Worlds within Worlds
Powers of Ten is a visual adventure through scale. We rarely think about it as we move through our streets and pavements, all scaled to fit our human perspective, but the universe is vast as it is minute, astronomically incomprehensible and atomically invisible to us. The film demonstrates that as we move to the outer extremes of scale, we find marvellous units that coexist to make a whole, inconceivably interrelated when viewed within our limited perception. However, math, technology and science and the Eames’s unique filmmaking allow us to see beyond.
Primarily known as contributors to modernism through their furniture design, the Eameses were also filmmakers and philosophers. The couple used the format of short films to explore experimental ideas about the bigger picture, philosophy and their more personal interests. The film was made in 1977 and is an adaptation of the book Cosmic View: The Universe in Forty Jumps by Dutch educator, Kees Boeke.
Paul Noble, Welcome to Nobson
From Gagosian Gallery press release of his last show in 2011:
Noble’s intricate graphite drawings describe Nobson Newtown, a place composed of labyrinthine edifices and deserted topography embedded with modules of dense detail. Employing cavalier projection—a cartographical method characterized by a high viewpoint—Noble meticulously delineates a wealth of elaborate architecture and open urban spaces. These phantasmagorical landscapes allude to sources as diverse as ancient Chinese scrolls, Fabergé eggs, Henry Moore’s sculptures, and paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. The encrypted fictions of Nobson Newtown are dizzyingly complex—visual articulations of the tensions between disorder, perversion, and logical schema.
"I use the devices of technical drawing. These devices help shine the sharpest light on the things I depict. I am against hierarchies and perspective. I arrange the objects of my drawings on a spatial plane using cavalier projection. The origins of this projection lay in military cartography - fore, mid and background are got rid of and everything depicted is equally close and far. The viewer becomes the architect and the drawing, an architectural plan. He or she is no longer earthbound but hovers like an angel over the described scene, taking in the entire design.
I was raised on the north-east coast of England, and this has conditioned my aesthetic. I think like the flat, grey skies of wintery Whitley Bay - tonally. I use very hard pencils, very rarely softer than 4H. Sometimes the pencils are so hard it seems they would rather scratch a hole in the paper than give up their pale graphite.” - Paul Noble