Spiders are genetically programmed to generate a symmetric algorithm of web - a map they are born with. I adopted the term ‘spider’ around two years ago - my brother and I were both attempting to reconcile with a loss of a loved one, an internal conflict of morale, an existential crisis that left us both in an agoraphobic state; unable to trust the innenwelt, unable to trust the umwelt. My brother and I have had a long history of trauma, symptoms of emotional flashbacks seemed to take a toll on the ways in which we processed novel traumas, unable to disconnect the web of our present from that of our past. It’s like watching a jump scare scene from a horror film on repeat, panicking, trying to find the remote to shut off the screen - but you realize you’re tied to your chair, unable to leave or move until the film decides to end at its own accord. We talked about this process, the inability to ‘control’ - how it frustrated it us, if we could find a way around it. That part we weren’t able to control was eventually named ‘The Spider’. A part of our mind that breathes for us, knows what to do when we sleep, knows what dreams to engage us in, to spark our interest. Albeit, as separate as it may seem, The Spider is still part of us. A mixture of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), the Subconscious and unconscious. The Spider takes care of everything that is not in our immediate attention, even thoughts we shove aside as we try to just engage in the everyday. As much as we’d like to believe that the spider and its daily ‘tasks’ are inaccessible, they aren’t. There exists a consciousness beyond the conscious, most commonly referred to as the meta-conscious - a level of thought that can contemplate the state of being conscious. As practice, my brother and I attempted to engage with that state of meta-consciousness, observing The Spider and its decisions - eventually redirecting it in healthier ways. Meta-consciousness is like a lens, a camera - a wide focused view on the body, mind, environment, and space. To be meta-conscious is to become a flaneur on the streets of your mind, watching thoughts swoosh by - traffic can be exhausting sometimes. A form of astral projection happening within the innenwelt, a meta-projection (so many metas, I know). A flaneur on busy city streets gazes at shadow, symmetry, and composition, contemplating the connections, the histories and reasonings, fragments of a greater puzzle. A meta-projection is just that, except instead of a city, it’s you. I’d like to take a closer look at The Spider, from a meta-conscious level, contemplating its activity.
Evaluating elements (symbols-signs-significations-language) in a virtual portrait of The Spider - through a meta-consciousness lens.
I am currently experimenting with two types of equational functions.
Z Radial - Applied to sphere
Y Radial - Applied to plane
I’m curious as to how these functions would apply to less symmetrical/basic shapes, such as more intricate poly-formations. Would the asymmetrical shape be able to sustain a fluid animation? Would it break apart? What kind of interesting anomalies would generate?
“The great controversy in aesthetics hovers over the question whether art and the attitude appropriate to it are separated from other human interests and activities or intimately bound up with them. The empathy-theory appears to have been a reaction against sundering art from life, but a reaction which turned into affirmation and exaggeration of that divorce. This reversal was fated in the initial acceptance of pure abstract form as the essence of art and beauty, in the tradition of Kant. Committed to cold form, the antithesis of life, empathy was to show how form could become the focus of such a lively interest as the fervor of romantic genius. The theory was an attempt to explain how mere form could be expressive. The idea was that form is receptive to activity projected by a subject. But since form for empathy was not a physical, biological, or social object, only a ghostly shape, it could receive only an ectoplasmic emanation from an actual self. Abstract form needed to be animated if it was to be the center of the interest which art seems to have. But the economic man was a human being compared to the thin aesthetic man supposed by the theory of empathy to enter into form. He was deprived of social ties, unsexed, and left with vestiges of senses. This shadow of a self should be satisfied with insertion into empty forms and the excitement of finding sheer unity and variety there.
But Lipps could not let him be content with exploration of geometrical arrangement, since he was invented to illustrate a coincidence of the human with the non-human. He could not remain a wraith. The aesthetic subject had to be lively enough to greet a semblance of humanity in the object. Empathy explained enjoyment of form as pleasure in human qualities, though found outside the shape of man. Man's own shape was said not to be beautiful as a shape, for its geometric regularity would be no more pleasing than if found in an ink spot. On the contrary, "his forms are beautiful because they are human, and bearers for us of human life." Symmetry in the body was beautiful for Lipps simply because of its significance for turning right and left and all the functioning of a human being. In this view the outer beauty of a man was a manifestation of the man within, who was for the observer both a double and modification of himself.” (Meter Ames 490)
I’ve recently been experimenting with algorithmically relocating planes in meshes using Cinema 4D. I’ve also been working with generating particle turbulence and wind - manufacturing virtual physics. Doing so has expanded the ways in which i perceive objects on a daily basis. It seems as though a hyper-awareness of ‘parts’ provides the eyes with an ability to appreciate the very object itself - as a whole. Using 3D software is starting to widen my understanding of space and time; being able to replicate reality with so many functions is giving me the opportunity to look more closely at my environment - the little parts that eventually make up the whole.
I’m curious as to how this technique could come into play with future works, or perhaps inform a way of thinking about material, space and time. I wonder what could come out of simulating subtle exaggerations of our physical reality- tweaking with gravity, hyperbolizing wind, adjusting properties of objects.
‘Reality’ is a very abstract term. Is reality based on a shared understanding of space and thought? Is reality a personal journey that can only be understood and accepted by the passenger? Is reality the grey area in between? Contemplating the fluidity of ‘reality’ and its complete lack of consistency, perhaps could act as a starting point in reflecting on ‘empathy’.