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Notebook
Notebook, 1993-

RELATIONSHIPS

[From: Waddington, C.H. "The Modular Principle and Biological Form." In Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm. Vision and Value series. Gyorgy Kepes, ed. New York: George Braziller, 1966.]

The Essence of Rhythm

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By rhythm I mean, roughly speaking, something which is almost a regular periodicity but not quite. As Alfred North Whitehead defined it in the Principles of Natural Knowledge: "The essence of rhythm is the fusion of sameness and novelty; so that the whole never loses the essential unity of the pattern, while the parts exhibit the contrast arising from the novelty of their detail. A mere recurrence kills rhythm as surely as does a mere confusion of difference. A crystal lacks rhythm from excessive pattern, while a fog is unrhythmic in that it exhibits a patternless confusion of detail." Whitehead held that rhythms were characteristic of life in some ultimate philosophical sense. Without attempting to follow him into such deep water, I think that there is no doubt that rhythms are very characteristic of many of the objects made by living things. [p. 23]

[From: Waddington, C.H. "The Modular Principle and Biological Form." In Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm. Vision and Value series. Gyorgy Kepes, ed. New York: George Braziller, 1966.]












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