FEB 04 2020

Our preoccupations and findings for the week

We recently came upon an interview with Derek Bailey the English avant-garde guitarist (1930-2005). We were very much moved by it. It’s fairly plain on the surface: a musician talking to another musician about what they’re up to when they’re playing. If one is familiar with the absolutely sincere, improvisational transcendentalism of Bailey’s guitar explorations, the plainness becomes deep and emotive beyond mere musicality. In a kindly and sturdy way Bailey shows with both words and the occasional, off-the-cuff musical example how these words are not really appropriate for what he’s doing — that it is not dignified to force one medium to do the bidding of another medium — as mediums and the contexts of their applicants are always changing. We found this all very grounding — extracting something like pursue and aspire to a minute-to-minute grace, don’t over-systematize or define.

When pushed to put into words what he’s doing when he’s playing, he said the following:
But I wonder just how accurate these descriptions are. I mean I could describe what I’m doing but I wonder whether the description comes after the thing when it’s done. Or to put it another way — or whether the technical description is actually a substitute for something for which I’ve got no description for… I’m following a sort of appetite; I mean the thing that makes me choose one thing over another…

(As a note the interviewer Henry Kaiser should be praised for his intelligence and touch throughout this talk.)

Sites in use

What is the implication when one literally flattens an abstraction? This is exactly what artist Kyra Tabea Balderer has done, that is taken dimensional, non-objective compositions and removed their spatiality. The flattening of sculptural works of art by journalistic photography has been happening in art catalogues and periodicals for decades. And obviously for the entirety of the 20th century painters from Malevich to David Reed have been doing the reverse — painting a fictitious abstract world. It is this reason why we find the work of Balderer refreshing to the whole genre of abstract painting and picture-plane-play — whether that be with Lucio Fontana or Frank Stella. Not to mention what this de-parallaxing of structurality does metaphorically: what happens when one flattens ideas of “marriage” of “race” of “business” of “gender”? Q.E.D. 👽🖖

Typografische Systeme
Sachi Patil
Studio Hongjie Yang



Of both the Tarot and the I Ching, we asked the following: For the coming week, what is the best advice for the engaged and sincere person?


The Two of Wands is a card of strength and domination in pure aspect — a selfish power will lead to destruction as leading inherently involves the needs of others — guide openly and purely and you will bring your followers to the good (that which you know to be healthy).
        The first hexagram (#44), describing our current state of affairs, warns that “coming together must be free of dishonest ulterior motives, otherwise harm will result.” The second hexagram (#14) describing the recommended course of action, states, “The sun brings both evil and good into the light of day… Possession… must be administered properly.” Both our card and the two hexagrams deal clearly and directly with power and its dual aspect (good and evil, destruction and prosperity). Whatever projects or leadership are under your power this week, it seems plain that they should be executed “by virtue of unselfish modesty.”






Architecture & Design





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Material Art Fair, Mexico City
Feb 7-9

Ernö Goldfinger Home/Studio, London

Roberto Burle Marx Foundation and Garden, Rio de Janeiro


For the uninitiated these two solo Derek Bailey albums are a great place to start:


Improvisation — its nature and practice in music
Derek Bailey

“One of the things which quickly becomes apparent in any improvising is that one spends very little time looking for new things to play. The instinctive choice as well as the calculated choice is usually for tried material. Improvisa-tion is hardly ever deliberately experimental. When the new arrives, if it arrives, it appears to come of its own accord.”



Derek Bailey, Recorded at L.A.C.E., Los Angeles, 1989