The emergence and disappearence
of figures arising from the unconscious line and the heightening of emerging
forms can be powerful, threatening and active.
'A certain number of these curves having been made, various actions will be undertaken with the results.---/'
'It is found useful to avoid symmetry, equilibrium and good composition, as such conditions are extremely difficult to transform, whereas asymmetry, instability and unbalanced positions are easily changed.'9
'The superimposition of a series of
arabesques and the analysis of the result may be continued.'
'At least twenty sheets of air-mail paper are assembled. In quiet undisturbed conditions (not in the workshop), each person is invited to make in a single session an unconscious arabesque on each sheet, preferably using the relaxed action. Some precautions are necessary for the experiment to give results; one must resist the temptation to repeat an interesting form that might emerge, to produce an arbitrary form deliberately, or work if necessary in the dark or with eyes closed. The twenty drawings having been made, three or four are chosen at random, are superimposed and inspected against the light, that is against a window or light table. The number of permutations in this case will be enormous. In the analysis of the result, we suggest that certain things can be sought. As they cannot be guaranteed, we will put a question mark before each of the operations.'9
Fig.158. Three unconscious arabesques
selected at random out of twenty superimposed against a window's light (executed on
Observe the remarkable coincidences of 3 or more lines falling together. These observations are similar to those posed for the unconscious drawing - but here, each of the sheets being done independently and superimposed, there is no unity arising from the continuity of the line so the coherence is even more striking. Now here come questions that you should pose to yourself in examining the drawing of this page.
'It may be possible to identify a similar general structure in every group not present in any one sheet; this has occurred in fewer than one in ten such experiments.---/'
Fig.159. Figure 158 with a portrait
This drawing of abstract lines coinciding yields among other possibilities, figurative forms. Even in the medley of these interweaving lines, one might pick out figures buried within them: for instance, one might select a fierce woman's head - "Medea".
9 'New Ways of Gravure', S.W. Hayter, Watson-Guptill Publications, section 17, 'les méthodes d'Enseignement à l'Atelier 17'. New York, 1981