Friday, August 22, 2008

Sculpture: a step nearer completion

Turns out the last revisions I made to my sculpture design were far from final. I've added the BODY/SOUL ambigram and made them alternate with the MEME/GENE ones. Ultimately I'd like to have them transform from MEME/GENE at the top, go through the nearly illegible one that says all four, to BODY/SOUL in the middle, then back through MEME/GENE at the bottom. That means I need to do a whole bunch of unique rungs, though, so I'll have to work on it gradually.
I also included the shadow-casters on the ends of the ambigram rungs. They are, at this point, blank. Partially because of the time needed to do all that cutting, and partially because I haven't fully decided what I want the projected message to be!

(check out the original conception of this project here, and a detailed description of what I'm the symbolism I'm intending in the second half of this post)


Mark said...

This is an amazing project.

But...what do MEME/GENE have to do with BODY/SOUL?

I would think with such an intimate connection between the words (one set even turning INTO another), there should be some kind of metaphor for that transition.

If they are completely unrelated, you might try some other words that have a cool connection (Good/Bad, Life/Death, Love/Hate... that sort of thing).

You can always try out some ambigrams over at to see what you can come up with.

TJ Murphy said...


Thank you sir, I appreciate the compliment and the question! And indeed, I do intend to imply an intimate connection between the word with the transformation.

Consider: Memes and genes are sort of analog opposites, as are bodies and souls. You could call them "inversely" related. This is represented by displaying the words as an inversion ambigrams

To extend the metaphore: Genes are the foundations of bodies, this much is obvious. One could say that they are "directly" related. Now with a little imagination, a willingness to conflate "soul" with "mind," and an understanding of what Memes are supposed to be, you could call memes the foundation of souls in the same way that genes are the foundation of bodies.

Regarding the transformation from one to the next (to be added later): what I'm trying to represent there is the circular influence that each of the concepts have on each other. There's a level-distinction between genes and bodies; genes act selfishly to accomplish their own replication and may drive actions that aren't particularly healthy for the body, but the body as an emergent system can act on new agendas and influence the spread of the genes. Same logic can be used on memes and souls, as well as cross-wise relationships between memes and genes; bodies and souls.

Thanks for the link to the flip script site, is it yours? I would be interested to hear how business on that site is going.

TJ Murphy said...


One additional bit of intended analogy: the four ambigrams each begin with a unigue letter: M, G, S, B. They are arranged on the inside of a helix, so the connection to the DNA bases ( A, C, G, T) aught to be unavoidable.