Towards taxonomy of form

Daksha and I sometimes talk about her work. But very little. For the most part I must try to understand her finished art and making practice for myself. Last week however, we did have a short conversation about the ways she might intend to exhibit her prints towards the project end. She described her interest in taxonomies. Not the taxonomies which biologists produce – of clades of phyla – species, genera and eventually 5 kingdoms. These are based on differences between the groups – divisions. But instead taxonomies of sameness – as if all organic life, and also things like rocks and rivers, minerals, perhaps man-made objects too – are all related – distributed – common. These are my words perhaps, but our conversation is between us and I am reminded of the work I also share with Gemma Anderson who has developed a very interesting – and I think unique approach - called Isomorphology. This approach is based on likeness (my word), not on difference. Gemma calls it being isomorphic – and resembling – one thing sharing form with others. And she likens forms of animals and plants and minerals. Thus, Gemma’s taxonomy is verydifferent to the distinctions which researchers use in science. For one thing, she crosses the traditional divide between living and non-living things, groups minerals like plants and animals where these share a common form. Her approach is thus detached from what we might call ‘the entropic function’, living or non-living purpose – and sees form alone as common principle. I develop this in my next blog – in more particular regards to Daksha’s work.

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Laboratory [Drawing] Life is a collaboration between King's College London's Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy and Dr. David Hay,

brokered and supported by the Culture team at King's.

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