Tag Archives: Multiplicity

Multiple: Cornell

22 Apr

For my “multiple” blox to represent a similar work of art as Cornell made, I will include a number of things that are repetitive to represent the nature of The Giving Tree and that spark personal memories to which I can relate. Cornell’s process was such that he drew on memories and personal experiences to create his art. The things I have chosen are also relative to emotions that I associate with the feeling of multiplicity and the feelings I gathered from this quality in the book.

As a result of the emphasis that the multiplicity creates, and the warm feeling I have from the story, I have chosen to include a picture of the sun to represent warmth. However, while this is a good story about a boy and his relationship and the happiness they share together, it is also an emotional story that displays the true sadness of someone who gives unconditionally and doesn’t receive much in return. This, therefore also creates a sense of sadness. This juxtaposition of emotions and synchronicity is why I will also include images of rain so as to imply the sadness that the tree and audience both feel. Both the sun and the rain are available and come in abundant forms- in multiples even- and therefore are appropriate for this application. I will also include apples because of their abundance when the boy collects them from the tree to sell for a profit. As a similar item to which I can relate from my childhood that I sold in great number, like many children, is lemonade. Finally, the inclusion of Easter eggs is one last element that represents a childhood memory of something coming in the form of multiples. Easter eggs are a symbol of happiness that the adults typically hide for the children to find. The more eggs, the more chance of being rewarded a greater number of times and the more exciting the game.

I feel as though all of these items are worthy of enlistment as they are a part of my memory bank from childhood, as many of Cornell’s are as well.

Multiple: Experience

21 Apr

Calvino describes multiplicity as a quality that involves explaining until something cannot be explained any more- until a new topic is reached by the over explanation of an original topic. However, The Giving Tree, in its 25 pages, is not an example of this. It demonstrates a different kind of multiplicity, and that is the repetition of certain elements of the story.

I found this experience of repetition or multiplication to be endearing, especially since at its core, The Giving Tree is a children’s book. This is not only easy for the children to understand, but from an adult perspective provides a sense of enforced meaning and a deeper emphasis on the message of unconditional love and understanding. The fact that the tree continues to give and support the boy is a true testament to her love, and therefore the aspect of the story that is multiplied simply enhances this attribution.

Multiple: Adaptation

21 Apr

When thinking about adapting the story in terms of maintaining a sense of multiple or multiplicity, I am interpreting it in a literal sense where certain elements are repeated, and not just overly wordy or expressive. I feel as though the “scenes”, or parts of the story when the boy begins to come and go are repetitious and therefore represent the actions of multiplicity. Not only is what happens when the tree invites the boy to come and do what he had done as a child, but the actual wording as it is exact and repeated from before:

“Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in the shade and be happy.”

All of these phrases are exact from what happened when the boy used to partake in these activities. The trees invitation is in itself a repetition because she is remembering something that already happened and she is longing for it to happen again.

Also demonstrated through multiplicity is the tree’s willingness to give and give and give until she can’t give anymore. She gives her leaves, her apples, her branches and her trunk. This unconditional generosity is also a strong example of an element of the story that is represented in a form of multiples. If made into a short film, this series of actions when the tree gives all she can would all be filmed in the same way with the climax when she is all alone with nothing left to give. The resolve when the boy finally returns and is just looking for a place to sit and rest is not only the conclusion but is the final repetition, the final element of multiplicity.


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.