The generic and the essential

I am currently interested in the tension between two polarities, the generic and the essential. Both concepts are about a search for meaning, one through generalization, the other through specificity. Both are reductionist. And, both are critical forces in the creative process.

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On the integrity of an object

With any adaptation comes conflict and contradiction. A change to an existing object may threaten to change its perception as a particular kind of thing, fundamentally altering the perception of what it is.

As I continue to evolve my definition of adaptability, I keep returning to the object as a fundamental element. Our recognition of an object as a type is based on what I will call its class integrity—the degree to which its attributes overlap with those of its object class. As an object adapts in form and shape, its semantic qualities must predominantly match those of its object class, in order for it to be continuously recognized as a particular type. read the rest of this entry

Borders, areas and fractals / 1 comment

A border is generally seen as a line of separation. A line, however, is a theoretical construct. A border is in fact an area, defined by its own boundaries—boundaries which are themselves areas. Interpreted this way, borders can be compared to fractals. Ranging from the infinitely large to the infinitely small, borders create further borders—geographically, as well as conceptually. read the rest of this entry

From deconstruction to narrative / 2 comments

With a personal working methodology primarily concerned with deconstruction, I am finding myself increasingly interested in narratives which may arise from reconstructing or reinterpreting semantic fragments.

My process typically begins with an existing semantic structure, which I deconstruct by classifying its syntactic and grammatical components. When presented outside their original context, these components convey new meaning through the way in which they are rearranged; new semantic patterns may emerge with each new logical arrangement. read the rest of this entry

Punctuated moments

There are moments when a mundane street scene is interrupted in an unexpected way, and tension is created through the collision of disparate geometries. These are what I think of as punctuated moments. They happen when one intent collides with another intent or parameter, resulting in a manifestation of compromise.

Philosophically, I think of these moments as bumps in a smooth space (referencing Deleuze and Guattari). Smooth space is the space of the idea, while bumps may occur when the idea comes into contact with parameters: forces acting on or defining a conceptual space. I am interested in this space as a container of evidence—evidence of parameters, and of the idea.

Any reasonably dense urban area is filled with punctuated moments—from a highway overpass, to a construction scaffold, to a drainpipe, their scale is of little importance. It is the way these moments appear in context that makes them punctuated. They are what makes life in urban areas enjoyable and interesting.