Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Following the Muse - the Psychopomp

(From an essay I wrote in May of this year...)

The word "psychopomp" originated in Greek mythology and was a guide of souls to the place of the dead (from psukhe "soul" and pompos "conductor"). It is generally defined, however, as the spiritual guide of a living person's "soul".


But who or what is the muse and how is it related to the psychopomp? That is a question that cannot be answered by any direct means. It can only be approached in terms of ones own personal journey as an artist and/or "creative", and, therefore, any conclusions that one draws are at once subjective.


In my experience, the muse is what brings me to the computer, the drawing board, the clay, the colored pencils, the notebook. It is what attracts me to shells, stones, leaves, insects, the organic detritus beneath a rotting tree, or, conversely, a pretty piece of fabric, an antique button, the rusted components of a broken machine. It is the muse which is peering through my eyes at such discoveries... and the muse who will eventually dictate how these various items will be utilized and/or absorbed for our creations.


I say "our" because the muse - one of several - is my collaborator. It is intrinsically part of my psyche, but it is not the me who fries an egg, goes to the grocery store, pays a bill, draws a bath. This is an important distinction. This is why, the inspired artist, the artist in the throes of possession by the muse, is almost useless and inept at any variety of mundane mechanics; that is, temporarily disabled regarding the physical, technical, and social resources required for corporeal existence.


The muse then is more like a primal force. It has no understanding or interest in the technical aspects of day-to-day human life. It has no comprehension of grocery lists, retirement funds, lawsuits, political issues. It doesn't even understand the most base requirements of physical existence, such as eating or sleeping.


In many ways the muse is like a monkey on your back; a drug, no less powerful than any other addiction. I suspect, not even death can shake it. Like a drug it enhances your perception of the world; and it enables you to internalize what you perceive... hence, the photographic memory, the music in ones head like continual white-noise... and the holographic imprints of loved ones who never die. Those who follow the muse are haunted... haunted by a personal past and haunted by objective futures that can never be realized in a single life.


The muse stands outside of time, and in muse-space, a space of no dimension, time has no relative meaning. "Missing time" is a frequent occurrence.


The muse is not human. It is not the least bit interested in what humans do or what humans are. It has no concept of marriage, procreation, holidays, burial plots. Which is not to say that the muse is disconnected from the libido.... no, in fact, the muse seems to have a very peculiar relationship to ones sexuality... but, once again, in a primal way... the muse is bored by particulars. The muse is fed by sexual energy but it also generates a variety of quasi-libidinous force, though it is wrong to assume that the muse is merely a product of ones hormones. The muse is perhaps the one facet of human experience which is independent of ones hormones.


To follow the muse (and/or muses) then is to walk a weird tightrope, between the creative dictates of the muse and the dictates of ones physical, emotional, and social reality. The former often has no relation to the latter, and this is difficult for almost anyone to grasp. The modern human tends to think in terms of an ideally homogenous, holistic existence, but, for an artist, this is almost as impossible as driving a car and "reaching for the stars" simultaneously. So, achieving this delicate balance between art via the muse, and life via you, is the greatest challenge the artist must face. Success seems to be rarely possible. The more "inspired" an artist is, the greater the chance that, like the fool in the tarot cards focused on an air-borne butterfly, he or she falls off a cliff.


Following the muse then is a precarious journey. The muse, seemingly, must be tamed and we must not become so enthralled that we lose footing. It is a dilemma that all creative people face... but, in this society, one that especially is challenging for those of the female gender. But, that's another story. And, there is a great deal more to be said about the muse. For I haven't really defined it in these paragraphs. Ultimately, it might be beyond definition. It is one of the "others", or perhaps the only "other" a human can intimately know... a creative force, at once subjective, and yet capable of interfacing with forces and transdimensional or transpersonal intelligences greater than itself. It is, in my opinion, the vestige of a primary intelligent force. It is an individual's "knowing" force. It is also a force with, seemingly no other agenda, but to express, create and explicate.


I was once told by a friend and fellow creative, that life must be very difficult for me. When I asked why, grappling for words, the friend said that I seemed to live at a "higher frequency". Apart from possibly intimating several psychological disorders, it is possible that the term frequency - defined as: The rate at which a vibration occurs that constitutes a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light), usually measured per second. The particular waveband at which a radio station or other system broadcasts or transmits signals. - might actually be, in some way, related to the muse and other "paranormal" (i.e., transdimensional) experiences. That is to say, the space which we live within and which "lives" within us may be teeming with codified information... and it's merely a matter of what wavelengths we're willing an/or able to tune in into and our ability to translate the information we "pick up".

***

For those, interested, I've just updated my July 13 post to reflect a link to new short video by Tara Sophia Mohr regarding "fear" that might resonate with you, regardless of gender.




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Creating Art: a Mediumistic Experience


Monochromatic Whisper (Trans-Fossil) - Digital - 2012, 2011, Dia Sobin




And, by that, I am not referring to the materials, i.e., "mediums" used by an artist... I am instead referring to something more in line with a "psychic" medium, but not in reference to communicating with dead entities - though this actually may be the case for some artists.  I am referring to art which is, in a sense, a collaboration with entities or an intelligence that very well may be a reflection of ones unconscious self but, in my experience, feel(s) somewhat "other".

I generally refer to this unseen, but felt and/or intuited, entity as my "muse". Artists traditionally have muses, of course, but these are generally women-in-the-flesh for whom a male artist is inspired by. I am referring to an incorporeal intelligence. One who informs regarding ones work, but  generally doesn't impinge on ones life otherwise. I am also referring to an experience more subtle than the paranormal exercise of "channeling", in that an actual separate human personality is not necessarily involved.

I note this interesting definition of the word "medium" in my computer's dictionary:
"the intervening substance through which impressions are conveyed to the senses or a force acts on objects at a distance" which, oddly enough - as its referring to material objects in a physical sense - might be weirdly relevant here... the muse certainly seems like a "non-local" entity.

In many ways, the attribution of something essentially of a metaphysical or spiritual nature seems incongruous with something so mechanical as a computer.... but, in my experience, as I was becoming increasingly involved in digital art, another muse seemed to increasingly emerge. While I have been an artist almost as long as I've been alive - and we're talking over 40 years - and have always been closely in touch with several muses (depending upon the project at hand), the feeling of a collaboration with an "other" was never as strong as it was when I "went digital" so to speak. It's very weird... I'd be interested to know if I am alone in this experience. Are we talking about a phenomenon that is electrically-enhanced? Are we talking perhaps about the ways in which the "psychic internet" can interact with the WWW or vice versa? Just wondering.

The image above is entitled "Monochromatic Whisper". I chose this image to illustrate this post because the "whisper" of my muse - as an "alien" intelligence - is very much prominent here. The foundation for the image was a photo of a one-celled creature I found online which I thought was rather interesting but, as I was looking for a different reference, I passed it by. My muse, however, felt differently... and, before I knew it, this one-celled creature was transforming into a fossilized version of something my muse and I have been producing a whole series of images of these past few years; that is, a number of small, artificial life forms of varying "species". Part organic, and part mechanical, the life forms originate in some imaginary future - a time and, indeed, a place, my muse understands far better than I. I had never even contemplated a fossilized ALF before, so, this one was a revelation. More ALFs will be appearing on Trans-D in the future... and I have more to say about them*. But, suffice to say now, this variety of transfiguration is an example of where my muse shines, and regardless of what anyone may see or not see, I will never question the integrity of the muse in this matter. Thematically (and, very often technically) it's word is gospel! **

Meanwhile, I did write a short essay about muses earlier this year; it will appear, following this post, in "Following the Muse - the Psychopomp". But, as always, if you are a creative and you suspect you are working with a muse, I'd be very interested in what you have to say! The subject of muses usually follows the individual artist to the grave and no one is ever the wiser. But if Transdimensionalism is ever to be understood, then I believe that all of our "others", regardless of how we experience them, must be accounted for. Science may discount subjective, anecdotal, imaginal and intuitive experience, but art wouldn't exist without it.





** ... and somewhat prescient... as in, what goes around, comes around... see the end of this 2014 post.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For Women Everywhere...



No, this is not a feminist blog in the political sense... but, I just came upon a web article that not only applies to artists like Agnes Pelton - who "fell through the cracks" - but women everywhere who are trying to be seen and heard, but are almost programmed to fail; if not by the dictates of a male-dominated society or culture, then by inner psychological issues that, sadly, come with the female gender's territory.


The article is "10 Rules of Brilliant Women" by Tara Sophia Mohr... and if you, as a woman, regardless of your calling or present status, automatically assume that the rules couldn't possibly apply to you - well, therein lies the problem!


***

UPDATE 7/27/11

"I often feel a great deal of fear when I sit down to write," she says. "If I'm saying something that is controversial or even just really vulnerable and bold, it becomes really hard to overcome it and press send. If I think of it as yirah, as a kind of sacredness that is part of my creative process, as awe of what it is to share what I think with the world, then I'm able to actually enjoy it and get a little excitement out of it and even want to write the kind of pieces that bring out that feeling."

- Tara Sophia Mohr, via a Big Think article 7/27/11

I am updating this space with a link to a Big Think page featuring a short video by Tara Sophia Mohr (see above) regarding the issue of fear. This is not a for-women-only nor a for-creatives-only presentation... I think it's something anyone can benefit from. Video link is here.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Patron Saint # 3: Agnes Pelton - Transcendentalist Painter




"Resting in twilight after reading Dostoyevsky, a quietness, thinking if I should start a landscape or go on with abstraction, and feeling poorly, can I do my best with them? ...still deeper quiet, and it seemed there was a Presence, shadowy but Real - and if so, is this He? It seemed so, and this is my first such intimation - it was an artist presence of deep, gentle power - remote, but directed toward me. So it seemed the abstractions must go on, not to stop them ever, from discouragement."


- Agnes Pelton, via a 1942 journal entry



Agnes Pelton was born in Germany to American parents in 1881. More or less a naturalist painter at the beginning of her career, she joined the Transcendentalist Painter Group - which, according to a Wiki article on Raymond Johnson: "The aim of the Transcendental Painting Group was to defend, validate and promote abstract art. They sought to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new expressions of space, color, light and design. Other members of the Transcendental Painting Group were Ed Garman, Florence Miller Pierce, Horace Towner Pierce, Agnes Pelton, Stuart Walker, Dane Rudhyar, William Lumpkins, and Lawren Harris." - in the 1930's during a trip to New Mexico. (This group is not to be confused with the American landscape painters who were also referred to as "Transcendentalists" in the early 1800's.)  The goal of the Transcendentalist Painter Group was primarily enlightenment via abstraction and Jungian archetypes, with many of the members involved in Theosophy and various other esoteric pursuits. The spokesperson for the group was the renowned astrologer, Dane Rudyar, who is remembered probably more for his astrological charts than he is for his art. Examples of group's work can be found together on this page. The group disbanded at the beginning of the second World War.

I was first introduced to Pelton's work in the 1970's, when I fell in love with one of her images "Star Gazer" I'd found in a book about Visionary artists. (Note: Neo-visoinary images can be found online at Lila.) I immediately felt she was a kindred spirit, but, as the internet didn't exist in those days, information was hard to come by and, in the case of Agnes Pelton, close to impossible. She, like so many other female artists of the past centuries simply fell through the cracks, marginalized by a predominately male art regime, and, in her case, ignored by a public who preferred more conventional figurative imagery.

As you can see by the images above - "Star Gazer" is the first image on the left - Pelton's work was at once iconic and luminous. It's as if she, too, was aware of the "form language" (previously discussed) but in her imagery the forms are illuminated from within, like Chinese lanterns hovering over a deserted landscape. Then again, she considered herself a Theosophist, so this luminosity might have been, on a conscious level, part of a philosophical agenda.

Nancy Strow Sheley writes in her 2003 article about Pelton - Intellectualizing Ecstacy: The Organic and Spiritual Abstractions of Agnes Pelton - "Pelton outlined her purpose for painting in a journal entry entitled 'Knowledge.' She copied the following passage from an unidentified Theosophist: 'Spiritual transactions must be translated into the language of mortal senses that they be understood, so as to be of practical benefit to mortals who desire to be redeemed from mortality.' These words articulate Pelton’s design--to translate spiritual messages with her paintings. In brackets on that page, she added her own comments: 'This is where the forms of the natural world must appear in a picture, or can do so--not for themselves but to convey thought as future light.' Thus, light is a both a symbol and a subject in Pelton’s abstractions. It represents enlightenment and ecstasy; it also suggests inspiration and the creative force."





A number of abstract artists - specifically Kandisnky - were influenced by Theosophy (and Spiritualism) at the time, as well as a number of Eastern philosophies; all of it representing a cure for the Western religious contaminants that had infected culture for centuries, the intensifying materialism of scientific inquiry, and the existential shock that had followed in the wake of the first World War. The cure, in the case of Theosophy, was only theoretically different from the disease and historically less successful, though shreds of it resurfaced in the "New Age". But, the interesting thing about Theosophy is that it, too, had it's own version of a form language: "thought forms".  I own two Theosophical books about the subject (the text of one which can be found here) but never felt inclined to actually read them for personal reasons. (My psyche seemingly developed an allergic reaction to all texts deliberately designed and/or conceived to "enlighten" it.)  Helena Petrovna Blavatsky herself was a very intriguing woman, but, it's as if she was compelled to (merely) replace one religious doctrine with another... one mountain of irritating dogma with another mountain of irritating dogma. Still, I'm not one to question belief systems that keep individuals afloat. In the end, it's, well, whatever works. (Note: An interesting online biography of Blavatsky can be found here.)

I suppose what interests me most about Agnes Pelton is that I suspect she had a "muse".  She mentions it in the uppermost quote as "He", but something tells me she's not referring a to religious figure. In the end it doesn't really matter how she interpreted the presence of the muse - simply that she chose to recognize its existence and write about it. The muse to me, represents a true communion with the unconscious realm, and we find a glimpse of this realm in her paintings.

As for Agnes herself, she spent the last 30 years of her life living alone in Cathedral City, California. Her last painting, the one she was working on at the time of her death,  is the last one (from left to right) in the group of paintings shown above, entitled "Light Center". painted in 1961.

Paintings by Agnes Pelton featured here (click on images for a larger view):
Upper from left to right: Star Gazer, 1929; Fire Sounds, 1930; The Voice, 1930
Lower from left to right: Messengers, 1932; Wells of Jade, 1931; Light Center, 1961



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Language of Form - Part 3 - Infinity




Mathematics, by itself, is a cold, dry vista; but when it is accurate then it's the closest thing we have to an utterly objective truth. Art, however, is its other face; colorful and flamboyant in comparison, it reflects subjective truths, and truths of the intelligent and emotional organism. The form language then, is a bridge between the two, giving art its structure and mathematics its vitality and meaning.

So, I think the main point I am trying to make in my discussion, is that the form language is a code that connects the more obtuse, abstract mathematical zone to the more voluptuous, organic geometry of living structures... and, beyond that, to sentience, animism, and the webs of awareness that weave these seemingly disparate expressions into one all-encompasing whole. In this way, it represents a language that can be understood on a universal level and, perhaps, one that can be better understood by intelligences more evolved and/or advanced than ourselves. That the form language is also a unconscious code, the code of the psyche, so to speak, may mean that it is the code-breaker, enabling us to communicate with species that are not human; those of this earth, and possibly any that might exist beyond our present corporeal reach.

In a sense, this post is an intimation of a sort of Alpha/Omega point in what I've tried to describe in my two previous posts (Language of Form: Part 1, Part 2). Which is, more or less, how we've arrived at that strange image above. This image was the "Infinity" card in that enigmatic series of images I initiated over 20 years ago in my search for the form language (mentioned somewhere at the beginning of this essay). This was the "Pelaneiron" version (of my original Metastructures image), when, with my new tool, the computer, I decided to superimpose all the many geometric images onto a series of stones. Why I attempted to do this doesn't really concern us here but, for whatever reason, I "ran out of steam" very early on in the process, so, it's all rather moot.

Of course, within those 20 years, numerous scholars, scientists, theorists, etc. put forth literature that inspired me, informed me and validated my own - albeit weird - work, (although, oddly enough, never changed it). There were all those wonderful books... ones describing Synchronicity by F. David Peat, and Marie Louise Von Franz; Rupert Sheldrake and his Morphalogical fields; Heinz Pagel and Ian Stewart on Symmetry; David Bohm and the Implicate order; Paul Davis and James Gleick on Chaos theory; Mandelbrot and his Fractals; Michael Talbot and the Holographic Universe; Michio Kaku on dark matter and parallel worlds; and there were the philosphies of Aliester Crowely and P.D. Ouspensky; Timothy Leary and Aurthur Koestler; Einstien, Schroedinger, Jung. There was Buckminster Fuller and Synergetics; Dean Radin and Quantum Entanglement; Rudy Rucker and Infinity; Jill Purce and Nigel Pennick on Sacred Art & Geometry; Fritjof Capra and Gary Zukov on the "Tao of Physcis"... And the list goes on and on (and on). (links to come... maybe!)

On a personal, intellectual level I am indebted to them all, but, chances are, you won't find them quoted on this blog. This blog belongs to art - at least, that is my intention! But art would be poorer without ideas, as it would be poorer without music and literature. It is part of a dynamism that includes them all, as the form language is the dynamic code from which they arise.



Previous: The Language of Form - Part 1, Part 2




Monday, July 4, 2011

The Language of Form - Part 2

Fractal, Form and Field - the Inevitable Symmetries




The interesting thing about fractals (example shown above) is that they illustrate more than just pretty patterns. They, too, employ the same language of form we're discussing, as well as mathematical equations and/or sequences. A new science - the Science of Chaos - is gradually emerging. and fractal theories have been absorbed within that paradigm. But don't be deceived. "Chaos" in this sense, is really the intimations of a higher order, specifically the orders of symmetry, and the fractal nature of the physical world at large. Fractals, in other words, bridge the micro to the macro, and do so by the marriage of mathematics to the language of form. Symmetry, on the other hand, has become the catch-word across the board; in all areas of science, as well as art, music, history and societal analysis. Symmetry, in other words, is a very transdimensional term. It describes both the singular entity and the encompassing field. It can take us from a simple geometric figure to a parallel universe. We can follow it from the atomic to the galactic, from the child's "cat's cradle" to the Super-string universe and beyond.




Artists, of course, generally take both the fractals, the strange geometry, and the form language for granted in their work - for them it is an instinct - and this has been the case since pre-history. Whether it was a lattice or spiral drawn on a cave wall or the crystalline structures tiled onto the walls of the great mosques, artists, intuitively, have generally "been there first" on an unconscious level.




For another intimation of the modern "fractal" for instance, we need only look at some of the illustrations of German naturalist, Ernst Haeckel, (1834-1919). Consciously, he was "drawing from life"... but, observing his work (an example is shown above), I can't help but feel that, once again, on a more unconscious and metaphysical level he was trying to intuitively connect the dots, so to speak, to a larger, more profound picture... the organization of the organism, if you will, its inherent symmetry, and its relation to all phenomenal form.




When it comes to attempting to define a form language, however, it is a mistake to take any form too literally and so superficially that one overlooks the primary source - and/or the larger picture. I'm afraid that those in scientific fields and mathematical fields often have a habit of doing just this. For example, take the Sierpinski "gasket" (my version) shown above. It needs no explanation for the mathematician, but for an artist, myself in particular, the complexity in which it's presented and the way in which it's developed and described is rather daunting and off-putting. In actuality, this triangle describes a portion of a very simple grid, the very same grid from which the Platonic solids emerge. This grid, in turn, is created from a very simple field of inter-penetrating circles, the very same field from which my geometrical figures - the "Platonic" cyclohedra - arose and/or emerged (in 1984). (A graphic of these figures is shown belowSorry, I no longer have my documentation of these figures online, as there was a decided lack of interest previously shown; in the U.S.A., that is. Interestingly, some of my related diagrams were published in China in 2007, with my permission.) 


The Cyclohedra


The point I'm trying to make, using simple geometrical observations, is that the language of form is inherently transdimensional. Both figuratively and demonstratively it is an emergent - and yes, I am referring to the theories of David Bohm - and, as such, describe form as both a singular entity and the component of a field. In other words, there is symmetry, and then again there is field symmetry. There is the stratum of one dimension as the component of higher dimensions, and what we "see" and cannot "see" is relative to our placement in that stratum... a sort of "Flatland" fable.


Fractals, and geometric observations aside, the interesting thing about more transfigurative forms in artwork - Dali and H. R. Giger come to mind - alchemical symbols and drawings, even the illustrative work (like Haeckel's) often have a "dirtiness" about them. This type of "dirtiness", I think, is the type of "dirtiness" Matta refers to when he speaks of "hallucinations" - that is, inspired images which are inseparable from the unconscious repertoire from which they arise. That symbols from unconscious and imaginal origins ultimately obey the same "laws", the same unwritten code that is used to represent the actual, phenomenal world, is our "cause for pause", so to speak. In my opinion, it intimates one way in which we might someday come to understand the Transdimensional quality of the form language, whereby shapes, patterns, fractals, and "diagrams of forces" become the keys to unlock perceptional doors to a more profound concept of space - and its hidden symmetries - that is, as a tissue, a fabric, a synchronistic and living connective.


Credits:


Fractal form: found here.
Mosque photo: found here.
Ernst Haeckel illustration: found here.


Also: another Fractal link.


"Language of Form" post links: Part I, Part 3


Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Language of Form - Part 1




"The harmony of the world is made manifest in Form and Number, and the heart and soul and all the poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied in the concept of mathematical beauty."

- D.W. Thompson, On Growth and Form, 1917


Whether you, as an artist - or a creative, so to speak - work consciously or unconsciously, you will be dealing with the same forms, the same fundamental shapes and patterns over and over again. And these shapes are part of a language, a language that all humans - and, most likely, organisms - use to perceive and create (and, possibly, transcend) the physical world. Oddly enough, this same language is also used to construct the actual symbols we use. This includes sacred symbols, arcane symbols, and even corporate logos. Regardless of how complex a form we're dealing with, it can always be broken down into several rudimentary, or "root shapes" - a handful of basic forms - that may change in color, arrangement of mass, etc., but never meaningfully diverge from the fundamental code, the language of form this article addresses.

D. W. Thompson, 1860-1948, biologist, mathematician, and philosopher, considered organic form to be a "diagram of forces."  Many somehow convoluted his basic tenet as being anti-Darwinian and/or creationist, and therefore, his immense body of work, "On Growth and Form" is generally overlooked by contemporary theorists. My own opinion is that Thompson was grappling with the very thing that I'm attempting to discuss here and, that is, a form language. From his perspective, it is a language shared by all organisms in the expression/ construction (even) of their own anatomy. He went on to illustrate dozens of examples of how, by mapping each organism with Cartesian Coordinates, one could prove that all members of any given species were simply a deformation of one basic morphology that inadvertently applied to all of them. Another tenet that he held, was that all things physical conform to a specific order or forms because "they must". And by this, he meant that all things physical must obey this fundamental order because it is the only true order which exists... and this order is, for the most part, a self-generating, geometric order, the connective between both the macro and micro "worlds". Today, Thompson's ideas might be seen as a precursor to some of those which fall under the heading of Biophysics.



The 4 Suits of the Pelaneiron and/or Metastructures - 2007, DS





In my younger days - as a student of Sacred Geometry, that discipline which examines the metaphysical meaning of number, patterns and form - I was obsessed with this code and my obsession took many strange turns. The four symbols (above) were an example of this, initially inspired by my interest in that dense body of esoteric work referred to as the Tarot, specifically the Minor Arcana sans the "court cards". The Tarot deck of cards, whose origins are rather mysterious to begin with, have inspired countless artists. (For those interested, here is one roster here.) The point I'm trying to make - and was trying to make with my own 4 symbols - is that everything that we see and experience can, ultimately, be broken down into a code. I wrote in 1981: "After years of frustrating myself with abstract intellectualizations, and confusing myself with complex philosophies, I suddenly discovered what my unconscious mind had probably been establishing for years... that is, a theory of structure." 

This "structure", however, did not merely apply to physical construction, but forms and patterns that might transcend the 3-dimensional as we know it. Over a period of several years during the 1980's I drew around 100 geometrical images based on the 4 root shapes; specifically numerical aggregates and radiant figures that resulted in 4 interpenetrating fields. I referred to this work under the title "Temp L" (1976), then "Metastructures" (1982), and, finally, a word that "came to me" out of nowhere: The Pelaneiron (2007). (and, no, I do not consciously know what the word means, and it is not a word that can be found in any dictionary that I know of...)

There are, of course, sheerly mathematical codes, and certainly these were (explicitly) a large part of Thompson's, and (implicitly) my own system. But, generally speaking, breaking things down into actual numerical codes is a "language" that many people (myself included) find too dense and complex. It is, however, this exact type of "language" one uses in certain forms of digital art - specifically that of the "fractal", which I'll address in Part 2 of this article: Fractal, Form and Field - Inevitable Symmetries

Upper Photograph credit: Diatoms by Andrew Syred