Making Meaning Matter

The Evergreen State College

Author: mccpet02

Iteration #4 PEteR


The printed artifact of my dream as it exists now is mildly different from the original aesthetic I was trying to achieve, however it still is relevant to the pre-conceived concept behind its creation. Tinkercad provides a versatile bank of geometric shapes and symbols that equip any desired design with an easily workable base for further construction and manipulation. During the beginning constructive practice of my object, the “Plumbing Knife” I anticipated a fairly easy process of replicating its subconscious design with Tinkercad. The overall simplistic visualization of the knife inquired a physical makeup of a smooth flat black handle without a hand guard about 5 inches long. The blade itself was about 3 inches in length and dotted with segments of rust. This design however, was not entirely attainable through the operational steps of Tinkercad regardless of how basic and symmetrical the knife was upon its conception. Only a few particular Shapes made available with the use of Tinkercad helped me construct the beginning stages of my design, particularly the half cylinder and cube which were used in the handle of the knife to add more width and dimension. Large cubes were also included to acquire negative space for evening out and cutting the object down in a symmetrical fashion. The finished design of the knife is now about 7 inches in length to accommodate the exact gripping width of my own hand.

X Axis: 22.60 mm

Y Axis: 177.00 mm

Z Axis: 12.00 mm

Adobe illustrator was critical to the knife’s further manipulation and development after adding as much as I could with tinkercad. With Illustrator, I was able to use the line and pencil tools to create precision curves and symmetry necessary for establishing the subtle grooves of the knife’s handle. The ability to interface Illustrator with Tinkercad in order to complete the design was a great help in specifying and defining my object’s few, however very particular features. The overlaying concept for the knife’s physical manifestation has not necessarily changed but has branched out into a few new, and still related concepts. How can the process of cognitive archaeology refine physical understanding of subconscious imagery predicated on past, future, and present emotional constructs? This guiding question for my research still remains as such, although the entirety of the design and building process has given me a reason to approach the similar question; what does it mean to hold a physical element of a dream, and is there a new relationship established between that element upon an experience of physical interaction? I have made the purpose of this research and object development pertinent to the analysis of self and attachment, presented as entirely personal. The object’s use or “value” is entirely exclusive in relationship to my own needs and questions.

CST Week 8 Peter

“material culture is language or text” (Malafouris, 91).

“Things act most powerfully at the non-discursive level, incorporating qualities (such as color, texture, and smell) that affect human cognition in ways that are rarely explicitly conceptualized” (Malafouris, 95).

In what alternative way(s) can an individual recognize, conceptualize, identify, embrace, apply the empowerment of material interaction into a personalized experience of vocational purpose? Do all material cultures expand and construct upon prospects of longevity?

The overall progression of the Blue Rabbit projects has been inspirational to watch. Many of the ideas being researched and presented have evolved to challenge critical issues pertaining to current and future discourse of the world. This makes me very interested to see the short presentations on each object tuesday and what “non-discursive” qualities are provided along with how they differ. There will be an apparent record of linear effort established behind the differing aesthetics of the finished objects. Even if the printer does fail to produce a design or creates some kind of distortion, that design will still hold and represent a visual history of the 8 week process for development. Every object will have an unwritten story, however that story will be just as appreciable as if it were written.

CST Week Se

“Marks are important only if they can be shown to be anthropogenic- that is, made by humans. For markings to have value, they must be artificial” (Malafouris, 185).

Why is the cognitive effort of participating in artificial creation inherently valued by humans? Is the interactive mental process of marking or “scribbling” in some ways, more valuable than the visually symbolic (outcome) representation being produced by that same marking or scribbling? I like to think of all the necessary steps that were required for paleolithic cave painting along with any other form of environmental marking so long ago. There was a concentrated effort needed to gather proper materials and conscious organization in order to make the printed exchange of ideas between mind and environment entirely possible. Recognizing this effort is critical when attempting to distinguish particular symbolic value relevant to a carving, marking, or drawing. The paint, along with the hand that is manipulating it, collaborate in transparency with one another, growing into a dynamic comparable to a performance. The performance alone, can often be the harbinger of personal relief and accomplishment. Witnessing the creative actions and research intensive steps being taken by fellow classmates in preparation for our conclusive 3D production, I can see the similarities in exalting efforts. The creative process is blended with social pressures, personal integrity, and internal representation, all for a single object’s manifestation of interest and theory. Can this established effort be compared to the performance transparency of marking or any other form of symbolic interaction?


Week 6

“venture capitalism is the major source of funding for commercial lawsuits these days”(Doctorow, 242).

“The body is not as is conventionally held, a passive external container of the human mind; it is an integral component to the way we think”(Malafouris, 60).

Is there a legitimate sense of agency behind the culturally inherent quest for monetary gain? The concept of venture capitalism is very interesting to me because it promotes the almost non-human ability to personally detach and disengage from the transparent interaction between creation and creator. Coming into the “free” market with a solidified understanding that “selling out” and selling out quickly is the achievable working goal can be viewed as a contemporary form of social and market manipulation. Appealing to the mass in disregards to personally creative interests. Is this disconnect from material engagement and purpose entirely detrimental, or can it become useful in other exploitive situations of human interaction? Acquiring a sense of agency over the ability to disconnect from the process of creation when necessary could be useful in viewing one’s output from a different perspective, or could prove to be just as impractical.

“You don’t have to do the suing. That’s the point. You outsource that. You get the money; someone else does the business stuff”(Doctorow, 242).

Iteration #2: Subconscious Archaeology

How can the process of cognitive archaeology refine a physical understanding of subconscious imagery predicated on past, future, and present emotional constructs? 

Accurately transcribing literal history predicated on a personal (subconscious) representation of social and cultural development is crucial to redefining intimate relations of past experience, along with answering why they have maintained long-term cognitive resonance. Linking the past with the present is always a critical step forward in the conceptualized advent of situation analysis and resolution, which is ultimately necessary for ensuring the future longevity of an interactive populous. Uncovering physical relics of past experience can be a momentous process, in some instances rediscovering memories that have made a transparent leap from mental to physical manifestation in the exercise of emotionally articulated attachment can be seen as a very profound representation. What promotes the divine and almost inherently human desire to retain and preserve historical evaluation? How does the historic value of individually acquiring personal possession and attachment differ from the collective value of obtaining and reaffirming social history itself, or can this value be differentiated at all? The human construction of written language has been a valid tool in recording a detailed, however still very fragmented preservation of cultural and social history. Textual representations of events, evolutionary upbringings, and the linear exposition of human cognition can be rendered as incomplete reiterations which are part of a greater visual understanding or delineation of circumstance; “in general, the rather sophisticated activities for which writing was presumably devised do themselves depend upon the existence of a series of concepts such as these: they are indeed cognitive concepts. But in many cases they are not only material or cognitive constructs: they are based upon interaction with the real world, and in general upon interaction with symbolic artifacts which operate within the prevailing social world” (Renfrew, 3). Colin Renfrew in his text, “Mind and Matter” establishes the connection of language development with external symbolic storage and how early human development progressed through the means of constructing monuments and other physical vessels capable of implementing sentimental recovery relevant to cognitive recognition. This historically theorized example presented by Renfrew corresponds effectively with the general interpretation of my own research in terms of comparing the ideology that historical relevance and comprehension can be implanted into a material, physical entity for the future purpose of preservation and recovery, “In reality many indicators take the form of visual symbols, that is to say artifacts. And some of the most important institutional facts are embodied in artifacts could not exist without them” (Renfrew, 3). Analyzing this concept through my research platform of subconscious recovery a relevant question to consider is: What emotional construct or past physical interaction justifies the remembrance of a material item visualized within a dreamscape? Directly referring to the “plumbing knife”, a completely unintentional material projection of my subconscious, I am inferred to believe that particular past experience and emotional value has been instilled with this particular vessel due to its shamanistic visual extortion and vivid display of detail within my dream. Promoting a grasp on personal satisfaction and linear organization being processed through a troubled subconscious has become greatly import to the cognitive archaeology of my own personal dream exploration. Realms of exploration for this research has become personally attributive. The physical interaction between my body and this representational knife in the context of the dream was curiously disturbing and brought forth an indescribable amount of anxiety which only became apparent upon awakening. This anxiety and confusion however, was not present during the unfolding of physical harm that was dealt during the imagined scenario. Were there past recollections being represented through the intensity of the dream? “If the planes of social life reflect the processes of the determination of the base-superstructure, then the daily life, where all those determining factors are generated, is the product of a complex network of social antagonisms whereby the structure and consciousness move closer together, become interlinked and finally inter-determine one another” (Politis, 64). The dreamscape offers a disoriented visualization through a fogged viewfinder of past, present, and possibly future reconciliation or confrontation. Attaining the ability to break down and manipulate the conscious outcomes of a non-linear conglomeration of past and present thoughts is something worth achieving. The ultimate goal of this particular dream excavation is to uncover the fragmented pieces of important as well as non-important memories that my subconscious has involuntarily upheld and then reassemble them into solidified connections between emotional and historical thoughts. What were the systemic roots of these thoughts which were used to comprise a fictional sequence of story telling? How is the process of what seems to be linear story telling accomplished in a state of unconsciousness? The plumbing knife is constructed as a vessel for revisitation of thought and self exploration, however it works in fluid cognition with the linear structure of the dream itself, attributing no greater or lesser purpose than the characters or environmental settings involved. Each projection is dependent on the other in the process of uncovering emotional and historical preferences within the dream. The solidified visual representation of the knife itself is what has allowed me to retain and vividly re-engage the greater aspects and nostalgias implemented into my unconscious self, it is again, but a vessel; “it is easy to infer that the object, which lends weight or veracity to the tale, is secondary to the stories themselves, which come to encompass the object and generate an entire narrative around it”(Colby, 44) both the story and the object itself are established as separated entities however a unique transparency or dependable reaction between the two becomes apparent during the compositional break down of the dreamscape, how is it possible to ultimately define a link to an archaeological redevelopment of past experience and emotional value? “it is precisely through those subtle, mundane, often unconscious affective channels that material culture manifests its dynamic character and its semiotic force” (Malafouris, 93). Physical representation and conclusive production of the plumbing knife will offer a new and greater understanding of the metaphysical discomfort and agitation experienced within the dreamscape, attributed to the sensory obligation of touch and texture definition. The current visual imagery of the vessel, although still evoking much thought and consideration, remains static in a two dimensional sequence of repetition.

Works Cited

Malafouris, Lambrose. “introduction”. How Things Shape The Mind. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2013. Print.

Politis, Gustavo. “Archaeology as a Social Science: Its Expression in Latin America.”Archaeology in Latin America. London: Routledge, 1999. Print.

Colby, Sasha. “Reverie and Revelation: The Textual Archaeologies of Theofile Gautier.”Stratified Modernism: The Poetics of Excavation from Gautier to Olson. New York: Peter Lang, 2009. Print.

Renfrew, Colin. Cognition and Material Culture: The Archaeology of Symbolic Storage. Cambridge, England: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 1998. Print.

Week #5 11/2/14

“The extent of mutual comprehension can only be ascertained through social constructs of tests and consensus” (Johnson, Body Movements).

 “He had the work and the people, and who needed anything more?” (Doctorow, 230)

Can comprehensive group learning ultimately be attained through the use of a single strategy relative to cognitive teaching and instruction?

Is the concept of structured isolated learning rendered completely useless in the process of acquiring a more critical understanding of a problem or social occurrence?

The classroom experience in relationship with a pursuit and yearning for more knowledge, can sometimes be subjected to disengagement and motivationally draining requirements within a group setting. As the current state of the U.S education system is in rapid decline it is becoming harder than ever before to promote anti-assimilation towards pre-imposed cultural settings operating within the atmosphere of a modern classroom. I find it very problematic however, to justify a unified commitment to a single directing structure for taught curriculum. Are the constructs of social interaction beneficial to the creative thought process, or can embracing isolation and the process of thoughtless obedience be just as important  to the developing mind? Are classroom “distractions” really justified as distractions at all when referring to subtle changes is physical positioning?


“The idea of representation furnished a simple mechanism by which we could feed our cognitive apparatus with facts and information from the ‘external world’; it also suggested how we materialize and externalize our mental contents by way of behavioral output into the world” (Malafouris, 26).

What conditions relative to the development of written languages have enabled us as human beings to establish and preserve the construct of material representation? Can “behavioral output” and cognitive materialization be consciously controlled by all individuals regardless of social or economic class?

Individualism is often sought after in the human quest for self-recognition. Personally, it is interesting to observe differing communicative aspects of modern subcultures and comparing and linking their roots to great social movements of history. There is much wonder about the relativity of material representation and I believe that the internal self does not in many instances, get to control the representation/manifestation of external interaction. Experiencing new or undiscovered cultural mechanics of human nature appear crucial to the development of personal integrity and awareness of self, but just how transparent and interactive are differentiated cultural makeups? the process of providing linguistic labels to associate with external interactions is a remarkable human quality and is intentionally diverse by nature. Becoming aware of physical and emotional surroundings through a bank of cognitive representation gives the natural task of  identification a purpose, a meaning. It is however, naturally easy for me to subconsciously iterate and embrace subjective language in a an unintentional form without proper consideration of differing cultural value.


Iteration #1: An Expansion of Thoughtless Recovery

How can the process of cognitive archaeology refine physical understanding of subconscious imagery predicated on past, future, and present emotional constructs?

Possessing the human ability to be aware of a chronological division between past and present events relevant to personal experience is remarkable. Decision making, processing social interactions, and directing motivational purpose are all systemic of our inherent ability to compare the “then” and “now”. Rudimentary stages of idea creation and expansion fall into line beneath a subconscious organization of events and fragmented memories. Fabrication of my three dimensional object will follow the directional means of cognitive archeology, ultimately establishing a conglomeration of personally historic and momentous thoughts indirectly synthesized into the environmental aesthetic of a dream scape I have recently experienced. Involuntarily retaining observational memory of procedures or interactions made throughout the day is often a process that occurs without self-recognition or established agency(. How does the brain decide what is to be remembered and what is to be forgotten? Is the brain itself the singular deciding entity? The thought process can become synchronized with or through external influence, social representation, or material connection. Stimulation of memory can sometimes become apparent in an active cognitive state during the day. Reproductions of thoughts and daily events during a position of rest or sleep however, can be manifested in disorienting abstract patterns resulting in a personal desire for truth along with explanation for the indescribably unknown. Dream excavation can be credited with redefining interactions one has made during past or present life and assembling them with implications of social or emotional makeups relevant to present or future experience, “it is an open picture with permeable boundaries, and it is so for a good reason: it maps a cognitive landscape in which brains, bodies, and things play equal roles in the drama of human cognitive becoming (Malafouris, 2)”. Malafouris uses this explanation to define his observation of human interaction and cognitive exposition however, this elaboration is crucially relative to my own formulation and justification of dream excavation in relationship with cognitive archaeology.

I thought I knew

I thought I knew

The imagery and material validation of dreamscapes can become uncontrollably infinite, providing a distorted development of confusing questions, obligations, and indefinite answers. Complete control of decision making in dreams is not easily attainable and a much more instinctual, almost primitive thought process emerges. Repurposing, or discovering purpose for fragmented thoughts swarming my subconscious mind could potentially provide a new conceptualization of environmental stimulus and anthropological constructs relative to subtly disowned creativity. Emotional convictions and confrontation can be replicated then reorganized within a dream state also parallel to REM sleep. Guo Yuxian, a woman recognized in “women and the Material World” briefly summarizes the life of her mother in comparison ot her own, bringing forth great emotional conflict and discomfort, revisiting the personally imposed question of “why didn’t I help her when I could”? Annotations of detail embedded in the interview text indicate that Guo Yuxian’s most vivid childhood memory was that of her mother’s bound feet (Dowling, 50). This experience represents a very real cognitive interaction immediately reflected upon by shared human experience. What if She were able to interact with her emotion through a physical manifestation of her “most vivid childhood memory”? Would this be beneficial or detrimental? Uncovering and refining a subconscious image or idea promotes particular human endearment pertinent to the value of success or ownership. Allowing that same idea/image to manifest itself into physical form redirects the concepts back to ornamental value, reflecting the history of a thought process within the realm of contained static motion. Valued in acute vividness and intensity, a recent subconscious organization of memory and emotion implored me to interact with a personally irrelevant past acquaintance, a stranger, a bathroom, and a knife. My body was then a subject of impalement within the dream, slowly progressing to incision line-work moving vertically down the torso and ending at my waist line where I then existentially impeded further cutting imposed by the blade. While holding the tool delicately in my hand, it was then revealed by its user or opposing projection of thought, that the knife’s material identification was to be known as a “plumbing knife”, directed towards me as if I had posed the specific question. Consumed with the vivid aesthetic of the “plumbing knife” I intend to reproduce it physically along with its metaphysical properties of anxiety and fear. Subconscious compilations of distinct imagery along with recognition of language through explicit personal history have been synthesized into a false memory which will soon have new meaning physically. The knife itself will be designed and printed to the exact details vividly represented in my alternative innovative state of consciousness. The rust of the short and dull blade is crucial to the overall simplistic aesthetic of the tool. This will be a process of time travel in prospect of artifact recovery, an artifact that has been created by my own subconscious mind to be remembered by my conscious self, eliminating the boundary of the mental and physical, ultimately creating a blanket of transparency or bridge between two opposing states of mind.

Works Cited

D’aluisio, Faith. Dowling, Glenn. “Marriage.” Women and the Material World. Sanfransisco: Sierra Club, 1998. N. pag. Print.
Malafouris, Lambrose. “introduction”. How Things Shape The Mind. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2013. Print.

Maybe Aware


“however, automaticity in the sense of effortless performance of a task is usually associated with a sense of loss of agency or loss of self-a feeling of being immersed in, rather than causing, the act (Malafouris, 224)”.

The word automaticity presents certain ethical implications that can be easily reviewed through examination of intensified industrial labor. Relinquishing the ability to be subconsciously aware of the mental and physical effort being exerted during the crafting of a product allows there to be acute separation between the crafter and the craft itself. There is no connection with the product being produced, repetition and uniformity appear most crucial in maximizing output. Immersing one’s self entirely with the task of producing/creating, while at the same time relinquishing a thought process entirely, innately rejects all senses of agency. Automaticity is easily deployed upon the fatigued mindset of wage labor forces in an inherently criminal way and this appears to me as the biggest detriment of the human capability. However, repetition and subconscious control of performing a skill established action while achieving a mental state of thoughtlessness can indefinitely be used to a creative advantage. Becoming intentionally immersed in the physical performing process of self-creation/innovation can feel quite empowering and motivational to me personally. Is the achievement of automaticity ultimately viable to human cognitive progression through creative development?

Money Garage


“Every industry that required a factory yesterday only needs a garage today” (Doctorow, 45).

Constructing a corporation scale business through connection and partnership of grass-roots innovators and problem solvers. When considering the exponential growth and development of computer technology in the early 1990′s it is easy for me to justify a future free market manipulation of a more modern comparable event relating to technological progression.The corporation of “Kodacell” described in the novel “Makers” basically renders profit through the sales of progressive technological ideas. The concept of linking and integrating groups of determined, below the radar innovators beneath the guide lines of assigned business management would be comparable to giving Steve Jobs and the early co-designers of Apple Computers (working out of a garage) an entry into the free market before the product itself was even completed. At what pace would computer technology be developing today and could it be safe, or helpful?