[Research Background]   The pursuit of this research was to develop a methodology to create complex structural systems within a parametric framework and to develop a criteria for assessing and discussing their success.  They each began with a simple intention and developed through their respective processes to be far more interesting than expected.  The methodology refined by these studies mandated a practiced understanding of the material processes involved as well as a dependence on feed back from iteration.    Parametric Theory, was not assumed to be inherently linked to digital algorithmic computation, but rather an exciting theoretical framework that has tremendous analog implications as well.  It is believed that the current conflagration of computational systems has served to expose us to a world that was perhaps already inherent to us, one that can and should be pursued by a multitude of techniques and art forms.    Each of these systems began with a vague intention.  Then components and connection strategies were invented to best carry out the intention.  As material and process realities affected the assembly of the systems, new limits and opportunities arose and were evaluated against the original intention, providing added authorship potential.   Bronze Expansion Intention   To produce a layered, spherical system with a smooth exterior and a textured, structural interior.   Components   Similar to the first project, the individual components needed to embody both an exterior and interior reality. In this study, the components were created by fusing two separate parts, each with its own properties, in an effort to maximize their difference. The shapes to the right illustrate the diamond shape responsible for the exterior pattern and the structural connector designed for interior effect. Before fusion, the diamond was smoothed and rounded while the connector was folded and textured with a wire brush.   Aggregation/Mutation Strategy   This is a system of dissimilar parts with a constant connection strategy. Both the component parts and the connectors were drawn digitally, overlapped and arranged in a regular grid. The grid drawing was then mutated “photographically” with a Photoshop fish-eye filter to cause mutation. Interestingly, the actual effect this would have on the final assembly was unknown. The line drawing was printed twice and the paper sheets were embedded in two sheets of wax. The diamonds were then cut from one sheet and the connectors from the other. As the parts were compiled, they began to overlap like fish scales in an unforeseen but formally exciting turn of events. The weight of the wax caused even more distortion as the system slumped before reaching its final size.    Result   This case study pushed the parameters established by the previous study to the absolute limits.  In fact, it pushed the process to failure.  As it developed, this push, plus a number of other circumstances conspired to make it a tremendously exciting process.  During construction in wax, gravity caused a nearly catastrophic distortion to the developing aggregation.  Later, during the casting process, a combination of inadequate filling tubes and soupy molten bronze left one third of the mold cavity unfilled.  The resulting bronze piece was subsequently missing a third of the material that had been carefully constructed in wax.  Luckily, the entire structural armature was intact as were most of the more visible diamond scales.  What emerged was a piece that had more variability and “organic” behavior than intended.  The loss of material resulted in a decayed quality so it was decided to “re-grow” the missing parts with a deep amber colored resin.  These were cast according to the original wax forms and fused to the metal with epoxy resin.  The resulting finished form had an increased organic character because it was complete and the material variation had a quality of new growth.  Gravitational effects, although nearly catastrophic to the wax structure, had deformed the system, causing a more interesting exaggerated gradient as the rows of diamonds progress from small to large.  The most profound emergent property revealed itself after the piece was re-positioned several times in search of its most appropriate position for display.  Weighing nearly 60 pounds, it balanced sturdily on just 3 points in its most precarious looking orientation.  The cumulative result of these emergent properties was that the solid piece took on animated and corporeal qualities not thought possible at the beginning of the project.
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