Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can You Name That Impulse?

Just a quick, note-to-self-like post:

For years, Les McKeown saw what would later become his methodology for bringing sustained, lasting and predictable success to an organization – in his mind’s eye – as a statue:

“I’ve spent a lifetime ‘sculpting’ Predictable Success,” he wrote in his 2010 book of the same name. “My career has been a process of chipping away the confusion, misinformation and presuppositions to uncover the true nature of success hidden beneath.”

Reading about this recently reminded me of Buckminster Fuller’s Tetrascroll.

Tetrascroll tells the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It was written and illustrated for children, but for Mr. Fuller it also represented “everything I think and feel in mathematics and philosophy and everything else.”

I hestitate to call it (just) a book. The original edition was bound on triangular pages that were hinged on two sides. When closed, the whole thing formed a large equilateral triangle; when opened, it could be unfolded into a circle, a forty-foot strip and more.

A stone statue. A triangular solid.

It seems to me the impulse in both cases to want to communicate by means of an art object had to have come from the same place. I can’t quite put my finger, though, on where that place is. 

Can you?

And what the heck is it about wanting to make complex ideas simple? What roles do permanence, elegance, and even reverence play? Would the guy most people called Bucky back then get any satisfaction from Tweeting today?

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