Think a Bit

Thought Patterns

Simple lines arranged in various combinations create metaphors for different models of thinking. Patterns, like that of the bit, help understand meaning.

Think a Bit


A play on words ends up much deeper as material, approach, and meaning converged. 5 letters create a word became binary strings which form visual examples.

The Science Fiction and fantasy author Piers Anthony wrote a series of Novels called the Incarnations of Immortality. A fantastic world where magic and science coexisted. One might buy a luxury sedan, or a luxury flying carpet. 7 books in total, and each featured a story where a human took up the role of a fundamental Judea-Christian ‘constant’. Death, Time, Fate, War, Nature, Good, and Evil live as ‘office holders’, and everyone brings their own humanity to each.  An 8th book exits, but I never read it. Its reviews claim it’s more softcore trash, and  isn’t core to the premise. This art work highlights some diagrams featured in the very first book: On a Pale Horse, which deals with Death.

Nature Teaches Death

Series Arrangement

Series Arrangement 4″ x 20″ Copper, Steel, Acrylic

In the first book, the newly appointed mortal to Death’s office must meet with Nature at one point, and is forced, by her, to undergo a rigorous journey just to visit her domain in Purgatory (all ‘offices’ have estates in limbo, apparently). After going through this ordeal, Nature educates Death. Each confrontation Death was met only the traveller, but also someone who hindered his progress. Nature outlines 5 distinct thought patterns Death went through, and will have to go through to face Satan.

Thinking Diagrams

Nature uses 5 sticks to describe each pattern, aligning and defining them thusly: 5 sticks, end-to-end, is a series thought process reflective of a linear progression indicative of leaps of understanding. Another 5 sticks ‘stacked’ parallel on top each other is a quick/certain, but not far reaching process based on many facts–the steps have very few errors. Still another set of 5 sticks radiate from a common center is a creative formation, and signals divergent thought not limited to immediate context. 5 sticks more  form a pentagon, or circle, and reflects a circular thought process— a schizoid formation which gets one nowhere. Finally 5 sticks form an intuitive formations 1 horizontal, 3 in the middle–vertically parallel–, and another horizontal at the end. This last one is  not very reliable, but capable of sudden jumps to conclusion that can be effective.

Creative Formation

Creative Formation 4″ x 20″ Copper, Steel, Acrylic

I poured through these books in high school, and these patterns stuck with me. They are perhaps not at all accurate, but still they are strikingly summative. I find these thought patterns intriguing and very effective visuals. Psychological they probably hold no ground whatsoever, but they make for interesting conversation.

Adding the Bit

Logic Formation

Logic Formation 4″ x 20″ Copper, Steel, Acrylic

As I developed the copper/steel bit encoding, I had the urge to inject these patterns some how. By providence the word ‘Think’ is 5 characters long. By creating each character in binary, I had a string, or stick, of 8 characters, and the patterns then emerged. Each combination that signifies a line in these works is the binary equivalent of one of the letters in the word ‘Think’.

The number 5 also came to echo throughout the piece because there are 5 panels, each with 5 strings on them. These 5 strings spell the 5 letter word ‘think’. As with many other works, the 5 panels exist as 1 piece, but each is able to exist on it’s own. Plus there’s the play on words since I am using copper and steel to stand in for a bit that is either on or off. ThinkaBit takes on a double meaning: one suggestive and one more literal.

Schizoid Arrangement

Schizoid Arrangement 4″ x 20″ Copper, Steel, Acrylic


Intuitive Formation 4″ x 20″ Copper, Steel, Acrylic

Think a Bit, won’t you?

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