17 September

fact check and some truth
1998.09.17 10:55

artistic license 001   8338

I bet a lot of artists think I'm the biggest ass there is.   1324m
2003.09.17 17:32

Bjarke Ingels gets the Rolling Stone treatment   4580k
2016.09.17 22:40

zero nine one   3235m

Artistic License 001

fact check and some truth
1998.09.17 10:55

On Tuesday, I spoke (on the phone) with Susan S., the PR rep of Venturi Scott Brown and Assoc. She did not know that the big BASCO sign was now gone, and she pretty much assumed Mr. Venturi did not know either. Although this was our first time speaking together, we had a very animated conversation about "commercial" architecture and its fate as something fleeting. Recognition of this phenomenon may be especially easy for baby boomers to see because so many places of memories from the 1950s and 1960s are simply no longer there.

I specifically called to find out if the big BASCO sign's second design--where the red letters were painted yellow and then covered with an overall pattern spelling the word BEST--upon the meager of Basco and Best was also a Venturi office design. It was.

Last night, I re-read what Venturi, Scott Brown and Izenour said about Las Vegas signs in Learning from Las Vegas, and it is as if they unwittingly predicted the fate of their own big sign.

Now on to reality, perception and truth.

In late July 1979, I and a friend were taking a long walk along the beach of Tybee Island (Savannah Beach); it was night and a full moon out over the Atlantic cast a magnificent reflection upon the ocean surface. We walked north about a mile and then turned back, and it was on the way back that I noticed a baffling inconsistency in the moon's reflection. For the entire mile plus walk so far, the reflection of the Moon's (own reflected) light was always within the straight line area on the ocean surface between me and the moon, yet, when I turned around and looked back to any of the areas of ocean that were in the straight line area between me and the moon just minutes ago, the ocean surface there was in total darkness. Why, I wondered, was the reflection of the moon on the ocean surface always and only able to appear as a straight line between me and the moon? And, moreover, why were there two lines of reflection when I and my friend separated by thirty feet or more?--one line of reflection came to me and another line of reflection came to my friend, yet neither of us could see the other's line of reflection.

The answer, I soon discovered by deduction is wonderfully simple. The reality (and truth?) of this situation is that the entire ocean surface was reflecting the light of the Moon. It is precisely a physical limitation of human perception that precludes us to only see the straight line area of reflection between us and the Moon. It is simple to prove that the whole ocean surface is reflecting the light of the Moon by imagining what it would be like to simultaneously look through the eyes of 1000 people that are standing side by side up and down the entire shore line and looking out at the moon--you would see the entire ocean surface reflecting the light of the Moon.

This is a perfect example where perception is literally relative to where a person stands. It also unquestionably demonstrates that, at least sometimes, we humans are not seeing the "whole picture" or witnessing the "whole truth". In this case, therefore, the notion of relativity of perception is based entirely upon an objective limitation that all humans have, rather than a subjective difference of opinion between one human and another. Oddly enough, the "truth" in this situation comes with the contemplation of seeing everyone's view.

I bet a lot of artists think I'm the biggest ass there is.
2003.09.17 17:32

kisses, kisses, kisses

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Stephen Lauf © 2020.09.04