Oh blank page, I can feel you better now. I can feel you asking to be carved, sculpted and formed. I can feel you begging for human soul, for mistakes. I can hear you screaming for flawed expression.
Stories of blank pages assuming monarchy on paperback territories have passed down to us by ancestors. Times when the blankness of a page could not be contested in nobility. How for a page to remain empty and all the more expressive, became the common debate among the blanker population.
It was all until one day there was the minor revolt of colored and marked pages. In hiding places and beneath the surface of paperback, cults emerged calling for the abolishment of blankness. Their increasingly popular communion was established during their color and detail fests, in which the underground paper mobs would commit sacreligious acts of introducing color and infinite detail to themselves. Each community would then show off how unique they were in their general assembly around a blazing fire.
Of all the trends of color and detail, none were more detested than those who divided themselves into uniform grids, manipulating the grid with varying degrees of detail in different ways but almost always in symmetric structures. They were accused of compromising the magnitude of the minor paper revolt in resemblance to the ruling blankist monarchy.
The patternists, as they were called, although upset by such claims, dismissed them modestly in their communes, understanding that they were a mere violent reaction of an angry colored and excessively detailed minority. Despite their sensitive participation in the minor paper revolt, their role was subdued in consecutive attempts to establish a new paper hierarchy.
Literary and cart edifices of magnanimous floral detail and mixed layers of color, reigned. Centuries passed with pure white surfaces or geometrical grids looked down upon as abhorrent sin. Meanwhile, descendants of the patternists remained a grid-based tradition that often hovered with prevailing winds. There were those who created floral patterns out of their grids to imply family ties with the organic mainstream. For the rest of the patternists, it was all ok as long as they were based on grid.
But then there were those who stood at the crossroad of the color spectrum between the floral patternists and the organicists, and claimed that whatever composition you are made of, you could always verify it with some sort of underlying and ever diminishing grid, and that the grid was not but a chain to limit freedom and exercise a superior claim like that made by the overthrown blankist monarchs. The patternists could never verily defy this claim, or offer sufficient discourse against it. For all they knew, they found themselves preaching a grid: either prior to and underlying all paper marks, or justifying their existence in posterity.
Nevertheless, the grid was the air that the patternists breathed. Even their nude blank states, they could not but imagine a grid underlying its emptiness. They were deemed as pages of humiliation in paper history. But the patternists remained adherent to their grid. They laid it in symmetry and asymmetry; within color hues and frequencies; beneath the topography that informs texture, in light and in shade. For all they were concerned, the grid was the sublime, whose absence posits a tranquil terror induced by contemplation of great size, antiquity and a state of decay.
(To be continued)
I remember vividly this mundane incident when I sat beside my classmate, and moved my legs anxiously during the lesson, and how annoyed she was. Whenever I see her around in class, this image instantly erupts. I do not have certain positive/negative emotions regarding her or that incident, but it remains as a significant memory that i have, unlike many other incidents that happened before and much after, that I do not recollect. Memory serves as rupture to the fabric of events in time. Nevertheless, it goes well in cohesion with the fabric itself. That cohesion, although essentially a rupture from one to the other, should not and could not be forcefully created. Neither should it be prevented. The flow/flux of the grid/fabric/network itself becomes essentially driven by a reason to exist. A driving force, or so per Bergson, an Elan Vital. The engine and fuel of the flow. Something that you layout in the beginning, but don’t control afterwards. A masterplan that is laid out and develops indeterministically. Spontaniety of the flow is very important. Imagine an experiment of Brownian motion on a grid. In this sense, it is very important to consider the beginning of the motion, the principles that guide its movement and the circumstances that affect it.
This is all primary school. What is interesting is that same model of grid, flow, spontaneity and deliberance, indeterminism and purpose is always appearing and reappearing, again and again, in all the phenomena that is happening around us. It is merely here in an architectural discussion only because it is fundamentally related to the construction of the world. But in essence, it is a matter of science and philosophy, biology and sociology, all organizing structures of knowledge by which we are constructing our reality; life.
Memory, in this respect, becomes a very important and recurring concept. Memory is a unique act of going out of the herd; standing out. Memory is strictly qualitative. If you take out the face of the girl from the composition of the memory that I had, it will change to an entirely different event. Memory remains, as a form of image for the past. But then, along with memory, there happens by time certain morphing to what the memory represents. Nostalgia is one example. A bad experience may be unfavorable as you prepare to go through it, but then, the memory that it leaves has a completely different taste than that it had while occurring.
I remember and cherish very much the repressive conditions that I and my friends found ourselves growing up into. Our exhaustive search for Wine, a rare and expensive commodity in Egypt, and then the task of finding a place to drink it together away from the scrutinizing eyes of the public. Once at it, we would enjoy it together to a degree that we know to be unnecessarily excessive. Alas, we do it, because we know it would be long until we can set another meeting like this and go about all the hassle that it requires. Today, as I taste wine, something that one Italian friend mentioned to be “as available as piss”, it still has that taste; the gatherings, the hardships, and the excessive enjoyment for the sake of vengeance.
For me as an individual, bad experiences have the better taste. From them are derived the lessons; through them we can feel what others are going through; and only out of them does one recognize the need to cherish the joyful moments.