In favour of the perplexity | Sergio de Michael

Pathway to blue

Between the ignorance and the certainty, between the skepticism and the dogmatism, a territory, a very fertile disturbance exists. Subtle. It tightens.

The luckiest mental condition of the complicated game of intentions, vaguenesses, preferences, calculations and feelings into which any creative search turns. Any vital attitude.

It is a question of an internal sigh encouraged by the doubt, the surprise and the amazement. For the method, the efficiency and the clarification. As eloquently capable Mann said of “unfusing the enthusiasm of the spirit in the matter”.

Those “beginnings” of silence and light that it proclaimed to love Kahn, or complex and contradictory “confused vitality” of his disciple Venturi, even the nearest “vacant room” of Navarrese one they are not but expressions of the same threshold of conscience. Pure inspiration.

In every step of the emptiness to the intuition, in every of the circus jump of the abstract thing to the concrete thing, the perplexity appears as one more than valuable skill, as a that cannot be waived gift.

Without perplexity, without active uncertainty, there are no occurrences. There is no learning.

It is the spring of the creation.

Far from his most common meaning that he understands as a luck of confusion or of awkward irresolution, the perplexity supposes a lucky way of being and of thinking opposite to the world.

The word has his origin in the term “perplexitas” (per – intensity, totality, and – “plectere” to fold up, to cause trouble, to weave), that is to say, his literal meaning might be “intensely tangled”. Perplex (per-plex) is linked, therefore, by the complex thing (con-plex) and objected to the simple thing (sin-plex).

The complexity, paradoxical relation of one with the multiple thing, is really the fabric of events, actions, interactions, determinations and randoms that constitute our world. And his global and uncompromising character takes us in a natural way to the perplexity.

Valéry goes beyond. It enunciates that the condition that produces the complexity is not only the perplexity of the human spirit. It contributes another very nearby, intermediate condition. He speaks about the excitation produced by what exceeds us and we surprise it provoking in us a “awakening”.  It names to this condition “implexo” (connected) and it is understood as “by the aptitude to feel, to react, to do, to understand and resist of a subject that tries to re-compose his skills and to operate his thoughts in search of new strategies opposite to the royal thing”. It is an intense attitude that beyond sending ourselves again to the simple understanding and to the comfortable schematic reduction of the already known thing (the fragmented and fenced thing) it forwards us to a species of renaissance of the situation, to one to rethink dynamic provoked by the perplexity before the complexity.

Baricco writes that the world, our complex world, is mutating, and that we are before the increasing hegemony of that it names “barbarians”. Those who break the conventions of the civilization and invent new borders. He argues that now, in all the areas and increasingly, it gives priority to the search of the showiness (the experience), the decrease of the effort in favour of the pleasure, the (superficial) horizontal thing prevails opposite to the (deep) vertical thing, the collective thing opposite to the individual thing, the networks proliferate … the movement, the communication and the connectivity. And in all these revolutionary, fronts so emergent as royal, happy invariante of the perplexity stands out. Before the history, before the nature, before the technology, before the beliefs, before the borders …

It is a sign of our time. And of our space.

Thanks to the effervescent complexity that surrounds us the human being is stimulating, once again, the fruitful potentials of the perplexity. They are giving him the necessary conditions to expect for the prodigious one to re-arise creativly.

Perplex we are.

Sergio de Miguel, architect
Madrid, january 201o

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