Saturday, January 15, 2005

Puppet Physics 101

I'm just finishing a sculpture called "Interference Particles". It began as a large-ish piece of pine with a very distinct grain. As pointed out by Ben (who is a sculptor and friend and does amazing things with gears and who shows up at work occasionally...) it looked a lot like a wave pattern. There was some debate over which of us is the bigger geek, then "Hmm... You should have your puppets follow the grain," Ben says. Then he went away not to be heard from since...

The idea jostled about in my head and bumped into other things in there. After a while it became apparent that puppets actually are more wave-like than particle-like.

It became apparent to me that:

  • Puppets tend to exhibit the properties of waves.
  • Under certain rare conditions most puppets will begin to exhibit properties of particles.
  • All puppets begin as non-puppets.

Hmmm---something just occurs to me---something we should give a moment to---what, exactly I mean by 'puppet'. I will post links later--but for now text on the gallery pages might help.
Don't worry, I won't geek out for every post.
Here we go, from M-W online:

Main Entry: pup·pet : a small-scale figure (as of a person or animal) usually with a cloth body and hollow head that fits over and is moved by the hand b: one whose acts are controlled by an outside force or influence

  • Non-puppets tend to exhibit the properties of particles.
  • Under certain conditions most non-puppets will begin to exhibit properties of waves
  • If these conditions persist, most non-puppets will become puppets.

So. Human sheep begin as sheep and behave as sheep and end as sheep, except under rare conditions.
And real sheep, (and cows and dogs and elephants and so on) begin as sheep (and cows and what-not) and behave as sheep (and cows...) and end as sheep (and whatever) under any condition.

Jacques Derrida derridabio I can't recommend a particular book, as I've only read two of the many, many there are. He spoke in his biography about why we should not attribute things caused by conditions of society---things that are created artificially, to nature. I want to think on this more. Who is to say that some conditions of society aren't natural? Puppets are created, not born, true enough. But we have to consider how much of society might be driven by nature vs nuture?

We are machines.
We are animals.
We are light.
We are a black holes.

What conditions guide us? What laws govern our behaviors? Were we born or created? Whose hand is under our shirts, or pulling our strings? Do we know as we dance, dance, dance??
I'll be working on this for the duration of, probably, a dozen sculptures. I'll keep you posted.

My chocolate is cold. I made it and forgot all about it. My daughter and son are sleeping on the sofa---they wanted to hang out for the occasion. I'm glad they did.


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