The Fractal 3-Line Matrix
The Fractal 3-Line Matrix is an instrument to generate an interpretation of a text. It offers four levels of interaction, which I deploy in order, but you may explore differently. These interactions enable the exploration of four types of relationships to be found in meaning making: triadic, binary, fractal, and symmetric.
Triadic relation: The Matrix centrally contains three main, intersecting axes. Each axis is to be designated with one of three main themes a reader determines a text to contain. The axes intersect to avoid ordering them hierarchically, as a list, an added benefit of which will be apparent in the fourth step.
Binary relation:The ends of each axis are named with a term that designates the axis themes’ boundaries. These outliers can be any binaries termed significant. They do not need to be opposites.
Fractal relation: In a fractal movement that repeats the steps above, the six outliers of the three axes may each be outfitted with their own matrices, and so on.
Symmetric relation: Finally, the contraption is set in motion. Spinning or flipping the axes around their center, the relations among the outliers and their fractals can be varied, promoting new readings of the material, horizontally across the field, or along the vertical ‘stacks’ forming left and right.
As a diagrammatic instrument, the Fractal 3-Line Matrix incarnates at two scales, promoting different relations with the material at hand. Vertically mounted, sized 4'x6', for example as a preprinted whiteboard, it envelopes a standing user by filling the visual field. At 11"x17", it is model sized for use on a horizontal surface and with a more disembodied, birds-eye perspective, for example as part of a poster or handout. The matrix first emerged in 2011, above is an updated version from 2019.