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I imagine that the ‘origin’ is some thing very similar to the ‘idea’ (that is to say to the ‘idea’ in art).

I imagine that the ‘fundamental’ is some thing very similar to an essence, to the essence of what art is, how it works and so on.

This is slightly dissimilar to what you suggest, but the distinction between, on the one hand, the ‘arrival’ of some thing and, on the other hand the ‘discovery’ of some thing has essentially this same distinction.

origin - verb-idea -arrival- forwards or upwards

fundamentals - noun - essence - discovery - backwards/downwards …

something original is a template for something else to result from it, to build on it.

it is a starting point, something fundamental a finishing point.

Something original is not necessarily fundamental - it can be a starting point as if out of nowhere, 

whereas fundamental is connected to the history of a search.



There is a sense in this description that one element of this pair is a building upwards, while the other element is a digging downwards.  (A nice distinction between up and down, in fact, and two quite separate processes).  The original is some thing which is later ‘built on,’ both chronologically and physically and that process can continue forever.  The fundamental is reached and there is nothing beyond it, no more digging will be useful.  The digging process has to stop.  That might suggest that the original is obscured in some way by what comes afterwards and is dependent upon it, whether these are things produced by the same artist, or by others.  The original is weakened by later versions.  That which is fundamental does not suffer the same fate.  It remains ‘exposed.’  It remains strong.

I think the original is what it is - it does not get 'weakened' - it does remain identifiable and separate. What develops 'on top of' or from the original is a history, a development, just as the history of reaching fundamentals is separate from the fundamentals themselves.

Does this mean that the history of reaching fundamentals can be considered their origin?

Do the fundamentals originate in the process of 'digging down' ? In how far are they developed and produced by this process itself? Where is the origin of fundamentals? 'Fundamentals' as a kind of illusion, nothing in themselves, but really only the limit which the search/ the history at which one does not know how to go further ( which does not rule out that it should be possible to go further at a later stage- we do not know whether there is a final limit -would such a final limit be = the origin?

Fundamentals seems to be more closely related to pur psyche, our thought processes themselves, whereas 'origin' is something that is perceived as coming from outside of our own psychic processing.

'Origin' as something disconnected from oneself.

Fundamentals are something that is only possible through myself, through the history that I write to reach my limit.

The finding of fundamentals is less mysterious - we chose a starting point by analysing a thing or situation and then start to 'dig down'.The fundamental is reached and developed - NOT discovered

Here we are already working with and within our world-perception itself.

But the origin, linked to the idea of archetypes, is not born by wilful and intellectual analysis. It simply is - it arrives without our involvement. 


"The process of the artist’s arrival at the “found,’ or the ‘reached¯’ can appear to be exactly the same as far as others are concerned.  The presence of a fundamental, amongst all of these originals, might not be apparent." - It would be a real achievement to make this distinction visible through ones work. This plays a driving role in all of my thoughts regarding the 'sculptures' made out of rounded or square lines. The work should become an embodiment of this distinction.


"Here again were have the difference between a verb and a noun.  The original can be made to work, to go into action, to produce replicas of itself, to unfold, and so on, while the fundamental remains resolutely what it is - a noun form - and one which leads only to… the bare exposure of a conclusion.  (A truth)."

Yes, the bare exposure of a conclusion (a developed truth= logic itself, a logcal process).

But the fundamental can never be a final limit that we can claim to have stablished with absolute certainty - it can still, at a later stage , be moved.


"Oddly the ‘fundamental’ (or ‘foundational’) should, logically, provide the basis upon which to build some thing later.  (To ‘go up’).  But it does not have this ‘flow’ quality that the origin has.  It lacks a verb."

The words here are confusing. We can use the word 'foundational' to speak of the origin- the origin being foundational for what follows. This is essentially different from 'fundamentals'. When using these words one must consider the direction they are heading in.


Careful when mixing 'fundamental' and 'fundamentals'! In my work fundamentals is, or are, something I start to ... as a result of considering a thing. They seem to be arrived at through the consideration of objects, rather than ideas. When considering (our perception of) things they can be split into parts - parts lead to fundamentals.

A thing that cannot be split into many parts/ a thing that is perhaps even only made up of one part, seems therefore closer to an 'idea'.

When reaching a fundamental level this says as much about the parts of the physical thing as it says about the limit of our thought process/ understanding.


Fundamentals' are found by a searching, analysing  mind. One goes looking for fundamentals. 

Origins 'arrive', they are found without a search. Origins are found to exist independent of the mind, fundamentals are dependent on the mind..

I can 'find' an 'original shape' - the shape about the origin of a shape.

I can then analyse this shape - begin the history of my search for what makes up this original shape,

I can reduce it to parts which at some point seem irreducible. These are fundamentals. I have stripped the thing down to its constituents.

The origin, despite being this very first virgin thing, can turn out to be made of parts - and to have in this sense a history.

Irreducible parts must be considered to be fundamentals.



The fundamental is underneath, or behind, the origin, or the origin is made up of parts which themselves are fundamental.

The origin appears to be one thing, but it can fragment under examination.

The origin is essentially fragile in nature.

But origin is always identifiable. It is pre-supposed. It occupies a clear point which does not shift; we may add aspects on either side of it , but its position or identity does not shift whereas fudnamntals can shift.



“These constituents / fundamentals are not exemplary. They have reached a limit in a 'backwards' sense.

For something to be exemplary it needs to be original, essentially 'forward' in direction, 

like 'The Original Shape' is exemplary of the search itself for an original shape.

"Forward' in the sense of a use. 

Exemplary is something general that can be used - used again.

Exemplary implies use.

Fundamentals are parts,

an origin is wholeness.

Fundamentals are not exemplary - they are not something general that could be put to a use - they are merely parts. 

Parts are not something general.”



"Yes, that is right.  The status of the fundamental (a noun-status) is actually quite awkward when compared to the origin.  It does not ‘produce.’  It is a ‘fact.’  It does not lead us to other facts, for example.  One does not ‘do’ some thing with it and yet it has a value.  (Perhaps its real value lies only in its discovery and not in anything else).

However, the standard metre bar is also a fact in the same sense.  It remains curiously, and importantly, separate from all the rulers which are all ultimately derived from it.  It has a use only in the sense that it ‘exists as a fact.’  (Archetype ?).  The qualities it has, such as its remoteness, isolation and so on, allow it to function not quite as some thing exemplary, but as a kind of continuous, ubiquitous fact which is always lying at a distance from the everyday facts of the world.  That it occupies this plane might be exemplary in itself, but at the same time its occupancy of that plane renders it unable to contribute to a ‘next stage.’"

The archetype question here is difficult...the meter bar can be considered as separate from gravity, which is odd. What is original, what is fundamental, is almost impossible to determine in an object which is almost identical with a force or quality of spacetime. Its thing-ness makes this force which acts on everything visible - it sort of isolates it, it is set apart from every other thing on which gravity also acts, but these other things (apart from water itself) do not isolate this force- the meter bar physically visualises a purely abstract ides of something essentially physical. It is not, as a thing, a fundamental - not arrived at as the result of the analysis of a thing, but the analysis of a force affecting everything. It is the visualisation of something invisible that has physical consequences."gravity" as the frame itself of our understanding of physical processes-'gravity' as an idea-'gravity' as the origin. But it first of all is, it is with us in a physical way that does not require questioning (W's hinge beliefs). These are not ideas... an archetype is an original image...



For something to be general (and hence exemplary) it has to be whole, it has to have the 'character' of a wholeness to it.



"Yes, but what is it which allows us to know that there could be, in certain cases, this very wholeness ?  We would need to have a sense of the ‘edges’ of this, of its isolation from anything else, of its limits (and its limitations).  To understand these limits is precisely to understand this ‘less.’  " Exactly. THIS is teh excercise of teh work: what alloes us to speak o wholeness? Wholeness and origin seem identical. Liek teh edges of a loop (of a rounded line), a completely self-referential unit and limit, isolated, featureless, but able to take on any shape. A straight line with two ends is 'more'; a loop is teh most reduced sghape - origin and a fundamental at once.





Complexity comes from there being 'less', from there being less parts, less detail, or even none).  


(I am suggesting that isolation is also a quality which is required, but I am not sure why I feel that to be the case.  Isolation is not just a question of some thing having clearly defined boundaries… and thus being easy to perceive - at least in a sense.  By isolation I really mean a uniqueness, an inability to compare this thing here with that thing there and so on.  Some thing which does not operate… does not ‘work,’ does not function).

(I see a completely ‘static’ quality in almost all of my projects).


There is also some thing confrontational in this.  Not deliberately confrontational, but in the sense that the audience is confronted with some thing - a fait accompli, in effect.  (There is no English word ! ).  It should, logically, be that any art work would have this character - this is what the artist has chosen to do and here you are looking at it - but so often I think ‘this is the wrong scale, or the wrong materials, or it is presented in the wrong way’ and so on.  The work lacks inevitability, in fact.  The fundamental should not lack inevitability.  Inevitability should be its clearest characteristic.  It should announce that this is the only way it could possibly be.




“'exemplary' belongs to 'origins', not 'fundamentals'. ('fundamental' is different from 'fundamentals' - 'fundamental' actually belongs to 'origin' )

"to label something exemplary is to label it as standard is to label it as original is to say that it can be used.

But this kind of 'exemplary' is not linked to ambition.

There seem to be two kinds of 'exemplary' (yet both contained in this same word) - one is 'ambitious' and is linked to the search for fundamentals.

Yet the general 'exemplary' linked to 'origin' only reflects the origin and there is a complete absence of any notion of 'ambition', but there is mere 'emergence'.

(So the confusion here seems to come more from 'exemplary' and its different applications, rather than from 'ambition' being applied to something 'hand made' in its broadest meaning, and to something that 'emerges'.)

"Ambition' is linked to 'search for' ( or 'created by human hands')

Whereas origin is not found as the result of a search. "origin' = emerging without ambition. There is only one ambition, but different kinds of 'exemplary'.


My sense is that the 'exemplary' manages to be complex when a wholeness is achieved / reached. 

We do not perceive complexity through the part, through the fundamentals, or the details (they are just 'lots of', which does not make something complex)

Complexity comes from there being 'less', from there being less parts, less detail, or even none. Almost as if there was a third process, one not about 'origin', and not about reaching back towards 'fundamentals', but instead coming from ... (for want of a better word) nothing. 

(When I cut the circles off the "surface 2" I was struck by the fact that by cutting I had freed the piece from the logic that constituted the shape. (always the question "what else can i take away?") And freed from this particular logic, instantly the shape appeared - at least to me- much more complex. It was as if by cutting it it had opened itself up to more ... possibilities, uses.

The 'fundamental' is singular, partial, but not necessarily 'simple'. 

But 'simple' or 'simplicity' belong to 'wholeness' of something original  - the less parts, the less singulars, the more it is general, the more it does not contain - the more it can be put to complex uses. This is the machine character itself, the running of the machine itself - not the machine itself (not the standard meter itself). 

Because nothing 'is wrapped up in it' - everything can be wrapped in it.



(really not sure I am making any sense here at all - am sending this anyway.)

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