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December 03, 2007

Response to: Transient Poams

Part of Professor Moss' post on 'Transient Poams' poams states:

"What can you say about intention when the poam melts, floats away, collapses, is carried away in its components by water, etc.?"

When I read this, several thoughts came to mind and inspired some reflection about why things are made, and their purpose behind them. I have talked in previous entries about the purpose behind writing poems, and I feel like many of these things apply to the making of poams. It depends on the intended audience, but I feel when poams (or poems) are analyzed, a great deal also matters what the intention was in making the poam. The quote above, by saying 'melts away' immediately made me think of snow men (since it is winter). What is the purpose in making a snow man? How is this a poam? Snow men are usually just made for fun, its snowing outside and what better way to enjoy it than make the likeness of a person out of snow? Another poam that has been created every year I've been at UM has been the project that is conducted in the diag every spring. I'm not sure who does it, but there are many parts that come together into many different parts of the diag, all expressing different things. But the things that are built and put together are not permanent, so what lasting impression is there when the things are taken down, or are destroyed by the harsh spring weather?

Lasting Imagery

The example of the snow man seems one that is much easier to analyze. Its made as a product of finding a way to enjoy the cold weather and the snow with other people by making a piece of art out of the snow. Most intend to make something that is unique and that people will recognize and remember. Since I've seen many snow men throughout my life (since I'm from Ohio and snow isn't something that is new to me) it takes an extraordinary snow man to stick out in my mind. My point: I've seen hundreds of snow men, but when I think of a 'snow man' the only ones that stick out to me are those that were unique, ie huge ones, really small ones, ones with distinct features.

This same idea applies to the work of art that has been in the diag. Since I have seen it for 3 years now, I have been exposed to it enough that it is not something that is new to me, and I am not particularly shocked or taken aback when i see it appear in the spring. What does stick with me are the individual aspects of it that are unique: one year a geometric design of windmills covered one open area of the diag.

Not all things are intended for a last impact. In fact, I would assume that most of our current monuments where not designed with the intention of lasting hundreds or even thousands of years. They were designed for the impact and functionality 'right now' (whenever that 'right now' may have been). The monuments and poams that have outlasted their functionality, ie the Parthenon, or Stone Henge, serve an auxiliary purpose for us by still being there. Their design was mainly functional, and lasting for as long as these things have was mainly a product of their construction and chance. Any of these things could have been torn down or destroyed by a natural act, but weren't. Some things are designed with the knowledge that they will only last a certain period of time (the snowman lasting throughout the winter, or many even just a few days), but the difference between the effect that a poam has 'right now' can be the same whether the poam is a building intended to last a certain amount of time or one that has lasted throughout the ages.

I also found interesting the quote by Claude Debussy at the bottom of the relationship between music and color and the ways that they express ideas. When I saw the name Claude Debussy I immediately knew of one of his most famous piano suites, 'Clair De Lune,' which I know means 'Light of the moon' or 'moonlight.' Was this piece that he created a way of expressing what moon light meant to him? I did some searching around and found a very interesting transient poam of Claude Debussy's 'Clair De Lune.' This work takes the piano score and visually shows the song as it progresses. There is also an interesting representation of color in the piece, which helps to remind of Debussy's quote about color, music and ideas.


Posted by ndjames at December 3, 2007 03:39 PM


Thanks so much for adding this transient poam component to the limited fork blog interaction system; the interaction as the mapping of idea itself --wonderful; I shall incorporate, with a nod to you, this video in my post.

Also, with a nod to you, I've embedded my video poam foray into simultaneity studies "The Ostrich Culture of Snowmen" into my "DOD: the death of depth" post (20 December); I hope you find a distinctive configuration of the snowman archetype there --please let me know.

Again; thanks for your response which has, as indicated, reshaped the post to which your post responds.

Posted by: thyliasm at December 22, 2007 02:50 AM

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