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Promtly #8

Read the last 2 articals on the course packet. Speculate on the relationships between what Khan is saying with Gershenfeld's.

For me, though the two authors are markedly different, their core arguments are largely the same. Similar answers to different questions, on two very different levels. The subject (as I see it) is the construction of things as self-expression. The difference being that Gershenfeld answers the ‘how’ of self-expression, while Khan appears most interested in the ‘why’.

Both authors see the act of creating as universal and fundamentally necessary. For Gershenfeld, the interest lies in the future of technology as a means for personal creation, more specifically the future of Personal Fabricator Machines. Like Khan, Gershenfeld does not see self-expression as limited to its traditional ‘artistic’ manifestations (ie sculpture, painting etc.) rather, he sees it in all the things we make; in particular, in the types of machines we would make for ourselves if given the proper tools. Artistic excellence is by his definition expanded from its traditional sphere in the arts to become about “…mastery of the available means of expression? (7). We have the technology now to express ourselves and create for ourselves in ways never before imaginable, and Gershenfeld has great faith that Personal Fabricator machines are our next evolution.

Now while Gershenfeld troubled himself with the spreading of a technology that could make us create like God, Khan argues that what we create IS God. Shifting the focus from the pragmatics of a creating machine, Khan addresses the character of creation itself. In a style that is poetic to the point of being almost in-comprehensible, Khan argues that all creation comes from the spirit place- from that realm of desire which is born from our dreams (232). We create measurable things, in other words, to try and make manifest the immeasurable qualities we experience within us, (in the stillness and light in our soul/ “Commonness?). Nature gave us all the tools we need to make whatever we so desire (like a PF), and thus we are all compelled to create that which is not yet made in nature. “The whole motivation of presence is to express? (237).

Khan’s article brings us back in full circle to the first blog prompt on energy. It is that immeasurable force, that life-ness, that energy, that is ultimately the reason for architecture, and all self-expression. As Gerchenfeld discovered in the extreme popularity of his classes, we all need to create, as individuals, from our own individual energy, and in this way we are all in common.

A building without light is lifeless, just as a human without expression will be lightless…