Saturday, March 28, 2009

The accerlation of form

If form, like language is a result from the form that surrounds it, from the people who have to technically create it, or reproduce it, then at what point do we consider form to have a life of its own? Form then becomes not a static, stationary single act of individual creation, but a social act. Form produces itself. In one since it is analogous to the "standing on the shoulders of giants" metaphor for the progression of science and philosophy.
Seen this way, we can speak of slow form and accelerated form. Slow form is that which because of the technology or culture which surround it, make it singular in nature and hard to reproduce. If only the exceptionally gifted villager can make it, or it exists in a location where only a few people can see it, then it can only affect the forms which surround it in a limited way. It may impress in a tangential way, but will be seen as a rarity. This is also true if for cultural reasons the surrounding form ignores it (a good example of this is the introduction and subsequent rejection of linear perspective in 17th century China).
Accelerated form on the other hand is widely seen, and easily produced. It rapidly affects form, and is affected by it. It tends to be both short lived and paradoxically cyclical, or re-accruing. Accelerated form, is almost by definition, modern form, specifically machine-age form, mass-produced in the thousands and disseminated across a wide area.
In the age of the computer we have reached a new stage of form, fast form, or virtual form.