Skip to main content

Thoughts on 'Environmental Description'

The new architecture is not necessarily based upon the natural laws of physics or spatial relationship; it seems to be solely based around the imagination of the individual. The new architecture exists within the mind, which translates it onto the computer, television and cinema screens. It is my goal to translate my inner architecture into the written word.

The great expanses of space that exist within my mind, especially when I dream, are seemingly endless. They consistently aim downwards into the earth that lies beneath the unspoiled beauty of the sylvan utopia above. The descriptions are not necessarily stories unto themselves, though there is a narrative that has to be based upon the temporal and the spatial in order to give the reader the bearing needed to find his or her way around the environment.

It is not necessarily poetry; Poetry imparts a sort of snapshot of emotion during a specific time and place and while this enviornmental writing does indeed create mood, or at least strives to, it does so in a prose style so I am hard pressed to call it poetry and the term prose poetry has always felt somewaht nebulous to me at its best and trite at its worst. Ihave never especially liked it and really don't want to fall back on it too easily.


I strive to write these pieces in a neutral manner, letting the reader take on the role of the explorer wandering the grounds. Sometimes, however, a character may develop naturally as the environment exerts a will of its own upon the person trapped in the words and if the writing is strong enough, hopefully the reader as well. 

It is for these reasons that I struggle with a label for these pieces. I find it somewhat uncomfortable in that I do not really like labels for genres, especially since the last twenty years have created such a ridiculously large amount of labels in an attempt to clarify when they do nothing more than confuse. Do we really need to call electronically generated music 'electronica', 'house', 'intelligent dance music', 'ambient' or 'industrial'? Maybe we do, but anyway, as usual, I digress; One could argue that we don't really need to label anything at all but we continue to and this process will most likely not stop, especially not due to any antipathy on my part.

I am reluctant to call this an exercise or an expirement because these terms usually lack focus or craftsmanship and add up to little more than the conceit of the young writer struggling with the frustration of not being able to express his or her thoughts and feelings onto the written page.

However, in an attempt at honesty and literary confidence, I must commit myself to some sort of term and that is why have chosen, until a better one comes along, 'Environmental Description'.  I hope that the reader will find it fitting for this project.



Popular posts from this blog

The Plaza of the Mind Interview with Negativland's Don Joyce!

I picked up a copy of Negativland's Escape From Noise back in 1991 or 1992 and it was really unlike anything I had heard before. It was like a smörgåsbord of found snippets of dialogue mixed with upbeat rhythms and lyrics with a glazing of suburban humor. The band later went on to record albums such as Free, Dispepsi as well as the infamous The Letter U and the Numeral 2 (though not in that order).

Besides their musical work the band has long advocated for the fair use of electro-quoting and appropriating of images. Because of pioneers such as Negativland, the Tape-beatles and John Oswald younger suburban kids such as myself felt a sort of empowerment to have more of an active role in our intake of the outer channel media that came into our lives.

You think South Park Mexican's Wiggy sounds better slowed down? Slow it down! You think Aimee Mann's Say Anything sounds better with the last ten seconds cut out? Cut them out! You think it would be cool to see a version of …

Vertically adjustable ceiling

After looking at the modern meeting room ceilings of several business and medical centers it becomes apparent how difficult it is to the maintain the cleanliness of the intricate series of recessed light fixtures, hanging lamps, video projectors, audio speakers, smoke and co2 detectors, climate control vents and sprinkler heads. An average sized room would not be too difficult to service but the rooms with higher ceilings, the fourteen, fifteen and sixteen foot ones can become a challenge and/or danger.

Perhaps it would benefit the environmental services worker if the ceiling could be raised and lowered at will. It could also make for a refreshing aesthetic change dependent on whether the tone of the meetings in question wanted the cozy feel of a low ceiling for small presentations or the grandeur of the high ceiling for larger exhibitions.

The Plaza of the Mind Interview with Paul Robb of Information Society!

I had been a fan of Information Society since the release of their self-titled LP in 1989. But it was their follow up release, Hack, that propelled them into the forefront of my favorite recording artists, a spot that they have remained in ever since. The original line-up of the band [Paul Robb, James Cassidy and Kurt Harland] dissolved shortly after their third release, Peace and Love, Inc., and was continued solely by lead singer Kurt Harland on the incredibly atmospheric Don't Be Afraid.Information Society had not recorded any new material since that 1997 release and I had begun to give up hope of ever hearing anything new until last spring when it was announced that Paul Robb was working on a new record [Synthesizer] with James Cassidy and newcomers Christopher Anton and Sonja Myers and would soon be playing select cities. I was lucky enough to catch the reunited Information Society last summer [see my coverage of the show here] and had an amazing time. Information Socie…