Sunday, 5 April 2015

Sketching defiance, seeing defiance

Sketching defiance, seeing defiance

(or revisiting his sketches reflecting what he sees of in this continuing past 
and its views related to it)

It's been a long time to sketch after seeing those contrary to what today has being peddled. 

Most of which were consists of "Not quite Modern" fashion, scenes such as those featuring factories, as well as symbols inspired from the old, this writer sees of it as countercultural, inimical to what is commonly seen, of factories instead of commercial complexes, and of men wearing Berets instead of Snapbacks in their heads.

Maybe because this person was inspired by history and realities, be it the French and Industrial Revolutions or the present day mass actions sand sight seeings over the once industrial valleys, then it seems quite compelling to draw for a person whom supposed to vent these through writing critiques and essays in this post.
For admittingly speaking, it's even easier to draw than to write, if not engage in sculpture just to squeeze out create juices and express what was left in a mind full of imagination and inspired by what he had stated in this post. Lucky if you have money for buying clay but nope, but instead, you rather draw, sketch, doodle upon what comes from a barren mind in every page of a hand-made "sketchbook" made by yours truly.

But besides those being posted today, here were other sketches in which once were posted in earlier write-ups, but  since there is nothing wrong to feature those works again as these were inspired from a continuing past be it remarkable or rebellious, antinorm or antimodern. Others were being stored for few years and be unearthed, featured in this post. Pardon if some works were dark, perhaps because of the camera or after being edited and hence, appears dark and ambient, if not agitating. 

But also given that this person has been dealing with the counterculture for years besides reading books, be it punk, goth, as well as those that created an "avant garde of terror" when it comes to visual arts and crafts, those scenes are quite appealing, given the nature of being deviant against the current, if not mocking the order for its mockery from time to time towards its subjects. To the extent of  doing culture jamming to protest the present nonsense.

And in seeing such pictures featuring their styles did inspire this person to sketch getups that doesn't invoke beauty alone, but also deviance. Deviance not because this person sees it as a "revolt" against the sleek and extravagant "made to impress" fashions of the present (even streetwear tries to appear as seduciously extravagant so as to became "famous"), but also favoring a middle between form and function, of the casual and of the corporate, or even being anti-consumeristic perhaps, favouring colours likely consists of black, red, white, or any other type coming from a custom made tailor if not from a small-scale dress shop trying to make someone be tempered with both style and awareness. 

It may likely to be redescribed as "anti-modern", "nostalgic", or even "driven by tradition" given the style that as contrary to what today's culture shown, or even trying to cultivate values such as comradeship and gallantry tempered with ideas such as equality, justice, and thirst for knowledge and freedom (not the freedom today's people babbling about). Casual as it depicts, yet tempered with style if that's the case so as to appear different from the "impressive" present. Today's so-called modern culture, amidst its technological advancement and its "popular" appeal, is driven entirely by consumerism than those of creativity, replacing production with consumption, of just quality with unjust quantity, and if there is then maybe that creativity is a slave to interest creating what is dictated by the latter for profit's sake right or wrong. As Spengler notes:

"At this level all civilisations enter upon a stage, which lasts for centuries, of appalling depopulation. The whole pyramid of cultural man vanishes. It crumbles from the summit, first the world-cities, then the provincial forms and finally the land itself, whose best blood has incontinently poured into the towns, merely to bolster them up awhile. At the last, only the primitive blood remains, alive, but robbed of its strongest and most promising elements."

 Pardon for this person as he used Spengler for a reference, but since the system's consumerism and its so-called "demands" has replaced man's creativity, of replacing a culturally refined person to those that is devoid and easy to exploit, then perhaps what most people sees is anything all but degenerating, devoid of significance no matter how it appears as advanced, beautiful, or anything whatosever the system tries to show it as such to its "tamed" subjects. No wonder Albert Einstein had even called today's generation, subordinated under an unharnessed technology as Idiots, given that they themselves are shorn off its own value, and instead be replaced by mere pride fit for a show-off. No wonder why Mao Zedong, despite being Marxist-Leninist had afforded to say Man decides over things and not of vice versa, of Joseph Stalin in demanding "engineers of the human soul" to gain people consciousness, or even Lu Xun, who urged the enlightened to "save the children" from being eaten by a rotting order desperate for its survival. Today's generation would say that they are pushed into the current and acknowledge anything is as if beautiful no matter how valueless it is since it carries no character at all.
And since this person used Spengler's and Lu Xun's then maybe that person, succumbed into consumerism ends nothing but robbed of its promising element for it did not harness it for its own and the community's benefit, but instead, contributed to its demise, into an age of garbage.

And so is drawing those that were known only to be forgotten: of sketching buildings that tries to invoke the forge if not giving an old architecture a new life with reinforced steel and concrete, fusing the old and new ideas by applying modern methods and be tempered with those of the old (similar to Portugal's "Estilo Portugues Suave", Stalinist Architecture, and Grecian Moderne), or even forging new designs the way Walter Gropius, Vann Molyvann, or Leandro Locsin did in their architectural masterpieces.

Not because of his past observations (both in book and in actual sightseeings), but factories, cogwheels, chimneys, forges, workers did contribute much in the society's development, much more in its building with a sworn promise, hence worth compelling if that's the case to draw it in his sketchbook, and pardon if these were considered as passé in everybody's eyes as most been focused on commercial establishments sprung from the once industrial valleys, but in a country that has abundant resources, and a capacity to develop on its own, then how come what most concerned sees is a still developing base amidst rhetorics of pride and pictures of so-called development? These people whom speaks much of that concern are only to end fell on deaf ears as such. And if most take pride in today's technology then how come there's no industry to forge not just to assemble? The last time people hear about an attempt was in the 50s if not in the 70s, 80s, or even 90s with words such as "we are building a country" for an advertisement.

And this person knows that the concerned, the so-called "idealistic", are still both clamoring and listening, if not trying to roll their sleeves hoping that their aspirations be realised and their goals be heed by many be it factories creating various goods or mass housing for the deserving poor. If Panday Pira had afforded to make cannons and farm implants centuries ago, of the former Agila I and II once flown carrying the flag, and with today's Diwata leaving off the blueprints and on to its next level carrying an awaiting pride for many, then perhaps these people are also trying to conceptualise, make, forge ideas hoping that the future generations ought to understand its importance the way they cherish the technology merely brought from others. 

For in today's age of garbage, such ideas are less of a concern, much more of its conception; and since the system still assumes to be a patron of industry, much more of science and technology, and even those of arts and crafts, in actual it fails to show concern thinking that it has no profit from it and instead letting the markets flood with anything whatsoever the people needs much despite having resources, and people willing to learn and forge new foundations of a still stagnant industry sector. If they afford to "encourage" then maybe it is all but a rhetoric if not end up merely as displays, white elephants waiting for a decision turning them into scrap. 

One of this person's industry- related works featured in this post included those of recognisable edifices such as the San Sebastian Church, not because of its all-steel feature Spaniards and Filipinos take pride in it, but also of a past these people tried to realise yet fail to reach its full potential. Thanks to those corrupt weaklings and its apologetics in failing to realise like its neighbours whom afforded to create and maintain its foundations strong not just to cater its communities' demands but to take pride of alongside those of their ancients. It had stood for decades long, enduring the sea winds that brought rust creeping in its iron walls, and nowadays trying to regain its strength by restoring every feature that is iron, marble, wood, anything that brought the church from its past. No wonder why Genaro Palacios and Pierre Eiffel wanted a Gothic church be tempered with steel instead of stone, was it because Steel may endure earthquakes and fire unlike its stone predecessor that end ravaged? Or maybe trying to invoke a steeled faith as Spaniards, being hardcore Roman Catholics since Mediaeval times trying to instill in its subjects centuries before? 

But the legacies forged by these architects of the resurrection aren't limited to those of San Sebastian, Perez-Samanlilio, Regina, or even the University of Santo Tomás with its features favouring a future rooted in its historical legacy. Other future-provoking edifices like the RFM silo, and the old San Miguel Royal Soft Drinks Plant are being featured on those two works. Like the steel church that was made to invoke a stronger faith trying to counter earthquakes, these did invoke a promise of self determination made by its benefactors involved.
That once, Don Salvador Araneta founded the Republic Flour Mills (RFM) to stimulate local production, of saving foreign exchange, and cater the needs of the people (both jobs and goods), yet in its conception critics thought of him as a daydreamer, thinking that the Philippines may fail in its venture    of economic independence, and even one of them wrote an article on "how stupid" the Filipinos were to think they would succeed despite the fact that wheat is not grown in the Philippines. There were even attempts made by the Americans to block then Central Bank of the Philippines to provide budget (a dollar allocation) in setting foundations for the RFM, only to back down and acknowledge for a time (as Americans disagree on industrialising the resource-rich Philippines even until today). Hence, the Silo at Pasig which was constructed decades ago is also a monument to a national goal, an edifice of defiance against prevailing policy, or as what this person think of, a monument to ContemporAntiquity given its idea to bridge both aspirations of both past and its continuing present.
On the other hand, San Miguel, back then as a Manila-based Brewery under Don Andres Soriano, created the Royal Soft Drinks Plant in mid 1920s in pursuit of making a non-alcoholic beverages (such as Royal Tru Orange and Royal Ginger Ale). Its architecture, as what this writer observed, was similar to those of other San Miguel factories such as the old Magnolia plant, and the Main Office-Factory near Malacanang. Ironically, the brewery was the first international bottler for Coca Cola, hence having the same "Migueline" architecture (a likely term for San Miguel's then-"modern", reformed neoclassical architecture) at Otis, Manila. However, unlike the latter which is currently used as a warehouse and district office for the well-known softdrink, the old 1920s plant suffered the same fate as the old brewery in the late 1970s, for it was demolished by the government not considering its historical contribution nor its architectural style.

But regardless of its fate, be it demolished or threatened to be (hope it may not), this person sees it as a reminder of what was once invoked and aspired such as a society trying to defy a certain policy by taking it with a grain of salt and rolling its own sleeve to justify further. They had to temper a great idea with an arduous series of both plan and action regardless of its initial criticism. And men like Araneta had afforded to disobey prevailing policies out of patriotism and for the people's welfare such as education and jobs (trying to create culturally refined and aware well-rounded individuals willing to forge, plough, build a nation so to speak), yet to some critics he's an oligarch, citing the fact that he's a scion of a landed gentry, and a traditional politician given that he was also in the Government service for years; only to found out that he was one of the few able to invoke patriotism by the deed as most were by the word. 

Anyways, It is quite interesting though for this person in reading those stories besides seeing them actually, and as inspired by such hence it end drawn and posted to remember such purpose driven feats and trying to turn revolts with style. If the so-called modern world speaks heavily of consumption, of commercial establishments and consumerism dominating the polis, then this person and the concerned few wanted to see a different one that is a continuation of an aspiration, of anything harnessed by the spirit such as a guiding line, and countries like the former Soviet Union, then "Red" China, did cultivate as such, tempering numerous realised ideas with great and profound traditions as contrary to those of the United States and its interest-driven allies dwelling on its illusion especially those of "progress."

After all, when was, or is the time people really getting concerned about themselves and surroundings? That amidst progress those whom are supposedly aware are in actual apathetic and limited to what the order provided them with lack of quality besides mere aesthetics? That they listen to songs and seeing visuals without idea, of eating food without nutritional value? 

No wonder why there are those willing to unleash an avant garde of terror, calling for a nihil as a perequisite to a new beginning. And it would take days, weeks, months, years, decades to make people aware and turn everything against the order.