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1 Mar

The emblem I chose to explain Multiplicity is a bee hive.

A bee hive is a whirlwind of Multiplicity. There can be up to 50,000 bees in a colony at the height of Summer. The great majority of these bees are doing the same things- they are worker bees. They pollinate flowers and come back to the hive to contribute to the honeycomb. A seemingly monotonous job, these bees are a perfect representation of Multiplicity because of their routine as well as the sheer number participants in the honey-making activity.

There is so much going on at one time around a bee hive. Because of the busy-ness and inability to follow only one thought at a time, the bee hive invokes a feeling of overwhelmedness, like in the E-Lit example, Nio.

Despite the seemingly chaotic atmosphere of a bee hive, there is a big picture in the making- a common goal or connection, even if it is hard to follow one part that is contributing to it. This particular form of Multiplicity varies only in that the core “thought” is more evident because of the visual aid that is watching the process. Without understanding through sight what is occurring, a bee hive would fall into the same group as Gadda’s literature and the E-Lit work, Nio. It would be unnecessarily overwhelming and the core idea would be lost in all the clutter.



1 Mar

The analogy that I chose to demonstrate Multiplicity is that of color guard, more specifically one in which I participated in 2005.

These shows are all about Multiplicity. The number of members, all doing the same choreography, wearing the same costumes is a precise example of Multiplicity at its finest in aesthetic form.

This Winterguard show depicts, in my opinion, a great sense of connection among not only the color guard members, but a connection between the guard as a whole and the audience. The connection is so strong because of the emotional reaction elicited and because of what each person identifies as their individual moment within the show.


It is the repetition, the Multiplicity of the hard work, the music the dance and other elements that come together to create a show that is not only multiplied in its views on video but it is multiplied in the minds of every member because of its special meaning.


1 Mar

The graphic example I chose that I think best represents Multiplicity is pattern.

In the literal sense, Multiplicity is the repetition or multiplication of something. A pattern is just that, the replication of a singular design, over and over again. In the E-Lit work that I chose to represent Multiplicity I explained the repetition of the voices and characters that accompany them. These vocal and visual repetitions exemplify Multiplicity and therefore also exemplify the concept of pattern.

While a pattern does not have to involve the repetition of the exact same graphic or image every time, there are some variations to pattern as we have learned from Multiplicity. Although there is the continued presentation of information, much of it about the same topic, it is not identical yet still remains a pattern simply because of its repetitious nature.

Calvino’s Multiplicity

1 Mar

The final quality of writing on which Calvino lectures is Multiplicity.

He first introduces the concept of Multiplicity not with a definition, but rather with an example.

An excerpt from the novel That Awful Mess of the Via Merulana by Carlo Gadda:

“He sustained, among other things, that the unforeseen catastrophes are never the consequence or the effect, if you prefer, of a single motive, of a cause singular; but they are rather like a whirlpool, a cyclonic point of depression in the consciousness of the world, towards which a whole multitude of converging causes have contributed.” (pg. 103)

Calvino later goes on to explain that he is lecturing on “…the contemporary novel as an encyclopedia, as a method of knowledge, and above all as a network of connections between the events, the people, and the things of the world.” (pg.105) In other words, Multiplicity.

I feel as though the term “network” is the important one in this definition because Gadda in his writings composes in such a way that he tries to incorporate as many subjects as possible that begin with the central point and wind up elsewhere. Gadda’s personal enthusiasm for engineering and other subjects such as philosophy help to explain why he tried to describe the world as a “knot.” An eccentric character, Gadda expressed all of his anxieties through his writing, and did so by babbling on until his thoughts were tangled and it was nearly impossible to find the a way back to the initial idea.

Calvino does not expressly say that his emblem for Multiplicity is an encyclopedia, but I feel as though it is safe to say that this is what he emphasizes as a representation of his quality. Like an encyclopedia, Multiplicity is truly characterized by a plethora of information all in one place, almost in an overwhelming sense. Calvino does explicitly  say, however, that he would like to pass to the next millennium a literature that has absorbed the taste for mental orderliness and exactitude, the intelligence of poetry, but at the same time the science of philosophy. This would not be possible without some sense of Multiplicity, even if the education and collection of these concepts and thoughts was over a period of time through a varying number of works of literature and media.

The aspect of Multiplicity to which I most closely relate, or from which I obtain the greatest aesthetic, is that of its attribute of being overwhelming. In terms of literature that I have personally experienced, Jane Eyre is what comes to mind when I think of Multiplicity. Although there is an underlying and relatively easily detectable storyline, the text itself is rich with details and seemingly unnecessary thoughts or descriptions to the point where the reader has to return and read each line over again. Even though I may prefer more concise stories and appreciate when the sequence of events is of a timely fashion, I personally have a tendency toward Multiplicity- the overstock of information and details in a singular point.

E-Lit Example

22 Feb

The E-Lit example I chose to best exemplify Multiplicity is Nio by Jim Andrews.

As previously mentioned, I feel as though Multiplicity can be largely characterized by invoking a sense of being overwhelmed due to the volume of subjects compacted into a small piece of literature. This work of E-Lit creates a sense of being overwhelmed because of everything that is happening at once. It is a wheel of sounds that can be layered with up to five different versions of a capella voices. Not only are the sounds stacked and repeated, but so are the corresponding characters that match each sound. Due to the intense composition of sound when five are layered, after only a minute or two the “song” is almost unbearable. This is similar to the weight of detail provided by Gadda in his work.

As an experience, it provides a sense of Multiplicity in a literal sense because of the layers upon layers of icons as well as sounds. Each layer is a patter of repeated voices and differing rhythms, so that when they are layered together it is impossible to find the initial layer or pattern of voices, like the literary work of Gadda and his Multiplicity.