Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mechanicules and Machinerettes

This essay might skirt dangerously close to an artist's statement. Within the fictional construction/rationalization of creating all these little critters was the idea that they acted together as a community or consortium that in turn created a metabolism or quasi-stable non-equilibrial flux control system that allows fantasy machines to survive and thrive. Not having any expertise in biology or systems thinking or graph theory or networks pretty much guarantees that I will be fascinated by all that - but without having to do any of the heavy lifting. However, I do note that the trends in thinking about technology are shifting towards the worldview of living systems (see Kevin Kelly's thoughts about The Technium, or the fact that industry trend journals now regularly speak of technological ecosystems).

This makes sense as 1) technology is created by living systems, and 2) once tools get sophisticated enough, they enter the realm of behaviors inhabited by living systems. (I've talked about this before. Want to see what the Technological Singularity looks like? Study microbiology).

So, when I thought of making these little suckers, it was always in the sense of a community of things rather than individuals. And source topics would have to be the gut and its inhabitants (our Second Brain), or the neurovascular system of our brain and (all those weird - almost alien - glial cells that suffuse/support/supplement those stodgy neurons of ours). And it was always in the sense of a community of things that think (not individually, but collectively). So what are they thinking about, and what are they doing? I DON'T KNOW!

So, when I was making each of these things, either unconsciously, consciously but unwittingly, or wittingly but unintentionally, I was thinking of them as a group. And it kind of shows, what with each having either a tentacle or a grabber, or a handle of some type, or some way for them to be embedded together. And perhaps that's where I should go with them, just make a shitload and pile together in some kind of techno-biolfilm, a siliceous/mucilaginous layer of commensal sophistication.

Ooh. Eek! But still, not really all creepy, right? Or is it? maybe I'm unconsciously making plastic gyre trash.

In any case, that's probably what I should end up doing with the cast glass prepared slides. The bronzes seem to be trophies, stand alone dead representations of the mechanical creatures, but the cast glass slides, I'm thinking now, should be in vitro/vivo/situ community snapshots. Messy. Colorful. Alive. Populated.

Refractory mold waiting for the glass

Yeah, that's the ticket.

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