Saturday, March 06, 2010

Scale Free

This morning I went to an art/science workshop called "Scale Free Networks" where we used massively magnified slides to assemble and then interpret images and make collaborative artworks, and then spent about 45 minutes tooling around looking at random stuff (ribbon, stone, sponge, fungus, coin, moth wing etc) under stereo microscopes (20x and 40x magnification). The workship was led by an artist and a scientist (molecular biology) and they shared with us a very little about the history of microscopes and then some images, and we talked also about the freedom of working collaboratively across disciplines. It was all too short (2 hours) and stimulating to mix up the nuanced and emotive values of art with the tools and language of science.

I love the way so many things in nature - shapes but also really relationships scale up and down. Everyone has their own experiences of this - from the coastlines of Norway designed by Slartibartfast to the edges of grilled cheese, to the way skin peels when it is sun burnt and the spreading silt echos on a flood plain, veins in our arms and nerves in our eyes, or the gorgeous aching arch of a solar flare or a Lilly's gentle pitch to sensuous tip. Those of course are shapes, but they're relational in time and space - as we are.

The way we trust, or dance around trust, the way we share, or close down and step away, the way we cluster as individuals (and relate to ourselves) or with others - intimate groups on specific lines of interest or in masses - for the kick that comes from tens of thousands cheering together - be it at the ritual of a ball through posts or for the frisson of balls on balls. Highly codified clothing or no clothing at all. Meaning held in the action translated through the lenses of our own experiences. In art as in science so many things are taken as truth that would be so much more useful to our understanding of each other more broadly if they were understood as multiple frames of position and preference.

"Lost my muchness indeed!"

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