Friday, April 8, 2011

The Lightpost

Subtitle: An Homage to a Magician

After my last dragpost, I thought I would make this one a lightpost..

I have been totally thinking alot about technical drawings lately, eg blueprints, process flow diagrams, process and instrumentation diagrams (the dreaded PID), plan layouts, and equipment diagrams (this does not include critical path diagrams, sorry Frater Simon). Partly because

A.) I am totally buried at work;
B.) I have been developing a set of plans for my next magick project; and
C.) I love technical drawings. Adore them. Use them in my everyday life.

Before I divorced my husband and before the construction industry took a nose dive, our household was a two technical drawing set household. Drawing sets were laid out on our kitchen table, the breakfast bar, our office desks, the couch, our bed and sometimes even our walls. These drawing literally took over our household several years ago. Although I have the skills to use computer technical drawing software, I find GREAT satisfaction using a loaded 0.5HB mechanical pencil, my drafting tools (carefully laid out) and special engineering paper (the gridded green kind, ooohhh, the smell of a newly opened drawing tablet). There is something truly beautiful about carefully controlling the curves, keeping the lines straight, setting the correct symbols and making sure all parts of the diagram is in proper scale and position. I truly get into the "zone" when I am technical drawing.

I do not expect anyone to be a technical drawing nerd like I am, but I thought I might share my inspiration for these types of drawings: MC Escher and Rube Goldberg machines. I first came across MC Escher when I was a pre-teen. My mother studied art at that time (her media was silkscreen and some oil painting) and she came home one day with a sample of his work in one of her textbooks. I was instantly hooked!!! His black and white mathematically inspired lithographs tantalized my brain and I would spend literally HOURS gazing at the pictures, looking at every detail and visualizing myself within them at times. Here is one of my favorites:

As far as Rube Goldberg machines, I first came across these machines in high school physics and then college. I am proud to say I have been part of teams that have constructed 3 of these designs. Totally fun stuff to do with the kids too!!! I find so much delight and awe in these machines that when I came across a video of a well-executed and well-designed Rube done by a magician friend of mine, I was absolutely positive that I was going towards the right direction in my Path. It was just one of the "Aha!" moments. I have NEVER personally met anyone outside of a science background, besides my magician friend, to have designed one.

Rube Goldberg machines are over-designed machines consisting of too many components/steps to perform a simple task. The goal of a good Rube Golberg is to make it overzealous and humorous. The diagram for this type of apparatus is a very comical process flow diagram (LOVE!!) and usually pushes the envelope as far as practicality. Take a look at the official Rube Goldberg website for more info. They're are totally cool. Here is an example of fly swatting machine that I found quite interesting (if it is too hard to view, go to the website):

What does this all have to do with magick? .... hmmmmm, can you see a metaphor?

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