Ethics & Aesthetics: Travel Scketchbooks

Ethics & Aesthetics
Travel Scketchbooks

La semana pasada, presentábamos la obra de The Lisbon Wireman (el sobrenombre de David Oliveira) comparando los trazos temblorosos de sus esculturas en el espacio con los de un cuaderno de dibujo, líneas de ideación, apuntes, acompasados con el traqueteo de un tren, o con un apoyo inestable, sobre un lienzo que lleva tanto tiempo como compañero de viaje que ha adoptado la forma del bolsillo.

Last week, we presented the work of The Lisbon Wireman (David Oliveira’s nickname), comparing the trembling lines of his sculptures in space with those of a sketchbook, lines of ideation, notes, measured with the rattle of a train, or with an unstable support, on a canvas that has taken the form of a pocket.

The notebook, the pad, a folded sheet -and folded again-. It is not a life-saver waiting for the numen or the muse to appear, anywhere and it is necessary to start drawing, evading the environment as in those films where time stops and the sounds of a noisy bar are attenuated. No. It’s more like a parachute, a notation in a moment that manages to surprise an idea, capture it and suspend it in the air, make it real so that it can continue to sprout. It is just a tireless seedbed, which must always accompany us to avoid a feeling of vertigo whatever the journey.

The sketchbooks of the Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza compose an active and full of life world where he puts in charge his projects and they are inserted in the city

Any creative work needs a notebook -maybe not a notebook- to physically feel that ideas have enough weight to exist, but not so much that they fall down on a project, on a canvas or on a physical object. A temporary space in which the idea becomes malleable and can continue to mutate, in which everything is allowed and, if it never leaves there, it will always remain in that space. A common, symbolic place for thoughts, notes, drawings, to receive and give in a constant cycle until they escape from there. Even later, when an idea has evolved enough and has finished its construction, its roots continue to climb the pages of this temporary space.

The lines of Álvaro Siza, which escape and find their fertile soil in walls and ceilings, or the precise agile lines of the sketches of Alberto Campo Baezathat accompanied us a couple of years ago– are examples of an ideation, a knowledge that what is drawn is a mental process, not a figure, and that it works as a question for the next drawing, or even for that very one. The sketches by Pablo Picasso or Diego de Velázquez are as famous and have as much detail as the final works they served as a rehearsal, seeking to sharpen the aim until the last moment, sharpening the pencil to make each line end up being definitive and temporary at the same time, always learning.

Álvaro Siza drawing on one of the walls of the University of Évora
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG) presents a way to express his ideas through large format drawings that he broadcasts on the internet

That’s why the notebook is a mystical, ethereal object, immersed in an orderly, personal chaos, where each line is marked forever, indelible, to remember those seeds that sprouted into trees, and let those that still sleep underground be born on the page they want.

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