André Breton, the poet and founder of the original Surrealist movement, conceived of an aesthetic of “convulsive beauty” founded on sensory echoes and ironies, and random conjunctions of things that become evocative in the mind. As an example of the latter he offered a famous line from the proto-surrealist 19th century writer Isidore Ducasse, AKA Comte de Lautréamont: “Beautiful as the encounter of a sewing machine with an umbrella on a dissection table.” There is a terrifying randomness about the world, but the mind with which we sense this randomness is a powerful generator of meaning or significance, a machine for recognizing patterns and extrapolating them into grand intuitions of unity or into destructive paranoid delusions.
This post is a collection of photographs of evocative random juxtapositions.
The sculptural form of objects may be revealed when they come into relation with other objects.
Did you hear that the elusive giant squid has finally been captured on video?
A person is always part of a scene, defined by that scene.
The contemporary scene is replete with images of desire, but such images always exist in relation to a down and dirty real world.
In our fantasy, we soar like nature.
We are colorful and emotional, in a world of stone and steel.
We make images to express ourselves. These images are subject to the changing weather of the world, as are we.
Our monsters and our goddesses loom always over our chaotic streets.
Our images of frenzy and rage loom over our calm streets.
We desire exuberance and extravagance, but the world we create is extravagant mainly in its wastefulness.
Can the magnificence of nature be distilled in a material object?
Can desire be rendered in glowing pixels?
Can an image endow righteousness with glamour? (The ad on the left side of this phone shelter is for the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The ad on the right promotes a Billy Graham evangelical revival tour.)
Can eros and thanatos be printed up and pasted on the wall, to win our attention?
Can I seduce you with extravagance? Do you like it artificial, or natural?
Do you like clarity, or mystery?
Everything we can construct reflects everything that constitutes its environment.
Everything we can envision is distilled out of what we already know.
We love love and pleasure, and we love rage and destruction.
Power is the ultimate fantasy. Decay is the ultimate reality.
Everything that has an opposite exists only in relation to its opposite. There is no life without death, and vice versa. They are two surfaces of a membrane.
Our world is nothing but numbers, and nothing but aliveness.