On language and matter — references

Following the jury, I have stepped back a bit from production and consulted references that were proposed to me.

One is a Belgian architect and designer mentioned by Ricardo – Isaïe Bloch – who works with digital tools and come up with truly beautiful work.

The other was mentioned by Charles and is a philosopher, mathematician and logician – Charles Sanders Peirce – notably considered as the founder of semiotics (the study of signs and symbols in communication).

Believe it or not, they have something in common.

Isaie Bloch founded a practice called Eragatory (http://www.eragatory.com/) – focusing on digital manufacturing and craftmanship. He has a great sense of both matter and form, and how digital tools can combine and enhance both, making them interact.
Here are samples of his work :

satire-eragatory-closeup-1-small_1200 la-chaise-eragatory-isaie-bloch-5-small_1200

eragatory-piar-detail-2-small_1200

But one of the project I particularly found interesting was the one called lexICON. He kind of moved from a more abstract symbol to something more architectural – until reaching a sort of composition with recognisable and non-recognisable elements :

eragatory-lexicon_in-situ_small_1200 eragatory-lexicon_small_1200

This connect surprisingly (or not) very well with Peirce’s writing ‘What is a Sign?’.

In order to define what is a sign, Peirce compares the three different type of signs with three different state of mind – both are related.

States of Mind are divided as follow :
– Feeling : state of mind in which “something is present, without compulsion and without reason” – it is just there and we can feel it (e.g. contemplating the color red)
– Reaction : ” it comes upon the breaking of one feeling by another feeling” – it is two things acting one upon another (e.g. a disturbing noise makes us cover our ears with our hands)
– Thinking : a state of being “aware of learning, or of going through a process by which a phenomenon is found to be governed by a rule” – beyond the primal reaction, we learn through analysis (e.g. the noise is related to a door, when I close the door, the noise cease; the door is then some kind of switch for the noise)

Thinking includes reaction, that includes feeling.

Then Signs operates in a similar way and it is possible to distinguish three types :
– Likeness : convey an idea through its imitation (‘itself’)
– Indication (or index) : convey an idea by pointing at it (indirectly ‘itself’)
– Symbol : convey an ideas by sharing a common understanding of a representation (understood as ‘itself’) [for instance a word such as ‘bird’ is a symbolic representation of the idea of a bird, using alphabetical character, or symbols]

Symbol includes indication, that includes likeness.

I summarised these connections in the following diagram :

diagram-peirce-01

Most fundamentally, Peirce and Bloch strangely relate as the later – consciously or not – tends to use these three conditions in his work, and I think it is particularly visible in his lexICON.

Felling/Likeness : The top part of his model (yellowish blob) can be understood a the feeling – a rather primal idea, a sensation.
Reaction/Indication : Suddenly the feeling is understood as part of an elevated interior, it is to be accessed as related to space, a universe – here present within a geometrical figure.
Thinking/Symbol : A staircase is a way to access it – having a staircase is the mean by which I can connect this interior to space, and it is an understood spatial typology of connection to higher spaces.


I will come back to all this tomorrow with the group, but these highlight some really exciting fields of investigation for me.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.