brian carroll <email@example.com>
Sun, 10 Apr 2005 22:44:11 -0500
what Steve brought up about short-circuits happens to
be what i had just been working on in the sculpture so
i am going to briefly describe the idea here. the 'crown
of thorns' was originally on a plain black mannequin head
yet the idea of an update of this symbolism was not being
carried just by the crown itself, which was a one-liner,
and made electronics decoration. some original photos:
earlier version without mannequin electronics circuit...
vs. electromagnetic crown of thorns. 4/2005.
mannequin stand with electronics symbols.
i prefer the object as presented in these photos, though
the idea was not achieved so i went further as to what
such a crown of electronic thorns (LEDs=blood) might be
considered as, in relation to the human crown/head...
and it is the idea of a short-circuit which, like the
crown of thorns in its religious and symbolic dimension,
start to create a context if seeing the human as being
electromagnetic (it is now becoming the health paradigm,
such as with mind-body research in neurology and electro-
physiology, 'the body electric', etc.) so too with all of
the conceptualizations by doctors and researchers about
how these systems work and interact, they are electronic
and electrochemical and electromagnetic, (thus, optics
in the eye interact with the brain as electric signals)
and these many events are being tied together into one
model of a connected being (mind and body) -- yet the
ideas of disease, of mental illness even, where there
is a threat-model to the mind, sick minds, etc. it is
similar to the idea of circuitry-- where something is
not working correctly and needs to be fixed/tweaked.
(reference to prescription and drug experimentations
would go here). the idea of the human as a circuit, in
particular, the mind as a circuit, then, would have as
a 'crown of thorns' a specific symbolic burden of going
into this circuit and start breaking the patterns of
how it works, that this halo of wires would start to
short-out and cause spikes and surges in the electrical
storms that is human consciousness as it is activated.
Definitions of short circuit on the Web:
wikipedia: A short circuit (sometimes known as simply a short) is a
fault whereby electricity moves through a circuit in an unintended
path, usually due to a connection forming where none was expected. This
unintended path often has a very low resistance which means that a much
larger current than normal flows, potentially causing overheating, fire
this is to say that parts of a circuit (in the human
brain/mind/thoughts/paths of connection) are suddenly
juxtaposed or placed in relation to others that may
change the nature of the circuity, cause malfunctions
or may transcend the original design, maybe even to
evolve in some ways, new circuitry. so much of these
types of concepts already exist in the medical field,
in psychiatry, in drug development, conceptualizations
of the mind, how it works, and also popular conception.
there's something about music that to me says it best,
and it is a connection that can be found in the DIY
people who are taking old electronics toys and making
them into music instruments by a process that is called
'circuit bending'. basically, they do the same thing
this crown would be doing, on a circuit board/map, yet
it is purposeful to make music by altering/changing
the nature of the device by adding a wire here and
connecting it there, bypassing and short-circuiting
one thing to make another thing possible. thus, the
crown could be considered a type of circuit bending,
for better and ill, a type of condition for an age
where everything is based on such interactions of
electromagnetism, and yet it is not even understood
as being relevant to the issues in a larger context,
that is, everything is discreet, there is no larger
circuit/paradigm which places things in relation to
other things- directly the opposite of traditional
views & dogmas no longer able to divide and conquer.
for instance, the idea of circuits (hardware and
software, there is a fluid continuum between math-
matics and code and electronics in this area, too)
has been researched in terms of human relationships,
and how successful relationships evolve: it is said
to be the balancing of circuits of one person with
the circuits of another person, where the two sets
are able to complement, extend, and change another
and then work as a single unit. (news story months
ago, from 'nature' i think it was). point being that
human interactions, individuals and groups, could be
also 'short-circuiting' in the way of relating and
functioning as is needed or desired (say, 'utopic
circuit' by some grand circuit designer) and then
the bugs in the way things actually turn out to
work, anomalies, etc... though also refinements,
changes, optimizing, learning, and evolutions.
if understanding a small book i finished today,
an antenna basically works on the idea of short-
circuiting a transmission line, to send out EM
radiation-waves, and also to capture such waves.
maybe the short circuits are 'reverse-salients'
in some ways, opportunities/places to optimize,
maybe it is what is behind the life force which
presses on, and changes, over the millennia, too.
circuitry must change, for example, in thinking
for anything to happen that is new or different.
this is why 'closed minds' & closed-circuits are
similar, it would seem, as open-minds which are
able to connect with other open-circuits, say.
as a footnote to the idea of short-circuits and
this crown of thorns, then, is that the symbol
dictionaries i use reference a 'crown of thorns'
and thorns in particular in relation to the cross,
and here are some quotes that may be related to
the idea of the mind-as-a-circuit and individual
and group circuitry of many working as if one....
* '...the crown is is the visible sign of success,
of 'crowning', whose significance reaches beyond
the act to the person who performed it. At first,
crowns were made out of the limbs of trees in
general and of some trees in particular.' ...
Books on alchemy also stress the affirmative and
sublimating sense of the crown. In ~Margarita
~pretiosa, the six base metals are first shown
as slaves, with their uncovered heads bowed low
towards the feet of the 'king' (that is, gold);
but, after their transmutation, they are depicted
wearing crowns on their heads. This 'transmutation'
is a symbol of spiritual evolution whose decisive
characteristic is the victory of the higher principle
over the base principle of the instincts. That is why
Jung concludes that the radiant crown is the symbol
~par ~excellence of reaching the highest goal in
evolution: for s|he who conquers him|her-self wins
the crown of eternal life (31). p.69 j.e. cirlot,
a dictionary of symbols
* thorn: ...related to the world-axis, and therefore
the cross. The thorn on the rose-bush helps to
emphasize the counterpoise or 'conjunction' between
thesis and antithesis, that is, between the ideas
of existence and non-existence, ecstasy and anguish,
pleasure and pain; this again is related to the
symbolism of the cross. The crown of thorns adds to
the basic symbolism of the thorn the evil character-
istics of all things multiple and also the cosmic
symbolism of the circle (by virtue of the shape of
the crown). p.323 j.e. cirlot, a dictionary of symbols
* thorn: it is a symbol of difficulty, obstacles,
and suffering. -- ...In Christian graphic and plastic
art, a thorn branch wound about a skull symbolizes
eternal damnation. -- Christ's ~crown~of~thorns is
both a symbol of suffering and of ridicule...
p.195, Herder Dictionary of Symbols
in the post to follow, I am going to attempt to
clarify about the overlap between the religious
and non-religious aspects, and yet some information
is related to religious symbolism (crown of thorns)
though placed within a secular context, or so it is
proposed, as a way to communicate ideas with certain
meaning that may be otherwise impossible to convey.
thus, a post about 'crucifixion' will soon follow
which will attempt to address this basic condition
between public & private meanings of such symbols.
the electronetwork-list: electromagnetism and culture...