A passage from John Berger’s Bento’s Sketchbook:
“Where there are no words, knowledge comes through physical acts and through the space through which those acts are made; by permitting each act the space conferred meaning upon it and no further meaning is necessary.” p36.
This passage has such a great resonance. And it succinctly summarizes three of the topics that are of continual importance in Transparent Drawing; words, knowledge and space.
We have established (SEEING IS KNOWLEDGE, THE POETICS OF SPACE 1) that we draw in a non lingual manner. When we draw, we think. And it is a non lingual thinking. The understanding is non lingual. Drawing is a place where there are no words.
What you then have is the space and the physical act in space. Eye seeing. Hand moving a pencil on a piece of paper. Eye seeing the marks that have been made. Additional marks or tones on the piece of paper. Each act confers space. The act is the meaning.
From these simple physical acts, knowledge is gained. When we draw, it is, blessedly, where the no words are.
- Berger, John. Bento’s Sketchbook. Random House. New York. 2011.