Posts by Glenna Batson

Order out of Disorder

Order out of Disorder   These days, biologists seems steeped in researching the pluripotentiality of stem cells. How do cells become who they are? How do they find their proper place within the human ecosystem?   A major focus in this research centers around self-regulation. Cells are amazingly self-organizing and self-regulating. Such a phenomenon  is part matter, part mystery. There’s no ‘brain’ or ‘cognitive’ master of ceremonies. What more, multiple conditions influence the cellular matrix, flying in the face of genetic determinism. All parties act and adapt to changing conditions moment-by-moment, both within and outside the porous cell walls.  
Read More

The Fold – Kin-aesthetic Beauty

The Fold – Kin-aesthetic Beauty   One thing about holidays: they call us to dress up our lives. At the end of the calendar year, the season beckons the fa la la,  the fun, fancy, and sheer pleasure of beauty – that sparkly tinsel-tacky decor, the zesty colors of a holiday banquet table, or the donning of ‘gay apparel.’   To date, these blogs have focused on the self-regulatory dynamics  – the biological intelligence  — of folding that creates both bodily- and worldly relationships in the fabric of existence. Or, they’ve featured examples where origami has been the muse of
Read More

Our Enfolded Ecosystem

Our Enfolded Ecosystem   The study of embodiment seems a bit superfluous. We live in our bodies. What more is there to say? Plenty! To be embodied is to live in relationship –  to live from a felt sense of – what the late Martin Luther King Jr. called –       ‘the inescapable network of mutuality.’   Biological organisms are an interdependent ecology – enfolded, enmeshed and empathic. Human Origami enables a small conceptual leap to see that folding underscores the shaping of all relationships. From our embryonic life onwards, we are shaping and being shaped, first by fluid forces,
Read More

The Fold – Sensible, Sensuous, Sustainable

Dear reader, if you’ve dipped into these blogs now and then, you might have gained a sense of how folding intersects with both the pedestrian and the aesthetic. Folding is a process, a practice, a phenomenon that is both physical and meta-physical, practical and playful, structured and improvisational. Folding is an amazing technical feat that transforms one dimension into three. When two flat planes fold together, the human imagination knows no bounds.     Today, architects envision ways to use folding designs to help solve two critical, interrelated problems: waste management and emergency housing.  Since 2001, China purchased up to
Read More

Here, not There

Here, not there… Fact: The brain is designed for movement (See the TED talk, The Reason for Brains ).  Movement enables worldly engagement – how we enter into relationships with people and things — navigate, communicate and execute our plans, Some argue that thought itself is movement (Sheets-Johnstone 1982).   I view the brain as an organ of reaction and prediction. We either are reacting to the something that just happened (the past), or predicting what’s going to happen (the future). Needless to say, our brain always is hard at work keeping physical and emotional balance in whatever the conditions. At
Read More

Self-Regulation – the heart of Human Origami

Self-Regulation – the heart of Human Origami   Word has it that humans are remarkably adaptive. We seem to be able to shift gears spontaneously or change directions on a dime, to meet the moment. Feeling a bit too hot? Simply, whip out a fan, don cooler clothing, down a cold beer, seek shade, or, short of the usual options, mentally picture yourself in a cool oasis. Scientists call this creative capacity, self-regulation — the agency to guide and control our own actions. Self-regulation gives us a sense of empowerment that enables us to act independently as conditions change.  
Read More

The Art of Macro-to-Micro

The Art of Macro-to-Micro   The art of the miniature has fascinated engineers and artists alike for thousands of years. Take the Asian art of Bonzai, for instance – a manner of cultivating small trees in pots — miniatures of their full-size counterparts. From the 6th century, Bonzai principles were a blend of art, science and practical know-how. But the intent of this ancient practice was to produce a purely aesthetic object, destined for contemplation and enjoyment alone.   In the West, this wedding of the utilitarian and the aesthetic finds its roots in the 19th century of Anglo-American tradition
Read More

Who’s in Charge?

Who’s in Charge? Since the mapping of the human genome, discussion around genetic determinism has intensified within the bio-politique. What impact do genes and gene technologies have on human biological destiny? The fate of reproduction, life expectancy, health and disease are subject to multiple moral and ethical debates  (Muskavitch 2014; Fox Keller 1994; Resnick & Vorhaus 2006).   But the debate around genetic control of human movement seems less tenacious. Genes play a vital role in organizing the plan, or template, of the human body.  But movement is shaped by interaction. From the get-go, movement is a co-creation of body, mind
Read More

The Fold: Control is in the Process

  I admit it!…I love to get things done. My brain – and my ego – derive enormous satisfaction from finishing tasks and projects, and completing the simple minutiae of daily living. I often find myself tidying up – sometimes obsessively — making sure I cross all t’s and dot all i’s. I’m unduly frustrated by the feeling of incompleteness. Things left unfinished fragment my sense of  purpose, leaving me with an itch that never gets scratched to my satisfaction. On a deeper behavioral level, the unfinished leaves me with an incessant yearning, a neurological undercurrent that drives my productivity.
Read More

Giant Origami – How scale shapes perception

The previous blog touched on the beauty of micro-scale origami, commonly seen in nature. Yet, diminutive patterning is often lost in the grand landscape before us. Gazing into the fractal folding of birch bark or a leaf’s lacey veins, opens our eyes to movement — a sense of infinite lines and endless depth. The micro-folds tempt and train the eye to see into the essence of things.   On the opposite end of the spectrum of microcosmic scale is origami writ large. Artists across multiple genres have drawn upon origami processes to create large (macro) scale sculptures in everything from
Read More