Thursday, November 13, 2008

i : Ariadnes Thread : i

I finally got a moment to re-shoot Ariadne's Thread. I created this work in 2007 and it always returns to my thoughts. I have recently been working on methods for investing memory into objects. This work was one of the first steps towards this type of object.

Among the many tales found in Greek mythology, the story of Ariadne and Theseus has always been of great interest to me. In short, Ariadne, daughter of King of Minos, gave Theseus a ball of red thread to use as he navigated his way through the labyrinth of Crete to slay the minotaur. This thread provided for Theseus a physical path that he used to retrace his steps and find passage out of the Labyrinth.

The metaphors here are many, however, those that i have found most intriguing are pointed out in the fifth chapter of Edward O. Wilson's "Consilience; The Unity of Knowledge"(1998). This chapter describes analogies between the search for knowledge and passage through the labyrinth.

In the various fields associated with problem solving, particularly logic, Ariadne's thread provides a metaphor for the search for solutions. In this field there exist Ariadne's thread programs which use algorithms designed to seek out and determine all possible solutions to the given problem, thereby mapping the bifurcating branches of a decision making process and elucidating the infrastructure of the problem analyzed. Through the application of such programs the researcher can expose and map out various solutions and then choose the most effective.

My exploration of the intersections between identity, memory, objects and the cognitive landscape derive several interesting parallels between the mythology presented here and its analogous applications. What i have been doing is working towards exposing the connections between the object and memory. I use these connections to form a mental map of my identity as it is related to the cognitive landscape. These objects mark points among the landscape effectively functioning as landmarks and thereby are used for the navigation of identity and memory. Providing landmarks for memory these objects act in part as vessels for such memory.

What is seen in this work is the object, a third of a real stone which was completed from memory, first in wax and then in glass, leaving a hollow interior space. There is then a quantity of red thread invested into and extending out of this inner space.
This thread is then tied to a cast glass finger, alluding to the moment of remembering and the search into and out of such memory. The stage for this event is provided by a century old Chinese social bench, a place where the story is shared.

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