Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lytle Shaw, The Moire' Effect.



Reading Lytle Shaw's _The Moire' Effect_, Bookhorse and Cabinet. The blurb on the back by Harry Mathews was unexpected, and it clues you right in to Lytle's main project (I guess), The Chadwick Family [http://thechadwickfamilypapers.blogspot.com/] which is really a great example of cross-disciplinary, hybrid-genre, 'extended drawing'.. I call everything extended drawing anymore.

It is odd. The only possible 'actual' reference I could find on the web to Ernst Moire' is below:




but the term moire' used to imply an optical effect or suite of closely related effects is quite a bit older. Wiktionary gives it some etymological labor:

The term originates from moire (moiré in its French adjectival form), a type of textile, traditionally of silk but now also of cotton or synthetic fiber, with a rippled or 'watered' appearance. The history of the word moiré is complicated. The earliest agreed[by whom?] origin is the Arabic mukhayyar (مُخَيَّر in Arabic, which means chosen), a cloth made from the wool of the Angora goat, from khayyara (خيّر in Arabic), 'he chose' (hence 'a choice, or excellent, cloth'). It has also been suggested that the Arabic word was formed from the Latin marmoreus, meaning 'like marble'. By 1570 the word had found its way into English as mohair. This was then adopted into French as mouaire, and by 1660 (in the writings of Samuel Pepys) it had been adopted back into English as moire or moyre. Meanwhile the French mouaire had mutated into a verb, moirer, meaning 'to produce a watered textile by weaving or pressing', which by 1823 had spawned the adjective moiré. Moire (pronounced "mwar") and moiré (pronounced "mwar-ay") are now used somewhat interchangeably in English, though moire is more often used for the cloth and moiré for the pattern. "Watered textile" refers to laying part of the textile on top of another part, and pressing the two layers when wet. The similarity of the spacing of individual threads (warp and woof), which is, however, not perfect spacing, creates characteristic patterns when the layers are pressed together; when dry, the patterns remain.

Definitely an exercise in filling a gap. Ernst Moire' is quite nearly a nought on the internet, though I suspect, he's something of a Swiss mathematician of optics who somehow decided to study the effect associated with his own name. I like that kind of thing a great deal!

index of associated ideas:

moire' / noir - memoire - meme war - no more - narr - marr