Sunday, October 2, 2011


An extract from Phantoms On The Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet.

After that, a strange relationship becomes established between the bibliomaniac and his (or her) thousands of books. The same relation as between a gardener and an invasive climbing plant : the plant grows all by itself, in a manner invisible to the naked eye, but at a rate of progress that is measurable after a few weeks. The gardener, unless he is willing to chop it down, can only indicate the direction he wants it to take. In just the same way, prolific libraries take on an independent existence, and become living things. ("To build up a library is to create a life. Is is never merely a random collection of books" - The Paper House.) We may have chosen its themes, and the general pathways along which it will develop, but we can only stand and watch as it invades all the walls of the room, climbs to the ceiling, annexes the other rooms one by one, expelling anything that gets in the way. It eliminates pictures hanging on the walls, or ornaments that obstruct its afvance; it moves on with its necessary but cumbersome acolytes - stools and ladders - and forces its owner into constant reorganization, since its progress is not linear and calls for ever new kinds of division. At the same time, it is undeniably the reflection, the twin image of its master. To anyone with the insight to decode it, the fundamental character of the librarian will emerge as one's eye travels along the bookshelves. Indeed no library of any size is like another, none has the same personality.

Hi me. ^^

Another book that I've read recently is The Book of Paper, which features a series of essays written by artists, architects and scientists, all of whom have unique approaches to paper. I especially like 'Beneath the Surface' by Miri Golan, a pro origami artist who has taught at a school for students who have been temporarily withdrawn from mainstream education due to emotional and behavioural problems.

The paper, mostly square, cut accurately, of the right size and flexibility, is suited to my purpose. When I look at the paper on my table, it is blank. Every fold reduces the area of the paper, but it acquires more layers. When a student comes to my room, we first fold without talking. Every fold releases more emotion and pressure, until the student is able to relax. Then we start to talk and expose more layers of feeling. In the process of the folding, the paper changes shape. Every time, it appears to be something else, such as a kite or a rabbit ... but it is not. Eventually it will become exactly what we want it to become. When a student folds they release their emotions; their eyes seem to suggest what they are going through. I then raise other points, which enable the student to slowly turn anger and confusion to options and possibilities, from which they can grow.

The paper is used as an important surface for learning. In the process of folding, we discover different angles and polygons. Take a student who has trouble coping with traditional classroom teaching: they can explore geometry in the paper they are folding, learning to calculate angles and identify polygons. This knowledge can later re-emerge in the student's regular geometry class, strengthening their confidence, self-image and ability to learn.

Truly amazing !


These are the most recent shots I took using Canon EOS 60D. The textures, or technically resolution, are damn good. Love it ! Pretty much tempted to buy one myself.