Ben Peleg | 2018 |

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enaissance

From French: Rebirth, Revival

‚Äč

A movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity

  Rom medieval peasants

to renaissance men

Turbulent years of constant geopolitical change preceded the birth of the Italian renaissance, but important ones nevertheless, as they led to crucial changes within the social infrastructure of the Tuscan society.
The main indisputable cause of the renaissance was the complete shift in political language; Fidelity to the pope has weakened, hence allowing for more liberal thought. This allowed for the humanist circles of the city to spread an ideology of republic freedom, love for the
Patria and hatred for tyranny. Their political language was based on classical authors, but the concepts gave voice to political intentions of the ruling class and strengthened its ambitions.
The rise of the Medici family to power, long known to be patrons of the arts, increased the financial support and legitimacy for great artists and inventors. Arts became an essential aspect of governing. For example, Lorenzo Medici, also known as The Magnifico, was known to be the perfect renaissance man, and used culture to strengthen his power. Aside from his support of fine artists, he established the Pisan university, managing to gather in Florence the best cultural circle of his time.

Art and intellect became synonymous with power, and those who seaked either had to become a part of that circle.

ico della mirandola

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Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (24 February 1463 – 17 November 1494) is considered one of the most well-known and influential philosophers of the Renaissance: his Oration on the Dignity of Man is better known than any other philosophical text of the fifteenth century.
In his writings, Mirandola contemplates in length about matters of human potential, whether moral, intellectual or spiritual, and therefore serves as main inspiration for this collection. Born into high society, Mirandola had the privilege of access to literature and knowledge that otherwise were unachievable for the common person. Inherently, it played a key in allowing him to rise to greatness. In modern times, Mirandola’s logic can be applied to the masses, striving to extract the greatness in each and every individual by digging deep into what signifies and sets one apart.

umanism

One mode of thinking came to typify Renaissance ideas: Humanism. Renaissance Humanism began in the later thirteenth century, when Europeans with a hunger for studying classical texts coincided with a desire to imitate those classical authors in style. They weren’t to be direct copies, but drew on old models, picked up vocabulary, styles, intentions and form. Both halves needed each other: you had to understand the texts to take part in the fashion, and doing so drew you back to Greece and Rome. But what developed in Renaissance Humanism was not a set of second generation mimics: Renaissance Humanism began to use their knowledge, love, maybe even obsession of the past to change how they and others saw and thought about their own era. It was not pastiche, but a new consciousness, including new historical perspective which gave a historically based alternative to ‘medieval’ ways of thinking. What happened was Humanism began to affect culture and society and powered, in a large part, what we now call the Renaissance. 
Burckhardt’s seminal and still discussed Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy of 1860 solidified the definition of humanism into the study of classical – Greek and Roman – texts in order to affect how you viewed your world,
taking from the ancient world to reform the ‘modern’ and giving a worldlier, human outlook which focused on the ability of humans to act and not blindly follow a religious plan. The perceived will of God was thus less important than during the medieval period: instead, the humanists believed God had given humanity options and potential, and humanist thinkers had to act to succeed and make the most of this: it was a duty to do your best.

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From The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry by Walter Pater (1873)

click to open the full reading

irandola's Humanism

Similarly, the invention of the Internet in the beginning of the 1980’s allowed information to infiltrate every household within a short decade. More importantly, this revolution resulted in  the dominance of the smartphone, an individual means of access to infinite information and human communication. Thus, the device reflects knowledge in the form of personal attributes - whether within the public persona that one decides to openly share, or within the private content of the phone itself.We now face a problem that is both conflicting and completing to Mirandola’s. The reality where knowledge was near impossible to acquire has changed into a reality where knowledge is abundant and easy to acquire, forcing us to sift information and learn how to use this opportunity to create meaningful knowledge out of mere dry information.

reedom

Mirandola  argued in his book Oration on the Dignity of Man that not all humans were born free. However, unlike previous thinkers, he was not concerned with sociological or political implications that affected society those days. Instead, he was concerned with the metaphysical side of human freedom. The freedom Mirandola spoke of belonged to the intellect - merely the ability to acquire knowledge in times when print did not exist, and access to the written word was only granted to a selected elite akin to old scripture guardians.
The invention that would revolutionize this perception was Gutenberg’s print,  around 1440. Although invented roughly half a century before Mirandola’s death, the print was still not widespread at the beginning of the Renaissance period. Within a few centuries, however, this invention allowed knowledge to spread on a global scale, and the once-exclusive knowledge then became common property.

eonardo da Vinci

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Leonardo da Vinci (15 April 1452 – 2 May 1519) developed a love of nature and form, and from an early age began to display his remarkable academic and artistic talents. In 1466, he moved to Florence. Since his early works he had introduced themes of movement and drama. He also pioneered a technique of defining forms through the contrast of light and shadow.
In the spirit of Renaissance humanism, da Vinci’s sensitivity towards the human form and emotion, as well as his studies of movement that exceed the anatomic level, serve as a crucial point of reference.
In his artwork, da Vinci was able to demonstrate masterful observance of human qualities. By studying his work, I strive to bring the same sensitivity into the learning process of the algorithm and into my research work.

ichelangelo di Lodovico

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Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) was considered a great artist of his times due to his mastery of several arts. Although not unusual for his time, Michelangelo’s marble sculptures were of exceptional quality thanks to his sculpturing studies since a young age. In several periods they were accompanied by highly detailed paintings like his famous Sistine ceiling.
Michelangelo’s sculptures are detailed and accurate to the point of life-like and their  expressive faces and body language make them even more realistic.
Michelangelo’s ability to portray vivid and life-like human qualities in a physical form (as opposed to Da Vinci’s two-dimensional illustrations) make his work important for my  thesis’ study of human form.

andro botticeli

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Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564) was considered a great artist of his times due to his mastery of several arts. Although not unusual for his time, Michelangelo’s marble sculptures were of exceptional quality thanks to his sculpturing studies since a young age. In several periods they were accompanied by highly detailed paintings like his famous Sistine ceiling.
Michelangelo’s sculptures are detailed and accurate to the point of life-like and their  expressive faces and body language make them even more realistic.
Michelangelo’s ability to portray vivid and life-like human qualities in a physical form (as opposed to Da Vinci’s two-dimensional illustrations) make his work important for my  thesis’ study of human form.

For full portfolio work please contact through the "Contact" page or at bpeleg@gmail.com

enaissance Technology

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One of the main signifiers of the Italian Renaissance was the immense technological advancement that this era saw, which rapidly spread throughout Europe and revolutionized the lives of many. Among these innovations some were enhanced version of existing tools like the astrolabe, which has developed by then for over a millennium, and others were completely new inventions, like the parachute and the printing press machine.
The latter was extremely important, as it allowed, for the first time, to proliferate knowledge in magnitudes and speed like never before. Early thinkers of the Renaissance such as Mirandola, had the benefit of accessing written knowledge thanks to their family’s status. However, after the printing press machine had become widespread, not only old manuscripts were published throughout the continent, but also new work by thinkers, inventors, artists and engineers.
The concept of sharing knowledge is key to my thesis work. Not only does personal data allow Manus to create an accurate reflection of one’s lifestyle and identity, but

sharing knowledge allowed for the very creation of Manus, as well as the manufacturing processes that allow the garments to be manufactured from all around the world. In modern technology, this concept is referred to as “open source”, and wherever I sourced one’s open source intellectual property proper credit has been given.The second important concept that characterizes Renaissance technology is the intelligence of use that was embedded into the devices. The astrolabe serves as a good example. When used masterfully, the astrolabe could serve its user to apply over a thousand different functions - telling time, pointing the north, finding one’s exact coordinates and even predicting when will the sun rise and set.This kind of intelligent use, where the tool is merely a device full of opportunities and what matters most is the user’s mind, is what I strive to inject into Manus. Although the system reveals a world to the designer, it still leaves the creative process mostly untouched, inviting the designer to infuse his or her own point of view into the design. That way, the final outcome is a union between the designer’s creative eye, and the design’s subject.