Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Zach Touchon - Asemic Writing

Zach Touchon, Los Angeles, California - Asemic Writing - ink on paper - zachtouchon.com


Risk One: Never get out there; can't find the wilderness. The Risk of Stagnation.
Risk two: Never come back; lost in the wilderness. The Risk of Insanity.
Risk three: Go full circle (and take audience with). The risk of Completion. (Evan Parker )

Some thoughts on improvisational drawing, motor control and paradox.

Common coding theory states that perception and production are generally coupled in the motor system,
It suggests for instance that  people perceive spoken words by identifying the vocal tract gestures with which they are pronounced rather than by identifying the sound patterns that speech generates.

Assuming that perception and production are linked in this way; How does  paradox manifest itself in the motor system?

The muscular system exists of antagonist(stretching) and agonist (bending) muscles
A paradoxical instruction could co-activate antagonistic muscles and create a freeze or immobilisation of the limbs.

What kind of effect might this co-activating of antagonistic muscles have on  free or improvisational drawing?

1.EVERSIVE (escaping completion)
Antagonists (quadriceps and the hamstrings)  are simultaneously active when you arise from sitting.
This co-activation of two antagonistic muscles is known as Lombard's paradox.
The limbs don’t freeze because the extensor moment  exceeds the flexor moment..
Here  paradox brings about a fundamental change (from a passive to an active state).
So if a drawing based on  instruction or method ends up in a passive state after it went ‘full circle’ the paradox could maybe offer some kind of escape.

2.INVERSIVE (back from the wilderness)
Blocking the wrist shifts movement control back to the elbow,
 freezing elbow and wrist shifts it to the shoulder etc..
Consider this quote from Greogory Bateson; “Ashby has added a new facet in pointing out that to prevent change in the superficial variables is to promote change in the more profound.”(Bateson, G., Bateson, MC. (1988). Angels Fear:)
Freezing the wrist when drawing will probably result in decreasing variables of a line, and thereby  automatically direct attention towards a more basic or fundamental pattern.


( + ) active muscle
( _ ) relaxed muscle
+_antagonist, _+agonist

+antagonist, +antagonist

(escape completion)