Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rhizome Studies

Deleuze is the way to go – I am excited with the concept of the rhizome, and I think it lends itself well to 2-D interpretation. Furthermore, I may vary the visual depth of the work my varying the weight of the rhizome-lines, and I can map and color the spaces between these lines. I will continue visual interpretations of the rhizome, and it will soon by time to start the woodcut process.

Deleuze and the Rhizome

Another interest of mine is the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, particularly the concepts of the rhizome, and smooth versus striated space. I think the rhizome concept may serve me well for interpretive 2-D work. A rhizome may be represented as a single line, and defined through its interactions with other rhizome-lines. Another thing that excites me about the 2-D interpretation of this philosophy is that it may lend itself to interpretations of smooth and striated space later on, while remaining inherently random and not clouding my 2-D judgment with 3-D predeterminations.

DNA Studies, Problems

While I enjoy the DNA composition studies, I find them difficult in that they seem to be lacking something, or maybe that they are too specific, or too grounded in something that is representational and not interpretational. While I have fun doing them, I find it hard to separate myself from architectural thoughts – the knowledge that these studies will be turned into woodcuts and then architecture has me making 2-D choices based on 3-D possibilities. This is problematic. I need to focus strictly on 2-D composition, and keep out 3-D predetermination in order to have a focus on pure architectural reinterpretation later on.


One interest of mine is DNA. DNA is so fascinating to me because of its specificity, as well as its randomness. In DNA, there are four bases that link together and form the double helix structure: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. Adenine and thymine may bond only with one another, as guanine and cytosine may bond only with one another. Very specific. When DNA is mapped, however, randomness happens by way of human choice. In refraction fragment length proliferation (RFLP) analysis, DNA is broken into strands by enzymes that break the base bonds according to certain patterns in the DNA. The broken strands are then separated according to size through gel electrophoresis. While labs may be consistent in the enzymes they use to break the DNA strands, there are vast numbers of different enzymes that cut according to different patterns. Thus, the same DNA can yield multiple maps. Very random, in my mind. RFLP analyses are pretty to look at, as well as the molecular structures, and may serve for interpretive 2-D compositions.


So where to start? Sketching, I suppose. But I’m not entirely sure what yet. My focus is composition, but the images cannot be representational. That would kind of ruin the architectural reinterpretation that is to take place later on. So what can these images be, or what can they be inspired by? I have determined that if they are not representational, they may be interpretational. Then I can study concepts that interest me, and express them two-dimensionally.

Mondrian + Rietveld = Monveld

This thesis project is twofold: it involves the creation of two dimensional art, which is then translated into three dimensional architectural constructs. The word “translated” is used somewhat loosely, because what may be done may actually be more of an architectural re-interpretation of a two-dimensional composition. In short, what I intend to do is play both the part of Mondrian and Rietveld.While this will serve hopefully to create a greater level of intimacy between the 2-D work and the 3-D work, the focus in the 2-D phase will be composition, rather than architectural anticipation. Later, in moving toward architecture, the focus will be on realizing the analogy between reductive woodcut technique and planning architecture, and expressing architecturally my firsthand knowledge of the physical creation of the image.

Thesis Statement

In many ways, the process of architecture is a process of layering: layering of structures, layering of materials, and layering of spaces. Each different layer has its own identity while it is interconnected with others, collectively forming the work of architecture as a whole. When viewing a work of architecture in its entirety, one can identify small parts of the spaces, materials, structures, etc., while much is masked through its interaction with the others. When considering architecture as a result of the layering of different states, analogies to two-dimensional work may easily be drawn. The word “layer” in itself carries connotations of two-dimensionality, and there are media techniques that rely heavily upon layering. Collage, chin-collet, and multi-color printing immediately come to mind. Considering that these methods may have analogous relationships with architecture, and given architecture’s graphic representation methods of two-dimensional orthographic drawings, the quandary of translation arises. Can one translate a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional construct, and vice-versa? Arguably, yes. How does one go about doing this?
This degree project intends to explore the idea of architecture derived from two-dimensional imagery. This will be explored specifically through derivation of constructs from images created through reductive woodblock printing technique. The method of reductive woodcut produces a single, multi-colored image from a single block, as opposed to multiple blocks corresponding to each color. The artist plans his first state, or color to be printed, and cuts away only what is to remain the color of the paper being printed on. The first color is printed, and the artist then cuts away only what is to remain the first color. This way, the next color printed covers the previous color, except for what has been cut away. Over the course of the different states, the colors are layered and the woodblock is reduced to only the surface area necessary to print the final color. In reductive woodcut, planning the interaction between the color states and the physical states is paramount, and requires a level of consideration commensurate to the consideration given to the interaction of spaces and materials in architecture. This degree project intends to take advantage of the iterative process of reductive woodcut and recognizing the final image as a whole comprised of the interactive layering of different states. Each different state of printing will be examined in its singularity and translated into a three-dimensional counterpart. While each two-dimensional and three-dimensional state will have its own identity, its relationships with the other states are what form the finished work as a whole. This is why reductive woodcut has been chosen as the vehicle for exploration; its very nature requires that the work be considered simultaneously in its entirety and as individual states. This methodology will be applied to architecture, as architecture should be seen as a work of totality dependent upon the interaction of different states of material construction and space.