Mindprinting the Snark

Below I quoted a large part of the article Henry Holiday’s Hunting of the Snark art has subconscious order (2019-10-17) by Edmond Furter, where he applies his Mindprint concept.

Mindprint is sixteen recurrent character types, each expressing a cluster of optional archetypal features, and each feature at a specific fixed frequency globally; with the eyes or focal points of pairs of opposite forming an axial grid; surrounding five polar points of limb joints or junctures in specific sectors.

I don’t understand the Mindprint concept yet, probably because I still didn’t dig into it. But I added some hyperlinks into the quoted article. In one case Furter also refers to a printed article which I wrote. The hyperlinks lead you to entries in my blog snrk.de to which Furter might have referred when he wrote his article. Those links weren’t in the original article.

… In the plot, a crew of ten tries to hunt the Snark, easily confused with the highly dangerous Boojum. Baker may symbolise the author, with his 42 boxes after Thomas Cranmer’s 42 Articles of religion, the last on eternal damnation. Baker finds a snark but vanishes in black ash, indicating that he found a Boojum, perhaps punished as Cranmer was burned; perhaps bafflement at finding laws of nature (Cohen 1995). Banker is attacked by a Bandersnatch, pays a ransom, but loses his sanity or logic.

Unwritten rules in nature and culture

Bellman, according to Carroll’s preface, follows obscure Naval Code, pathetically reading out Admiralty Instructions which none of the crew ever understood, “but fastened anyhow across the rudder”. Rule 42, the last, is ‘No one shall speak to the Man at the Helm,’ completed by the Bellman himself with ‘and the Man at the Helm shall speak to no one’. Thus Carroll indicates that the search for unwritten, inherent rules or laws of nature and numbers are part of his theme in Snark. Collective behaviour is indeed guided by a code that many sciences suspected, but no-one understood before 2010 (Furter 2014).

The present study of recurrent features in behaviour, to reveal archetype in nature and culture (Furter 2014; 2016), was inspired partly by the Mike Batt’s musical version of Hunting of the snark. In this idiom, from our own investigations and the bearings on the charts, now we could rise to remark that we think we may be gaining on the snark! There are hints of underlying structure in all media. Discovery that the subconscious expression of archetypal structure, or mindprint, could be measured and predicted, incidentally completes the quest for inherent order; and reveals that cultural identity is as universal as mathematics.

Henry Holiday pictured fables, allegories and church windows

Henry Holiday probably alluded to animals in a 1674 print of Aesop’s Fables, illustrated by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder (British Museum; Satires 1047, reg. 1868,0808.3286), around king William III with allegorical Religion and Liberty (after Prof L Wolsogen, L; Fig 4/4). Holiday discussed with the author Carroll (Dodgson) possible allegorical depictions of Care and Hope. Holiday was also a stained glass window designer at Powell & Sons (with many designs for American churches), and friend of Rossetti. Tigertail Associates hired artist George Gennerich to restore Holiday’s wood engravings electronically, and partly colorise them.

Holiday’s Banker’s Fate illustration may refer to Image-Breakers by Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder; and to William Sidney Mount’s painting, Bone Player; and to a photograph by Benjamin Duchenne used for a drawing in Charles Darwin’s Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. These visual citations together demonstrate that art design never replicates other designs; yet the illustration demonstrates again that all complex designs (of more than eleven characters) express specific, complex, universal spatial grammar, beyond the conscious capacity of any artist to learn or fake. Snark’s sections are named Fits, a pun on fitting rhymes to syllabic meters and pages. Structuralist analysis of the formerly invisible five layers of regular, universal features in the artworks, and probably in the character list, now adds another meaning to ‘fit’; artists have to ‘rhyme’ with the inherent structure in meaning and spatial relationships.

This artwork is remarkable for its general themes expressing the three known features that are ambiguous for being optional part of three or four types: reptile; winged; doubling (though it tends to take different forms in types 4, 6, 15). In addition, twinning and doubling is present in many visual citations of other artists as Kluge (2017) demonstrated. But canid of type 9, 10, 14, 15; and equid of types 3, 4, 5, are absent here. The known ambiguities are inherent in nature and culture, and appear at fixed average percentages, thus they are as archetypal and measurable as the unambiguous features, and the five layers of structure in spatial expression are… [The “are” refers to an image: Henry Holiday; Hunting of the snark Butcher calculating a jubjub song.]

Some sources and references:

Kluge, Goetz. 2017. Nose is a nose is a nose. Knight Letter 99, December, p30-31

related post in snrk.de