Much effort has gone into studying forms and patterns common in the natural world. From the early formation of the Golden Ratio, to the contemporary complex algorithms of genetics and the fractals of the Mandelbrot Set, similar patterns have been achieved through mathematical abstraction. However, there are still questions that remain beyond the mathematical analysis and simulation of naturally occurring patterns. What is the significance of these patterns and how do they relate to the organization, function and continuation of life? The simple act of asking such questions sets up a recursive pattern in itself. Used as the recursive process in thought/action, the continual asking of a sequence of questions with an enactive response of articulate answers, would lead to a greater probability for the emergence of new patterns from the stream of one’s habits of thought and behavior. The open-ended possibilities are applicable to all domains of human culture and pertain particularly to creativity in artistic action. This is embodied in the concept of the aesthetical imperative where it is simply stated, “if you desire to see, learn how to act”(von Foerster). This method of seeing then becomes a matter of observation. In the modern sense, observation connotes a removed objectivity, with a distinct separation between the observer and the observed. But indeed observation is an act of perception within multiple systems of biological and social domains in dynamic, evolutionary movement, where the object and observer interact in continual dialogue. As an artist working in this creative “mode” the result of such a dialogue is made evident by the phenomenon of sound. When used as a medium, sound is the carrier of meaning, signifying a relationship between the material forms of nature and what is perceived in the act of listening. In this way, sound animates the world through ones perceptual abilities and interactions, or dialogs with chosen sources such as, acoustic objects, original ‘instrument’ devices or modified electronics. In the process of creative action, the artist, as sound instigator and manipulator, relies on the contingent factors of continual discovery, forming the seeds of new ideas to actualize in compositional, installation and performance constructions. In an audio environment, I encourage the listener as creative observer to become immersed in the unfolding process of sound, seeking solace in new realms of sensory articulation.
john grzinich : spring 1999