Encoding Process – Robert J Lang’s Origami Crease Patterns

Salt Creek Tiger Beetle - opus 484 - Robert J LangSalt Creek Tiger Beetle – opus 484 – Robert J Lang

Origami crease patterns, plans containing intersecting lines, symmetries, and spatial subdivisions, are mnemonic guides of encoded information used to create complex origami forms. The patterns created using partially personalised syntaxes, might also be seen as algorithms. These plans might be further reduced by representing them with lines of (drawing) code – code which would represent a concept or process as much as an object or design. In this sense they are similar to Richard Halprin’s concept of a Motation – a notation or score for dynamic movement of form. Robert J Lang explores the potential for crease patterns standing on their own right as artworks and having meaning beyond their utility where ‘tenuous, or even non-existent connections to their associated folded form can be perceived’ acting as a form of geometric Rorschach. ‘Showing every fold line in the model would be a dense, unmanageable clutter’ – often significant lines are selected for their aesthetic value. This results in a nested system of procedurality where aesthetics are constrained by functional visual systems for processing a three dimensional aesthetic.

Hermit Crab - Robert J LangHermit Crab – Robert J Lang

Dragonfly varileg - opus 453 - Robert J LangDragonfly varileg – opus 453 – Robert J Lang

Longhorn Beetle - opus 470 - Robert J LangLonghorn Beetle – opus 470 – Robert J Lang

Locust - Robert J LangLocust – Robert J Lang

Mule Deer - opus 421 - Robert J LangMule Deer – opus 421 – Robert J Lang

Red-Tailed Hawk - opus 474 - Robert J LangRed-Tailed Hawk – opus 474 – Robert J Lang

Silverfish - opus 449 - Robert J LangSilverfish – opus 449 – Robert J Lang

Tree Frog - opus 280 - Robert J LangTree Frog – opus 280 – Robert J Lang

Treehopper - opus 256 - Robert J LangTreehopper – opus 256 – Robert J Lang

Violist - opus 437 - Robert J LangViolist – opus 437 – Robert J Lang

Crease patterns, by there requirement to encode precise information, are aesthetically reverse constrained so that a variety of interesting geometric sub-patterns arise resembling Voronoi diagrams, crystal growth or printed circuit board configurations. These constraints often generate well balanced compositions combining territories of strict symmetry with more random structures. We might also be reminded of painters of minimalist geometric form as well as Op art.

Related:
Lawrence Halprin’s Motations & Ecoscores
The Generative Song & Sound Pattern Matrixes of the Shipibo Indians
Paul Sharits: Declarative Mode [Against the Tyranny of Preconception]
Simon Katan – Cube with Magic Ribbons

Leave a Reply