boundary language

Boundary language is the complex of ideas and structures initiated by divisions created by thought, expression, and culture in space and time. It is a language in the deepest sense of the word, in that each form taken by boundaries is capable of signification.

The boundary language project is a series of workshops, including both group events and self-conducted studies, that explore the nature of human boundaries found in perception, behavior, art, architecture, and place. The human boundary is not simple, that is to say, it is not a "transitive" division of space or time, but rather an "intransitive" or "fuzzy" way of structuring experience. Interest in boundaries has been written in other terms. Vico articulated the idea of an "imaginative universality." Irving Goffman spoke in terms of "framing," Victor Turner and Arnold van Gennep referred to the role of limen. Mathematicians have used their own special terms, but the calculus of the British mathematician, George Spencer Brown comes closest to the notion of intransitivity by giving the boundary a double identity as both a "cross" and a "call.

Boundary language is, specifically, a graphical analogy method ("BoLaGRAM) attempting to unify the various currents, trends, and traditions of boundary interests. The center of interest is a diagram (left) that plays out the stages and elements of boundary behavior as a contrast between a "transitive" relationship (abc) and an alternative result (c', b, b-cross). Boundary language employs a "polythetic" logic that allows the collation of examples from sources from a wide variety of cultures, historical periods, and media. Boundary language aims specifically at the poetic/artistic imagination, where the notion of "the willing suspension of disbelief" establishes a universal intransitive boundary condition.

© 2012, Donald Kunze, all rights reserved