a treatise in favor of undulating curves in the age of modernity

a lining by InkSpot's Blot
a lining, a photo by InkSpot’s Blot on Flickr.

I walk into the edge of a table, and it leaves a red line of skin swelling into a welt. Traffic cruises smoothly, then a rash of red breaks out. Black and white thinking. Indelible rules and absolutes; the way things MUST be.

Life has many harsh edges, both metaphorical and literal, especially when you view it from a logical point of view. Stylistically, I equate this to modern and post modern design. I’m not going to pretend to be an art historian, an expert, or even a geeky, hardcore art lover. (ASIDE: I’m just a geeky art appreciator.)

Modern design is infused in the core of our habitats. From the earliest settlements our big cities, at least here in the US, had/have streets laid out in a grid pattern. Lines crisscross at perpendicular angles wherever possible. It was supposed to make things easier, more accessible to the immigrants coming, wave after wave. Buildings soar above and create canyons made out of brick, concrete, metal and glass. In the cities.

In my understanding of modern design, edges, austere lines, and hard manmade materials are at the heart of it. Typical examples feel clean, and cold. There’s something comforting in the conformity of it. Predictable and regular, it has a cadence of it’s own. However—

It’s clean and cold and often unfeeling. It’s like a version of the Wizard of Oz in which the Tin Man really doesn’t have a heart, or else it’s buried too deep to be of any use. But what’s wrong with lines and edges, and by extension boundaries, rules and logic? Nothing, per se. These are needed in our world.

They shouldn’t be everything, though.

Enter curves. And undulating ones at that. Granted, a curve is maybe just a line following a spherical plane. Its existence connotes depth and space. Dimension. I’d argue that it kind of, sort of, maybe emotes, too. Following the surface, like a roller coaster, the physical movement is a song and as we move down down down it cradles with bone crushing instance. Surrounded. Nurtured. Twisting, turning, it pulls at us, luring us back to feeling, where everything is alive. Each nerve fiber, each path as memory tracing back to the brain and chanting something more. This life—more. Not just line, not all raw bloodiness, either.


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