See also:  [Feminism]
                  [Modernism]  [Modernism]
                  [Post-modernism]  [Post-post-modernism
                  [Art Talk, by Cindy Nemser]

Post-911 Era (2001.09.11 - ?)

Annotation "9/11" due to non-standard calendar, in computer-speek 2001.09.11 would refer to "Septembre 9th, 2001 a.d." (aka "Sept 9, 2001 c.e.). Take your pick, either way... "And I bet it don't get any easier from here on". (not an exact quote Harvey Pekar) Issues: The purely geometric vs the purely organic. From constructivsm it is possible to create the purely geometric world, in this world all organic life would be completely impossible. Only mathematical life could exist (such as algorithmic forms, like John Conway's "Game of Life", or tic-tac-toe, and other board games, including of course higher dimension. In such a geometric universe, there would be *no* distinction (nor limitation) between dimensions. That is, 3, 4, 5, and n dimentional spaces would cascade into each other in an infinite progression (as well as recession both with and without the concept of time. Flow and non-flow would reside side-by-side without apparent paradox. Indeed, there would exist paradoxical worlds (such as the optical illusion of the impossible three-pronged bolt, the impossible cube -- refer to Escher's work. On the other hand, in the purely organic world, there is *no* mathematical (not even geomtric) forms at all. The apparent geometric form (for example, the spiral in a sun-flower, the nautilus shell, etc) are in fact only *apparent* forms of the geometric "attempting" to intrude into the organic world. The fact that we (as organic forms, ourselves) perceive this "likeness" of the organic as "being like" the geometric is merely a ... Another thing, that we as organic creatures can not really interact with the geometric world -- even in its approximate representation into our world. For example, we walk upon a flat floor (a plane) and we do not fall through it. If it is not sufficiently strong (eg, a glass floor), then we might (due to our physical weight) fall through it, thus shattering it (thus, it departs from its psuedo-geometric nature back into its the expression of its manifestly organic nature -- it is composed of atoms and molecules arranged in some-what completely less than perfect conditions. Note, that when an object takes on as much purely geometric c haracter as it can, it begins to actually leave the organic (physical) world behind. For example, carbon (graphite) is made of loosely bound planes of carbon atoms, but when these form the so-called diamond molecular structure, the form is *much* stronger. We also see this is the form of the so-called "iron wiskers". These are small (micro-scopic) strands of iron that are formed with perfect atomic structure. That is, the grid of atoms are such that there are no gaps. In this case, a "rope" made of such fibres would be 100,000 (if not more) stronger than "normal" iron cable. Arthur C. Clarke (among other futurist writers) discussed this concept in his novel "Fountains of Paradise". The idea of lowering someone on a rope is impossible past a certain point, since the rope must support its own weight. Thus, a rope that is 1 mile long must support the total weight above it. Even if the rope is made larger around in circumference, it again reaches physical limits. In theory, with perfect carbon fibres, a cable could reach from geo-synchronous orbit around the Earth (some 25,000 miles or 40,000 km) all the way down to the surface; thus, enabling an elevator to be constructed. These concetps should not surprise us, such is the "power" (if I may use that word) of the border/differences between the geometric and the organic. The surgeon's scalpal is made into as close to a flat, plane as possible and is placed edge-wise against the flesh, and it CUTS. It can do nothing else, it approaches the zero-dimensional limit of being exactly one point-width wide and thus, any point not on the plane is either above or below it. This concept is given in the simplest form by the so-called Dedikind cut ?sp? (after the mathematician, Richad Dedikind. A mathematical line (for example the real number line, usually called the "x axis") is laid out, and point is taken to "cut" the line into two parts -- any point will do. So, we might have <------------|-----|-----|-----|-----|-|---|------------> -1 0 1 2 3 | 4 pi Thus, we have chosen the numbe r 3.14159265358979.... to cut the line. A single point cuts the line into two parts, in the same way a needle pulling thread re-joins the two parts of the flesh cut with the scalple. Thus, are the strong interactions between the geometric and the organic. (not to sound to mystical about this, but it does imply some "dividing" principle here; just as 9/11 forever divides us from the previous time of history (And yet of course, we are no more "new" than we were after Goya's "The Third of May 1808", or Picasso's "Guernica", etc.


Important works