Monday, 5 November1923

The energy centre

The irritated point as latent energy

Motivation for form-creation and articulation

Inner,necessity as the basis forform-creation

Structural and articulation elements

So far we have dealt only with the primitive energies of form creation. These are formational and at once articulating.

At the primary level, they were highly economical actions, initial movements communicating themselves to the hand. Their primitive character also arises from their close propinquaty to the original formal idea. In this connection, I should like to cite the example of a seed. Despite its primitive smallness, a seed is an energy centre charged to the highest degree. It comprises ineluctable impulses that will give rise to entirely different and highly characteristic forms. One seed will grow into a violet, another into a sunflower— not in the least fortuitously, but by its very nature — the one always a violet, the other always a sunflower. (So reliable is this that seeds may be sorted, packed, labelled and marketed.) Each seed is the spin-off of a certain species and a talisman for the regeneration of that species.

 A certain impetus from without, the relation to earth and atmosphere, begets the capacity to grow. The slumbering tendency towards form and articulation awakens in predetermined precision, determined with reference to the underlying idea to the logos, or, as the translation runs: the word, which was in the beginning. The word as a premise, as the idea required for the genesis of a work. In abstract terms, what we have here is the irritated point as latent energy.

At the slightest impetus, the point is about to emerge from a state in which its mobility was concealed, to move onwards, to take on one or more directions. It is about to become linear.

1 Dicotyledons: plants wifh two seed lobes, a major division of the angiosperms. In the germination phase these plants have two or more seed leaves.

 In concrete pictorial terms: The seed strikes root, initially the fine is directed earthwards, though notto dwellthere, onlyto draw energythencefor reaching up into the air.

The next effect of contact with the soil is that the seed rises, and this is often followed by

a kind of split (dicotyfedonsl). This division becomes the beginning of further upward motion. The spirit of this form-creation is linear.


In order to spread and gain power over large areas of space, the linear unit branches. In order to irrigate, the stream divides. The dynamic force is space hunger— space hunger as juice hunger underneath the ground, space hunger as air and light hunger in the atmosphere [1].




 Extensions in the air space and within the soil are interdependent, just as in developed organisms the functions of nutrition and respiration are interdependent. A broader nutritional base may give rise to large respiratory organs, while greater breathing-space may enlarge the nutritional organs (mutuality, reciprocity) [2].

[2] Earth, water, air. From 'Towards a theory of form production' Cf. Volume 1, p. 315. E: Earth W:Water L:Air

Competition with other creatures, or the struggle for existence, to use a more dramatic term, provides the impulse for the enhancement of energy production. As far as light requirements are concerned, altitude plays a certain role [3].

The point of origin between soil and atmosphere stretches out, and the generalised plant image becomes tree, root, trunk, crown.

The trunk is the medium for the rising of the sap from the soil to the lofty crown.

[NOTE: SAMTEN: DYNAMIC - of motive force, of force in actual operation - active - potent - energetic.


The linear forces gather within it to form a powerful stream, and they radiate outwards, in order to pervade the air space at free height. Henceforward articulation naturally becomes more and more ramifìed and open, to make the best of air and light. Leaves become flat lobes, the whole thing begins to resemble a lung or gills, porous, subdivided, for a single purpose.

Let this entire organism now become an example to us - a structure functioning from within to without or vice versa.

Let us learn: The whole form results from a single base, the base of inner necessity. Need is at the bottom.

There is no random toying with results. The active path towards form and inner structure is ineluctable. Considering the articulation on its own and recalling the leaf, we can observe successive changes in the character of articulation, as we move from the main limb to the side limbs. Beginning with the element of singularity we arrive at the character of plurality.

In terms of form production, the line between linear and two-dimensional elements must lie somewhere. In terms of form articulation the line between singular articulation and mass articulation must lie somewhere.

a The irritated point

b The ramification

c The structure

See: Jenny & map of rTsa.