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Status Updates posted by francoisdenis

  1. Hello David,

    I visited your blog and I saw that you are very involved in the research on drawing. I even saw that you had reproduced a page of my book. I am pleased that it is useful to you but I am a little sad because I note that you do not quote me and moreover, I do not appear in the list of readings that you recommend. Is there any particular reason for this?


  2. Hi Kevin

    Could you give me arcs measurements beacause  to get a division in 3 at the bottom (VisPis) I am obliged to reduce the size of the blue circle. Moreover, the tangency on the right in the C bouts is not the same as the one on the left. I am enclosing a file of outlines of right and left superimposed. I suggest you work on it.


  3. Hi Kevin,

    I hope you are right,  I note that your are still stick with geometry :)

    I came back a bit to the topic with the second edition of my book which required me to read it again..20 years ago than I did this work ....Books are iOK but I'm thinking about some other media. I like your vids how do you do that? I guess that you are using a specific software?
    Do you know if Harry is still in the loop?

    1. Kevin Kelly

      Kevin Kelly

      Hi Francois,

      Wonderful to hear from you.  I am in touch with Harry, but he's normally occupied during the school year with his teaching.  For the videos I just use Keynote, and export the files to quicktime. 

      Yes, I am always curious and always trying to learn more...

  4. Sorry Ben, I forget that it was a private message. Actually I solicited here the legendary british sense of humor  :)

  5. Hi Ben,

    To continue my idea, the design of a violin requires the implementation of surfaces. For that, one uses numbers that one puts in relation and finally one inscribes the trajectory of a point (contour). Actually I realized that this design refered to the Quadrivium. The surfaces concern geometry, numbers = arithmetic, the relation between numbers = music and moving geometry (trajectory) = astronomy (according to Proclus).
    This makes me think that abstraction is nourished by practice and that many are not very aware of it.

    1. Ben Hebbert

      Ben Hebbert

      I've been wondering about a few things ... 

      There is a quote somewhere about drawing that edifies the idea that the natural line is as beautiful as the geometric line, and that something in nature is not diminished by the combination of both. This makes perfect sense if you think especially of the study of human form in painting, where you quickly realise that however right Vitruvian man is, if it was simply the construction of mathematics, it wouldn't be human, and we wouldn't be uniquely individual - actually, I think that Leonardo da Vinci communicates this statement perfectly with the lack of "geometry" of Vitruvian man's penis, just letting it hang - as some would say. (Really and truly, I'm not joking). Much of what we define as beautiful in a human face comes from the hair, which is out of the control of God, so the "Leonardo's dick" arguments ultimately reinforces a lot of what David Burgess is trying to communicate (please can I post this publicly) - or put another way - is right up his alley. 

      The composite gothic tracery that I showed earlier is interesting (for another reason) because the rectangle that forms the lower part is invariably a Geometrical golden section, whereas the division of the tracery, and the creation of the arch itself could be described more as proportion, so already you have a mixing of different languages within the quadrivium, and once again, we find very quickly that God's creation cannot be described by one type of discipline alone, and that's why the quadrivium - bound by a relation to harmonia in all things, seems best fitted to understanding the world. Take that analogy to the modern day, and we all know that Physics, Biology and Chemistry combine and interlink to describe phenomenon in nature. 

      My point really is to reinforce why the presence of geometry in violin design doesn't automatically exclude other elements of the quadrivium from within it - which is something we both appear to agree on very strongly. 

      I don't understand surfaces enough. What I share with violin making is that I am impressed by ideas of Catenary curves, and that the thicknesses of a violin have more to do with the relationships between two curves and fixed points rather than anything to do with graduation maps. I am not sure if the Bagatelle like concentric rings have to do with thicknessing, or judgement of the nature of the instrument by the way the rings conform to each other. However, I find that the most sophisticated elements of arching come from a real sense of three-dimensionality. Like everything else, if there is an underlining theory that tells us the nature of a surface, we might be able to more instinctively understand how to achieve a Cremonese shape. I think it is these elements that you are talking about in a mathematical sense as abstractions. I think they benefit from practice - i.e. to a great extent judgement informed by experience - because otherwise how could we map them, but I do believe that they "need" to be informed by the quadrivium, and that they would be easier to abstract - in it's literal meaning - with the rules in mind. 

      With all due respect to our colleagues, they would need to understand that Abstract has firm meanings, and has very little to do with a view of abstraction that follows after Picasso. 




    2. francoisdenis


      I fully understand what DB communicates, first because it's not difficult. In return I would have liked him to understand me (but it will be probably a too long shot, I gave up). Usually I do not post on this forum, so I have little experience, a very limited experience of the language and codes but I understood that MN is ta good place for those who seek a platform for simplist points of view publicity.
      I have the feeling that it is difficult (for me! to bring clarity and interest to the debate, to give historical perspective etc .... In fact I feel a little off the mark. Youtube could be a better platform for me in the future.
      There is much to say about the Vitruvian figure and the evolution of its representation tells us the evolution of society. We know that of Leonardo but that of Cesare Cesariano for example tells another story. In my opinion, since their origin, the vitruvian figure sets out a goal to reach an ideal. It sums up a lot of things. Here all forms fit in a surface. The man is in the center of a creation ideally conceived in the limits of the square and the circle.
      It seems that the relationships of the surfaces have prevailed on the curves. In any case their theoretical importance is less (as you noted curves being more on the artistic side). At least in France... the ellipse is considered as a sign of the XVII ° S and Baroque. They are difficult to trace but netherless occure naturally in the deformation of the circle.
      Are you serious about the abstract or is it to tease me?

    3. francoisdenis


      "their theoretical importance is less " i'm speaking for the craftmen of the XV and XVI°C