The Chicken and the Egg

The idea and the code to realise it or to realise the code that generates the idea….

Today has reminded me of a passage that I read last night in the book Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake – the book is about how fungi connects the plant and animal worlds:

“In all physical systems, energy moves ‘downhill’, from where there is more to where there is less. Heat travels from the hot sun to cold space. A truffle’s scent drifts from areas of high concentration to lower concentration. Neither has to be actively transported. As long as there is an energetic slope, energy will move from the ‘source’ (at the top) to the ‘sink’ (at the bottom). What matters is how steep the slope is between the two”.

The slope today felt steep at first but as the session progressed I felt the warm heat of knowledge from India roll towards me much faster than I had anticipated.

The Magic Behind the Curtains

The magic behind the curtains indeed – I won’t lie, maths scares me as does coding, I had done a small amount of coding in the past but not enough to have any confidence in doing it independently. 

Hasan showed us some very simple coding and, via a series of graphs and discussions, showed us the basics of how to think about coding and then gave us an exercise to complete. 

Now I did manage to change the code and produced an image but was a bit frustrated to not be able to push myself further or see the possibilities to make a more interesting image. That’s not to say that the day wasn’t engaging or interesting – it was – but I need to play some more and do some more reading I think to fully appreciate the possibilities.

You don’t know what you don’t know…

My artistic process usually starts with an idea first and then as that idea progresses and takes shape I learn the methods and processes needed or work with collaborators to realise my vision as required. However it is also of utmost importance that I know the possibilities for realising that work too, so now I have a better sense of the basics of coding but have yet to identify how to apply this, but as creativity and ideas have this inbuilt randomness anyway I’ll store this learning for retrieval at a later date.

I really enjoyed seeing what other fellows had achieved though and my breakout group were very supportive. Interactions and connections with the participating artists are proving to be such a fundamental part of this experience and I have a growing sense of this shared atmosphere of learning developing into a hive mind mentality. 

The concept for the work was order/chaos and my image is an attempt to illustrate how I deal with chaos (as the main carer for my Dad who has dementia there is much chaos in my life) through wild swimming which, as I live close to many beautiful lakes, I am able to swim every week and as I dive in the water, no matter how cold it is, the chaos is left behind and a solitary, quiet calmness takes over.

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