Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The intriguing poetics of the inside-outside in an open space

I've been at the Shipley Nature Center, which has been opened in 1974 with the aim of educating children on how was California (I should say Southern) 100 years ago.
There are several trails, with different objects, including boomerangs and stones that help the teachers to explain history and indigenous life.
Next to one of the trails I've found two wooden tables with objects aligned on it, which I presume are old musical instruments. The shadows were hard and I was delighted to see the game of light and shadow inside the apse surrounded by trees and wilderness.
And I had this feeling of asking myself if I was inside of a special "room" or outside in the open air, it was confusing, specially when I moved around and could capture the darkness while the tables were in full sun.

So, after downloading my pictures, I grabbed one of my favorite books, Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space and open it randomly, and found these words that helped me reflect on my experience:

"To benefit by all the lessons of modern psychology and all that has been learned about man's being through psycho-analysis, metaphysics should therefore be resolutely discursive. It should beware of the privileges of evidence that are the property of geometrical intuition. Sight says too many things a one time. Being does not see itself. Perhaps, it listens to itself. It does not stand out, it is not bordered by nothingness: one is never sure of finding it, or of finding it solid, when one approaches a center of being. (.....) Sometimes it is in being outside itself that being tests consistencies. Sometimes too, it is closed in, as it were on the outside. (...)
If we multiplied images, taking them in the domain of lights and sounds, of heat and cold, we should prepare a lower ontology, but doubtless one that is more certain than the ontology that reposes upon geometrical images". 

REF. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space. P. 214-215. USA 1994.

Though taken out of context, I think Bacherlard's words apply to my subject.
Please do not download my pictures without permission.

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