We find something like a circle in the rings of a tree, in the structure of a cell, in the shape of our planet. But we do not find the particular thing that we have come to call a circle outside of the realm of our own creation. More than anything, it is a concept. Something like the square exists in the columnar structure of certain soils, of volcanic basalt. But where in nature can we find the thing that we have come to call a square? All of the geometries that we have created are perfect, standardized approximations of shapes that we find in nature. For how can we describe the unpredictability - the profound minutia of irregularity found in the shapes that exist outside of human creation - with mathematical formula? How can we understand them? We have created these idealisms of shapes in the same way that we have defined words as approximations of concepts that are far more intricate and irregular than those words can ever communicate. Over time, our species has become more and more obsessed with the standardization of nature, with the subjection of it's logical complexity into the practical simplicity that we yearn for it to be. Increasingly, we desire to create a world of perfect circles and perfect squares.
"When a man rides a long time through wild regions he feels the desire for a city. Finally he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference..."Read More
By J McDonald, Issue 16, Squares & Circles Issue, December 2012