an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators
I apologize for the radio silence from my end for the past months, but something very silly (and also very serious) happened to me as a result of what we learned from the beads. This is a long update, but it’s pretty interesting stuff.
For me, it definitely started with Machines.
This year, to earn a living while I went into Year 3 with the new books (an all-time record for me) I took a job consulting for a big aviation and technology company, part-time. I hoped to feed myself while I wrote, and to be able to qualify to keep my house as a newly single woman. (I succeeded at the first.)
It was a fantastic job – I worked with a Moonshot Team; a small group of people studying the edges of edge technology- signal, propulsion, ways to save the planet, turn around the climate. That sort of thing.
The information I added to the mix (driven entirely, I might add, by what I learned from the beads) was so apparently so shocking (and so resembled observed, but not yet understood aerial phenomena, and possibly also classified technology under development) that it prompted the company and the US Dept. of Defense to investigate me as a spy.
I wish I were making that up.
The counterintelligence investigation is over now, and of course I am cleared. But it was a rough time, and has cost me greatly.
The saddest loss was that of my productivity and happiness; they stole almost four months of my life (and they have a year of my work, which I hope that they further develop.) I was really not able to speak about it at all; it wasn’t smart, and I didn’t feel safe.
Why on earth would I scare them, you may wonder?
Well, as it turns out, if you really spend time on even this small concept, the square and the hexagon being essentially the same, or one birthing the other, it can lead you to a series of extremely disruptive understandings.
This is simple stuff, right? It’s just a few increases added to the sides of a square? As it turns out, this is actually an astonishing thing, and it’s how the Universe moves, how life forms, how surfaces morph.
You may recall me saying at several intervals this year that what we have been discovering about shape, form, and function was so shockingly beautiful, simple, and organically real that I had to take a step back.
Suddenly, through these forms, I understood the Machines, the topology, the potential in both directions. At once, so many things came clear to me that it seemed that my mind opened fully to the Universe. It was really quite remarkable, so much new information. I could feel my intellect expanding to meet the information; it felt beyond me, as if I were simply a vessel, and I was both humbled and strongly directed by what I was learning.
I shared my insights fully with the tech innovation team, and I also began adding the new information into the books as fast as it came to me. We made new Machines that also held some of the ideas. I started over writing the text for both the Pattern Book and CGB, Volume III from scratch 5 times, each time I realized that everything we knew before was strangely limited.
It was sophisticated stuff that was changing me – information was flowing through me about morphing surfaces, quantum propulsion, quantum signal, coherent waves… Suddenly, it just all made sense to me.
And it still does. It wasn’t some sort of fever dream, and I haven’t gone mad. I am still here, at my worktable, making pieces and finishing books. I have no idea when I will be done, but I must be allowed to see this through. I can see now how to use beads and Machines to describe flying carpets (and what else is a Hypar?), how to fold craft into cigar shapes that still propulse, how to change shape in real time but not change nature (or the other way around), how to talk to the water, instead of through it. Stuff like that.
Stuff that matches up to odd things we’ve seen, but cannot explain.
Look at this, for example. It is a simple Flat Peyote Triangle, but it has some specialized cells. Joke Van Biesen made this one, and it involves inserting Hypars (Warped Squares) into small slits in the fabric of the triangle. From one direction, the triangle can still be observed as a flat sheet. From another, you can see the stored energy cells expanded. Any alteration of these angles creates an entirely different energetic form.
Now imagine that this is a flying thing, and that the stored energy cells are batteries. Because that’s what Warped Squares are. They are hyperbolic sheets of stored energy; a kind of 2D that doesn’t fit even into 3D.
Topologists and mathematicians have ways to describe these forms, but most of their observations are static; they describe single states, or moments in time, not an energetic distribution. They do not examine propulsion. To really grok these forms, I had to learn from everyone. And I mean everyone, everywhere. It’s been extraordinary. I’ve been inside so many places, talked to so many fierce, intelligent people.
Again, though, why would anyone think I was a spy? It’s absurd.
As it turns out, it was not only the shocking ideas, it was the personnel on this project.
Through CGB, I interact as project leader with large number of foreign nationals, and apparently (if you work in the world of aerial defense etc.) foreigners are Scary, or are Spies, and should be avoided at all costs. This isn’t really how I think or live. I think of myself as a global citizen. I remember once when I was at a restaurant in California near one of the dark labs, my dining partner said to me, “You know, one third of the people in here are spies, one third are counterintelligence agents, and the other third work in national defense.”
Perhaps I should have believed him.
I know that the mad, right-on things I said about signal, surfaces, shapes and ships put some people off, and of course our whole team was so productive, we were having such a wonderful time, and we included such unusual people that we were bound to be investigated by someone, for something, at some time.
What I told people was based *entirely* on what Machines, Hypars and Triangles have taught me, but what I said was also so Out There that people outside our team (who were not at the table when I explained how the ideas came to me) apparently presumed that I must have had classified information to know what I knew, and I was actually told during my interrogation that it didn’t seem like a person of my demographic (I presume that they meant a woman in her 50s without a formal science education) could devise the knowledge any other way than stealing it.
This is an outrageous thing to say to a professional woman in 2017, but they meant it, and so into into the fire I went.
I am sorry that I could not explain what was happening to me, and why I stopped posting, communicating, or working directly with my collaborators. I’m back now, and I will do my best to begin speaking normally again.
I am writing, I am working, but I can no longer entertain complaints about how long this has taken me. No one knows more deeply than I do how long this is taking, or what it has cost, or what it might mean if I follow it through.
Most of the people on this project pre-ordered the books because they wanted to support the development. But a few, here and there, ordered only because they wanted the books. This is completely understandable. If any of you in the latter category would like a refund, of course it’s always available.
I’d like the emotional, spiritual, and creative time to heal from this little nightmare, and to finish my complex, dangerous and beautiful project in peace. The books can surely come no sooner than Spring at this point, so much longer than I thought possible. It’s gone so deep.
I love you all, no matter how well you know me, or don’t know me, or even if you have no feeling for what I am saying here, about form, function, peace, fairness, fierceness, sexism, technology, spies, foreigners, love, war, fear, beauty, creativity, humanity and the shapes of the Universe.
I must really be onto Something, to have to work this hard to birth it.