Thinking transformations

October 6, 2017

Thinking about transformations might transform my visual thinking. It feels like being pregnant of something that can become more than an obscure idea. Just now I post a page of my notebook, which started with the rudimentary visual on the right.

I went thinking back about differences in languages, in particular in English and my native Dutch, and how they are sometimes of great influence on the art work. For instance when a fine title of a piece or a self written piece of poetry is translated, it often loses its connotations. This principle works out in all directions, English-Dutch, Dutch-English, or with German I have had similar experiences.

Anyway, on the left page you can follow a little bit of my further search. From the weak variant of the Sapir-Whorf linguistic relativity, I came about one of the many idea’s of Ludwig Wittgenstein. That is, there is a gap that our thinking experiences between the image and object space – the expressive domain – and the linguistic domain. Whether this gap is unbridgeable or not, doesn’t matter here. I see this gap as a space with certain transformative qualities.

During my Bachelor education at Technical College we had some very passionate teachers. I will never forget Dr. van der Laar with his beloved quantum physics. He held some tough courses but by doing so, a total new perspective on the world emerged. It was fascinating to know about light as particle and light as wave, what the uncertainty of Heisenberg implied, and so forth. I am grateful to understand a little bit about what modelling based on certain axioms can do with our thinking. And how experiments mostly will be influenced by their method of measurement and the experimentator… (maybe to be seen as the scientific artist?).

Other memorable teachings came from ir. van der Zee. In the first year he gave Fourier and Laplace Transformations. As a student I simply did not have a clue why we were bothered with this mathematical knowledge all together. Questioning this, the only answer I got was “you will need this later for sure” and he added “when you understand domains“. In the student years to come, it became indeed a handy tool within my field of electrical engineering. But after leaving the scientific world I never used them anymore. But the seeds were sown. Waited to be picked up.

So, after passing through quite a number of domains in my life, maybe now I have a sense of their meaning. The time has come to use some principles of scientific transformations into developing an artistic tool. It feels like a great opportunity – also to fail – and an ambitious undertaking as in not knowing what to expect from this later. Being a man, I am a pregnant father to be.