Textile designers in Paris, Barcelona, and perhaps London use rapport, mostly verbally, for a decorative motif that can be repeated infinitely in two directions without leaving overlaps or gaps – hence “rapport infini”/”infinite rapport.” It is distinct from the Catalan report, Spanish reporte, English “transfer,” which in lithography is a master used to stamp a drawing onto slave stones and thus enable multiple runs. One of the first exercises given to commercial textiles students is to spot and analyse rapports on fabrics and elsewhere, but my impression is that the word is generally absent from (historical) dictionaries in any language. Larousse, however, defines rapport as the “dimensions in width and height of a decorative pattern to be repeated on a worked or printed fabric,” because this is basically about rectangular or square blocks of the type being used at 07:15 in this BBC documentary by a maker of colour-separated hand-printed tablecloths in the Isfahan bazaar:
This type of rapport shouldn’t be confused either with the “ſeveral peices of rapport-work after the Moſaic manner, upon a bottom of Tiſſue in a Feild Or” observed by Persia-traveller Jean Chardin (1643-1713) at the tomb of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili in what it is now Iranian Azerbaijan. That is marquetry: “The Baſis that ſupports the Tomb, is ſurrounded with a Lift in the Middle of two Frizes, upon which are written in Golden Characters of Rapport-work the 62. Chapter of the Alcoran.”
Instead, I guess the use in translational symmetry of rapport comes from the word’s function in French to mean “relation,” where the relation here is the arithmetical ratio between the depth and breadth of the printing block. I think this etymology would make sense to the Chinese authors, one of whom has since Anglicised his name to Julian Wang, of “Enlightenment and Application of Infinite Rapport Structure in Architectural Design.” It introduces “infinite rapport structure” and “tilling graphics” (periodic tiling) to written English and asks, “When appreciating and praising the graphics, architects will naturally try to find the mystery and ask themselves: whether the craftsmen created the tilling graphics by accident?” Regarding the Institut du Monde Arabe/Arab World Institute in Paris, it hints at the use of tofu in Chinese architecture – “The architect did not select the simple way that using beancurd sheets to control light” – avoidance of which enabled Jean Nouvel to create the symmetries within symmetries in the diaphragmatic adaptive shutters on his splendid façade:
The chapter on symmetry in Aberdeen maths prof. David J. Benson’s brilliant Music: A Mathematical Offering begins with a terrible palindromic limerick, showing that what’s sauce for the eye isn’t always sauce for the ear:
First, let me explain that I’m cursed;
I’m a poet whose time gets reversed.
Reversed gets time
Whose poet a I’m;
Cursed I’m that explain me let, first.
Change ringing’s quite enough for organ-grinder and monkeys:
- Galician gastronomy for people with false teeth, cats and dogs: chack it out!
“Check them out” would be far too unenterprising for a region whose private-sector, while Catalonia was spending €150M of public money trying to turn Barcelona Airport into a global hub, quietly forged a privileged relationship with Colombian …
- Álvaro Domecq Alburejo Oloroso: Notes of Word ans hazelnuts.
A minor offence, this sherry puff:
Intense mahogany colour, clean-vibrant. Notes of Word ans hazelnuts. Dry yet rich. A lovely long nutty taste.
The website translation is also poor – something of a come-down for the family which produced Álvaro Domecq y Díez (Wikipedia surprisingly omits his war service), for whom getting things right, whatever he did, seems to have …
- A tribute to the Valencian work ethic
Featuring my draft recording of “El dilluns jo no treballe”, with various other European “7 days lazy” songs.
- Gallery: antecedents, construction, arrival, outings
(See also the page with audio excerpts.)
20/03/2015 Here Comes The Sun, Pedralbes, Barcelona
Solar eclipse party for some people with excellent taste.
12/12/2014 The organ-grinder’s superkazoos go on sale
21/11/2014 First great work of art inspired by the organ
At primary school Escola Pau Romeva, Barcelona. There are also photos
The organ-grinder as a singing black hole
Photo by Jean-Marc Joseph.