CAS Research Group; Drawing Languages for Dissent
5/6/2020, Will Jackson
Whilst I’m “here” I’ll post a few notes I made after the first session at The Lights, but was distracted by a spell of good gardening weather:
Ingold writes: “A thread is a filament of some kind, that may be entangled with other threads, or suspended between points in three dimensional space.”
A spell of good weather has enabled me to work in the garden, and I needed some straight runs of twine to ‘mark out’ an area of lawn to be changed into a vegetable plot.
Unfortunately the only twine to be found in the shed had been left in a tangled mess – but given our recent study of lines, I decided to to patiently analyse the problem.
First job – identify the main nodes – beginning and end. Then, to start with, I classified every awkward tangle as a ‘node’. But in the end realised that a ‘node’ was created by one ‘edge’ passing over or under another edge.
Secondly – by a process of “tossing” (can’t think of a better word) allowed the twine to open up spaces between the nodes.
This only worked up to a point. Stubborn tangles needed to opened up by expanding the nodes with the fingers.
Unfortunately the fibrous nature of the twine enforced a laborious process of relying on threading the two primary nodes (end points) through loops.
Eventually I achieve my aim of parallel usable lines.
Mathematical ‘knot theory’ differs from ordinary everyday knots in that the ends are always joined to create a circle.
However the lines created are, to my mind at least, fascinating.
[5/6/2020] Amanda : Knot theory is fun. I tried to paint the lower order ones once.
Will: Loops and the interacting of lines ‘over’ and ‘under’ or ‘in front of’ or ‘behind of’ are characteristic of familiar ‘celtic’ art.
I’m reading a ‘coffee table book’ entitled ‘Mathematics + Art – a cultural history’ – one needs a sturdy table, it’s quite a weighty tome! Good though – recommended.
I found “Mine” by William Kentridge on Vimeo, it isn’t available on the Tate website – so now I understand the cafetiere plunger reference https://vimeo.com/66486337
[01:18, 5/6/2020] Amanda Bates : It struck me that the most recent text made no reference to vector graphics. I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept – rather than dealing with a grid of pixels, a drawing is constructed using mathematical instructions such as “draw a straight line from here to there”. On a computer, the instructions are encoded digitally, of course, and the output is rendered digitally as pixels on a screen or dots on a typical printer (there used to be pen plotters, which were effectively analogue output). The sheer quantity of mathematical operations involved in any but the simplest drawing would preclude doing vector art without a computer. Vector imaging is completely different kettle of fish to raster, or bitmap. It’s a lot more like drawing, to my mind. The computer interprets a line drawn in vector mode as a line – not as a series of dots that just happen to be together.
Knot theory… My painted versions of the first four theoretical knots from a while back. I was deliberately avoiding the “illustration” vibe. The higher order shapes are great, too, but my versions started to get a bit messy on 7cm canvases!
– Amanda Bates
[12:32, 5/7/2020] Karen Wood: Entanglement!!!
Maija: Ooooh good theory reference Karen! That’s how I interpreted it anyway
[13:39, 5/7/2020] Karen Wood: @Maija the word entanglement just popped into my head had no idea it’s a theory reference
Amanda Bates : The term entanglement is used in quantum physics to describe how information about two (or more) particles can be linked. It is related to string theory, which involves multiple dimensions (more than four, where the fourth dimension is time). If I remember correctly, the strings have two ends and represent a single dimension that can be folded up to be so small that you can’t see it if you live in a three-dimensional universe as we do. The theory leads to multiple universes with wormholes between them. It’s considered to be a very exciting branch of theoretical physics and Stephen Hawking did a lot of work on it. I’m not actually aware of knot theory being part of it, but I don’t really know that much about the details.
It’s the sort of thing that I’d love to be able to somehow incorporate in art in a meaningful way, but it’s hard to imagine how to represent all those extra dimensions.
[15:24, 5/7/2020] Janice: It could all be in the layers of lines … anyone know of an intro to knot theory? I’m fascinated by the idea of a theory, but haven’t come across it before as a theory 😎🐾
Amanda Bates : You could try this