Strange Loops, Open Circles

In Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter discusses the concept of STRANGE LOOPS. These are self-reflexive circuits that appear to be CIRCULAR, yet remain paradoxically open. In such loops, signification or meaning becomes "undecidable" and hence, OPEN. He discussses this point using the painting of Magritte.

The Two Mysteries, 1966
Rene Magritte
oil on canvas

By weaving words and image together in a painting (a representational form), Magritte creates a self-reflexive loop where words form an image that in turn, represents the referent of the words. Hofstadter uses his characters to describe this process as a "spiraling corridor" of representation, nested copies within copies or Baudrillard's simulacra.

Mark Taylor relates spiraling corridor to the notion of fractals that appear to be set in motion when looking at them. The dynamics that emerge in the moving patterns open up a temporal gap, wherein "patterns appear to organize themselves spontaneously," (Taylor 78). He sees these pulsations of fractal movement as a display of "the rhythms of network culture." Such strange loops of information and networks create complex self-organizaing systems that have a structure that goes against traditional thought of the past three centuries. (Ibid.)

---These notions of strange loops, open circles, and fracals describe the experience/effect of creating/reading this blogsite/paper. ---