The question who is Blocky, what is Blocky? What is the gravity to such an object, what does it offer, what is its force and in that matter what does it say, what does it speak of is an intriguing one? Questions we will explore here.
To begin we will start by resting limitations that liberal sociologists tend to impose in leaving “the non humans to the technologists” and consider Blocky the non-human and human in a similar way, to consider Blocky in the “attempt to get some explicit understanding of what we are doing when we engage in science”, something we do on a daily basis, something done with Blocky.
To speak TechnoScience in reference to Cyborgs or Boyles Law the reference to science is apparent, the science and associated technology in its application are evident. Blocky engages us in exactly the same way.
In the story of the Sunday roast, when young Anne rubs the crayon over the surface of the Blocky she engages with its material agency, its heritage and history.
In its material form Blocky began as a tree, a tree by the name of Eucalypt Camaldulensis. It was felled and machined into 5×5 redgum posts suited to gateposts, and amongst this that Blocky was born, child of a gatepost. It then began its life as a woodblock used as a prop for cutting many a timber and drilled, sawn and chopped into deriving its texture and form.
Whilst to Anne Blocky is little more than an ornamental play object, its vast material forms and uses engage with her.
Whilst spoken of as Blocky, “Blocky the woodblock”, it engages in a way that brings the knowledge of its past uses and literary references. As a woodblock it is referenced in journals of Woodworking, as a functional object used in the construction of other objects. As a gatepost it is referenced in council documents in reference to laws involving restrictions as to the heights of fences. As 5×5 redgum posts it is listed in many a timber yards stock list and in numerous architectural books on the properties for building. As Eucalypt Camaldulensis it is referred in Botanist texts describing its genesis.
The children’s friend, Blocky. Blocky the social encapsulates the retirement of a very busy social object. As a woodblock it graced engagements at the family home for numerous home improvements and at the Melbourne University Theatre Department was used to build sets for theatre productions. As gatepost it engaged the street and traffic of passing cars in the local shire council. As 5×5 redgum posts it is engaged in discussions at the Timber Merchants Association (Victoria) and the Timber Promotions Council and as Eucalypt Camaldulensis it was an object of great affection and heritage amongst many a botanist.
Whilst to most Blocky is little more than Blocky or a block of wood, Blocky engages us with a past as colourful and intriguing as any other past. Blocky has a history in the same way we think of humans having a history, a past. Blocky an object of science, an object of technology, of techne and technique. Blocky is a TechnoScientific object.
We engage Blocky as a friend, we treat it with affection, humour and jest. It is a block of wood with its rich literary, material and social agency, agency to our past, the science of our past and of the way by which we engage life. We engage with it as it engages with us. It defines us as we define it. It speaks to us as we speak to it and it is in this that an essential question arises. What does it speak to us, what do we see from its existence? Blocky Eucalypt Camaldulensis the tree that now exists in its current form – a technoscientific object.
We may laugh and enjoy the discourse of the process that has led the Eucalypt Camaldulensis to become Blocky. However, the processes and life of this object clearly indicate the role objects have in understanding ourselves, and in light of this knowledge, we must consider the consequences of our engagement in science and science in us.
These works explore the translation of the amino acids of two proteins of the Eucalyptus camaldulensis, quinate dehydrogenase and UDP-glucose:gallate glucosyltransferase with inspiration from intermedia.
Pure Data Patch
Its a pleasant Sunday afternoon, the middle of winter. The roast is in the oven, the scent of Basil, Rosemary, Sage and Lamb waft from the kitchen.
The adults are talking as they do, the children drawing as they do most Sundays with their crayons and as always Blocky with its Bronze Plaque, the sentinel, watching, keeping gaze over the events of the day. Quiet and unspoken, the discerning eye of the wise old travelled woodblock Blocky looks on.
Today unlike other days Blocky has caught the intrigue of one of the children. Somewhat bored of the conventions and limitations of crayon and colouring books, The child has taken Blocky and placed a piece of paper over it and is drawing on it. Whilst rubbing the crayon over its surface revealing its textures, the years of markings, cuts, chips and slices that define its material form.
Dinner is served and one of the adults collects the children, placing Blocky “the ornament”, in pride of place back on the bookshelf amongst its friends of Economics, Woodworking, James Joyce and the history of World War II.
Hours pass and the dinner comes to a close. The children are called and as always they race to be the one to get Blocky. The reward of which being the honour of sharing the drive home with their favorite friend on their lap.
My name is Blocky,
I sit in the precise imprecise,
I pierce the intersection of real and imaginary.
I look to a time when:
heart and mind,
eastern and western,
physical and virtual,
one and zero,
on and off,
public and private,
resonant and dissonant,
black and white,
social and capital,
in and out,
open and closed,
real and imaginary,
seen and unseen,
light and dark,
classical and contemporary,
past and present,
analogue and digital,
faith and reason,
harmony and melody,
heard and unheard,
republican and democrat.
sun and moon,
treble and bass.
allow the heart to sing, the mind to fly,
and, thoughts of joy to ring.
Blocky: an inherently familiar object; deeply grounded in the Australian bush; engaged in a pioneering journey along the Muray river; And, enrolled in the advancement of science and technology.
Blocky shares a deep heartfelt love of Australia, its lands, peoples and environment with a wish to share stories, situated experiences and cultural practices.
The embodiment of Blocky, an off-cut from a gatepost of the familial home, heralds to the pragmatism and pioneering roots of the Paynter Family since their arrival to South Australia in 1846 and journey from Burra, Onkaparings, Wharparilla and Table Top.
For many years Blocky sat at the nexus between two worlds, nestled at the foot of the fire-door between the garage and workshop of the family home.
Familiar and at rest, enrolled simultaneously in multiple worlds. Worldings, that helped define its narrative agency and indeed material form.
A Pragmatic world of Making
In the world of the garage, Blocky embodied the pragmatic readiness of a wood block to prop and assist in the cutting of other objects. A world of making, of doing and building things.
It is in this world of making, Blocky inherited its distinctive chips and distinctive triangular markings that remain prevalent and distinctive today, the result of the making of a model boat by wood chisel.
A methodological and technological world
In the world of the workshop, Blocky was a keen observer of the technological. Of radio receivers, black and white televisions, cathode ray tubes, transistors and all manner of associated test equipment.
Blocky was the observer of the technological practices resulting in the study of TechnoScience, discussions of cybernetics and technological reproduction with laser cutters and augmented reality to transmit messages over a public internet.