value. Violence, love, sex, justice. They are universal and so those things are attractive and can be easy ways to appeal people. They turn into cliches because of the overuse and so lose said impact value. And it also applies to life, as things overexaggerated lose their impact, like those fucking idiots who use dirty language all the fucking time so this shit loses its violent appeal.

However, those are important things. They are attractive and I think it is because they have a cathartic appeal, and that's the reason they are overused in the first place. But one has to use them in a way that it will impact people properly. So there must be a key moment, when the use of those things are critical. One can scream in songs, but it'll be much more impressive if it's used carefully and unleashed at the right moment, instead of screaming throughout the whole song.

So I've learned that one of the best methods to unleash catharsis is by this contrast. In one simple example, eating is cathartic for the hungry. It's the reason why the main characters go through hell before finding heaven. Punching the villain wouldn't never be cathartic if it wasn't for the hero being the chased one throughout the whole plot. It's a matter of withdrawn, of the complete absence of the needed cathartic element for it to be a proper reward when it's delivered towards the critical moment of the story. And that's why I call it Slingshotting, because you will hold the absence of the desired item to an almost annoying leve, and the wise use of it will make the release a cathartic experience.

And even if it doesn't become a cleansing catharsis, the contrast always make things more interesting, like the friendship that starts as antipathy. In fact, if there's two friends who never were against each other before, it will be the very fight that can have a potential for catharsis, albeit a negative one.

Slingshotting impact doesn't happen in static art, so here I can introduce Marching Pace in the equation, which works in sequential arts like music and movies. It's the exploration of different rhythms and their combination to create change of tempos and speed that can be used to hook attention (it can be used as a form of Captatio Benevolentiae). As an example, one can pay attention to the traffic speed, and how the slow pace remind of solemn happenings like presidential parades and funerals.

The wise usage of Marching Pace is a very important technique to build up a catharsis, as it can create change of rhythms that fit Slingshotting. For instance, sometimes songs have an asymmetric constitution, which makes the chorus or other structured parts to have more impact, and here Firm Grip plays the role of the cathartic element, the symmetric structure, the marching pace in an unruly setting.

Of Solidity and Firm Grip

So the engines change their rhythm and I can only hope I can mantain this pace.

Solidity is probably the first main motif, the Wheel of my craving for development. I have a taste for certain realistic qualities, like shapes conveying a notion of depth and weight, of substance and presence. It has settled as my fundamental artistic principle, so it has become an upgraded cog in my mental machine, working as a ruling undercurrent. And fundamental as this undercurrent is, it enabled me to start mining motifs that are naturally intertwined with it.

Firm Grip was the next of the main principles. Firm Grip basically adds expressivity as a strong sense of identity. It's the artistical equivalent of intensity. Strong strokes and vibrant colors are examples of Firm Grip in drawings. As attention-grabbing as it is, it has to be controled not to become ridiculous and tiresome, though sometimes it can be used in all its intensity to arouse impact.

In illustrations, which are mostly static, these are basically the main undercurrents , though there were a lot more motifs that originated from them, and have a lot of importance as well. But so far these are the main ruling characters of my artistic principles, that were so overthought that they became unconscious and second-nature to me. But that doesn't mean they have to be ever-present.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Of the coup d'├ętat and the budget redirection

It's been quite a while since I last wrote about ideas I had regarding qualities and techniques I wanted in my skills. In a way it could be because I have the main principles settled already. But it could also be because of this evolving perception that makes me feel like I'm changing and losing focus by putting effort in this mental exploration which is making a part of my mind to feel a little upset.

As helpful as it is to know how the mind works, the knowledge obtained showed me that an unruly mind must not hold the power if it can't focus on the task at hand (there are signs that Jack of All Trades is having its influence). And the task at hand is to develop my drawing skills. I'm afraid nuclearity isn't happy about this, as potential isn't used properly. I truly feel I could be improving my drawing skills a hell lot more if all my mental power was fully concentrated again at analysing the elements composing the logistics of drawings like I once did.

It will take me time to readapt my mind into using these once-thought techniques again, but it's a matter of discipline and forced imposition (Lenin and Robespierre know too well that the left-wing isn't devoid of authoritarianism). The Inner Constitution and Prime Undertones projects remain continued, though I'll have to force myself to redirect budget to drawing efforts. That's the trick thing, though, to really focus on it even though I'm already sick of staring at this paper.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Of sylvan beings

The fiery engine inside me longs for something. It's a very unconscious desire, perhaps the deepest one, the most influential one. I try tasting it, going the deepest I have the breath for, in order to come with a name for it, but it's quick enough to avoid my primitive techniques. Whenever I try capturing it, it feels like it's vanished like a thin smoke becoming one with the air, with the entire purpose of puzzling me.

When I'm deep enough, I can recognize it simply as a quest to get to the Prime Answer, The Master Word, a Holy Grail that unlocks the secret of everything, but every time I try talking about it sounds so, so silly. There's this thing about names, sometimes they are simple paliatives based on rumors and guessed glimpses, but not a precise report; therefore something incomplete. Maybe it's impossible for the human mind to fully see it, maybe the answer is too deep for our breathing to bear.

Perhaps getting to it is a matter of Charging knowledge. Every discovery I make, every Spice I taste, every Prime Undertone backing every Mindscape I experience seem to be a shard of the whole and I taste a little of it, and, here it goes the silliness again... I feel closer to the universe, I feel connected to it, so to say. It can become an addiction, an obsession to get closer to it.

It's one of those things that are too big and omnipresent that can't be shown directly, but rather perceived as a guest undercurrent of other messages. It's always there when my enthusiasm is fired up, there's always the quickest glimpse of it around, like a figure hidding in the crowd. It's everywhere. It's the magic behind the hazel eyes or the opal gemstones. It's in words of ancient languages that arouse mystic art, it's in scientific words that arouse the thirst for knowledge. It's in the very decisive moments of change, of crossing the line, of opening the door, of the brief bliss of satisfaction of our otherwise unquenched curiosity. It's mysterious, enchanting, spooky, intense. It finds itself guiding the beauty of a charming lotus and the morbidness after the heartwrenching tragedy. Every atom of it is a strangelet creating a heavenly nebulae that is too big for the human perceptions to understand directly.

The omni element that makes the shards fit together seems to be not the objective of my personal quest, but it seem to be seeded deep into every human heart and their own subjective desires. Maybe this is a spiritual thirst. Maybe this is what makes us long to create gods, or what made mankind embark so passionately in this amazing scientific race. We all want answers. Deep inside we all have the curiosity and interest to see the nuclear origin of everything. It's in religion, it's in science, it's in art. It could simply be the experience of human life.

Maybe it's impossible for me to one day truly name this idea. So maybe I should enjoy the chase itself, rather than catching my prize, after all it's always out of range. Unlike other motifs that can be captured, tamed, harvested, mined one time or another, this one can't, as it's irrevocably distant, like the stars. Maybe that's the fun of life, chasing answers and finding ourselves content with the golden treasures at hand, though always having the human fire that longs to touch every one of the shining lights in the sky.

Of evolving perceptions of the world

It's quite a motto of mine to insist on saying the obvious is underestimated. As obvious as it is, I feel it can't be said enough: we usually overlook them, we have to pay close attention to them - logistics and avoidance of mindtraps depend on it. Really, the most interesting realizations are the ones that shows us things that were under our noses the whole time.

So I realized an obvious thing one of those days. Actually, it was a Charged Realization, as I've been boiling this idea in the peripheral side of mind along the months, the idea that the Past and Future are just mirrors of the Present. After all, sometimes I have the unconscious and absurd thought that medieval lives, for example, kind of knew what was to come in the future centuries. And it's by studying how the other ages saw the future that helps us realize something this obvious.

We develop logistics to understand the past and future by understanding hints and tendencies, but as I've once written about, the present will forever be the only tangible thing. And the way we look at the past and the future will just mirror our current selves. It's almost like when you are talking about someone, and the undercurrent of your statements will probably show more about you than the other person. It's the idea that there's a subjective universe spining around the subject, and if the subject changes, the entirety of said universe changes as well.

If it wasn't for this blog, I wouldn't have noticed this also happens in my mind, though it's incredibly hard to pinpoint to the words to describe it. Back some months ago I can recall I had some different perceptions of the world than I do now. In a way it's good to know there's a change happening as I want to develop myself, and there'll be no development if I am not changing. But I feel a little unsettling about it anyway. After the Blackout mentioned previously, I feel a little worried about the very longing for development to change, or in a way that the enthusiasm loses its potency. I really, really dread it. And I am afraid mostly of losing this fear.

Other issues involve the fact that I can't seem to track the whole of my thoughts with this constant change, as my earlier productions are left behind (I haven't taken in account the accumulative factor in the logistics of mental development, apparently). And then somehow I keep changing before I get appropriately used to the current status. Before I get familiar with how it all works the grounds feel to be wild again, and I have to rethink and readapt everything all over again (I'm unsure of it, so it could be a mermaid thought, so... something approximately like that). And then there's also the issue of losing focus, going astray, and losing track of nuclear issues and answers I had already found. The whole issue is, putting it simple, my incapability to know if the change is forwards instead of backwards.

It's the constant conflict with my selves. I always had a disappointment with my past self and I also have a distrust that my future self with heartlessly abandon the quest I'm so passionately in right now. And in that sense, I ironically don't seem to change, since I'm recalling a forgotten emotional response I had some years ago, this fear of the future self becoming a different self.

I'd be surprised at how much I improved beyond my own expectations (you're so pathetic, past self). Maybe this old fear is causing me to overrate the problem. Maybe it doesn't change that much, although what I feel to change seems to feel like a piece of clothing that never fits comfortably. And fortunately, it appears that some things don't seem to change, like the Prime Undertones (and its involvement with the Framework, but my thoughts on that will have to be charged first before wording it further).

Also, I've been noticing how the mood I'm in influences the allegory of my emotions. Sometimes I'm too involved in History and I understand my emotions through historical allegories; when I'm in a mood for playing games, I have the tendency to feel my emotions through analogies with gaming elements. Sometimes I'm more musical and I feel the emotions to be more musical than visual. I'm currently comparing my mind with the sea's depth, so probably that's the reason why I feel it differently, my thoughts now are too blueish.

And one more thing, that seems quite contrasting with the whole subject, is that I've also been noticing how the discovery of some motifs that I discover don't seem to make me change this much despite the enthusiasm they bring me. For instance, I can't even remember a time when I wasn't aware of my emotional responses, or when I didn't pay attention to logistics. Maybe it has to do with the very fact that it's a discovery and an officialization and not an invention. Or maybe it's because of how the dominant current perception of the world perceives it - the overthrown perception from the past selves apparently erased in the process.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Of an engine that had stopped working

It's weird the different ways emptiness could rule one's soul. It could be the longing for something unknown, or maybe it could be the apathetic feeling that nothing is missing, or whatever if it is. I couldn't tell if it can be good or bad, if it was peace or disinterest, but being in the Surface Reality apparently has this effect of making my mind go numb - not in the shallow-and-stupid way, but making me lose the sensibility towards things around me, and that alone bothered me a whole lot.

That's my best shot on why one of these days I felt my emotional responses vanished. Such a weird experience. I felt as, for example, Hephaestosis never happened inside me. There no more of those different fires burning inside me. There was no more of this impetuous curiosity, this passion that drives my chest around the world, making my eyes shine a sparkle for every marvellous thing around this planet, the passion that bounds me to the fact that I'm a child of this world and who feels responsible to hold the hands of the poor and the weak and to right the wrongs of the world, the passion that makes me stampede through my own obstacles.The perfect analogy is, after all, of an engine that had stopped working, like an airplane going up and up and suddenly losing the force that was outdoing gravity.

Without this passion that gives me courage and strength and resistance I have nothing special, it's nuclearly important for me. These fires are the very core of my enthusiasm. I'm afraid the absence of emotional responses even seemed to handicap my intelectual power (which is not even enough to begin with). I couldn't write anything else on the blog because I just felt I didn't need it. There was no point in developing myself.

However, the Guardrail System is proving to be a perfect one, as the lack of enthusiasm that's been fueling me so far started making me worried, and as the fear of failure seems to be such an invading tidal wave, I've chosen to let it invade me with all the intensity these negative feelings had. And so, by harvesting this feeling, I was able to regain the impetuosity, even though it was a Sour Fuel.

I have once foreseen that maybe one day I'll get too mature to feel hate and sorrow, and one day I'll no longer have it to fuel my power, so I can't count on this strategy if this Blackout happens again. And I know it will, as I have the feeling the Surface Reality has this effect in me, making the sensibility I was able to grow with introspection go numb. But fortunately I've learned then that breathing my way to deeper levels again can also bring me back to Hephaestosis through Nirvanic Concentration.

But anyway, I am paying more attention to the dangers of this, huh, Emotional Method. It's not safe, as they can be really unstable. I can't trust them because they are everchanging and it makes for an never-ending task, identifying the emotional responses, plus without them I am left with nothing, since logic is not my strenght. But I don't believe I can make progress this fast without them as well. Here I have another conflict, another chess match.

Of Nirvanic Concentration

It has been quite a while since I have first written about what I just called Breathing. It refers to the idea of getting immersed in the logistics of a task in a way that the mind becomes more familiar with it in order to handle it more efficiently. Following the recent analogy I've been making with sea's depth, Breathing is a fit name as the more experience I have with the activity, the more breath I'll have to dive even deeper and explore it further. That is, it also refers to the ammount of familiarity I have with the task and how deep I am comfortable to go.

Sometimes I try to go too deep or stay too time immersed and my mind becomes overwhelmingly overloaded, practically like losing actual breath, as I usually need to go out and grab some fresh air. It's the lack of familiarity with the place (is it the Realm of Uncertainty? Judging by the question alone, probably yes) that seems to produce a near-physical pressure on my brain. It's in moments like this that my writings become probably too hard to understand (as I'm probably not even sure of what I'm talking about).

Anyway, the Nirvanic Concentration is the goal of Breathing. It's the ultimate connection between us and the activity we're performing. This is something that gamers know too well, the moment when their connection with the game they're playing is so intense that there seems to be no boundaries between them and their characters - the buttons and their actions are synergical. One perfect example of Nirvanic Concentration is being able to play that crazy shredded solo in Guitar Hero. When a Nirvanic state of mind is achieved, the mind is trained enough to use intuitive skills for the task, like the use of buttons displayed on the gamepad.

So here I bring back an old concept that has seasoned in my mind since then, and that now I call a Spin. It is how I call the successful attempt to achieve the desired quality in the doing of an activity. Spins start appearing eventually and gradually more often with practice until the chance of attaining it becomes 100%, an uninterrupted spinning state which I also call Fluency. Those first Spins are usually achieved by Nirvanic Concentration.

In a mental level, this Nirvanic Concentration occurs when the level of introspection is really high, so soon thoughts and emotions are working together to produce correlations (heh, it's what I've been calling Mind On Fire, and here I am again giving it another name - the realization keeps charging). This heavenly inspiration seems to protect me from this stunning pressure and lack of breath, so I can go deeper than usual without too much harm. So Nirvanic Concentration can also be thought as a bonus range to the actual skill.

The drawback of the Nirvanic Concentration is that it requires spacing from what I've been calling the Surface Reality. Our job, bills, relationships and other "issues" can detract us from the precious Breathing of the task. In fact, there are several jobs whose undercurrent function is exactly to allow other people to dive deep without Surface interference - Producers, for instance, have this role of softening interference. Also, Nirvanic Concentration doesn't permit multitasking, though music helps focusing.

And this is one of my biggest flaws, I have not yet found a smooth way to deal with this issue of concentration. Not only my personal difficulty to not be distracted, but also there's nothing that incites my irritability more than being brought up to the surface by external means. I am always trying to avoid places whose ambience is prone to distract me because of that, and I think I'll call mindtrap on this, since serenity is needed to achieve Nirvanic Concentration. Irritability usually is there only to prevents me from reattaining it. So this is going to my Inner Constitution: Impatience devours Effort.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Of simplicity

Give me a window to look through to the world and I can find my way to be happy with that. Even with my own eyes closed I can play with the visions and sounds in my own head, or with the allegorical potential of emotional responses. I have a taste for simple things.

And I enjoy trying to have things as clear and simple and informal as possible. And, in fact, things are simple. What mess everything up is the asymmetric combination of things, which makes logistics so hard to be learned.

Usually when I'm paying attention to something, I try to understand the undercurrent of  it. When I get the grasp of the undercurrent message, the very core of it, I feel I can follow what's being said. I can follow what's being said and it's better to visualize it. It's because the undercurrents always show things in their simple nature. It's the environment that dress everything up with formalities, but underneath the complex scientifical study or a formal speech there's always a simple message behind it. It's either in the simplicity of saying "stop bitching, the world won't end" or "I don't like your ass-face". That's the reason why I find it so amazing when History is told in an informal way, when people interpret it in the simplest way. For instance, Dante's Inferno is "a huge fuck you to the church", as Cracked likes to put it.

Of course, this could be a matter of reductionism, which sure has to be dealt carefully, but I'm all in for its accessibility. But avoiding reductionism doesn't mean hiding things in walls of unnecessary complexity.

I sense that simplicity is usually criticized because of petty realizations, which is always a way to notice lack of respect. It appears that some people see complexity as something entirely inherent to intelectuallity, therefore enjoying only things that have to challenge their superior minds. Some people don't actually seem to want you to follow what they are saying and try to curtain the undercurrent. Maybe they are afraid of being seen as something dreadfully predictable or obvious (therefore shallow!), or maybe their lack of coherence or absurd complexity is just a lack of fluency in expressing themselves.

In all honesty, I know I lack the same coherence and accessibility in my own texts. In a way those names I use may not turn out to be accessible to others as they are to me. But I am trying to make an effort against it (maybe I should try making a better work revising them, god how do I make so many mistakes). After all, things can be simple to understand, there are only those who don't want or still don't know how to make them so. I'm one of the latter.

Of Surface Reality

The last post Charged me a realization, a thought that didn't feel like belonging to that post.

I have a taste for this meaningfulness of the mundane. Historians and anthropologists are well aware of their importance, as routines and simple events carry a lot of undercurrent meaning. After all, they study societies through the most common historical sources, daily objects and literature, as they show undercurrent patterns of behavior.

But even still the mundane has this thing about being place to practically irrelevant Surface Events. I can talk for myself that spending so much time there in the Surface Reality that the important things that change the world don't belong there.

I guess this created this unconscious feeling (as it runs around my mind as an emotional response I find it hard to describe it) that historical moments happen in some quite romantic settings, not in the same dirty, sweaty reality that I live in. It's some sort of feeling that important things don't happen just anywhere, or with people that falter and things that are improvised.

The moments that impact me the most are the when I'm aware of this Surface Reality when Diving Events take place. The movies that highlight this seem to work better for me, and I like Scarface's last scene because of that. When Sosa's gunmen storm Tony's mansion, things go out of control as his defense is all improvised, and he uses the mundane environment to the logistics of gunfighting. I can easily relate this to asymmetry as well.

Of decisive moments of change

When I see a review or analysis of any sorts I usually see only the abstract opinion, and I find it interesting when they show the very real moment, the key element that supports the undercurrent, abstract argument. For instance, when an album is said to have lots of passionate and intense moments, could they be refering to the buildup in the third verse of the fourth song?

I'm refering to these mundane events important enough to influence arguments and opinions as Diving Events, as they are the individual waves, Surface Events that solely interfere with the deeper levels of the Framework. It's impactating to witness such moments, as they have historical importance - things could change after this single event. People who change the world (or others' lives) are an example of an individuality making a bigger difference in the whole. But also deaths and departures (mostly of people mentioned previously) are the most common example of impactating, decisive moments of change, as the last glimpse of communication between intertwined worlds are scarring events.

These Diving Events happened throughout the whole World History, and I like identifying them, those major changes that happened throughout one simple moment or decision. Take the WTC tragedy as an example, it shaped the recent history of the United States, the single moment when those airplanes hit those towers. That's how meaning it's to see those falling towers. Napoleon's simple decision to send his army to invade Russia (that may or may not have happened around 2:57pm on a wednesday) also brought about his doom, and so that makes the ordinary action of writing a signature on the paper a fateful moment. Of course, only in hindsight he could have realized that, otherwise if he had successfully conquered Russia that decision wouldn't be as much relevant.

Anyway, it's almost frightening the thought that one little action can have so much impact. In my life some conversations or and maybe even some specific words and events and decisions alone (rather than the accumulation of minor Surface Thoughts) could be most influential to what I am now.

In a mental level, which is important for this blog,  is that around random Surface Thoughts I have some Diving Thoughts as well, and those are usually what I call Epiphanic Realizations. I highly treasure these thoughts, as I usually expect them to change my perception of my subjective reality in some way.

Those other Surface Thoughts that doesn't seem to have so much importance compared to Epiphanic Realizations, I think I can pay attention to them to understand motifs and unconscious undercurrents. I'm calling it Charged Realization, the ideas that come from accumulation of minor Surface Thoughts, that allow me to understand motifs. This is quite a metaexample, as Charging is a motif that has been Charged recently in the latest posts, until I could tame it now under a name.

However, I pose the question to myself: what differs an Epiphanic from a Charged Realization? After all, how can I tell if there hasn't been an unconscious charging backing up the eruption of the Epiphanic Realization?

Wow, I'm going too deep, I better go back to the surface now before I lose my breath. Oh god, a realization: breathing is how I used to call getting immersed in the logistics of a task. What a nice Diving Thought.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Of Undercurrents

If Braudel's Framework can be explained by being linked to the sea's depth through a metaphor, the study of actual oceanic behavior can bring me information that can be channeled back through the metaphor to increase my knowledge and visualization of the more abstract thought.

Undercurrent, for instance, is "the unseen movement of water underneath the surface; its tug and motion are only perceptible upon submersion". And the same goes for mental exploration, as I'm seeing it as the abstract meaning behind everything. Just like one makes an argument based on facts and evidences, the same goes for undercurrent ideas, as they carry every significance behind thoughts and words and actions. They can be the subtext behind the the literal text, the unseen idea behind the tangibility.

As I'm having problems referring to elements in this metaphor with depth, Surface Thoughts are going to be the short-lived waves in my mind (including insignificant thoughts like "where's the other wet sock from yesterday"), the ones that shouldn't usually pay too much attention and that I shouldn't trust frequently. So Undercurrents are going to be what I feel to be broad concepts that encompass trends and tendencies of behavior. This way, Undercurrents can also be linked to what I've been recently calling motifs, those ideas that rise to my consciousness with time, as they need to happen a several times before I understand the pattern.

Acknowledging the concept of Undercurrents is important for me because looking for meaning behind everything is an obsession i've been nurturing quite unconsciously lately. Every word I've been meeting lately I spend some time thinking of their meaning, basically trying to see what new unexplored idea they could bear behind them (so my search for new words is quite literally a Treasure Hunt). In fact, I feel comfortable with the trodden ground when I deal with words I've thought deeply about my undercurrent interpretation to them. The names I use here are, therefore, definitions of undercurrents behind my Surface Thoughts, because I've settled to make this place an study of below-the-surface events.

Actually, it's seeming that the deepest into my mind I can get to name and tame an undercurrent, the more useful the motif will be, as apparently the deepest ones are as structural and influential as it can get - the deeper the more likely to encompass more Surface Thoughts. It seems that the deeper I go, the richer the treasure, the more powerful are the motifs I'll discover. This is the reason why Logistics, Naming and Nuclearity are my most powerful undercurrent motifs - they're broad and encompass basically every aspect of my life.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Of the first steps down the lane

I'm still learning the logistics of the Prime Mindscapes. As there's an accumulation of experiences I had throughout my life, it'll be impossible to identify them all, and it will take a lot of time just to identify the real, long-term ones. As I'm learning, there seems to be Anti-mindscapes as well, overall uncomfortable things like wet socks after walking around all day in the rain (maybe getting rid of them is a path to another mindscape, wearing dry clothes and getting in a warm bed).

But as my mind accumulates mindscapes since my childhood and apparently I've been doing a good job expanding the portfolio of known mindscapes, so there is an obscene ammount of them already, and I can't trust every surfacing one (my mind is really full of cobwebs, I don't know how Dutch Streets and African Savanas got in there). I should rather investigate the undertones, the undercurrents, the themes and motifs behind them, and notice how recurring each theme is. 

Maybe this requires some name-changing, and from this day on they'll be called Prime Undertones, because being undertones to actual mindscapes probably explains why I feel they are new experiences. Primers are more abstract and affect the surface events. And they seem to behave intertwinistically, as there can be several of them in one mindscape only. My first reaction was to have the ambition to create something that cointained all Primers in The One Mindscape, but soon I realized it's bordering-on-the-impossible complicated, as them Primers are really diverse and some of them are pairs of dualities, like a love for morning and the evening (also, I just realized I can ungap it all by finding a match for lone Primers). Maybe there's a way to insert dualities in an instaneous-like-emotional-response piece of art, but there's also sequential art to deal with that issue.

Thinking of it now, the time of the day is probably the most basic Undertones, Night and Day. And over them I can use some other Prime Undertones I've identified already, like the Rustic, the Bucolic, the Eerie (evolves to Lugubrious, and then to Gut-wrenchingness). Sour and Asymmetry, I'm learning, are probably just the more recent ones getting into the gallery. There are also some Sexualities I obviously am not going talk about here. But there's also the Golden, the Heraldic, the Slavic, the Warm Glow and oddly enough, something I'm calling Disney Fairytales (no, it's not one of the sexual undertones, I am afraid I don't quite have a taste for cartoon princesses). So far I'm finding out some complete wtf things, it's definitely like exploring an old cellar.

There's also the matter of emotional undertones being more influential than sensorial ones, and many more intrincacies so it will take time for me to elaborate the whole of it. But I'm enjoying the task, it's being a really interesting and amusing experience. I used to have a taste for tasting the world, but now it's getting insane, as I keep watching everything around me and trying to identify every little emotional response to every detail and the reason why they affect me the way they do. But this is making me learn so much about myself, and reaching the nuclearity of the motifs that fire my inspiration is doing me wonders.

Checkpoint #6

September was a convoluted month for my mind, still finding my way to adapt my mind to order this chaos (or, again, am I just more aware of the inner chaos?). I wanted to write less around here, and it ended up being the month when I felt most prolific. Also, my musical skills seem to have developed and I'm feeling like I can play any melody by ear, and it was the third one in my hierarchy of skills and I barely put effort in it throughout the month. It's ironic, my drawing skills are the very top one and I gave it a hell of dedication to it because of that and after all it was the one feel truly stale. It's infuriating. I feel I should leave my papers aside to self-season like what happened with my guitar, but I feel really uncomfortable to stop.

Things didn't go as planned in my mind too, but the result was as much good anyway. I had some concepts to chainpost along the month, but new ideas came into place, and they helped me organize my mind, mainly Braudel's Framework and Logistics. They are probably one of my biggest realizations, and I have thought of them a while ago, but it's weird how powerful they get after being simply written down! I'm still learning their true potential, and that makes me feel comfortable. There was also an introspective mood that came out of nowhere and brought me brand new motifs to explore, plus I've got a little insight of how can I access new motifs easier, so I can depend less on unpredictable realizations.

Also, this month left me with two quests that will make me quite busy for a while, and that's good because getting my mind to work on something will distract my mind from chaotic thoughts (or wilderness, hell, you call it). So, first I'll elaborate my Inner Constitution. Second, there's the setlist of Prime Mindscapes. Building them from zero is a frustrating task, but the nature of this task makes me quite enthusiastic.