Wednesday, 5 December 2018

From Topology to Holograms

There's a missing link in my thinking. On the one hand I am seeing holistic approaches to organisation as in Beer's work (in fact most cybernetic approaches are holistic) in a topological way. On the other hand, I am concerned with the fractal encoding of nature in things like holograms, where time and space are enfolded (this comes from Bohm).

The topology side reveals forms like the Mobius strip, trefoil knot, hexaflexagon, etc, where re-entry (which is something I'd not properly understood until quite recently) is a feature of a whole form. The connection with eroticism which I mentioned in my last post is something that puts a new dimension on this - a connection to lived experience, and perhaps psychological dynamics such as the double-bind. More than anything, I find this a productive way of thinking about profound questions such as "what drives the bee towards the flower, or the sperm towards the egg?"

Topologies enfold time in a peculiar way. We have to pass over them to understand them. They are structured space (synchronic), but the time of diachronic exploration is implicit in them.

But a topology is not an encoding - it is a manifest space. However, a topology can be encoded as a hologram.

Whilst a geometric form like a trefoil knot plays with space, music plays with time. The way in which music's playing with time might be encoded is the critical issue. I think this works according to the same principle as an object's encoding of space. Actually, in the case of a hologram, space and time are implicated in both, because a hologram is formed through the interference patterns of light, which implicates frequency, and in turn, time.

Music's interference pattern involves the interactions of redundancies or constraints. It's not just music - it's any diachronic process which involves this... learning and conversation are exactly the same. But where is the connection between the hologram's encoding of space and music's encoding of time?

A holographic encoding combines not only all dimensions - time and space are two of them (but we should also consider mass and charge since these also participate in the interference in light) - but is also able to represent the relation between these different dimensions in different ways. Aesthetic experience relies on this multiplicity of decodings of a hologram: we can be moved in similar ways by Beethoven, Shakespeare and Picasso. They all express something fundamental about the universe.

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