Pieces to remember

"Curiously, when my mathematics colleague Peter Kronheimer (whose office is just a few doors down the hall from mine) tried to classify a group of four-dimensional Calabi-Yau manifolds by symmetry, he discovered that they followed the same classification scheme as the Platonic solids. I’m by no means trying to suggest that Plato […] got it all right. On the contrary, his notions about the origins of the elements are flat-out wrong. […] But in terms of the big picture, Plato was on the right track in many ways, identifying some of the key pieces of the puzzle – such as symmetry, duality, and the general principle of geometrization […]."
Shing-Tung Yau in 'The Shape of Inner Space', 2010

  Post: 28/06/2014

"Do I really think we live in a perfect three-dimensional compact polyhedron? Not exactly. It’s more that I think space is finite and the perfect polygons are mathematical idealizations that allow us to pursue the implications either to the point of absurdity or to the point of discovery. Using the ideal forms, we can devise thought experiments to determine how we would know if the universe was finite."
Jana Levin in 'How The Universe Got Its Spots', 2002

  Post: 18/01/2016

"[...] the Divine Proportion is in fact pervasive, its existence [is] more like grains of sand between the toes than the diamond in a crown."
Anne Tyng in Anne Tyng in 'Simultaneous Randomness And Order'

  Post: 03/01/2016

"As I said before, designing in the Divine Proportion is not the answer, or even designing with the conscious purpose of reaching it, is not really what you need to do. Like everything you do in your life, you don’t necessarily consciously determine the direction of your life. But somehow there’s always a consistency that crops up and follows on what you’ve done before, even if there was no plan to do it that way."
Anne Tyng in 'Number is Form and Form is Number', an interview by Robert Kirkbride

  Post: 03/01/2016

"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."
Niels Bohr

  Post: 11/09/2015

"For there are no academic chairs, no degrees, no subsidies, no general textbooks, no marks of recognition to promote the general study of form. Only a few great names: Pythagoras, Aristotle, Leonardo, Goethe, d'Arcy Thompson, some lesser lights, and a scatering of individuals who find their way to each other by their common interest, have kept the general theme alive."
Lancelot Whyte quoted by Anne Tyng in 'Hierarchies'

  Post: 28/12/2013

"If it advances your career, it is not conversation."
From an interview with Sophie De Schaepdrijver

  Post: 13/09/2014

"«Au commencement était le Verbe.» Non! Au commencement était l’émotion. Le Verbe est venu ensuite pour remplacer l’émotion, comme le trot remplace le galop, alors que la loi naturelle du cheval est le galop; on lui fait avoir le trot. On a sorti l’homme de la poésie émotive pour le faire entrer dans la dialectique, c’est-à-dire le bafouillage, n’est-ce pas?"
"«In the beginning was Word.» No! In the beginning was emotion. The Word came later, replacing emotion as trot replaced gallop."
Louis-Ferdinand Céline in 'Céline vous parle'

  Post: 20/09/2014

"You will have no doubt, I am sure, that emotions are bodily things, like wrath, love, sternness; unless you doubt whether they change our features, knot our foreheads, relax the countenance, spread blushes, or drive away the blood? What, then? Do you think that such evident marks of the body are stamped upon us by anything else than body?"
Seneca in 'Moral letters to Lucilius/Letter 106'

  Post: 26/09/2014

"Man gebrauche gewöhnliche Worte und sage ungewöhnliche Dinge."
Arthur Schopenhauer

  Post: 06/11/2015

"Truly, thoughts are things, and their scope of operation is the world, itself."
Napoleon Hill in 'Think and Grow Rich'

  Post: 27/10/2015

"(...) there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go."
e.e. cummings

  Post: 18/09/2015

"Every so often I find myself catapulted out of bed with fear of time and death, panic at the approaching void; feet on the floor, head in hands, I shout a useless (and disappointingly uneloquent) 'No, no, no' as I wake."
Julian Barnes in 'A History of the World in 10½ Chapters', 1989

  Post: 19/01/2014

"You know, you start to think… when you are younger, how important everything is, and how things have to go right and your job, your career, your life and your choices and all that, and then after a while you start to realize that… - I take the big picture here - that eventually, you die, and eventually the sun burns out and the earth is gone. And eventually all the stars, all the planets, the entire universe goes. Disappears. And nothing is left at all. Nothing, Shakespeare or Beethoven or… all gone… Michelangelo, gone. And you think to yourself: it is a lot of noise and sound and fury and... where is it going? It is not going anywhere."
From an interview with Wood Allen, on the occasion of the release of You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, 2010

  Post: 25/08/2015

"It's like this - It's a head-spinning dichotomy - of the lust for life against the finality of everything. It's those two things raging against each other, you know? And that produces these moments that feel like real truth, because when you say, "Isn't it great to be alive... and it's all gonna fuckin' end!" those two points together are like, Ahhhh. That is the entire story, right there. That's it. There's no more to be said. It's like, how do you come to terms with that situation? Is there any comfort factor to be found in there at all? What is the point of all this?"
David Bowie in the June edition of Interview Magazine, 2002

  Post: 11/01/2016

"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."
Charles Bukowski

  Post: 27/09/2016

"Death no more frightening than being yet unborn. Eternity may be frightening, so spend it under general anaesthetic. Don't worry, you will!"
Richard Dawkins tweet on May 9, 2015

  Post: 25/05/2015

"Humanity knows nothing at all. There is no intrinsic value in anything, and every action is a futile, meaningless effort."
Masanobu Fukuoka

  Post: 20/09/2014

"A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress."
Walter Benjamin in 'Theses on the Philosophy of History'

  Post: 20/10/2015

"Het is snel gegaan, het leven."
Rogi Wieg in de Volkskrant, 24/01/2015

  Post: 06/06/2015

"Toen ik jong was, werd ik wel eens overrompeld door doodsangst. Vooral het idee van eeuwigheid boezemde mij angst in. Dat iets niet eindigt: het is in tegenstelling met wat wij zijn, met de cyclus die de natuur doorloopt."
Gerard Mortier in De Standaard, 28/12/2013

  Post: 12/03/2014

"Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem is part of the reason why every now and then I lay in bed, not sleeping."
Tumblr comment, 04/08/2014

  Post: 15/08/2014

"Op mijn 17de had ik een soort fonkeling die later verdwenen is. Maar terwijl ik hier [Platina blues] mee bezig was, kwam die fonkeling terug."
Thé Lau in De Standaard, 28/12/2013

  Post: 20/06/2014

"The unique, archetypal character of these regular polyhedrons of three-dimensional space has been recognized from the most ancient times. Among the playthings of the infant Bacchus were dice in the form of the five platonic solids, the implications being that upon these patterns all things in the univesre are built."
Claude Bragdon, quoted by Anne Tyng in 'Great Models', a student publication of the school of design, North Carolina State University, 1978

  Post: 28/12/2013

"Described by Plato in his Timaeus, these polyhedrons, the cube, tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron and icosahedron, are the only five regular solids possible in three-dimensional space [...] and dice on Mars or the Moon would have to take these shapes. I have found that these five Platonic Solids express in their relationships a universal forming principle - a matrix which includes both randomness and order."
Anne Tyng in 'Great Models', a student publication of the school of design, North Carolina State University, 1978

  Post: 26/12/2013

"You're way too dumb to figure out if your idea is good. It's up to the masses. So make that very small thing and get it out there and keep on trying..."
Andrew Mason

  Post: 20/06/2014

"It’s a horserace. You never know which horse is going to win."
Saul Bellow

  Post: 04/11/2014

"WL: You sit there saying nothing while the world is going to pieces. What do you want? What do you want to do?
SB: Walter, all I want to do is sit on my ass and fart and think of Dante."
Argument between Walter Lowenfels and Samuel Beckett

  Post: 09/06/2015

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
Samuel Beckett

  Post: 17/09/2014

"I like the druggy downtown kids who spray paint walls and trains
I like their lack of training, their primitive technique
I think sometimes it hurts you when you stay too long in school
I think sometimes it hurts you when you're afraid to be called a fool"
Lou Reed, John Cale in 'Trouble With Classicists'

  Post: 16/01/2016

"The direct transfer of artistic gifts is impossible; artistic adaptation takes place through a series of contradictory phases: Shock — Wonder — Imitation — Rejection — Experimentation — Possession. [...] Our practical conclusion is the following: we are abandoning all efforts at pedagogical action and moving toward experimental activity."
Asger Jorn in 'Notes on the Formation of an Imaginist Bauhaus'

  Post: 03/11/2015

"Spending all this time with him has inspired me in different ways to think about how and what I can do with magic. That's more than what I've been doing. So that's pretty much what I'm excited about."
David Blaine talking about Harry Houdini

  Post: 26/06/2014

"When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money...

But that’s a very limited life, life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is: everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you.
And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. And the minute that you understand, you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again."
Steve Jobs in a 1995 interview

  Post: 27/01/2016