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Mechanized Culturalism

Invited Distinguished Professor:

Patrick Danahy


Gabriel Esquivel,  Studio Professor

Teaching Assistant: Shane Bugni.

Texas A&M University


Team: Sahil Shah, Ryan Hartfield and Sami Guzman.

The world has existed as an unstable assemblage of objects, all operating in different planes of ontology. Through time and epistemological materiality, the perception of objects have been overtly linked to their symbols through human-centered perception. Such implications begin to skew territorial localization through surface tensions between matter. The emulsified machine constructs a solidified ontological state to preserve the
ontography of the assemblage.


Through the creation of nondiscriminatory materiality, a conditional boundary begins to oscillate upon the perceptual surface. These boundaries allocate an interstitial space that allows for a speculation of the ontological state of matter. Blurring the lines of where material reality begins and ends allows for the reassessment of an object’s orientation within an assemblage. Such an assessment is not deterministic of what belongs and
what does not, instead it suggests interchangeability of moment-based materiality.

Through the loose linkage of any perceivable boundary, stability of the assemblage disconnects from any allocated matter-based structural territorialization, instead an emulsive solution is integrated. Through the inherent immiscibility of materiality within an assemblage, there lies a divide between the internal phase and external phase of material dispersion. Within this divide, the reactivity of material catalyzes moments of
tensional engagement. Emulsion of materiality is apparent within complex assemblages and requires a stable form of intervention to implicate primitive visuality. As Bruno Latour stated, “The world… is a vast ocean of uncertainties speckled by a few islands of calibrated stabilized forms”

As interventionists within the material world, as other objects are as well, it is our responsibility to maintain compositional form within the emulsified realms of assembly. Termed as the surfactant, an object can access the phase-based solution of assemblages and act upon the uncertainties exposed by the collisional nature of the emulsified to administer stability between exteriority and interiority. Viewing exterior
actants as entelechial objects that allow for a dynamic deposition of properties within the emulsion. The non-uniformity of the modularity allows for a deterritorialized order thus, creating a web surrounding the centralization of assemblage. Activating the entanglement of two phases through the reduction of surface detachments allows for emergence of properties unknown to the initial orientation of matter. The emergence is the provocative force that is the underlying synthesis of object definition. However, that is not to say that an object is ever semantically “complete”. As seen by Michelangelo’s Slaves the incompleteness of symbolic figural conception instead implies possible emergence of a deeper completeness unbound by the end of the perceivable object. Even as matter takes on passivity through its staticity, there lies something vital within its being.

Emergence is key to the preservation of an object's temporality through its discreteness. Although actants may exchange parts from an assemblage, there will never be a death of the aggregation of object-based form. Instead the things in of themselves, may seek to deterritorialize and warp the boundaries that define the actualization between one another. Without such conditions an object remains stagnant and fragile, waiting to be
undiscovered. Retaining authenticity of the object is essential for the ability to assimilate and maintain epistemological records of individuality. Through the emergence of properties unique to the assemblages that activate the material world, temporality of objects can be reinforced and maintained free from an egocentric world.


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