: this is my opinion at this moment, I am doing my best to describe the lecture and to develop my own theories from it, so I apologize if I misrepresent something.(especially sections 2 thru 4)Chreods! (Sanford Kwinter)
intro lecture to the NlSO conference at Penn
It's great to see someone lecture again 7 years later, after reading many of their works and to be able to intuitively jump right back into their thought. Sanford Kwinter in my opinion is still the biggest brain I've seen and he knows it, and if anyone was paying attention to the lecture, he told everyone this at the UPenn lecture tonight. To make some points without making them too clear ...I will jump right into a (un,in,ir,non)systematic explanation of what I gained from the lecture.1. Kwinter knows he has a big brain.
He was discussing Goethe
and Goethe's walks. Side note: according to a guy I studied abroad with; Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, and maybe Hegel all used to get hammered together, well that is at least the way he put it. Either way: imagine the brain power in that bar. According to Kwinter, Goethe used to take these walks looking for the “Chreods” in the plants in the forest. Goethe was looking for the “urpflanze” (ur = prefix for origin, pflanze = plant). The “urpflanze” was not the statically visible form of a plant from which all plants could have evolved from, rather the “urpflanze” was the “virtual form action formula” (my phrasing) that gave direction to a plants growth. For example, a leaf is located on a branch as per this direction, but this direction does not specifically place the leaf but accurately determines the leaf placement via “vector gradients” (my phrasing). Now, Kwinter says Goethe was looking for Chreods, and he noted that Goethe has often been described as one the largest brains in history, and according to Kwinter; Goethe's ability to see the Chreods is the reason for his massive brain superiority. 15-30 minutes before that, Kwinter told us that the one question he always wanted a journalist to ask him was something like, “what makes form?”. So Kwinter asked himself and gave us the answer “Chreods”, because Kwinter has been seeing Chreods for years! Now since he made this comment before the Goethe comment, most people who follow trains of thoughts, a linear dialogue of concepts, probably missed this point, but it's all about non-linearity...the NlSO conference...BRILLIANT! 2. I smashed my head through a printer drunk once while bar hopping in Carroll Gardens (Brooklyn, NY)
he mentioned physics and waves less than his last lecture I attended around 7 years ago . Schroedinger
this time I believe and Schroedinger's 1944 book on the question “What is Life?”. He noted that the final point of Schroedinger's book was related to eastern religion/philosophy thought on consciousness. wholeness...helpful term here. And this all developed into him discusing the biologist that developed the term Chreods...now I'm vague here since I can not properly represent these moments of the lecture; my memory is a little fuzzy. But I will tell you he mentioned the composer (I forget his name) who decided to begin composing in his own tonal system. This same composer, I believe, even though I forget his name, was mentioned in the 7 year ago lecture i attended. This composer went nutts at the end of his career and started receiving signals from martians or aliens...or was he just more in tune?!? BECAUSE, that is why I smashed my head through the printer, not the voices in my head or the alcohol, but the signal I was receiving via wavelengths in a tonal system outside the mindset of anyone who was present at the time. Who sent the wavelengths though? Let me explain, this composer was trying to create a new tonal system that you could learn to appreciate intuitively. To intuit a new tonal system could mean you used your ability to see Chreods consciously or unconsciously, the Chreods helped form the only possibilities of this tonal system that you intuitively could understand. Now what does it mean to intuitively understand something? For example: you can learn Calculus two ways: 1) remember when and where and how to use a formula via set rules or 2) you intuit the only possible method of calculating the terms and items presented to you...very very few engineers or mathematicians are capable of this and the few that are have trouble explaining it...long story short, in Kurt Vonnegut's “Sirens of Titan”link
he dumbs the whole religion, architectural monuments of humanity throughout history, etc... down to this: An alien from Tralfamadore is stranded on moon Titan due to mechanical failure and the only way he can receive messages from Tralfamadore is via certain formations on the planet earth, "The meaning of Stonehenge in Traflamadorian, when viewed from above, is:"Replacement part being rushed with all possible speed." ....The Great Wall of China means in Traflamadorian, when viewed from above:"Be patient. We haven't forgotten about you." The Golden House of the Roman Emperor Nero meant: "We are doing the best we can." The meaning of the Moscow Kremlin when it was first walled was: "You will be on your way before you know it." The meaning of the Palace of the League of Nations in Geneva , Switzerland , is: "Pack up your things and be ready to leave on short notice."...you get the idea. All of humanity via Chreod signals from Tralfamadore formed grand monuments as information in Traflamoridian language. So understand the Chreods and you will understand formation, and ultimately the answer to the question of “What is Life?”, maybe. So is it insane to believe in Aliens? I would argue it is equally insane as believing in God.3. a very Gainful Epiphany
I titled this section as if I had something to say didn't I, so linear...if you remember (because I know everyone is reading my blog) I mentioned Edmund Husserl and the question of whether magnitude and geometry were enough to help human beings define their reality. In direct relation I also mentioned the question of whether form is more than just shape. Now I have not made any progress in Husserl's book due to UPenn and work so I do not know how Husserl's answers the questions of how one could measure color or even sound via geometry. And these questions are too obvious...this is not what I am getting at. In Kwinter's lecture he mentions the architecture of the 90's of surface architecture morphing through time; graphically presented in static frames. He mentions the overly literal translation of this form (growth) representing in architecture. This continual aim at Repetition and Differnece via modules and components, etc.... YOU CANNOT BUILD THE TRACE (my words). He also noted that two generations of students were sucked into this trend and lost in a fad of image and logo making...anyway; and to reference Henri Bergson, human beings can not see the world as it is in its continuous evolution, rather we see it in frames per second. (see around the 300 pages in Creative Evolution (Dover Publication))And this is my epiphany... Forget 5-10 dimensions, forget all that and tell me you really understand the 4th dimension: time. Define the 4th dimension for me. Did you describe time as an object? Is time a noun in the dictionary? How is it you can talk about time the way you talk about space and objects? Now, the reason for physics to add dimensions is some physicists guess that our geometric understanding of the world is not adequate enough to unify all forces we know of (GUT). We see gravity act, we describe its actions, but we do not know what it is in the realm of itself, so we make it a constant (in Newtonian finite spatial frameworks). Can you visualize gravity? NO. You are visualizing its actions on geometrically defined objects. Time is helping you see this. So is time a constant? What about special and general relativity? Well, one deals with space and time and another with gravities effects on time, which you can tie back to space of course. When we talk about relativity we use terms like “bending”, “warping”, etc...these are terms for geometrical objects, which we can define by magnitudes (numerical measurements). We then describe gravities effects on time via numerical calculations of conceptual geometrical objects claming to “be” time. In short, the only dimensions we know are XYZ, all the others we see manifest themselves to us in snapshots of formations in XYZ. Kwinter points out that we can talk about the Chreods and its (I forgot) but something skeleton that helps “form” the Chreods, but we can not imagine them. You can not imagine time and if you do you are creating an illusion. A geometrical concept of anything not geometrical in is an illusion. ANY CONCEPT DEFINED BY GEOMETRICAL SHAPES AND NUMERICAL MAGNITUDES NOT DESCRIBING STATIC GEOMETRICAL SHAPES IS AN I(a)LLUSION. Time is basically beyond the scope of “MATHEMATIZATION” (Husserl's description of Galileo's methods to science, basically the way we know we do science). There are many things beyond this scope. My brother who is a hell of lot smarter than I told me that the existence of God is highly probably because all one needs to state is: God is in another dimension. Another dimension like Time and maybe Gravity, and if you go along with some physicists: weak nuclear, strong nuclear, and electromagnetism. Remember the Ether concept, what is an Ether? I bet you described it geometrically.
So Chreods are “objects” of time, but as time and its “elements” can never be described as “objects” without admitting one is creating an i(a)llusion, Chreods can not be understood geometrically, but ahhh....Virtually. Virtual form, but what does that really mean?4. GÃ¶del is back
So what is the NlSO dealing with? (my opinion) We are using number crunching machines to further study something that is essentially outside of the realm of numbers, we are modeling snapshots of something that is allusive to our methods. What is an algorithm again?
So like Eisenman we are getting so deep, so deep...to just find out we can't get deep enough. I would like to think Peter Eisenman intentionally created an autonomous architecture like Russel and Whitehead created Principia Mathematica, so that Peter Eisenman could be his own GÃ¶del via Deconstruction. Genius actually.
The direction of NlSO is the final push at presenting Kwinter's concept of an architectural Chreod, it is the final push before we finally give up defining everything mathematically via geometry and magnitudes. It will finally “bring forth” (to borrow from Wittgenstein) what a Chreod clearly is and how clear it is that we can not clearly understand it via “MATHEMATIZATION”. Husserl already kind of said this, but science is a machine and still works. What if we understood Chreod's the way we understand the box but with different intuitions (not visual or numeric)? 5. dude I got the science but I didn't get the architecture part
somebody sitting behind me said that after the lecture. Ok, maybe they didn't say Dude, this is UPenn. Of course you didn't get the part dealing with architecture, because you think architecture is about form. Even if you believe architecture is about process you are still obsessing over the snapshots of evolution of form. This isn't about presenting anything, this is about understanding. Process architecture always falls back on images and connecting the dots of actions. This is about attenuation to an intuition you have blindly ignored, because you have always looked for a static answer, an answer you could geometrically and numerically define, an answer you could visualize. This is about visualizing and you can't visualize that.