Ferdinand Cheval (born 1836 in Charmes-sur-l’Herbasse, Drôme, France; died 19 August 1924) was a French postman who spent thirty-three years of his life building Le Palais idéal (the “Ideal Palace”) in Hauterives. The Palace is regarded as an extraordinary example of naïve art architecture.
Cheval began the building in April 1879. He claimed that he had tripped on a stone and was inspired by its shape. He returned to the same spot the next day and started collecting stones.
For the next thirty-three years, Cheval picked up stones during his daily mail round and carried them home to build the Palais idéal. He spent the first twenty years building the outer walls. At first, he carried the stones in his pockets, then switched to a basket. Eventually, he used a wheelbarrow. He often worked at night, by the light of an oil lamp.
The Palais is a mix of different styles with inspirations from Christianity to Hinduism. Cheval bound the stones together with lime, mortar and cement.
yoga sutras. 1938. krishnamacharya and his students. you can watch entire 6 part video on youtube.
“I don’t like concrete. A tree moves and also I’m silent. With a nail or a saw. you’d know I was there. I am like a raccoon” - Richard Greaves, Anarchitect
“We are too small to influence the stars in their courses, and too large to care about anything but the mass effects of molecules, atoms and electrons. In both cases, we achieve a sufficiently loose coupling with phenomena we are studying to give a massive total account of this coupling, although the coupling may not be loose enough for us to ignore it all together.”
Norbert Weiner. Information, Language, and Society.
over the weekend i picked up two books i was reading where i left off, in an ordinary fashion.
within two pages of reading each book, one on friday and the other on monday, they both touched upon two of the same themes in detail: namely attempting to invalidate and discredit the Cartesian idea of “i think, therefore i am”; and they both referenced the might, beauty and wonder of Heraclitus’ quote about one not being able to step in the same river twice, because the water is always flowing and moving, and so it’s never the same water in any given spot. These themes were both sort of sub-themes, not really having to do with the main subject of each book. What is extra bizarre is that directly after I realized this relationship between the books and the time frame i read them, the author of the second book began to intensely discuss repetition in time and space. i was on the train for both of these occurrences (perhaps i wasn’t on the same tracks, as their particles are always moving!) he was talking about moments in time and space that repeat themselves, and if anything can really repeat itself… specifically moments which especially cannot accumulate to form the sum of their parts that stand objective and alone, away from the imaginative brushstrokes of our memories.
then yesterday i saw two different men, at two different times throughout the day, playing a harmonica on an escalator in the metro. i have never before seen someone playing the harmonica on an escalator in the metro… or maybe it happens all the time and i just never noticed it until now. this sort of simplified the fact that these two repetitive events are not repetitive events, even though i wanted to classify them as such, to appease some weird classification apparatus that my (all of our?) imagination has.
here’s to ripping off the switches of automation.
ex-prisoner does meditation workshops with prisoners at a rhode island prison.