Monthly Archives: July 2009

What if nature could save nature?

Oxford.  From the 24th to the 27th of July the European TED (Technology Entertainment & Design) conference was held in the presence of Gordon Brown.  Founded some 25 years ago in California, TED has become the reference for ideas that can change the world—a practical version of Davos.  Among the top ideas this year, is an ambitious project by the young architect Magnus Larsson, who wants to stop desertification.  If we don’t react to this disturbing phenomenon, one-third of arable land will disappear by the end of this century.  According to Larsson, only trees and plants can filter out wind and stop the desert from spreading.  Thus, he plans on fostering natural vegetable walls in the middle of the Sahara desert, from Mauritania to Djibouti, a distance spanning some 6,000 kilometers, by using the properties of the microorganism Bacilus Pasterii.  This bacteria transforms sand into sandstone, creating a space for vegetation.  This project, which is currently in costing, is sponsored by Holcim, a world leader in cement.  The initiative is nike air max pas cher nike air max pas cher nike air max pas cher influenced by biomimetics, a field dominated by Oxford’s Janine Benyus.  Dr. Benyus is convinced that “nature has already solved our problems of social organization but also our problems concerning technical procedures”.  Whatever this project’s future may be, Magnus Larsson will have at least created more awareness about a global problem that is not getting enough press.

What if art were first and foremost an accident?

The Picasso-Cézanne exhibit in Aix is a prolongation of the Parisian exhibition that was much earlier.  I would have loved to see Les demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso next to Cézanne’s The Bathers (see below).  Was the idea that cubism was borrowed from Cézanne, perhaps the result of a misunderstanding?  This takes its source from a letter between Cézanne to Emile Bernard in 1904 when he wrote “approach nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone…”. Historians have often seen this as the inspiring beginning of a movement that has yet to finish, and yet, the phrase is merely a question of perspective and depth.  History is often reductive!  If we cross the history of the birth of cubism with the birth of abstract art a few years later, when Kandinsky was struck by the pointlessness of nike air max pas cher nike air max 90 pas cher nike air max pas cher representation, fascinated by one of his own figurative paintings hung upside down (Murnau Church, below).  On the minus side, we can only meditate on the opinion of the philosopher of Jean Gernier, friend of the non-figurative painters: “accident makes the artist”.  Perhaps all formal breakaways are groundbreaking?