All posts tagged: Gerhard Bruyns

Atlas 4013

By Gerhard Bruyns / Cities are constructions. They consist of streets, lanes and alleys. Walls, windows, ceilings and a succession of doorways. Buildings, loose structures, canopies and streets. Trees, shrubs, bushes and garden pockets. In a variety of combinations and orders, the binding together of any of these elements crystallise other formations: spatial complexes and neighbourhoods, articulating cultural burrows and areas of affluence. In its totality it represents a body of material that formulates an urban environment, living and non-living, operating through natural and human processes.  However, for most of us who live in the city, we form an association through our ways of existence, in how we engage with the material world, with the buildings, structures and gardens. We build memories, link important moments to places we have seen, and savour the places we knew while becoming adults. From anthropologist Gregory Bateson’s (1904-80) perspective, this in itself represents specific Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972), a way of thinking about the world we know and experience. Irrespective of what the actual artefact is or how that object is woven into our existence, our …

Interior Materialism[s]

By Gerhard Bruyns One of the most daunting challenges of all design endeavours is the material expression of ideas and intentions. Historically, the very first attempts at materialising ideas have in some way been challenged. First, designers consider the technical skills needed to express the idea. Second, they question the material at hand to give the idea a form or body. And third, they search for the stylistic language most suited to the idea. For the ancient Greeks, the challenge was to achieve material perfection in either architectural or human form. Architectural perfection lay within the classical orders of the Doric or Ionic orders that guided the way that building facades had to be designed. The composition of each facade, the elements it contained and the proportions of each section of a facade were the driving concerns. The geometric simplicity of the Doric order’s column capital influenced a specific material composition compared to the Ionic order’s curvatures and edges. Each Greek temple was devised in a similar order, where the perfection lay in the proportional orders of the plan: usually in a 1:3 ratio between the main entrance …

Speculative Cartography

By Gerhard Bruyns and Peter Hasdell On Exactitude in Science: In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. Succeeding Generations… came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome… In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography. Purportedly from Travels of Prudent Men by Suárez Miranda, Book Four, Chapter XLV, Lérida, 1658; from A Universal History of Infamy by Jorge Luis Borges, 1935 Jorge Luis Borges’ On Exactitude in Science examines as speculative instruments the applications, skills and techniques of cartography, and can be understood as a critique both of …

A portrait of the artist as an emergency

In January 2016 Patrick Healy, Amsterdam based philosopher and artist, was invited by the School of Design [The Hong Kong Polytechnic University], to conduct a series of PhD and research seminars. With Patrick in Hong Kong for 3 weeks, and knowing him for a number of years, it provided us an ideal opportunity to – not only – reminisce about old times but use the lunch time discussion to understand how his philosophical position, artistic research and personal interest intersect. The following discussion was the result of this discussion exposing the man behind the philosopher in the process of becoming himself. By Gerhard Bruyns Artomity: You’re a philosopher, performance artist, painter, sculptor, educator and writer. When and how did you get the idea of combining art and philosophy? Patrick Healy: Well, during my studies of philosophy – at almost the very end of my formal studies – we started reading Nietzsche. In itself that was considered very daring because my teachers mostly specialised in metaphysics and medieval and ancient philosophy. So it was almost like …