Archive for the ‘Energy Independence’ Category

Chinese Landscape with Water Flow Research Institute

February 22, 2023
Chinese Landscape with Water Flow Research Institute, oil on ready-to-use “Stylex” canvas w/ stretcher, 30×40 cm

The ancient art of Chinese Landscape Painting aims for universal completeness and peace, just as the Chinese Empire was supposed to reign for eternity. A painting is not complete if it does not bring together the hard, the fluid, the gaseous, which means rock (the mineral world), water, sky (air, fog). Living organisms are either part of the solid world (trees), or transient, animal or human, which are few and far between. Water is the element that flows through the image, from top to bottom, uniting all, making all into one living organism. Never is there harsh light coming from one point, creating light and shadow. Perspective is mostly of the aerial type, which means things in the distance are lighter in tone, as they reach you through fog, fine mists waft between them and the onlooker.

While this type of painting is originally done with ink and a soft brush on paper, here a westernized technique is employed, using oil paints, but heavily diluted, pig bristled flat brush, on cheap, pre-primed canvas with an interesting rectangular grid. The colour scape is muted, the mood not sombre, but peaceful, fresh, cool and gentle. The family of ducks in the lower left corner find their way undisturbed into the pool at the foot of the rocks, fed by cold spring water from the heights. The institute is nestled in the middle ground, free space to the front, a rock wall in the back, top stories and penthouse reaching out for the great emptiness above.


The Carl Grossberg (The Rift)

April 4, 2018

The Carl Grossberg and rocky landscape with Grossberg motif (by Torsten Slama)

The Carl Grossberg, 48 x 36,5 cm, mixed media on yellow tone paper

A detailed, if slightly crammed drawing with the theme of what our world would and could have looked like if energy independence, chemical independence, transportation independence and true man-nature metabolism had been the goal of industrialization. The drawing could also be an illustration to a treatise on “The Rift” (in the universal metabolism of nature), as described by Karl Marx. Not that the artist is deeply informed on the subject. In fact, any assumption of true literacy in any genre is categorically refuted (in accordance with the law of humbleness and common sense). Embedded in the rocky landscape background are several stylized coal liquefaction plants or chemical factories, tubes and pipelines, and one motif from a painting by Carl Grossberg (Fabriklandschaft im Schnee, 1923). Of course there is no snow here, as in fact the yellow color of the cardboard on which the scene was drawn evokes impressions of a slightly murky,  warm climate (perhaps of the inner earth) with sunlight filtering through a crack in the rocky ceiling, further muted by an emission-saturated atmosphere.  The drawing consists of several layers of pencil, colored pencil, washes of acrylics and different reflective and metallic pigments on a base of human spittle (which are in fact all but invisible.  Note that the “inner earth / Hollow Earth” theme has all sorts of connotations, historical science fiction ones as well as the psychoanalytical/gynacocratic/chthonic idea of earth as a womb. It seems in any case appropriate to annex a quote by Bernard Herrmann, wherein he describes his ideas about scoring the Filme “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1959), since that film features landscapes not unlike the one depicted above: “I decided to evoke the mood and feeling of inner Earth by using only instruments played in low registers. Eliminating all strings, I utilized an orchestra of woodwinds and brass, with a large percussion section and many harps. But the truly unique feature of this score is the inclusion of five organs, one large Cathedral and four electronic. These organs were used in many adroit ways to suggest ascent and descent, as well as the mystery of Atlantis.” Drawing and words (except for italicized words by Bernard Herrmann) by Torsten Slama>

The Kraftick Liquefaction Plant

March 3, 2018

Coal Liquefaction Plant with cyclopean Landscape, drawing by Torsten Slama

The Kraftick Liquefaction Plant, 36 x 50 cm, pencil, colored pencil on tone paper

“When Germany still strived for complete autonomy and independence of Western (and Eastern…ed.) influences, coal hydration technology was one of her attempts to realise complete energy independence. Had the hydration plants not been completely eradicated by the end of World War II, their gasoline output would have served Germany’s entire private car fleet well into the 1960’s. ”  National Empowerment through Petrolum (NETP)

Apart from all its pertinence to energy empowerment stratagems, this drawing should be judged on its artistic merits and technical peculiarities. Mixed media technique on tone paper makes for interesting depth effects. The pervading pink motor oil atmosphere is sometimes fought back, at times heightened. Some of the liquefaction towers are aslant. The geological rock formation on which the plant rests seems unstable. Even the thick concrete platform on which all rests cannot prevent warping. Yet maybe the warping is only in the eyes and the hands of the draftsperson. Or perceived aslantness could be an optical illusion due to the diagonal dynamics of the rock-layered landscape in the background, which works against the perpendicularness of the liquefaction towers.

In a special effort to facilitate appreciation of technique, two details are included:

Kraftick Liquefaction Plant (by Torsten Slama), Detail   Detail of Kraftick Liquefaction Plant (by Torsten Slama)
Future © of this motor oil colorized drawing by Torsten Slama,the Energy Independence Society, and the NEPT yet undisclosed