Book: 216 pp, ISBN 978993380303
Chairs: Solid maple with nylon cord


The study of diagrams and of diagrammatic thinking is currently enjoying a revival in several different disciplines. On the one hand, there are historians of technology who emphasize visual knowledge and the role that it has played in the development of the engineering sciences (Ferguson). On the other hand, cognitive scientists have used representational modes to give their models (or their robots) problem-solving abilities. Here, too, it is the specifically visual aspect of diagrams that is emphasized, for example, the ability of geometric representations rapidly to convey to a problem-solver some of the crucial aspects defining a particular problem, and hence, to suggest possible solutions. But representational modes are descriptive and finite, closing the loop of development. Diagrams are to have no intrinsic connection with visual representation in order to enter the phase of "diagramming" as an active state of morphogenesis. Diagrams are, essentially, maps of energetic systems and abstract machines.

See Deleuze, Diagrams, and the Genesis of Form, Manuel De Landa

The basis of critique of Europe's narrative of modernity can be its simplistic view of human history as an ongoing process in constant progression towards perfection of the human ideal: a view based on its underlying belief in history as a unilinear process. For those who subscribe to this narrative of modernity, The West's privileged status as 'developed' is necessarily reliant on its antithesis - 'underdevelopment'. In other words, the West would not be modern if it had no touchstone 'other' against which it could measure its own progress. The West relies on definitions of what it considers not modern, or 'primitive,' in order to define itself as modern. 'De-centering the west' is the process in which the intimate relationship between modernity and the West becomes untangled through a dissolution of all grand narratives (particularly those which claim a universal end). Further reading, see, Corinna Mullin, Deconstructing the IR Meta-Narrative

Marx conceived the structure of every society as constituted by, primarily, the infrastructure, or economic base (productive forces), and the superstructure, which itself constants two levels: Law and State; and ideology (religious, ethical, legal, political, etc). This representation has the crucial theoretical advantage of inscribing in the theoretical apparatus its essential concepts of respective effectivity. When the structure of a society is that of an edifice of base/superstructure, a spatial metaphor, it poses that the effectiveness is reliant upon mutual dependency - the upper structure could not stay up in the air alone, and the base must exist to create the upper structure. Most important, the top is perpetually measured against or in relation to the base.
The greatest disadvantage in this is that it remains descriptive and metaphorical. It becomes a diagram that is descriptive in its form, and thus unwavering. One must consider this as a transitional period, a vague inclination of movement in order to proceed to its theoretical development. Further reading, see Louis Althusser, On the Reproduction of Capitalism, and Manuel De Landa's Diagrams and the Genesis of Form

Dances with Rhizome Pixels, Directed by Alex Zandi and Ambika Subramaniam.

The trickster as the rope-dancers buffoon. A rope, signifying man, is drawn between two towers - the material and the absolute. As the rope dancer crosses, the trickster jumps over him and knocks the dancer of the rope, sending him into the abyss below. The trickster does not play the role of the devil in myths. In fact, a strict division into benevolent God and malevolent devil is more characteristic of the Christian tradition. Instead, the traditional trickster is perceived as an ambivalent creature: he is...

"at one and the same time creator and destroyer, giver and negator...He knows neither good nor evil yet he is responsible for both...he embodies and enacts that large portion of our experience where good and evil are hopelessly intertwined." Paul Radin, The Trickster 1956

Splitting such material into one gest after another, the actor masters his character by first mastering the "story". It is only after walking all round the entire episode that he can, as it were by a single leap, seize and fix his character, complete with all its individual features. Once he has done his best to let himself be amazed by the inconsistencies in its various attitudes, knowing that he will in turn have to make them amaze the audience, then the story as a whole gives him a change to pull the inconsistencies together; for the story, being a limited episode, has a specific sense, i.e. only gratifies a specific fraction of all the interests that could arise.

Bertolt Brecht, Brecht On Theatre: 1947-1948