Semiotics & aesthetics are one & the same

Beauty is truth, and truth beauty.

Elegance, in design, is the principle of wasting nothing: exact sufficiency for the purpose. What I love about machines is that they have meaning and purpose. What I love about machines is the wonder of artifice accomplishing elegantly what could be–and has been–done in less efficient ways. What I love, in the end, is all about semiotics.

For me, aesthetic beauty is the highest form of beauty. I feel the same for a human body as for a railroad-laying machine. They are both elegant in their ways: biology is a marvel in that it works at all, littered with redundancies and vestiges from previous failed experiments. It is not elegant in the way that an artefact is elegant, but rather it is the end result of millions of years of trial and error. It is what works, and only what works. Elegant. Machinery is a marvel for the opposite reason: that in such an insignificant timespan as a year, a decade, a century anything could be accomplished, let alone an artefact that achieves its intended purpose? One that accomplishes its function with the elegance of no wasted part. Two sides of the same coin. One, like a Markov chain, picking up workable solutions as it goes along; the other designed holistically for maximum efficiency. My heart swells at the very thought.

But I fear, Best Beloved, that I have become somewhat incoherent, and frustrated with my own inability to say exactly what I feel. It is a bit difficult to articulate this. But this is the reason that design is so important to me. Using art as a medium to communicate is what makes it beautiful–the murmur and roar of an otherworldly choir in the engines of an aeroplane means nothing if it is simply heard and tucked away in one’s memory. Intentionally used, though, it has meaning to a story and to an individual. The sinusoidal path of a weaving arm means nothing until it consolidates one of the strongest, lightest substances in manufacturing, and piston means nothing until it is interlinked with the complex system of a combustion engine.

I still cannot explain. That’s all right; I will keep trying. Really, the point I was trying to make was this: when I said “I wanna fuck that car,” this is kind of what I meant.