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good form, bad form, we all have our share...(quite 'longish'...)

updated thu 12 apr 01


Philip on wed 11 apr 01

Dear All,
Well...some ruminations...of things with me, and not meant as to =
'defineing' the 'subject'...but shareing of thoughts 'about' the =
subject...or how I live with a way...
I'd say we 'live', or some of us do, in what is very much an =
'Artificial' world...'in' and with surroundings, and elements of our =
surroundings, which have been 'made' by people.

The influences which these things have, or may be imagined TO have upon =
us...may relate to the quality of attention we give to them...
And the influence wrought of our relationships with these =
things...determines - aside from an 'abstract' consideration - the =
attribution to something, as being "Good Form".
Or that a recognition Of ' Form' , and the assessments of it, must =
proceed in some defference to our relations with the 'thing' in =
question...the qualities of that relationship, will assess the qualities =
of a 'Form'.

If I 'think' of this at all, I think of things 'Being" rather than =
'Having' form...or such as 'Good Form'.
As a 'verb' rather than as a 'noun'...that the ' Form' itself, is a =
In 'our relationships' with these these things, are the contexts in =
which qualities of Form are recognitively attributed.

In or among this, is possibly the appreciation that 'Form' IS all =
around us: The things we use...our Houses, Automobiles, Clothing and =
Housewares...the Cities, Towns, Neighbourhoods...all the things we own, =
use, interact with...and, as well, our, and eachother's, Corporeal =

I find endless 'Good-Form' amid the structures wrought or expressed by =
Nature - so to speak - or 'wrought' by those discrete agencies and =
co-operations whose evidence we denote AS 'Nature'.
Or whose 'evidence' is expressed or ennunciated, without 'artificial' =
constraining vexations.

Artificial constriants, may in themselves be a very 'peramiter' in =
which something may attain a 'Good Form' it may be...But also, as: =
a Creature in a 'Zoo' may not be so free of 'Artificial' constraints, as =
would be their wild counterparts...or as: those 'domesticated Primates' =
whose attention has long attended the 'making-of-things'...includeing, =
the making of such 'Artificial Constraints' as may vex their otherwise =
creative and respectful well, as to define them.

The complex arrangement of a 'Fire Horse', or a 'Horse-at-the-Plow', MAY =
have been 'Good Form' in certain certain occasions...a 'Horse' =
in a 'Zoo'...never, or very improbably...or not for long.
The Artificial 'constraints' implicit in Architecture ARE the peramiters =
in which 'Good Forms' may be deferentially achieved.

A 'Horse' may be said to 'be' a 'Good Form' for a prairie dwelling =
Ungulate which subsists on silicaceous vegetative 'expressions' or =
what...who had wanted to be Taller...Larger...Heavier than it had once =
been...and to be FLEET of 'hoove'...and sensitive to Sounds...things in =
the 'Winds' and...a 'social' Creature amenable to co-operative =

A 'Nautilus..., or the 'Shell' of one...a 'Good Form' to 'be', for =
someone in Creaturedom (related I am told, to the Octopus?) who wishes =
to dwell in an enlarging and rigid 'Home', which it may 'make', excrete, =
or express as some solidifying Calcium Carbonate or other...and to do =
so, in a splendid spiral progression...

A 'Pigeon'...a Good 'be', for a descendant of the =
'Tyrannosaurus-Rex' (more-or-less) who aspired to more demure, and =
'lighter' pass-times...and traded somewhat dexterous 'hands', fingers =
and Teeth...for lightness, 'beak', arm/wrist/wing...'Feathers (which in =
their own right, have, are, 'Good Form')...and Aerial 'Flight'...

The "Egg" as an accomplishment of 'Birds' (or of their progenitors...): =
I think this is insurpassably elegant, practical, beautiful...and =
absolutely, in many ways, ontologically "Good Form"...(it humbles me, =
that we must suffice with our clumsy 'system', which at it's best, is a =
far cry from an Egg's 'economy' , ease...and all =

An 'Oak Tree' , as it may be...And as 'Acorn'...for the celebration of =
It's intentions, in those environments where it may express it's =
aspirations...being 'Good Form'.

I find 'Good-Form' as well, in artifacts of Human endeavors with rather =
less frequency, though I DO find them, and maybe more than maybe, find =
quite a few OF them.

I had never really used the 'term' "Good Form"...(except to denote =
'Social' attributes at times...) but will, for haveing been thinking on =
this, oweing to the so some little IS =

I may say or think that a 'Form' is 'Good' with respect to it having met =
some INTENTIONS of it's Author, as I construe them to be. Deffential to =
respecting the 'use', result, or function, as it may be...or of what I =
take as 'given' especially if I understand or admire the =
intentions, and the success with which the 'Form' may realize them...but =
this may not be the same as 'Good Form'.

I think of 'Shape'...differently than 'Form' a connotation =
maybe...'Form' suggests completeness to me...'Good Form' as a 'Good' =
Complete-ness...'Shape' alludes to 'form' only as an abstraction...if at =
all...'Shape' as a kind of 'cross-section' of (dimensions of) 'Form'.

That I also might find much TO suppose as 'Bad Form', I take to be =
oweing to how it is that People suffer from some confusions, which deny =
them the guidance of those internal influences, which seem abundant in =
Nature, where (or with which?) they may express easily and with =
innocence, the qualities we - I - (would) denote as 'Good-Form'...

I do not know anything about the 'Golden Mean', and can only imagine, it =
represents a formalized memorandum, or some formulae, of observing some =
things that were thought agreeable?..I looked into it once, and decided =
I would just as soon not get it confused with the things that 'did' this =
from the it I left it be...

I will look into it again...

How would it describe a Bird?
An Acorn?
A 'Scallop Shell'?
A 'Preying Mantis'? (Or is it 'praying'?)

I will see...

Something being 'Good Form' , to me, is related in practice, to my =
understandings of ( or with, or to...) what it 'does'...and this may be =
'in' my appreciation of it's (construed or implicit) =
INTENT...'function'...purpose...and the elegance, economy or 'method' in =
it's attaining it....and 'what-it-does', is more than merely 'exist' =
without defference to sentience or sense...indifferent to Life.
The 'it'...

A pleasing Shape, or interplay of shapes, may not be at all the 'same' =
as Good Form...even if compelling, curious, or allusive to whatever =

Lincoln Beachey's "Baby Grand" or "Little-Looper" were 'Good Form' to =
me...a 'Twin Beech', 'Dee-Cee' Two', and 'Three', The Loockheed Electra' =
, many of the "Super Marines" and 'Ultra Marines' which led to the =
British 'Spit-Fire'...Most 'Howards'...and many more..."Good Form"...the =
'Spad"...on and on...Yes...' very'...

A '747'...never.

Ships often WERE or 'had' Good Form...Sailing Ships...and the Cunnard =
and White Star Liners up through the twenties...
Nothing now in this regard...the 'Queen Elizabeth III or whatever it is = merely hideous...'it functions' even as some catastrophic =
birth anomaly may sometimes 'live'...that is all.

The 'Hindenberg'...the Graff-Zeppelins...the 'Denver Zypher'...the =
'streamliner' Locomotives...the last of the 'Steam' Behemouths...

Many...most...American, and some foreign Motorcycles, of the teens, =
through the 'fourties...

Hence, I cannot think of 'Good Form' to have much application in the =
contemplation of the 'purely'(?) 'Decorative' Arts, even though one may =
find experiences to Spiritually uplift, effect or engage =
me...these have to do with 'Shapes'...or allusion to 'Form', more than =
'Form' itself...
'Form' to me, has to 'do' with a pragmatic, and with the qualities in =
which the pragmatic is addressed or's relation TO the =
'how' the pragmatic, being realized, is interacted with...related = one identifies to and with it...'what-it-does' several =

Allusions to, or of, an 'Ideal', as may be indicated in the 'Arts' in =
some ways...are not pragmatic...they are Spiritual, emotional, imaginal, =
or mental...and do not take up 'space' in the Temporal Activities and =
tasks of the same way.

'Form' to me is 'Formalization' three dimensions, of something that =
is dynamic in it's potential of use...and if 'Good Form', it is earnest.

Or, 'Form' as 'lay-out'...I have seen many Title Pages of (old) =
Books...which I would recognize as 'Good Form'...(is this a =
contradiction?!) their balance, the motion in which the eye is 'led', =
and the rhythm, pauses, cadence and sweeps OF that motion...just a sheet =
of paper...a medium for the conveyance of symbolically coded 'shapes', =
acquire, in their way, to me, a 'Form'...and sometimes, a very 'Good' =
one at that.
'Books' themselves as well...or 'some' of them...

I do not think of 'Paintings' in this way...or of 'Sculpture', not as =
'Form'...but rather as 'Shape'...allusion...evocation of form.

'Form' may be abstract, as say the contemplation of a fragment...which =
mysteriously, is 'enough' AS an aesthetic 'Form'...though it may not be =
as a 'Good' Form...even if splendid, or compelling.

Good Form denotes wholeness to me...completeness...and earnest. As the =
'Venus de Milo' (sp?) is said to manage...AS a 'form'...but not as a =
'Good Form', in this is an allusion to something which IS =
'Good Form' a 'Woman'...which, as we may know, may be quite =
engageing even AS an 'abstraction' admired and enjoyed are they =
when 'Complete'...allusions alone may be compelling.

As I look around sitting here...

A little Ink Well...purportedly which had been 'through' the Civil =
War...tan/brown shades... like 280 grit garnet paper... =
Stoneware...tiny...'formal'...a cork with a small brass ring...I look at =
it just this IS 'Good Form' 'does' everything = is 'complete' 'idealization' = is itself.

So too...a, or the 'Steel Point Pen'...gone from desks, Offices, Post =
Office, and Bank counters and Schools...but it 'was'...IS...'Good =
Form'...if nearly abstract...or 'too'...for 'this'...but with =
it...people understood TO 'write'...which was a condition and =
inter-relation OF that 'Form'...of the pragmatic of it...a ball point =
has no such 'condition' merely has 'form'...existence...a banal, =
indifferent...'cursory'? function...a detriment TO language, and to = aneasthesia, and one among many.

Many 19th. Century Woodworking 'Hand-Tools' have, are 'Good Form'...they =
respect the function intended, the 'Materials' used to make it, and the =
assumed or anticipated sensibilities of an intelligent operative.
Their successors, made since the nineteen twenties and thirties, have =
tended to do neither, or to 'do' rather less, of either.

The 'Colt' Mdls. l900('sight-safety'-excepted), l902 'Sporting', and =
l903 'pocket' .38 Auto-Colts, were unsurpassed for simplicity, elegance, =
function, and for their respect for the prospective operative.
(Was 130 grn. Copper Jacket and 1200 foot-per-second...'Rimless - =
Smokeless'...but then, early on, settled at 1050 ft per sec.)
I would say they have, ARE, in every way... Good Form...

I know of few 'Auto-Loaders' since, which are as close to the idea, and =
the Ideal, save for the Mdl. of l911 .45 Auto-Colt.(But not the =
l911A1...and nothing 'since'.)
There is only 'less' after 'U.S. Arms' diminishingly OF, =
or from... 'Good-Form'.
There is merely 'form'...function...existence...anaesthetic cynicisms in =
the guise of 'practicality'...sops...condescension...appeasement.

.The 'Remmington-Lee' detachable Box magazine 'fed' Rifle, in '.42 =
Spanish', '.43 Egyptian' and '.45-70 Gov't'...of the 1880s...the 30-40 =
Crag...MANY of the late 18th Cent 'Squirrel-Rifles'...of the Eastern =
U.S...MANY up through...the latter 19th. Cent...Some early 20th. =

The 'Waterman's...Parkers...Conklins...and some others, of =
'Fountain-Pens'...eye-drop filled, or 'self-fillers'...from the 1890's =
through the early 'teens...were to me, unsurpassed of Good Form.
Does anyone know what these 'looked like'? "Perfect"!

"Universal" (Landers Frary and Clark, New Britain, Connecticut) 'Coffee =
Percolators' (as especially the Range-Top 'Coffee-Pots') of the l900s =
and teens...unsurpassed...of 'being'...Good Form...'Grind Coffee Medium =
Fine' it says...on the Basket...

The general run of (some 'mid-sized', and many Large) American =
Automobiles of, approx l928 through 1934, were, unsurpassedly...Good =
Form...The 'Vee-Sixteen Cadillac, and 'Marmon' of l932 and =
'33...unsurpassable...l934 'Dodge' Business Coupe...1932/'33 =
Lincolns...The '32 Ford Roadster...many...'33 Buicks...32 Nash =
big-series...and their 'twin Ignition Big-Eight' of l934...the '33 Reo =
On and on...SO MANY!!!

Men's 20 eyelet, 'Cap Toe' Shoes...

Most Pocket especially from 1830s...through early =
1900s...and many early 'Wrist Watches' of the teens, twenties...

On and on...

These things had Importance to People...and the Importance they had was =
not obscure or narrow.
The function, and appearance were not ambiguous, elusive, or difficult =
to understand.
The respect implicit IN these (and many other) 'Artifacts', was a =
dimension of the relation People had to themself, the 'task', the =
respect for the 'task', and FOR formalizations OF the ( pragmatic, and =
the conceptual and ideological, appreciation of the) task, and to =
'eachother' 'living' one might ones 'living' IS mediated =
by these things...

Self Respect, recommends 'Good Form'...and seeks it.

How this all relate to what, in our vernacular, we are disposed to call =
'Art', or 'Fine Art'...I am not fit to say.
Only as it 'please', and that the whom it please, know to some order of =
intelligence or 'purpose', what the thing is 'about'.

It must suffer to 'be'...something of a relative, and conditional =
'term': "Good Form"...?


Like that.

And 'like that' as well, in thousands of common, obscure or esoteric =
Artifacts...(or the where-with-all to construe them)...whenever =
made...or wherever made...or by whomever made...for tens of thousands of =
years...The 'Folsom-Points'...on and on...

Peculiar TO the thing in our relation to it...peculiar to =
that, is our relations to appreciation OF the intent, and =
the 'what' we construe it to 'do'.

My thoughts, a mite rambley...

Thank you for the indulgence!

las vegas