“Suppose that a ramp leading to the top of a ziggurat wall is 56 cubits long, and the vertical height of the ziggurat is 45 cubits. What is the distance x from the outside base of the ramp to the point directly below the top? (Ziggurats were terraced pyramids built in the ancient Middle East; a cubit is a length of measure equal to about 18 inches or 44 centimeters.)”
“Although Dickinson did lead an active life outside the home in her youth, her increasing reclusiveness in her later years give the very notion of house and home a special resonance in her work. As such, the unusual piece pictured below is of particular interest, just one of Dickinson’s many “envelope poems” – the focus of a recent book, The Gorgeous Nothings by Marta Werner and Jen Bervin. In this instance, Dickinson has cut apart an envelope so all that remains are the flap and a portion of the body. She orients the paper so the point of the flap is at the top then she fills that peak with words: “The way hope builds his house…” Or, to phrase it more directly, she writes a poem about a house on a piece of paper that looks like a house.”
“The Schrift-Landschaften drawings are composed of a single text-fragment, written in Herbert Pföstl’s distinctly small script, inscribed upon a page from a nautical traverse table. One is reminded of the particularities of calligraphic expression and the meditative processes required to create needlework samplers, chronological tables, weather diaries, or even telegraphic code. Pföstl’s landscapes of script, however, come from a deep reading of and reliance upon literature; these lines are fragments from books gathered over many years and transformed into a landscape of incantations for the artist. What at first appears a wilderness of words on paper soon resolves into a garland of vows concealed within the text. These works are a meditation on the artist’s abiding interest in the liminal space which often exists between drawing and writing.”
“Indeed, Dostoevsky was not content to “write” and “take notes” in the process of creative thinking, he moved in the space and time of the particular artistic universe of his notebook, where the meaning and significance of words interact reciprocally with other meanings expressed through visual images, a method of work specific to the writer.”
represent that key moment when the accumulated proto-novel crystallized into a text. Like many of us, Dostoevsky doodled hardest when the words came slowest.” Some of Dostoevsky’s character descriptions, argues scholar Konstantin Barsht, “are actually the descriptions of doodled portraits he kept reworking until they were right.”
“Archaeologists found the marked stone fragment as they sifted through spear points and other material excavated at Blombos cave in South Africa. It has taken seven years of tests to conclude that a human made the lines with an ochre crayon 73,000 years ago.
“The simple red marks adorn a flake the size of two thumbnails which appears to have broken off a grindstone cobble used to turn lumps of ochre into paint powder. The lines end so abruptly at the fragment’s edges that researchers believe the cross-hatches were originally part of a larger design drawn on the cobble.
“This is first known drawing in human history,” said Francesco d’Errico, a researcher on the team at the University of Bordeaux. “What does it mean? I don’t know. What I do know is that what can look very abstract to us could mean something to the people in the traditional society who produced it.”