David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

22 October 2013

Reinventing the Wheel : the air of Ville de Regard (1887)

The year is 1887. The postman of Ville de Regard is doing his rounds on one of the new diamond-frame safety bicycles.

As he approaches Blainville-Crevon, a farming village by the banks of the river Crevon (in the Pays de Caux, some 16 kilometres northeast of Rouen)... Parbleu! A puncture in the back tyre.

Monsieur postman is known throughout the commune for his diverse interests, his artisanal skills and his good humour. As he does with most phenomena, le facteur observes this event with the welcoming awe of a child. 

He listens to the sound of the air of Ville de Regard as it escapes the capsule circulaire

He makes in his mind a notation of this sound. 

He visualises next a transparent text bubble, much like a speech bubble but one that gathers instead a meta-script: the Label of his Present Regard.

He figures he could blow a glass of that shape - this is only one of his many skills - and seal it to hold forever a certain volume of the air of Ville de Regard. 

Such phials, of the air of Ville de Regard, he could give as special gifts. Perhaps the first as a present to the newborn son of his friends Monsieur Eugene and Madame Lucie at Blainville-Crevon.
Thirty-two years later, in another place...

Air de Paris 
Marcel Duchamp

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something ...