Top: World's first 360-degree Panorama of Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia, Feb 24/2009, from 12 separate photos...

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Textures, Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia

I was given a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by a friend for Christmas 1992.  It has joined my shortlist of "books to reread for the rest of my life", though I wouldn't say that I agree with all of Mr. Pirsig's conclusions.  One of the exercises he describes giving his  writing students was to detail a wall, starting off with one single brick.  They left the class looking at him with pity or horror as one might a madman, but came back to the next lesson with wonder in their eyes - and torrents of prose on their pages, unstoppable.

Today's images are my own version of this process of looking at details and hardly knowing where to stop once you start.  Not that anything was a great surprise for me as I rediscovered cracked paint and fantascically chaotic rusted sheet metal and window frost in Ushguli, but the delight was new as it is every time.  It is heightened by my having read enough on chaos in natural processes - like the young hero of The Sixth Sense who finally blurts out his terrible secret, "I see dead people", I don't go around (or didn't until now) telling everyone that "I see structure everywhere I look...". Chaos reading, and fractal exploration, have done this to my vision.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  Every tree, cloud, old painted or rotted or rusted surface pulls me in to stare at its patterns, and to try to photograph them if I have the camera with me.  So yes, maybe I'm a bit mad, but typical of such people I'm quite at home in my condition, and even think that others need to see things this way too.  Another thing it does for me is, it convnces me that God IS a geometer; but His geometry is fractal, not simple lines and smooth curves.

1 comment:

Crowbard said...

No you're not a bit mad, the culture that teaches us that all bricks are identical is mad and utterly deceived. I suspect that there is no atom which does not have dissimilarities or irregularities when compared to other atoms of the same element; possibly every wave of every photon varies from every other one in more ways than the obvious diferences of time and location!
I was blessed with near-sightedness as a child and learned to look at things close up and so learned the intense beauty and complexity of detail neglected by others.