Take a a Platonic solid, a cube. Then…
- Divide every face of the cube into 9 squares, like a Rubik’s Cube. This will sub-divide the cube into 27 smaller cubes.
- Remove the cube at the middle of every face, and remove the cube in the center, leaving 20 cubes.
- Repeat steps 1–3 for each of the remaining smaller cubes. Forever.
At each stage, you’re left with a fractal curve called a Menger Sponge:
[More animation here]
At the limit point of infinite recursion, you’re left with a cube which has infinite surface area, but which is all hole.
We offer this empty solid up as a model of an aesthetic we’re labelling ghostmodernism within which — of the spine, the spire, the span that holds the form to one form: the wire in the rose — only that span, the form of the form, remains, as the form itself has now become infinitely detailed, yet in that process, of the void.
So, you ask, what does ghostmodernism look like, in the wild?
Exhibit Two — the plot of the film Inception, while having the surface modernist form of a heist thriller, recurses down into the frozen time ‘down there’ deep in stasis of Cobb’s dreamworld, the narrative ‘arc’ now a pathological curve.
The ghostmodern is not inherently evanescent, although I’d happily claim Doug Starn’s Big Bambu installation as an edge-case.
These thoughts also return to us our dreams of the hyperbolic surfaces of modern being — there’s another post coming soon linking these thoughts…