(photo by dreamsofmountains.com)
When I lie flat under the stars
white curve of bone beneath my flesh
by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
What does our recent movement towards geometry in art and fashion mean?
I thought on this as reading Ellen Lupton’s Thinking with Type. Here, Lupton points out that early typefaces were modeled after human forms of calligraphy. “Words originated as gestures of the body,” she writes.
Lupton goes on to explain that in the early 20th century, the De Stijl group of the Netherlands and the German Bauhaus revolutionized type. These groups reduced letters to the purest, most abstract forms of geometry. No longer seen were the flourishes based on calligraphy, the contrast of thin and thick strokes that modeled the natural flow of the nib of the pen. O’s became perfectly round, A’s were perfect triangles.
The Futura typeface was designed by Paul Renner in Germany in 1927. (image via k-stella.com) It is still popular in use today.
The De Stijl group was concentrated on abstraction as idealism. The Bauhaus, too, believed in the perfect union of form and function. The works of these groups in the early 20th century reflected the hope and faith of the Industrial Revolution, the hope that technology and mass production would bring us into the perfect future. Early 20th century art movements saw our salvation in perfect forms that, before the advent of technology, were previously unattainable.
It is at the beginning of the 21st century that we are again moving towards the geometric form in art and fashion. Rather than striving towards pure form, geometry is seen in juxtaposition to the natural world. Mountains are reduced to triangles. Geologic illustrations are juxtaposed against fields of lines and shapes. Traditional Navajo patterns (for better or worse) are re-imagined.
from the zine Natural by Harry Diaz.
Pyramid by Harry Diaz.
from the zine Nothing But Dead Stone by Huy Vu (via Little Paper Planes)
wallpaper commissioned by HP by Mark Weaver.
by Shaun Kardinal.
ring by Marmod8 (via Etsy).
Ecote Cold Shouler Dress by Urban Outfitters.
In the 21st century, we’re experiencing another revolution in technology. It could be called the Internet Revolution, with more and more people getting online, becoming comfortable with social media, and forming relationships in the virtual world.
Unlike the DeStijl group and the Bauhaus, we’re not hoping for technology to free us from the constraints of our humanity and the natural world. Rather, we’re hoping this technology will bring us closer, and help us develop more intimate connections.
Is the recent trend towards geometry juxtaposed against the natural world evidence that we’re succeeding in this regard? Perhaps it reveals a longing for intimacy, connection, and something tactile. Perhaps it reveals the need to finally turn away from the ideal form and the perfect future promised by technology, and look back towards the natural world to find the connections we seek.
What do you think about the current geometric trend in fashion/art? You can see more examples of this trend on my board at Pinterest.
About Ramblers Bone:
On April 5th, American born photographers Mikael Kennedy & Sean Sullivan will set out from Los Angeles, CA, deep into the heart of the country on a 30 day road trip to explore America.
In a project titled Ramblers Bone, Sullivan & Kennedy, both veteran travelers of the American highways, will wander east into the high deserts of New Mexico before turning north through the Rockies, into the wild lands of Montana, across to the Pacific for the last leg of their journey, bringing them down the California coast where the wilderness meets the water; the point where early explorers of the West realized they could go no further.
Wolverine, an American bootmaker since 1883, has chosen to sponsor these two artists, letting them loose on the two-lane black tops and dirt roads of America deep into the wilderness of the West. The American road has always drawn the lenses of photographers over the years, from Ansel Adams to Robert Frank & William Eggleston, all who burned countless miles on the open road where anything can happen and the photographers open themselves up to the endless possibility that is part of the American dream itself. (text via Ramblers Bone Official Site.)