Αρχική σελίδα αρχιτεκτονική τέχνες video τυπογραφία ακτιβισμός ημερολόγια εργαστήρια βιβλία σχέδια

iordanis stylidis video
metronome against thinking patterns

still life

2015 / New evidence and homologation*
regarding the STILL LIFE representation

exegisis* and stochasmos* regarding the STILL LIFE representation and its reading discipline


2015still life+  

Homologation: express of agreement,
from Greek homologein 'confess'.

the critical explanation or inter pretation of a phenomenon.
From Greek exēgēsis, from exēgeisthai
'interpret' (from ex- 'out of' + hēgeisthai 'to guide, lead').

Stochasmos: the act of thinking within
a random propability distribution (from
Greek stokhastikos, from stokhazesthai 'aim at, guess,' from stokhos 'aim.')

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Hellinika English


...On the variety and the semiotic fund of the representational genre STILL LIFE
Exposition of audiovisual material and text of supporting positions...



We may perennially and forever locate and install the self (the mind) within an exceptional area of meaning and, there, train in the observation, negotiation and subsequent reformulation of a cohesive reflective and rational outcome (a written text or, nowadays, a digital record of speech and actions) which circumscribes and critically expounds, feeds back into the rhizome and awaits the blooming of people's thoughts and actions in relation to that special area of meaning and its connection with the world. We may, moreover, analytically expound the description relevant to this development, its powerful engagement and confluence with the proposed (in the digital database vimeo and in every available digital database) cutting-edge expressive outcomes (vimeo) which are now available once and for all, constituting exclusively and ideologically determining this unitary thinking.

Even further, we may seize every new opportunity to engage in the assiduous exploration of stagnant and neutralized content (e.g. landscape painting, still life, portrait) so as to creatively reflect on its most unstable potential, determine and publicize the program of the subsequent innovative and feasible course of thinking and attractive practices regarding it, due both to the more mature and forceful mental capacity for delineating that particular meaning and those practices which bound it in times past and also, now, to the rapid change in the technological substratum and techincal method which make possible the new reflective intervention.

The temporal distance from the historical fund, the continuous, available and secure supervision of that area of meaning (the available digital substratum of works and commentary) as well as the rapidly occuring changes in the information environment for the issuing and distribution of reference for its particular critical assesment, have caused a radical shift in the desire and free choice of a position of observation (singular and multiple, simultaneously) but, mainly, in the aesthetic refashioning of its thematic identity which instigated this undertaking to start with.

So, then, I publicize and exhibit here the specific personal experiential fund of my investigatory and reflective relation with the successive practices and accompanying ideology of the representational technique conventionally accepted and designated as STILL LIFE ("unmoving" or "dead" or "fixed" life) alongside the requisite attendant and conditioned exemplary images. More than this, by inserting this outcome into the digital continuum, I critically transfer, render relevant and provide an alternative determination of the old content. Finally, I posit and recommend the advent of the latest and more mature reflection on this and on the qualities of the objects that are the bearers of that relation (paintings, photographs, critical and reflective texts).

The mural, the watercolor, the oil painting and now the digital treatment of the same, varied content, together make up a persisting historical statement and development of the still life idiom, comprising and articulating a solid content for man's desire to celebrate the emergence within and occupation of a zone of controlled self-sufficiency, of an economy of care, of a life-saving accumulation of reserves, so that he may be able to move unmolested through the times of seasonal scarcity. The desire to celebrate his technical capacity of extending the range of his desire and collect what he will, when he may. His ability to transcend the restrictions of self-sufficiency and divert his desire into the realm of enjoyment of an object as a bearer of power and potential, that is, of a perverse manifestation and establishment of a meaning hostile to the definition of his moral essence and his place in the world of communal, shared meaning.

Τοιχογραφία. Πομπηία (70μ.Χ.)

Joachim Beuckelaer (1566)

Maria van Oosterwijk (1693)

Rembrandt (1639)

Hans Holbein (1533)

Claude Monet (1880)

Paul Gauguin (1889)






In like fashion, the Egyptian priest-muralists, the artisans of Pompei and of Minoan times, Joachim Beuckelaer, Maria van Oosterwijk, Peter Paul Rubens, LuisMelendez and Rebrandt celebrate. That is to say, they imbue meaning by meansof design, color and composition, commenting without restraint on the new historical condition within which they live and whose specimens/samples they arealready, constantly enjoying. The moment, that is, when those spefific, and stillfew, outstanding artisans and poor thinkers transform into imagery their ability togive their attention, to benefit, to get fuel and entertainment, because the time ofterrible need has already passed and the new era of abundance, of collections andstoring, suggests and makes feasible a wealth of possibilities. The artisan representationists comment and question, flirt and fall in love with, all the possibilitiewof their time. They have at their disposal the exceptional fabrics for winter, whentheir survival would be tested, and they have, moreover, the fabrics with whichthey will cover their heavy and still artless tables and chairs, transforming theirsymbolic and precise meaning into myth. They have the exceptional and luminousfruit of their seasons, the fruit of the Mediterranean, though they are in the protestant North with its trying climate and, also, the stringent ideological equivalencebetween the established theological order and their metaphysical ideal. They havethe materials and the coinage of a possible and, now, attainable, stable place ofresidence and a diet that is emancipated from the natural cycle and the moralsyntax of their times. They have the precious and rare vessels of their dreams, thebridging objects with all the legends and will-crushing narratives concerning themetaphysical regulation of their life regime. They possess, and fervently seek topossess even further, the visual narratives of their exit, the distance gained, fromthe reality of their sensory perceptions into the area of the magical condition ofvisually rendered ideas, which ruled over (as it still does and will do for a long time)their/our mental capacity for a free, autonomous and robust life.

They sought, then, to have these insignificant artifacts (paintings) as incantationsand magic spells, as indexes of their desires and passions. Instruments of theiremancipation from their precise, compact, integral and instantaneous relationwith life. Such as it was. Precisely. Like we today, now, in like manner have andcontinuously posit the same desires, the same magic spells for our wishes and ourunanchored possessions within the spaces and reflective fields of our own traversals of reality. The body of a naked woman or man as an index of a wish, or a possession, of desiring or withstanding. The precise and monstrous machinery-messagefor the special position at a distance from and above the others. The symbol of aplace in social hierarchy, the seat of my difference rather than unity with the companion other. Body, machinery, position. Symbols and eclectic representations.Material affirmations and narratives, instances and possibilities for installing andmaintaining a powerful difference.

But these pointers and assertions are not exhausted in the one-dimensional, simplistic representations of material goods, of exotic and luxurious specimens anddisplays of rare and refined objects. A thorough reading of Hans Holbein derJungere's painting "the Ambassadors", reveals there, in the surrounding filed ofplacement of the intermediary objects, the complete, encoded cartography of thewishes and projects which then (1533) were turned to strategies and tactics forsovereignty at a global level. The sphere of land- and water expanses, the in depthunderstanding of the geometry of distances and square meters, the technology fordetermining the positions and temporal periods of the planet-property, the notebooks of conquests and appropriate locations of rare earth deposits, the wovenotherwordly mantle that allows certain things to be seen and others not, the instances of the logic, meter and rhythm of things, the samples and indexes of strictcommercial but also scientific recordings... It also reveals the index signs of thecold and relentless gaze of the bureucratic managers (the ambassador-conveyorand bearer of earthly power as well as the bishop-sentinel of the theological pantheon's definitions of life), the new expanded planetary space already in a newtemporal regime and the special time of geographic travel already circumscribedby the understanding of the new commercial and scientific elite of the emergingempires. The space, finally, and the time between the bodies of the painting's darkand enclosed figures (ambassador and bishop) who are unable to relocate to thenext spatial coordinate and the next moment in time after the ones which contained them, there, in the space and time of their representation.

Soon thereafter and in the ensuing historical time, within this specific technical andsemiotic-ideological field of representational possibilities a series of artisans suchas Vincent van Gogh, Eugene Delacroix, Francisco Goya, Cezanne, Monet, Gauguin Metzinger, Braque, Matisse and Picasso unleashed their thinking and theirtechnical abilities, were tested, reformed their views, conceived, transformed andinterwove new strategic manipulations recommending and defending possibilitiesof representation, orientation and emancipation. They did so with no special critical or reflective engagement with their actions' vital content or with the essentialand already well ensconced question "why do I paint what I can enjoy as is, there,in front of me?" Vacant and ignorant of the reflective potential that was implicitin such an engagement and in the possible and fecund thinking that hinged on it,they proceeded to posit and defend multiple styles of manipulation, thinking nothing of it all and completely excluding the previous vital question.

Even over and above the preceding linear desire for the construction (artisans,constructors) or the acquisition of paintings (buyers, order givers) of objects whoserepresentations included or exclusively signified the social position and power ofthe persons represented and their financial capacity to possess and display wealthand its accoutrements in all of the hierarchic societies that were emerging into modernity, this diversion of thinking (visual statements/representations of collectedobjects/ landscapes/ spaces constitutive of power) soon led to the conception andmaterialisation of the kunstkabinett or Cabinets of Curiosities (or Wonder Rooms).These were display cases, rooms or large halls with collections of unclassified objects from the fields of Physics, Botany, Zoology, Geology, Ethnoraphy and fragments of Architecture. In a similar manner and for similar reasons, the need fordisplay and proof of the capacity to possess objects as an index of social positionand also of the illusion of an exclusive overview of the world (of a full and completeglobal range) resulted in the appearance of these privileged private collections.Of statements, that is to say, of a kind of control exerted over the spatial realmswherein the objects originated, which realms would soon, perhaps immediately,comprise sources of immeasurable wealth from the exploitation of their naturalresources. The inexhaustible variety of the specimens and instances of physicalforms and records (minerals, plants, animals, artifacts, statistics, measurements,archives of observations) which was incessantly being presented in the halls andprivate lectures of the newly fledged scientific companies due to the plethora offinds and discoveries by the early and then the subsequent numerous scientificmissions and explorations ( Humbolt, Kook, Darwin, Linnaeus, Buffon) also testifies to a conflict between scientists and collectors within the bounds of a shorttime period. The conflict, namely, between the system of those who owned theprivilege of exploiting the new expanses and the resources therein, who also heldthe exclusive moral references that defined them as the collection owners (owenrsof objects-onwers of knowledge-owners of power, from the kunstkabinetts to thecontemporary museums) and, on the other hand, the emerging group of scientists who sought the acquisition and use of the collections' contents as supportingground and evidence for the exquisite evolution of thought.

In all these cases, it was not made possible for the gaze of research to concentrateits prowess on the historical and evolutionary becoming of the societies themselves, which is to say on the people who act, who desire and who determine theiridentity and also recognize, encode, interrelate and interact among themselves,gather information and thansform it into the technical ability to manage theirrelationship to nature (including the manifestations and phenomena of naturalidentity, whether nearby or wider afield. The emerging science, the accompanyingunbriddled curiosity, a motivating force underpinning the successive discoveries,the cataclysmic wealth of exotic finds, the enthusiasm for the ordering and classification of the new knowledge, left no margin for concentrating on the refineddifferentiations and reflective nuances in the thinking of any one person. Collections and the emerging science, the owners and the explorers, the planet's newmoral reading but also the creation of new codes by the powerful and still fledgling method of that planet's comprehension belonged, and would do so for a longtime to come, within the capacities and desires of an extremely snall group ofenchanted investigators.

Before we attempt to describe and mount a defence of the digital process as a fulland final catalyst in human expression, as substratum and citadel of any man'scapacity to recognize, encode, describe and defend the now personal realm of hisworks and speech, we need to condense with precision and further specify certainof the previously used key phrases and loci of potent meaning.

By the phrase "as instruments of their emancipation from their precise, compact,integral and instantaneous relation with life..."is meant that at a historical moment,the expressive ability of the artisan-constructor of the representation, and of thefaithful spectator and consumer of that representation, continues to be guidedby magic, that is, by the attribution to objects of qualities that were irrational andcould modify life. That which is being depicted exists somewhere and is desirable,despite the fact that before me only its image appears. What is depicted I havepossessed, I desire it, I am at liberty to desire it and by means of this descriptiveadvent (the painting) I declare its false ownership at every moment.

The phrase " … why do I paint what I can enjoy as is, there, in front of me?" signifiesand strictly defines the reflective and rational inability to negotiate the energy ofthe image's construction. Since the object of my desire (the landscape, the collection of objects, the collection of exotic and valuable fruit and foodstuffs, the nakedavailable body) cannot hold still my body, by gaze, my thoughts, my momentum,then, my craving for it shifs into a passionate deviation and it transforms the potential reality of a rich, instantaneous relationship into image, facsimile, coinage,into a theorem and an axiom about the properties of the world.

The phrase "... they were unable to relocate to the next spatial coordinate and thenext moment in time which contained them", signifies and defines the exceptionaldifference which nowadays separates the instances of human expression in manysections of the history of life's representations (- certainly in landscape painting,nude studies, portraiture and in the representational invention of the still life) intoeverything that was constructed before the general sway of digital audio-visualmedia (within the last twenty years in the history of the expressive arts) and all thereadings and artifacts subsequently created and proposed. The new technologyfor collecting, imparting and establishing meaning shifts the creator's obligatorytraining in the technical specialization in one or more manual processes of representation (I paint, I draw, I paint a wall, I photograph) to the simple expert useof equipment for digitally collecting sounds and images and then, adding to theacquired file speech and/or text.

On the occasion, then, of this new exhibition of digital files (video) titled STILL LIFE"...on the critique of the expressive strategies that are contained within and determine the ideological substratum and encoding..." a new frutiful realm is definedhere of possible determinations of meaning and simple technical disciplines whichemancipate the creator and life commentator from the instrumental prerequisitesfor the training and construction of a material outcome (oil painting, water color,sketch, photography) and transfer the constitutive and significant nucleus of thenegotiation and validation of the gesture (I construct this painting and justify theneed for its construction) to thought, discourse, the text, the accompanying audiovisual rendering.


The invention, the cataclysmic production, the unobstructed installation and thefreeing of digital technology for the retrieval and collection of audiovisual material,together with the strategic availability of hyper storage in the digital continuum(YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Facebook, Ubu, YouPorn, BigThink, T.E.D.) for the safekeeping and managing at will of every collection of prototypes of thoughts andideas, define the new era, realm and capacity for production, negotiation and fulldistribution of our notions and comments on life. The control and the exclusivespatial and political delineating of finds and collections, schools and commentaries, of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries not only lose their connection with thecenters of power as exclusive providers and controllers of its distribution, but, onthe contrary ,they are rapidly transferred and disseminated on the network of thedigital continuum of knowledge and technical know-how.

The thematic sectors of representation, such as landscape paiting, the nude figure, the still life, which entailed powerful guidelines re. the meaning of life, arenow being led into a novel, cutting-edge expressive realm that resides exclusivelywitinin the possibilities of multimedia technology. We now think up, comment on,design and contrive brief and more enduring collections of references to life byaccumulating material by focusing the lens-gaze-camera either on a fixed point(online interview-portrait, nude, lecture) or on an entire area of meaning (landscape, still life) as the possibility of collecting natural sounds and pictures "as theyhappen, where they happen" is more rich and exact than ever.

Simultaneously, the thematic variety, authority and exactitude of the audio-visualadvancement, the density and effectiveness of the smooth audal narrative andthe, either sunchronised or voiced over textual guidance and disclosure of theaesthetic and ideological core, whether of a speedy comment (one minute longsingle frame) or a specially demanding and lengthier narrative (documentary) ,fallsin step with and rejoices over the cataclysm of information that is issued and instantly transmitted along the dense net of digital revelation.


The new 'exotic' sciences, technologies and techniques (Biotechnology, Nanomechanics, Robotics, Aerospace engineering, 3-D printing, Interactional materials,Evolutionary Biology, Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence) provide the audio-visualreader with myriads of prompts, jumping points, triggers for unleashing and navigating of his creative thinking and practices. The olden arts (everything we knewand under which we subsumed our intelligence) have already lost primacy in thecontrol and circumscribing of areas of meaning and strategies for its mining, negotiation, rendering and investment. The robot-craft Curiosity that was launched,completed its unbroken trajectory and landed on planet Mars, is a work of art andan achievement of communal human effort and interlinked intelligence which leftfar behind each and every one of the misadventures and visual advents of futurismand constructivism. The A380 Airbus is already a hyper system of references andreflection which dislodged and discredited every awkard and disordered inventionin the surrealist pantheon of images and events. The giant microscope CERN, aswell as the currently under construction, nuclear station ITER, alongside the multiethnic population of their servant-researchers, comprise an innovative, ongoingand inviolable significatory environment for the reinscription of the network ofepistemic interconnections of life and of the, up until recently, material dimensionof that condition: the technique of the poor representations of objects. For whatused to be the vital and paramount epistemic foundation of life (painting, mural,engraving, photograph) and is that no longer.

The already present, installed and available technology and technique (phonesand video cameras, i-pad and quad copters) alongside with the accompanyingand upcoming utilitarian recording instruments and their accoutrements, whichrestrict, creatively disturb or contribute to our everyday relation to thinking andto life (the recording of various comments, noises and unprocessed sound as itexists where it exists, and as it is con-noted in the recording) are in a position toalready disseminate to their audiovisual reader the spaciotemporal coordinatesand versions of the new collections of artifacts and paradigms. A group of vehiclesparked in a weedy lot (+natural sound) the pile of marble plinths at the perimeterof a mining site (+natural sound), the stack of the carcasses of recycled vehicles(+natural sound), the piled bundles of hay in an endless field of perennial cultivation (+natural sound), the ruin of a bridge and the variety of technical connotationsat its near borders (+natural sound), the one and the many halls of events andexhibits somewhere in the world of proposals and bindings of meaning (+naturalsound), indeterminate, timeless and incongruous interiors and gadgetry that hasalready transferred every detail and every synthetic and aesthetic invention fromthe ruins of the olden arts into the area and realm of a multi-rhizomatic field of reinvention and re-inscription of the instantaneous and continuous dialogue, of theenthusiastic and as yet unstable guiding texts for the expression and commentaryof life under the new visual and aesthetic condition of its exploration and registration.

The thematic variety and the reflective capacity available to its observer, the availability and servicing of every particular and general strategy for the targetting andangling of interest, the straightforward and available technology for recording aswell as for unified and instantaneous filing, retrieval, ordering and textual detection, all have already been interlinked. These intelinks, alongside the unlimitedavailability and interconnectivity with the one or the infinite visitors of every display on the digital continuum are now the new field of reflection and the newtechnical method for the analytic (partial?) negotiation of reality.

We are already in a new and uncharted field of space, time, abstract interlinks anddisordered or malleable relations. We are at the point of the unleashing of the uncontrollable, innovative, aesthetic interest. We are not looking for the re-definitionor the canonization of the content of a familiar, partial and satiated question. Weare gazing at, desiring anew, collecting and commenting on, the content of the newand extremely rich collections of instances of life.

Let's play.