Are We Still Talking About Form?

Are We Still Talking About Form?

  1. Form is a lie.

  2. I should be more specific.

  3. I think that form is a lie.

  4. I don’t know for sure.

  5. I’m talking about the noun form.

  6. The noun form of form.

  7. The noun form, of form.

  8. Merriam-Webster defines form:

1 a : the shape and structure of something as distinguished from its material //the building's massive form

b : a body (as of a person) especially in its external appearance or as distinguished from the face : FIGURE // the female form

c archaic : BEAUTY

2 : the essential nature of a thing as distinguished from its matter: such as

a : IDEA sense 4c

b : the component of a thing that determines its kind

3 a : established method of expression or proceeding : procedure according to rule or rote also : a standard or expectation based on past experience : PRECEDENT //true to form, the champions won again

b : a prescribed and set order of words : FORMULA // the form of the marriage service

4 : a printed or typed document with blank spaces for insertion of required or requested information //tax forms

5 a (1) : conduct regulated by extraneous (see EXTRANEOUS sense 1) controls (as of custom or etiquette) : CEREMONY (2) : show without substance

b : manner or conduct as tested by a prescribed or accepted standard rudeness is simply bad form

c : manner or style of performing or accomplishing according to recognized standards of technique //a strong swimmer but weak on form

6 a : the resting place or nest of a hare

b : a long seat : BENCH

7 a : a supporting frame model of the human figure or part (such as the torso) of the human figure usually used for displaying apparel

b : a proportioned and often adjustable model for fitting clothes

c : a mold in which concrete is placed to set

8 : the printing type or other matter arranged and secured in a chase ready for printing

9 a : one of the different modes of existence, action, or manifestation of a particular thing or substance : KIND //one form of respiratory disorder //a form of art

b : a distinguishable group of organisms

c : LINGUISTIC FORM d : one of the different aspects a word may take as a result of inflection or change of spelling or pronunciation //verbal forms

e : a mathematical expression of a particular type //a bilinear form //a polynomial form

10 a (1) : orderly method of arrangement (as in the presentation of ideas) : manner of coordinating elements (as of an artistic production or course of reasoning)

(2) : a particular kind or instance of such arrangement //the sonnet is a poetical form

b : PATTERN, SCHEMA arguments of the same logical form

c : the structural element, plan, or design of a work of art — compare CONTENT sense 2c

d : a visible and measurable unit defined by a contour : a bounded surface or volume

11 : a grade in a British school or in some American private schools

12 a (1) : the past performance of a race horse


b : known ability to perform a singer at the top of her form

c : condition suitable for performing (as in athletic competition) back on form

  1. Forms we think we “know” to be considered as “form.”

  2. A play

  3. A dance

  4. A happening

  5. A book

  6. A poem

  7. A list

  8. A novel

  9. An image

  10. An address; to, from, between

  11. “Formlessness” is not the opposite of “form.”

  12. Truth’s do not always exist in binary opposition.

  13. “Formlessness” only exists because “high art” is seen as having “form.”

  14. We are always searching for the “right form.”

  15. Form is not absolute.

  16. Form is not to be sought after.

  17. Form should be a localization.

  18. Moving, always, but trying to locate itself.

  19. Form is in movement.

  20. Form is also a movement.

  21. Historically.

  22. Finding, locating, or creating the “right” form is not the end goal.

  23. There is no “right” form.

  24. Because form is a lie.

  25. Although, while it is a lie, that does not mean it does not exist.

  26. Form exists only as a lie.

  27. If I give you my writing in a book, and the same writing in a stapled packet, one you will read, one you will critique.

  28. We are so gullible when it comes to form.

  29. Perhaps it’s because it’s a language that form feels so desirable.

  30. Supposing that language is a form of power.

  31. Supposing that language itself is power.

  32. Supposing it is both.

  33. We conflate the acknowledgement of certain forms in art with experience.

  34. To acknowledge is a form of experience, but it is not the only experience.

  35. We must unlearn the intellectual endeavor to ascertain and acknowledge form in art as the only mode of knowing.

  36. To know is to feel, to surrender, to create, to retreat, to attack, to etc.

  37. Form is not everything that it isn’t.

  38. Form is not when we say that our art is “not quite” or “the space between a play, a dance, and sculpture.”

  39. If the above is your creation, you have not achieved formlessness.

  40. Rather, your work is in simultaneity. That is, you have created a play, a dance, and a sculpture.

  41. By defining our work as the form it does not occupy, we suggest that it can never quite be.

  42. By defining our work as what it is, all of the possibilities that it is, we create multiplicity in being, viewing, and witnessing the work.

  43. I don’t know what formlessness is.

  44. We live in a world consumed by image.

  45. We assert that our “becoming” is a constant assimilation into image.

  46. Image is not, was not, and will not be for everyone.