Posted on: 12.8.10


Let’s talk about the surface of things, people.

When I opened my eyes for the first time yesterday, I found that my mind was already spinning. My imagination explored shiny, smooth surfaces, cold and minimal to behold. Another with the texture of velvet, soft and warm with rounded edges. Surfaces of all kinds flooded my head. Gradually, contrasting the pleasant, alluring textures came dark splintery ones. Rusty ones with sharp edges, ugly and undesirable. In the moments when consciousness overcame the fog of slumber, I saw clearly why surfaces are so intriguing. It seems, in this culture of instant gratification, surface is all that really matters.

In the good old days, everything was made of real stuff, because that’s all that was available. Even the crappy stuff, at least it was real. Clay. Stone. Wood. Metal. Fiber. Glass. People learned how to manipulate the materials that came out of the earth. Clay was baked into functional shapes of vessels, tablets, even. Humans became masters, molding stone into silk or water.  Wood was carved, shaped, into furniture, architecture. Metal into armor and precious jewelry. Fibers evolved into richly dyed tapestries and high fashion. Glass from sand, lime, and soda became ornate images of light. Delicate drinking vessels. Materials were manipulated to the point that their sources could be disguised. The earth was abundant with the resources for humans to exploit, exhibit, and appreciate through mastery of skill. Except for plagues and fevers, times were good for artisans.

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