Rules Based Disorder

As mentioned in a recent post, I’ve come up with this phrase, rules based disorder, expressing my concern at the current state of the world .

As expert commentators considered the impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on the stabiliry of Europe, we began to hear the phrase “rules based order”. That event certainly added further disruption to worldwide trade and distribution patterns of food, energy and other resources, still in recovery from disruptions due to the Covid pandemic. The recent Hamas invasion of Israel and the resulting retaliatory war has added a whole new layer of concern to that picture.

To me a stitch is a mark, a line. When I first began using this stitched square a couple of years ago, it was a response in fabric and stitch to the shapes and lines of Vera Molnar’s generative art, which I’d just discovered. I enjoyed placing those units in a variation of the traditional patchwork block, Nine Patch, stitching the same sets of lines around each square. I love referencing traditional patterns in my art, an enduring influence from the brief time I spent learning traditional American geometric patchwork and quilting. I love the regularity of those block units of assembled simple geometric shapes:

Detail, ” Nine Patch Variation” 2022.

Perhaps this prompted me to consider how I feel about all the ways in life that I value or work towards regular stability. I’m not obsessive about tidiness in our home, but do like to keep things in reasonable order. An over-full rubbish bin in the kitchen makes me dither, and until it’s emptied, I’m unable to focus on whatever meal or cake I’m there to cook.

I like to revisit Molnar’s art and just now found another article reminding me how closely I relate to her art and that of others of the generative movement. Vera Molnar’s algorithms have built into them a little piece of code that randomly introduces a slight variation aka disruption into the pattern the machine’s producing in paper, and it multiplies. I realised there’s a lot more variation in those repeat patterns than I originally understood.

A few weeks ago I stamped squares with fabric paint, which gave unevenly distributed colour and texture, but the stitching I added was regular but boring, prompting me to aim for a more organic, less rigid looking effect, even while using a grid layout.

When I finish stitching around all the squares, I believe there will be more to add between the squares. There are no pattern instructions here, just choices between options.
I’ll add more irregularity through stitching and maybe more paint splats. An un-ironed finish, with blood red stitching and rough edges are all under consideration.

What’s orderly can become disorderly, and the penny dropped that the phrase rules based disorder covers what I’m exploring in these square+stitch units.

Tags: , ,

2 Responses to “Rules Based Disorder”

  1. Vivi Cothros says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write your blog Alison. It’s very enjoyable! More than 35 years ago I spent an unforgettable day in Colonia del Sacramento. You are now connected to that memory. Vivi

  2. Barbara says:

    Well spoken.

Leave a Reply

Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).

All images and text are © Alison Schwabe
Reproduction of any kind is expressly prohibited without written consent.

Translate »