Cecilia Arditto Delsoglio

The art of combining things

para Gabriel Abellán

Today, I began my day by reading a post on Gabriel Abellán´s blog (in Spanish), a blog devoted to physics and music under both a very smart and poetic perspective. In his latest post, Gabriel shares with us, how a logic class, taught by an inspiring teacher, changed him forever. Emphatically,  I remembered my father teaching me math when I was in kindergarten.


Science and science-fiction
From my last visit to Argentina (I live in Amsterdam) I brought a suitcase full of books: 23 kgs of precious books. I “stole” from the family bookshelf the science-fiction collection that belonged to my father. I also brought a very inexpensive (but super heavy!) collection of science books that I bought in calle Corrientes, a street in Buenos Aires, very well known for its amazing bookshops.

The two piles of books talk to each other, being the “real” science pile the crazier one (verdad Gabriel?).

I am sure that the pioneers of relativity theory with their wild imagination deeply pleased Asimov and Bradbury. Wells traveling on time, and Philip Dick, with his multiple worlds, both of them speak the same language than the realities glimpsed by quantum physics scientists.  In the corner of the music, Stockhausen comes to my mind too… maybe it is true that he comes from Sirius.
People from these two piles of books have in common that they could see a world beyond the everyday facts. They saw it, they believed in it, and they went for it. Each pile requires a different tool: some of them build new realities with the calculator, others with the typewriter. Just nuances.

It is easy to associate the capacity of dreaming about new realities with artists, something that scientists also do. They have to.
It is easy to associate the idea of science changing the world (I think about the discovery of electricity or the atom partition) but is something that artists also do. The world of art and the development of the human race have been spinning out together since the beginning of our times, feeding each other, making each other.

The architecture of cloth.
I also brought from Argentina in that same suitcase a pile of sewing patterns that belonged to my mum, and previously to my grandmother: a collection of Burda magazines. My grandma, Beba, taught me to sew when I was really very little. From a very early age, I could make clothes for my puppets, and for myself, following the instructions of these patterns. La abuelita Beba let me use her sewing machine, brand Singer, actuated with a pedal, that, in those times, was just at the tips of my small feet. I didn’t care less about the dolls; I was more interested in the confection of these intricated mini designs with sleeves, zippers and pliers. Believe me, still not easy. I was also, amazed by the mechanism of the sewing machine. I still am.

Now I am writing scores, with instructions, sometimes in several languages, like in Burda magazine!

Varese said that music is organized sound.
I say that music is the art to combine… a lot of things.


 Gespleten piano (2010)- stage design


1 thought on “The art of combining things”

  1. I hadn’t read this entry. How wonderful! Incidentally, today I was talking to a plastic artist who sent me a video asking my opinion. I told him that it was very beautiful but that they were presenting a lot of fantasy as science. Science has a way of being rather strict. But, and this is a big but, it feeds on all fantasies, even the wildest ones. I was saying to him that sometimes it’s not necessary to push the envelope so far, there are findings that are incredible without seeking to exaggerate them.

    The physics of the 20th century and the 19th century draws a lot from that fantasy. The interaction between writers and scientists that took place at the beginning of the 20th century was incredible; I think especially of someone like Wells and all the influence he left both for science and literature lovers.

    I see your parallelisms Cecilia and they bring a thousand and one smiles to my face. Seeing those sewing patterns and then your scores and making that connection between those two worlds…. I see it too, más claro que el agua. When you mentioned the Singer sewing machine, it reminded me of the countless afternoons with my grandmother, her sewing and me helping her and in any case talking to her. I also saw those patterns many times.

    Thank you Cecilia for all these memories, thank you for remembering me in those books. Thank you for your sweet words about my blog which was completely inspired by your old Cocina. I wanted to write and show things the way you showed them. You have an inspiring place, created from love; one can see it.

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