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Observations on Modern Art and Architecture -
Insight from on Site ~ Part 1

The views expressed in the following pages are certainly and
necessarily not the views of the management of Hi-Tech-tonics!

 

The Building Blocks of Matter
In search of a more stable structure!

When good economic times afford us increased leisure time the arts also flourish. Man's quest for entertainment and diversion provides vital purpose for many artists, a void is there to fill so the sponsoring of artistic pursuits increases. Excessive leisure time and more funding are two main reasons for the rise in the number of artists per capita. Even in poor economic times, with nothing else to do mankind turns into artists, laziness spawns artistic endeavor. He turns to the arts, and will find a means of expression somehow. When he has to resort to basics he'll use what is freely and readily available as his medium. In architecture, with the sub-disciplines of sculpture, and painting (and sometime even music), it is 'rock'. The longest lasting and most monumental architectural achievements in history owe their endurance and stability to the use of rock.

'Great Bath' at Mohenjo-Daro
Well, some of it lasted anyway. It is quite old but still being enjoyed by these modern day tourists!

The artist/builders of old were just scratching the surface, but despite being superficial in nature, the embellishments to their edifices using symbols and design motifs, comprised a great portion of their leisure time. Runes, pictographs and petroglyphs with scenes of life and records of historical significance represented abstract ideas based on their experiences and incorporated many varied and unusual non-representational designs. Earlier than the written word there were illustrative artists decorating the stone surfaces of canyon walls and caves with hunting scenes and often wild imagery leaving some of the oldest known records of human endeavor. This grew to complex inscriptions and narrative imagery that evolved into the lettering systems, written languages and the art of today.

 

 

 

Nearly completed temple ruins
The art of today reflects the past.

Even on the cave walls in complete darkness ancient humans dabbled with tools and pigments and there we find the origins of the art that gave birth to recorded history. On the rock is the foundation for our culture and our legacy.

 

 

 

Vul-ken Lights the way
Artists of old depicted episodes of hunting, daily life and rituals on the rock walls of canyons and caves and often had to supply their own artificial lighting.

Cavemen were not pre-historic but rather historic. They made history, by inventing it. Their use of writing, painting and sculpting enabled them to begin documenting and compiling history and allowed expressions of creativity to flourish, exercising the imagination. Today we continue amassing the wisdom of the ages by clicking 'download'!

 

 

The Passing on of Knowledge
Information is passed on in the genetic code, environmental influences affect the outcome. Other knowledge is gained through experiences but much is learned by word of mouth, in books, and in that stream…on the lower right.

Formerly man relied on an oral tradition to educate the following generations. Their languages were of disputed complexity and necessarily required direct contact between two or more parties. It took time to learn an individual group's history or clan doctrine this way in small groups and they might know little of the world at large. Reading proved to be faster and can reach a wider audience. We now found a way to pass huge amounts of knowledge about everything down from one generation to the next and simultaneously to larger numbers of future generations without anyone needing to be present to converse with in person. More like studying than practicing. The handing down of information supplements our genetic codes, which are no longer solely responsible for passing any attributes like instinct on to our descendants. The building blocks of life are being rearranged every generation, on a microscopic, genetic level. It is constant change.

 

 

Rearranging the Building Blocks
Matter is in 'constant flux'…an oxymoron, how stable is that?

That peculiar molecule, DNA, has long predetermined our lives for us but with a little help from our technocrats and engineers we can construct the spiral staircase of biological miracles to suit our own conceptions of life. Natural evolutionary developments no longer take place solely at conception. Alterations can be tailored to taste. The chain of amino acids need no longer maintain the order of events linking us to our past. The links are missing, we've found, or we're finding. The architects of our new constitution, (the stuff we're made of), envision a better future for us, in body and mind. Better living through chemistry! Now we are practicing!

 

The Peculiar Molecule
The double helix with a new twist.

Knowledge is attainable throughout our lives, not just inherited at birth. We can vicariously absorb the experiences and observances of all mankind if we can just read fast enough! We all need not suffer the same learning curve as every other man and woman before us, enduring the same trials and errors, bumps and bruises, researching, discovering and remembering what we need to, in order to survive as we clamber through life. Each of us need not experience dehydration to know how vital water is to all living things.

 

 

 

Vital Fluids within our Grasp
Taking a long hike in the desert without a canteen of agua is a mistake you won't often repeat. A learned response is a natural result of environmental conditioning.

Picking an environment that we are more comfortable in is why humans migrate seasonally. Many other creatures do the same. Making an environment more suited to us is what architects and landscape designers can do. What they are able to attempt and the degree of success they will achieve in trying, as in all pursuits, is directly affected by 'conditions prevailing'. It isn't always that we do our best when things are worst. Occasionally good working conditions can facilitate good job performance. It has yet to be tried in my experience but there is a first time for everything. A place of comfort and plentitude can produce feelings of well being and provide the sustenance to help nourish us on the road to good health and a good life. We relapse into recovery, ready to take on the world where we left off…where did we leave off… a relapse.

 

Partial Lapsing
a state of recovery or is it a 'piece of mind'?

Periodic recovery from the human condition is a life-long pursuit and the right surroundings can help. For instance, there was an oasis just around the arroyo from our victim who was rehabilitated there after his lifeless, sun-scorched body was pried from the cactus he was attempting to suck water out of. Back at our Hi-Tech-tonic field station he was revived and in a few short decades was ready to return to a normal life.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi-Tech-tonic Field Station
Located south of Tucson, for researching the geology and Mesoamerican sites of the southwest. Our victim's treatment and recovery lasted the rest of his natural life…? After that he was not heard from again in these here parts. Perhaps he had a relapse. 'Conditions prevailing' directly affect the human condition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overlapse detail
When we go overboard we can have a relapse.

Since the advent of the age of information and communication we can travel the earth, enjoying the sights and cultures from around the world and do so from the comfort of our living rooms or at our computer terminals. We can?  We'll make life more comfortable than is probably good for us at times promoting a sedimentary, or rather sedentary existence. We settle out, when we settle down.

 

Fossil bearing limestone sediment layers
The facts of fossil finds deposited in ancient swamps, lakebeds and the ocean floor provide a very accurate chronological record about periods of development on Earth, and settle the score for scientists and historians charting the succession of events responsible for our present condition. That's a load of sediment if I ever…

One of the primary purposes of architecture (aside from the need to protect our selves and our possessions from the elements and our enemies), is to make life better by building better places to live in…and build we will. Man will erect something at every opportunity. My sediments exactly.

 

 

 
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