The best thing ever


Self-similarity is the dungeon of the clever and bored. Here we can talk a bit about why the way a fractal is popularly considered is grossly insufficient. A commonly held notion is that “fractal” means self-similar. This is not – or is at least not entirely – the case.

The fractal dimension of a set can be defined as the extent to which it exceeds its topological dimension. A common example given for a fractal is a coastline. In the case of a coastline, if you take a meter-long measuring stick, you’ll get a metric measurement of that coastline. But if you take a centimeter-long measuring stick, you’ll get an even longer measurement of that same coastline. The dimension of a coastline exceeds the first dimension, because to measure its true length you would need a measuring stick with infinite precision. That’s the fractal dimension: the shorter the measuring stick, the longer the line becomes. You can measure that same coastline in decreasingly smaller lengths and retrieve an increasing measurement.

The dimension of a coastline is not 1 or 2, it’s 1.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx...

With der TANK, I was concerned with this kind of information packing in the case of an exhibition or exhibition space. It seemed to me that the windows, rather than being viewports onto the extended landscape, are in fact surfaces for the city to press itself upon. It seems that the because the boundaries are transparent, when one is within the gallery, the gallery is not only itself, but itself and everything beyond it. The holographic principle is a notion from physics which I encountered probably browsing Wikipedia, that has stuck with me. The gloss of this, as I hardly understand it, states that “the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a lower-dimensional boundary to the region”. And a hologram relies on a similar principle. Unlike a photograph, each point on a hologram is encoded with every point of light from the scene that produced it. If you cut a hologram in half, you won’t have just half of the scene on each piece (as you would with a photograph), you will have the full scene on each half. And I’m tempted to call that self-similar, but I’d much rather call it hyperbolic. And this is all leading me to say that my premise for der TANK is that the entirety of its surroundings are encoded on its architecture, those surroundings being the HGK, Basel, Switzerland, Earth, and whatever else is beyond that. And Basel Scenario was an attempt to illuminate this hologram.

I recently said that beauty is meaning in excess of form. And what I mean by this is that beauty is hyperbolic. Beauty is when there’s more meaning than the apparent capacity of the form.

I find it beautiful that in viewing a fractal zoom your eyes are constantly seeking the center. But they can’t ever find it, and even when they think they have, they’re betrayed.

I can see my work reaching increasingly toward anonymity, where the origin, role, or agenda of a gesture is uncertain. Or even its status as a gesture. This serves my interests in complicating documentation and also in extending the threshold of art and exhibitions, both as to renew the capacity of art for constituting dissociation.

A holographic, schismatic art which exceeds known modalities of exhibition and documentation is an inevitability, even if it’s exceedingly vague. And it’s perhaps this vaguery by which it derives its greatest power. The avant-garde seems to be everywhere and nowhere. If you ask me any questions about this, my answer will be, “What?”

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