comments 6

links for 2006-04-04


  1. Administrator says

    OK, those flexagon people are wackier than us tessellation folders. Wow.

  2. Mélisande says

    J. Shafer’s text about origami ethics is an excellent synthesis of these ideas we are discusssing about for a while now.
    It deserves to be widely spread !

  3. Administrator says

    I thought so too, Melisande. I’m passionate about sharing the sources of my inspirations- that information helps others to discover new things for themselves.

    Unfortunately I think some people take my lack of “sources” to be something that it isn’t. There are times when ideas come to you without an obvious source or previous creator, and there are other times when one’s ideas are directly caused by seeing something from another artist. I always try to go into depth on who and what gave me an idea if I actually know where my ideas came from.

    I think many of us have this problem, and it’s particularly difficult with things like geometric origami. It’s almost always a given that something you find on your own will have a previous incarnation, but if you don’t know it exists then you really can’t reference it, can you? and to say it was an inspiration to you would be a lie.

    I’m still at a bit of a crossroads here, wondering how much false respect I am expected to give to others, when I’d rather be sharing my true, profound respect that only comes through seeing, understanding and comprehending.


  4. The Ethics article I remember from a while back and I think highly of it in the main. But when I get to the asking permission part, I have my doubts. Especially with geometric models. We will all tend to tread upon each other’s triangles – there aren’t that many possibilities. And prior discovery doesn’t necessarily make my work derivative. How does the prior discoverer know he’s the first?

    Besides that, if I have to stop and think about being totally original with every fold, I’ll never have the confidence to finish my trig problems.

  5. Administrator says

    Prior art doesn’t help you if it is never published or documented, at least with respect to things that actually have value. (I would stipulate that most origami is harmless, relatively valueless art- but it’s art that can be duplicated…)

    I find that publishing photos, and even crease patterns, really helps to cement that “yes, I found this myself, on this date, here’s what it looks like, here’s how I made it, etc.”

    This leads to odd things like people giving me credit for coming up with tessellation patterns that are pretty darn obvious. There are a few things I have folded that I’m really pleased with, and I think were perhaps slightly non-intuitive to discover, but the majority of them are just fiddling with patterned paper. It’s a bit excessive to pretend that it is more than that, because it really isn’t- that’s the exact process I used to discover them. Anyone else could do the same, and the discovery process would be just as genuine and unique for them as it was for me.

    So I try to keep an open mind about this, and I understand that people will want me to give credit to people who may have folded something identical years ago. And hey, I’d want to be credited too- but if someone comes up with something that I’ve never published, or that isn’t available anywhere for someone to see, I can’t very well get upset that someone found it on their own and called it theirs. (Well, I can, but it is pretty childish to do so, in my opinion.)

    Less so now, but about 9 months ago I used to get a lot of mail from people telling me I was ripping off Fujimoto, Chris Palmer, and so on. I wish. That would have saved me a lot of frustration. If someone wants to share a stash of Fujimoto & Palmer photos, books, videos, whatever with me, I’ll be happy to check them out and learn from them, and I’ll make sure to credit any ideas I get to the source. That’s just good manners, if nothing else.

    But at this point in time, I’m just doing my own thing, and enjoying it. I’m not too interested in picking up ideas from people that I can’t have a dialog with, and if that means it takes me longer to figure something out then so be it. I enjoy the trip, not the destination, and this is really just a hobby for me- I’m not trying to pay the bills with folded scraps of paper. That would be a tough gig, I think.

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