“Silence can be intimidating, sometimes provocative, sometimes a form of resistance because it dislocates. It also leaves an empty face to be filled and the spectators with the possibility of participating in imagining the space. But I stress it is not strategic. It is my cinematic tendency. I never asked myself if I should do it in another way. There are a lot of questions that come out of the silence. It is so close to the infinite.”
Wieliczka Salt Mine
This deposit of rock salt in Wieliczka-Bochnia has been mined since the 13th century. Spread over nine levels, it has 300 km of galleries with works of art, altars, and statues sculpted in the salt, making a fascinating pilgrimage into the past of a major industrial undertaking.
Over the centuries, miners have established a tradition of carving sculptures out of the native rock salt. As a result, the mine contains entire underground churches, altars, bas-reliefs, and dozens of life-size or larger statues. It also houses an underground museum and has a number of special-purpose chambers such as a sanatorium for people suffering from respiratory ailments. The largest of the chapels, the Chapel of the Blessed King, is located 101 m below the surface; it is over 50 m long, 15 m wide and 12 m high, with a volume of 10,000 cm3.
An inheritance of wonder and nothing more.William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways
Of course libraries contain books, and books contain information, but information has always been of minor importance, except to minor minds. The information highway has no destination, and the sense of travel it provides is pure illusion. What matters is how the information is arranged, how it is understood, and to what uses it is going to be put. In short, what matters is the book the data’s in. I just employed the expression „It is a fact of philistine life…“ That is exactly what the philistine would like the library to retrieve for it. Just the facts, ma’am. Because facts can be drawn from the jaws of some system like teeth; because facts are goods like shoes and shirts and… well, books. This week, the library is having a closeout sale on facts about deserts. Get yours now. Gobi will be gone soon, the Sahara to follow.
The popular description of the Internet is misguided. No one should be surprised about that. „Misinformation alley“ is a more apt designation, although it is lined with billboards called „Web sites,“ obscuring whatever might be seen from the road. Moreover, „highway“ has the advantage of reminding us of another technological marvel, the motorcar, and of all its accomplishments: the death of millions around the world, the destruction of the landscape, the greedy irresponsible consumption of natural resources, the choking of cities and the poisoning of the atmosphere, the ruination of the railroads, the distribution of noise into every sort of solitude, the creation of suburbs and urban sprawl, of malls and motor homes, of consumerist attitudes and the dangerous delusions that afflict drivers, the tyranny of highways and tollways in particular, the creation of the road-borne tourist, who drives, who looks, who does not see, but nevertheless clearly remembers „having been there.“ In short, blessings may be blessings, but they are invariably mixed.
In this picture from the early 1940s, travelers in California’s San Joaquin Valley gather owl’s clover and blue lupine in a field along Route 99.
But the example of many minds forever lost, like undiscoverable Arctic explorers, amid those treacherous regions, warns us entirely away from them; and we learn that it is not for man to follow the trail of truth too far, since by doing so he entirely loses the directing compass of his mind; for arrived at the Pole, to whose barrenness only it points, there, the needle indifferently respects all points of the horizon alike.Herman Melville, Pierre
“For over two decades Japanese artist Akiko Ikeuchi has been creating room-sized vortices of silk, tying hundreds of small knots in coloured thread to form elaborate gallery installations.”