The Digital Nature of Gothic

In L. Spuybroek (ed.), Research & Design: Textile Tectonics. pp. 8-41 (2011)
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The first chapter of The Sympathy of Things published in Research & Design: Textile Tectonics (2011). It develops the notion of a “gothic ontology” which inverts Deleuze’s baroque ontology of the fold. Where in the universe of the fold continuity precedes singularity, in the gothic singularity precedes continuity. The reversal is based on the Ruskinian notion of the rib, which is the source of “changefulness”, expressed through “millions of variations” of figures. Figures move and change only to interact with or connect to other figures, i.e. to build configurations. Ruskin’s notion of savageness, which is always categorized as an ethics-over-aesthetics, now becomes a notion of craft that is inherent to matter, not to humans.

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Lars Spuybroek
Georgia Institute of Technology


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