Patrick Howlett
The Slow Rhythms of Reason

9 May to 22 June 2019


The Cultural Deadline:

Consider this a hypothetical time line for the launch of a new series of work. Procrastinate and panic or brainstorm, decide and execute. Content does not easily settle into form, but:



Exercise: Choose a significant project. Examine the cultural tendencies in your company. Consider previous approaches. Devise a plan that deals with difficult decisions as early in the timeline as possible. Come in like a tonne of bricks.

The Less-Than-Twelve Month Year:

Philosophizing about activity. Companies have different rhythms, often the most productive periods are in March, May and September. These periods create decision windows. Consciousness is located in time, but time is located in consciousness, as it can only be perceived and projected by consciousness. From time to time crisis happens, making performance drop below average. The year is almost always shorter than you think.
OiOO______OOOOOOOO...O...OiOiii..OOO) ____))))))))))))..)) ____
)___/----------\_____________________/-------\________/-------\ ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]/------
/]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]) \_________/

Exercise: Look at the year ahead. Predict the high production periods and the unproductive ones. Install decision windows and consider reviewing any forecasts and resource planning you have undertaken. Save your money and rip it up.

The Egg Yolk

Simply drawing one circle inside another opens a world of possibility. The centre is viewed as the yolk or the centre of the world. The outer layer can represent encasement, a broader world or a larger pool of something – customers or a prospective opportunity.
)/))))) \
{o. () 0}
i\ __ /

Exercise: Try envisaging the diagram as a fruit, vegetable, target or other object that might inspire a useful title or analogy. Recall, the sun is not yellow, it’s chicken.

The Motivational Dip

Enthusiasm and energy application vary over time and this diagram can be used to analyze one project or an entire relationship. It can help predict the moments when things are likely to slip. The ‘honeymoon’ or ‘new toy’ phase do not always settle into a learning and understanding phase. Projects move towards success or completion or splutter out in failure. At the end of modern industrialism, the deterministic relationship between labour time and value is dissolving. Rhythm is the mental elaboration of time.

Exercise: Choose a project or relationship that is just about to start. Plot the likely phases and try to predict the Dip. Create measures to counteract it by helping out with the chores.

The Growing Pane

This diagram helps you to disentangle the good and bad elements of your working life, business practices and even personal habits. It helps you categorize processes and techniques and distinguish bad from good, old from new. If there is anything in the bad and new area, it needs careful analysis, anything from the bad and old quadrant should be dropped immediately. The economy is full of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Exercise: Choose a subject to analyze. Place in the relevant quadrant. Write an action list. Breathe.

*The text borrows, with liberal creative adjustments, ideas and words from two works, The Diagrams Book by Kevin Duncan (published by LID) and Breathing: Chaos and Poetry by Franco “Bifo” Berardi (Semiotext(e)).