This thesis uses the exclamation point to represent a way of thinking and working methodology. The exclamation point in mathematics represents a factorial function, an operation for determining all possible orders of a set. Colloquially, the meaning of the exclamation point relies entirely on context. Within a yellow triangle, it means caution or danger, but at the end of a sentence delivering good news, it means excitement. In the context of this thesis, the exclamation point represents enthusiastically and exhaustively reordering objects, words, and processes to highlight shifting meaning.
You don't need to read this carefully or in any particular order. This thesis is best experienced as many times as possible, as fast as possible. If you repeat a word enough times, it starts to lose meaning (this phenomenon is called semantic satiation). If you can maintain focus and attention in the face of exhaustive repetition, new patterns begin to emerge from the blur. Old assumptions fall away, leaving an opportunity for something different. To encourage a multiplicity of interpretation, this thesis permutes a body of work multiple times.
! is the title of this thesis ! collapses
the distinction between process and
product ! is a symbol with constantly
shifting meaning ! represents
enthusiasm ! represents a factorial
function ! represents negation !
represents caution ! means emphasis
! signifies exclamation ! flows between
definitions, trying each out carefully
before embracing redefinition ! is a
dichotomy between fixity and flow
! is different ! is the same ! is doing
the same thing over and over again
differently ! is a process guided by
feedback ! is an artifact of process ! is
a working methodology ! is an ordered
set ! is a reordered set ! is the act of
reordering ! is a sensitivity to an order
! is a rejection of an order ! embraces
difference ! pushes processes past
the periphery of perception ! doesn’t
make any sense ! is intuitive !
For a symbol so ubiquitous, the exclamation point represents multitudes. It can represent enthusiasm, a warning, an alert, a factorial function, a negation, emphasis, iteration, difference, repetition, and countless other things depending on usage, context, and perception. A multiplicity of meaning can disorient, confuse, complicate, and ultimately halt us in our tracks. How can we remain grounded, aware, and focused in the mist of ubiquitous uncertainty?
One way is context; orienting oneself to surrounding stimuli, atmospheres, influences, and orders.
Where does the exclamation point fall in the order of things?
! represents the exclamation point as dismantling the difference between process and product by borrowing, ordering, and re-ording components from all possible definitions. ! is a tool for understanding context, dismantling existing orders, and enthusiastically re-ordering sets to discover new questions. ! finds that the enthusiasm and openness to approaching new questions is more important than finding fixed answers.