This was 4 years, 8 months, 20 days ago

in my arrogance I decide that I do know what I know, and that the smells I follow are worthy of following.

here's the image in my head: an austere, simple space, with light and sound, and friends nearby. all day I roll a problem around in my mind, in my mouth like a peach pit, tasting its wrinkles, popping it out of my lips and holding it in my hand, feeling it press against my palm, placing it in my pocket. inquiry and discovery and thought.

are you your environment, or are you you? what does you even mean, anyways, what form of essence and personal sovereignty do we have to defer to in order to establish a 'you'? cybernetics sez: we're ourselves and our environments, locked in an endless feedback loop, or not 'locked in a loop' any more so than the rain falling is 'locked in a loop' but the product itself.

how much do you trust your gut, and how much do you place yourselves in positions that change your thought process?


my gut, my gut.
my gut says that buildings (as opposed to spaces) are tremendously exciting but so contingent, like politics, so exciting and interesting. would I ever run for office? does an experimental politics design practice sound engaging? but what about on the ground, in the field?

I have been coding since I can remember, and dealing with software is as important to me as reading/writing -- that is, a core part of what I do yet not necessarily a core part of who I am (here is the 'you' again, sneaking in at any moment). I don't have to be a writer, despite the fact that I know how to write; I don't have to be write software, despite.

BUT perhaps the privilege and arrogance that software has given me is: it must run. it must execute, and do something, and exist out of your control, and operate as a puzzle to solve. software operates as both deterministic and unpredictable, organized and puzzling.

philosophy or art theory/criticism is fun, becomes deflated after a while, like a dead flaccid inflatable dirigible impaled on a pole and waved around like a flag. where are the mechanisms or thoughts or ideas that make it tick? ideas internal to a person only work to generate localized fields of attraction; ideas external generate magnetic fields, alignment. do I want to spend my life working on something that is contingent on the social authority and identity of its author? that seems like a colossal waste to me.

the built environment is like the most complex environment whatsoever, at all scales. it's simple, but complex. it's full of risks in every dimension, where not just time but materiality exert its ruthlessly anisotropic direction: measure twice, cut once, no undo in two spaces. a perfect environment for heuristics, rules of thumb. moreover, while the resource metric that drives time (labor) is the same in any practice, the resource that drives material is capital, money, and in such an anisotropic one-way practice, cost becomes king.

mix aesthetics into this - oh god, aesthetics, the terrorizing tyrant of conformity and compliance - and you have a recipe for a microcosm of a totalitarian society. aesthetics, demands you march in lockstep. aesthetics demands an allover composition. aesthetics is like a delicate mobile that demands to be tentatively balanced, then screams angrily to be never to be touched again. aesthetics is fragile, fickle, easily broken. aesthetics claims to allow diversity, but only in the way that it wants it to, in just the right ways. and when aesthetics gets social, watch out. the best way to get towards aesthetic cohesion is repetition, rhythm, style. aesthetics is never cooperative, never social.

so here we have a society. one member, time, the ruler of us all. material, who is both expensive and uni-directional, stubborn and weighty. aesthetics, who is shrill and sly and bats its eyes gently and a closet totalitarian in the name of expression.


now what? where do we head to?

dizzying variants, possible landscapes. I suppose that what is clear to me is that I want to know how the world works, first and foremost. what are its mechanisms, now and later? how is it opinionated? how can I test my hypotheses, by trying things out? what things are funny and interesting?

of peach pits and landscapes.