904 – The Harmony Of Industry And Nature

Does not sound like a song title, huh? It ain’t one, but it describes a feeling that I had when I saw this scene.

Btw, this image is mostly unedited. Nothing was cloned out or in, even the sky gradient was made the analog way by using two Lee soft split ND filters held in front of the lens. I have them in the car, rarely use them, but yesterday I remembered ­čÖé

Mostly I have set the white balance, pumped up saturation and sharpened the image. White balance is set to give a slight magenta cast. That’s how I wanted it. It looks a little bit unnatural, but in a way that you find in many illustrations. Unnatural, but familiar. I like that look and it makes a good match for the late-afternoon light.

“Industry”, “Industrial”, well, that triggers the association with Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. Blixa Bargeld and Einst├╝rzende Neubauten would have been the other logical option, but today it’s NIN.

The Song of the Day is “1 Ghosts I”, the first track of the first part of “Ghosts I-IV”, the album that NIN released in 2008, a quarter of it (“Ghosts I”) as a free download, the whole album first for download from their website and later on media via the normal channels.

It’s the same concept that recently worked well for David Byrne and Brian Eno (“Everything That Happens Will Happen Today”), but here it comes with a welcome twist:

“Ghosts I-IV” has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license, and that actually means you can take the music, remix it and use it in your own works, as long as you don’t use it commercially. You can share the original music and your derivative works based upon it, under the condition that any derivative work is released under the same license and that the attribution chain is not broken. Pretty nice, I’d say.

“Ghosts I-IV” can be heard on the web (in random order though), and it can be bought as download in the formats MP3, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) and Apple Lossless. The latter two are full CD quality and no files have been harmed by DRM. I have opted for the FLAC download. Go to the Ghosts website, listen, download and/or order.

4 thoughts on “904 – The Harmony Of Industry And Nature”

  1. I review your work backwards… it is the challenge of visiting a blogsite where you first read the most recent, then its antecedents. But tomorrow, you will post the ruins of a castle, and today you post the presence of employment and income producing power which the ancient world could hardly imagine.

    And it makes me wonder (which is a wonderful component of your art)… this time about ruins versus now. Time has a way of sanding down and decaying what was so that the rough edges all melt off leaving us with a pile of romantic stuff.

    Surely the ancients had their production plants. They had their assembly plants. They had their cart makers, coopers, mass producers of textiles, and the like. Yet what remains are all generally lovely in comparison to a lot of our presence. Hmmmmm…. surely they had their ghettos, tenements, sawmills, and road houses?

    What’s become of the stripper palaces? The warehouses? Were they all made of wood that long ago became food for worms, bugs, and bacteria? If you’d happened upon a larger employer’s place of work… say back in the 1400s…. would you have found any scenes as pleasant as this? Were the good old days… all that good?


  2. First: the funny thing is, that the “Harmony” title was only one way to go, the other strong association was that of an industrial castle. It’s something about the place. It’s majestic.

    Sure, it is a place where they surface mine gravel, but from afar you could take it for ramparts and towers.

    Second: much of the industrial buildings of the past has been abolished and the sites have become centers of our cities. It’s the quarries that remain, and of course some solitary examples like the Arsenal in Venice, but Venice has simply been put under a glass dome when its power ended in the Napoleonic wars and it was suddenly transformed into the first big theme park.

  3. You make an interesting point. In this country the economic tides crested back in 1929 and then receded from many towns and small cities which never recovered but remained sufficiently populated by increasingly poor people who kept them minimally maintained and preserved within a patina of poverty.

    As you pass through these places you can see the ambition and visions they left as sort of negatives in their buildings. Hmmmm…. no, let me try that differently… You know the lost wax method that they use to cast bronzes? In a way it’s as if the almost-ruins were left after the wax of the culture and affluence was consumed. These were muscular structures fitted with facades of their ambitious dreams.

    As an economist I frequently think about the fickleness of economic nutrients. And I imagine a coupe of retired legionnaires, sitting along the crumbling Apian Way wondering when repair crews were next scheduled to come by.

  4. Southern France is such a case. In high medieval times this was a rich land, actually richer than the north. They were not fully, but almost independent, the Duke of Toulouse one of the most powerful men in all Christianity. This lasted until the crusade against the so-called heresy of the Albigenses. Countless people died, the south was politically crushed … and it never recovered.

    When you want to see the most wonderful Romanesque architecture: Aquitaine is the place. Gothic? Some samples, and you see, it’s the typical architecture of an occupying force. The Cathedral of Albi actually looks much more like a fortress than like a church.

    And then nothing. No Renaissance, no Baroque. There was no more money, no more independent spirit.

Comments are closed.