We are Panthers

3, January 2018

“An image enters in,

rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles,

plunges into the heart and is gone.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Poet

Where do images go after you absorb them?  When you flick past hundreds of images on instagram where do they go?  Do they plunge into your heart?  Do they resonate with you?  Can they ever be in your heart?  In the poem above, Rilke talks about a caged Panther, pacing up and down a cage in a zoo, exhausted with seeing the same thing.  It’s heart cannot absorb an image because it has been captured and destroyed.  In today’s image obsessed world of social media, the bombardment we face daily is creating a collective negative consciousness.  Because there are exponential images available to you, maybe your heart is being dampened?  Or maybe our hearts are strong but the images are not sufficient quality to plunge into us deeply?  Either way, we can all relate to this poem with the experience of making architecture.

Sometimes I am the Panther, absorbing images and allowing them to enter through my tensed and arrested muscles plunging into my heart with good intentions and then – gone.  The amount of times I get sent images by super talented people, clients, Workshop members and collaborators, but I am unable to process them all.  They are plunging into me and then  - gone.  I cannot recall them.  Rilke was the Panther too, we are all the Panther.  But the experience of images in the early 20th century was very different to the experience of images today.  Rilke wanted a better heart and better quality images - and I'd like both too.  We need to think of new and innovative ways of seeing and experiencing the image, for the human heart needs other nourishment.  The image on this journal post is a simple solution to a problem.  We need more lateral thinking on using technically for our hearts benefit.