There is a french artist called Fabienne Verdier. She lived in China for many years. She arrived at the age of 22 for some months, and stayed a decade. When she returned to France after living in China for one third of her life, she had to find a way to reconcile opposite points of the compass, making them both a part of her so that she could create. I just remember her work and the connection it has to our path through perfect spheres. The circle is both the perfection, but when broken –when not perfect, when unclosed– it is also the beginning of chaos. We are not drawing circles to meditate, just as it was a mandala. However, I’m pretty sure that whittling and talking is somehow part find meaning through the act of making an object with our hands, and just having conversations around it can lead to better understandings. I’m thinking that all our imperfect results are all about meditation and, why not, the beginning of chaos.
I’ve been thinking that the way 3d printing works can be compared to the way a point becomes a line and, in that sense, a line becomes a doodle, or whatever form. Let’s remember some geometry and let’s hope I’m good enough at explaining this in English. In a cartesian plane, for each point in X, there is a point in Y. To draw a line is nothing else that to draw many points that grow in relationship to X and Y. A line (no matter if it is open, closed, open, straight or curved) always consists of infinitely many individual points (at least for any reasonable notion of ‘line’). Basically, between any two distinct points on a line there is a third point between these two points. If we look at the process of 3d printing, it works just like it. It’s all about layers.
And fall arrived!
I am still not sure what kept me away from the Woodshop but I know that I am one of the last people who completed it. When I was “turning” the wood, I was intimidated by the power of the machine, how it can harm me with just a moment of carelessness. And at the end it did! I cut myself, again, after whittling. I was also kind of frustrated how much time it took and my limitation to one day, since moving the wood from the machine caused some orientation problem later on. So here comes the confusion: A machine that is supposed to make process easier limits me, frightens me and demands attention.
With the Fab Lab, it was like watching an entertainment show. Machines seemed less aggressive and more gentle and they didn’t require my hands therefore safer. However, it took 40 minutes just to create a little sphere and it was not the “perfect” sphere, it had flaws. One of the reasons for time and quality was the machine itself, which made me think of: “So now even the perfection requires money.” If you have the money, you can have better machine and better results.
Or you can go with a fun way and do your own! Last week’s class was really fun for me since I like creating things with my hands in the most analogous way. It also reminded me Bauhaus curriculum that was based on learning and experimenting with materials. In a world where digital became the material, I believe that “touching” gained even more value. We start learning about our environment by touching, tasting, smelling and at the age of 7, with school, we are expected to transfer what we have learnt through an abstract medium. We are not teaching our language to a material anymore, we are trying to learn the language of computer that is developed by other people and I think it limits us, forces us to think in computer’s terms instead of ours.