Saturday, November 03, 2007

Frames for the evening.

Basically, this is what a lot of my favorite art does: it forces you to rethink space, and how light rhymes.


  1. What do you mean by "how light rhymes?" I'm interested, but haven't a fucking clue.

  2. Well, to begin, it's intentionally vague. As an example, I'll turn to an obsession that I've explored here before: _INLAND EMPIRE_. But first about the word "rhyme" -- It's a cool word, right? Funny how a lot in the world rhymes, from guitar licks to other words to smiles to colors. We might say "rhyming" has a diffuse meaning.

    So, in _INLAND EMPIRE_, not only does Laura Dern's face rhyme throughout but so do other faces, and locales. It's not always the same Laura Dern you see, even though it is. If you want to get all wacky jargony you could say the affects rhyme throughout the picture (terrified, joy, whatever; can you "name" an affect?).

    Or, in our picture at hand, you can see how even the background is a kind of mat with slats that rhyme with the bar across the middle of the frame. And the shadows rhyme with the black of the bars (they're just more bars of light). This is also just playing off the rather common sense notion that light is matter made material in all photography. Perhaps all art? Including music? For instance, right now I'm hearing Calvin Johnson and Beck sing "I get lone-some..." and they rhyme. Harmony is a kind of rhyming. And I'd argue that even sound is a kind of light. But that's a weird, complicated argument that I haven't the mind or time for this morning. Even with the extra hour we've been afforded. (I have an essay waiting to be written somewhere in the back of my brain about some Plato and some huge prosthetic dicks and the structure of comedy as a legitimization of marriage. And I gotta get it done today so I can see _There Will Be Blood_ at the Castro tomorrow night.)

  3. Using rhyme to describe spatial composition and images is a great Nietzschian revival of its peculiar genealogy. Rhyme and rhythm come from the same root, of course: the greek 'ruthmos' (measured motion, time, proportion). Rhyme and rhythm are about perceiving some proportioned 'agreement' - over the eras rhyme got commissioned to the tonal, but it takes its meaning from intuitions about how separate units (a note, a line, a face) form accords with each other. It's that consonance we're trying to report when we employ 'rhyme;' how our sensations are composed.

  4. Got it. Something - in quantifiable terms - more than saying things are "similar" or remind you of each other, but less than saying they're the same.

    In that respect, one of my favorite things is when life itself, for a period of a day, a week, or a semester (dear God I'm entrenched in school-think), rhymes. Do you know what I mean? You see an image in a film that then starts to seep into your "real" life; your classes begin to discuss the same types of things, but from different angles; different people start wearing similar clothing or doing and saying similar things. You yourself begin to feel like some sort of affective force, streamlining the world around you in your wake. Beautiful.

  5. Yes. I saw _Miami Vice_ a week before going into the Grand Canyon for 18 days and the whole time I was there I kept pestering my then-gf about how cool the clouds were, how they reminded me of the clouds in _MiVi_. Of course, this was beaten out of me. But every once and again it'd flash in there. I took a lot of pictures of clouds; perhaps more than I took of the river.