Variations Unlimited Sequence
Variations of Unlimited Sequence is an examination of how patterns of perception and recognition are developed and supported in our world of fabricated structures and schedules. Considering these built constructs are repeated manifestations of essentially the same simple elements, we can draw a conclusion that our response to place is a response to patterns. The more similar the structures, the more it enforces our reaction, conscious or unconscious, and informs our definition of a particular place. My hypothesis is that each one of us has an inherent influence on these structures and environments in reverse. How we influence the world of patterns around us may be just as important as its influence on us.
Invisible Cities, a work of fiction by Italo Calvino, informed much of the work in this exhibition. In the book, Calvino takes poetic license to describe a visitor’s perceptive experience while traveling in unknown cities. Though many of the descriptions are impractical, improbable, and impossible, they depict places with atmosphere, attitudes and activity, each with a specific theme and distinct pattern. The visitor seems to have superior knowledge about each city and is able to explain the inhabitants’ behaviors as well as the purpose for each place. Each city contains all the same elements - dweller, habitats, and activities - but each one is unique in its set of patterns, which makes it distinct, impressionable, and categorical.
The patterns represented in Calvino’s book are merely a surface examination of a fictitious world. Through their descriptions, he points out human tendencies, escalating them until they define a specific city. These patterns, whether absurd or mundane, are the separating factor between place, giving each one a unique identity and a guidebook for understandable navigation. It points to the world outside of fiction as well, lending us the idea that our perceived patterns may be directing our interaction with real world structures.
If the communities in Calvino’s book depicted our non-fiction world, then our responses to established constructs, even a mundane and insignificant place, could influence its future. This influence could rearrange the patterns of these constructs and thereby alter our patterns of behavior in response, indicating a permanently shifting symbiotic relationship.