20 October 2008

A to Z

Eva, this one's for you. Mark wrote down all of these quotes when he saw the Andrea Zittel show in Vancouver a few years ago, I think. Hey, maybe we could check out her studio while I'm in town?

Which one is y'all's favorite, and why? Or do you disagree with any of them and why?

Andrea Zittel: These things I know for sure:

1. It is a human trait to want to organize things into
categories. Inventing categories creates an illusion that there is an
overriding rationale in the way that the world works.

2. Surfaces that are "easy to clean" also show dirt
more. In reality a surface that camouflages dirt is much more practical
than one that is easy to clean.

3. Maintenance takes time and energy that can sometimes
impede other forms of progress such as learning about new things.

4. All materials ultimately deteriorate and show signs
of wear. It is therefore important to create designs that will look
better after years of distress.

5. A perfected filing system can sometimes decrease
efficiency. For instance, when letters and bills are filed away too
quickly, it is easy to forget to respond to them.

6. Many "progressive" designs actually hark back towards
a lost idea of nature or a more "original form."

7. Ambiguity in visual design ultimately leads to a
greater variety of functions than designs that are functionally fixed.

8. No matter how many options there are, it is human
nature to always narrow things down to two polar, yet inextricably
linked choices.

9. The creation of rules is more creative than the
destruction of them. Creation demands a higher level of reasoning and
draws connections between cause and effect. The best rules are never
stable or permanent,
but evolve naturally according to context or need.

10. What makes us feel liberated is not total freedom,
but rather living in a set of limitations that we have
created and prescribed for ourselves.

11. Things that we think are liberating can ultimately
become restrictive, and things that we initially think are
controlling can sometimes give us a sense of comfort and

12. Ideas seem to gestate best in a void-when that void
is filled, it is more difficult to access them. In our
consumption-driven society, almost all voids are filled,
blocking moments of greater clarity and creativity.

Things that block voids are called "avoids."

13. Sometimes if you can't change a situation, you just
have to change the way that you think about the

14. People are most happy when they are moving forwards
towards something not quite yet attained. (I also wonder if this extends
as well to the sensation of physical motion in space. I believe that I
am happier
when I am in a plane or car because I am moving towards
an identifiable and attainable goal.)

-Andrea Zittel (as of Spring 2005)


Marni C. said...

I love the one about surfaces that don't show dirt. Right?


Boyd said...

I must say that the last one and the one about the creativity of the void were quit fantastic.