Unlike the natural sciences, spiritual science is still developing its research methodology. Threefold’s Researcher in Residence program provides researchers the opportunity to dedicate substantial time to high-level collaborative investigations in the etheric realm.
The 2010 Threefold Researcher in Residence was artist, sculptor and geometrician Frank Chester, who worked with a team of eleven research fellows at Threefold from September 19 to October 30, 2010.
The Research Fellowship was an exploration of the elements and the ethers through geometric forms. Using lectures, studio sessions, and group discussions, Frank led the research fellows through a process of creating and transforming complex geometric forms. The methodology consists of transforming geometric forms by applying the four elements and the four ethers. When applied to Platonic forms, the outcome is known and can be predicted; when applied to new and unexplored forms, the outcome is not known in advance. In either case, the methodology is a fruitful vehicle for learning and discovery, and these exercises in “scientific art” brought the 2010 research fellows to a direct experience of the role of movement, metamorphosis, polarities, and intervals in art, life and science.
Fellows entered the program on one of two tracks: In the Apprenticeship Track, fellows worked on projects assigned by Frank Chester. Fellows in the Research Track brought an existing project or question that could be moved forward using the research methodology. Fellows in both tracks received intensive, hands-on instruction in the methodology. They then had the opportunity to apply those methods to previously uninvestigated forms, with completely unpredictable results. Through their guided experience of one researcher’s methods, the fellows developed unrealized capacities and unexpected insights.
Geomation Short Film Project
This stop-motion animation film was created by research fellows Daniel Wall and Simeon Amstutz as an investigation into art as a research form. The film is based on a 16th-century alchemical text by Nicolas Barnaud that describes a process of individuation or becoming. It depicts the first of fifteen “plates” (images supported by a brief text), in which the alchemist sets out on his initial journey in acquainting himself with the collective unconscious.
Daniel and Simeon aimed to bring to life, through a more contemporary and light hearted means, an interpretation of this text as relevant to art as a vessel of research and study.
The film is made up of 1,500 photographs taken completely in sequence.