News & Events

SMRN monthly meeting of January 30, 2022

On January 30, 2022, SMRN had another inspiring meeting with a group of members including Steven Baris, Millie Chen, Çigdem Borucu, Nina Czegledy, Nezih Erdogan, Lynn Marie Kirby, Laura Marks, Radek Przedpełski, Kalpana Subramanian, Somayeh Khakshoor, Mena El Shazly, Delinda Collier, J.R. Osborn, and our guest presenter Evan Barba.

During this meeting, J.R. Osborn and his colleague Evan Barba presented the research they have been involved in for the last few years, titled The Book of Iteration. Dr. J.R. Osborn and Dr. Evan Barba who are the co-directors of CCT Tech and Design Studio at Georgetown University came up with the idea while trying to find ways for developing more meaningful feedback for their students on their projects. The Book of Iteration is a field guide that reinterprets the Chinese Classic the I Ching (or The Book of Changes) as a design reference for students and professionals in any creative industry. 

Following the basic structure of the I Ching, J.R. and Evan first examined the 8 trigrams of the I Ching closely and then translated them into the basic concepts that could describe any iterative design processes. After that, they applied this basic lexicon to the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching to show design tensions at any moment. By translating a text like I Ching, not only from Chinese but also into design terms, J.R. and Evan try to look at the design languages outside of the Eurocentric canon and achieve a more cross-cultural and international discussion in this field. Although their research was initially done to enhance the creativity of their design students in class, what they finally achieved seems to be a very strong tool that can be used during any iterative creative process. 

After the presentation a very engaging discussion took place and the participants showed enthusiastic responses and seemed to be inspired to use this tool in their own fields; the participants also gave helpful feedback and presented thought-provoking questions.

In the second half of the meeting, Radek Przedpelski gave his esoteric and performative presentation titled “Mountain of Art” around geology, sacred mountains, and art. 

Radek’s presentation was mainly on his artistic project on Outer Carpathians seeking to find alternative ways other than science to approach geological deep time. During his presentation, he was weaving in personal recollections of intimate encounters with a boulder range in the Outer Carpathians (the rock formation that translates in English as "Women-weavers Rock"), small-file video interventions, maps of Turkic nomadic incursions into the Carpathian Basin in the early Middle Ages, as well as obscure art theory from Polish People's Republic in the 1970s in the form of wild and esoteric diagrams meditating on the vision of art as energetic transformations happening straddling linear time. 

The central part of Radek’s project consists of a video filled with mesmerizing improvised geological poetry. The video is presented with another series of poems that he has created out of crude geological descriptions of the rocks along with woven texts made out of his favourite quotations from Jerzy Ludwiński. His artistic project Urrival—Prządki Geopoems can be found here.

The feedback that Radek received was very encouraging. While the participants seemed intoxicated by the poetry of his lecture, he was advised to also examine the ostensible stillness and fixity of the mountain as actually opening up to invisible energetic transformations.