Analogies are mechanisms that allow categorization to happen. They surface in our brains with no purpose and they appear to rapidly go away. We find analogies everywhere, when we perceive a common essence between two or more things, when external impulses trigger associations in relation to our memories, our ideas and interests.
Creating random paths in our intellectual mesh, "analogies are our interstate freeways of cognition", therefore, I will use them to think through this project, and bring together concepts that may seem to come from dissimilar places. I aim to build new superhighways in my brain as well as in the brains of others who follow these ideas.
Multiple Dimensions are to Space as this Project is to the AEIVA Building.
I denote this project to be a "multilayered project" because I am interested in achieving a holistic and trans-disciplinary vision of art. The project will be a major endeavor that will involve education, large-scale installation, researching, writing, conceptualizing, and art production. It will involve collaboration, the study of architecture and contemporary art, and the relationship between art and science. The final outcome will conclude in an immersive environment that will host different events, bringing people together to experience unconventional sensations, enabling a new encounter with reality.
My first approach to the idea of multidimensional space comes from the understanding of higher geometry. In 1884, Edwin Abbot wrote Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, a satirical novel that illustrates how a higher dimension can be viewed and understood from a lower dimension (1). Once one starts to understand the possibility of higher dimensions, a world of endless possibilities and unseen realities become conceivable.
I like to think of space in opposite ways. On the one hand, there is what I call the hard-edge, physical space: a brain, a building, a country, a planet, the cosmos, amongst many other examples. On the other hand, I see space as a dynamic fluid, as an abstract, intangible filler that exists in, between, over, before, during, and after the hard-edge space. The dynamic space inhabits the physical space: an idea, sensations and feelings, sociological patterns, human behavior, and the expansion of the universe respectively.
Along those lines, this project aims to act as a higher-dimensional model where, teaching and art production will work as the dynamic space that will inhabit the hard-edge space provided by the building of the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA), designed by the Architect Randall Stout.
Since the building itself is the starting point for the conceptualization of this proposal, architecture will be at the core of the formulation of my ideas. I will think of architecture in an expanded way, as the platform that will hold this project together, and as a fundamental structural form that speaks of connectivity, networks and fabrics of different sorts.
The Tower of Ideas: The City of Codification
I am interested in the notion of the building, or the tower, as a solid standing element supported by central columns and beams. The same way as a theory is, the tower is a statement, a connected assembly linked within its components. Namely, the theory is a structure of ideas, and no matter how true or false they are, if they are built with caution, the theory withstands like a building. I am an advocate of the construction of theories, and a true believer in the power of ideas.
A tower of ideas, just like a building, belongs to a much larger space, the space of the totality of human knowledge and the urban space respectively. We can now think of the Internet as a parallel to the city, where most of human knowledge flows in a mega structure of distributed networks. Shopping, dating, traveling, working, everything we know to be characteristic of a contemporary city has been codified. A mirrored virtual image of the “outside” has been created inside our computing machines. Even the ways our cities are planned seem to correlate to the structure of a motherboard. Paul Virilio, in The Information Bomb, addresses the notion that the Internet is a virtual city. He describes it as a cyber-continent, as a "rhizomatic universe with no authorities, with no head". This comparison between the city and technological advancements can also be observed in SUPERSTUDIO's Ninth City from 1971, whose conception I would like to compare to the way we live in the information age:
"This is an extremely efficient city, it's a mechanical city. It generates itself for the good of the inhabitants. The inhabitants live in the machine endlessly dragged along by conveyor belts, by chutes and pneumatic tubes from the time of birth to the time of death. The machine takes care of everything, along with the innumerable routes that intersect, unite and divide, according to the incomprehensible programming of the machine. The inhabitants find food and fear, sleep and joy, sex and hope, death and anger, sometimes also rebellion; but they know very well that if they get off the obligatory routes established by the machine, they will inevitably be crushed by it's machinery."
Is this dystopian conception of the city realistic when we think of the "routes of the machine" as systems of thought imposed by the status quo? Can we build towers of ideas, little buildings within the system that influence the overall output of the cyber-continent on our daily lives?
Creating as a Blending Machine
This project is written in support of practices that insist in the idea that art, science, and philosophy, address the same fundamental notions in different languages. These three main branches of knowledge can come together into a multidisciplinary approach to be merged into a comprehensible vision of information as a whole.
 Abbot describes the two-dimensional world of the "Flatlanders" who suddenly are visited by a higher-dimensional creature, a sphere. It explains how a flatlander (a two-dimensional creature living in a plane) perceives the sphere as it crosses its two dimensional field; as a dot that turns into a flat circle that appears to grow, then to shrink to finally disappear. This visualization opens possibilities for us to imagine how we would perceive a fourth-dimensional object from our three-dimensional perspective.