Superficial Spaces

We cherish immaterial surfaces, as painters cherish some material pigment for its unique expressive qualities. Like tempera or oil paint, the pigment-surface is a raw substance. Think of it as a medium, as a means to aesthetic experience, or as an instrument of artistic deceit. The pigment-surface is light and immaterial. It has abstract properties – linearity, periodicity and transposition, among others – and if carefully manipulated, it affords mysterious renditions of spatial and informational complexity. The pigment-surface is more than a flat two-dimensional veneer. Like space, it extends in all three dimensions and challenges the common understanding of depth and shallowness. We will call it superficial space. We relish the tension implied in this association of terms and we will use this seminar to celebrate it. Pedagogic Objectives: To reflect on the formal and mathematical properties of curvilinear surface geometry. To examine the properties of the surface in relation to the symbolic notation of sequence, order, and position. To transcribe and manipulate these properties in the symbolic notation of a programming language. To assess the meaning of variation in abstract and material terms, through drawing, modeling, and computer-aided manufacturing. Time Commitment and Logistics:Once a week. The seminar will alternate theoretical lectures with production workshops, to be conducted with the instrumental assistance of AutoCAD 2000, AutoLISP, and MathCAD 8.0. Laser cutting and 3D printing will be required. Basis of Final Grade: Three short exercises (30% of the grade), one midterm project (10%) and the final project (60%). For the Record: This seminar extends GSD 7303 On Growth and Form 2.0, offered by the instructor in 1995-2000 with less emphasis on mathematics and computer programming.