Shameless Filler: A Codex Serpahinianus Gallery

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Codex SerpahinianusThe Codex Serpahinianus has a reputation as a mysterious, impenetrable book.  Having gotten ahold of an excellent scanned copy, I have to say that reputation was unfounded.  The Codex is an early study of the fractal dimensions of apparently “flat” surfaces, such as paper, and the shapes generated by ink along that landscape.  As you will see in the first two scans, all of the intricate species, landscape and cultures within the pages of the Codex are the result of iterative changes in a chaotic environment—just like you and me.

The extraordinary “Codex Seraphinianus” is a book of 400 pages in the form of an encyclopedia—graphical letters, signs, animals and plants, anatomy and chemistry, creating a book to view and to admire. Its writing, completely invented, could never be deciphered even with the most technologically advanced machine, but it can be intuited, loaded with emotional meaning that washes over the eyes.

paper closeup microscopeI give away the scan without malice—I don’t think I’m exactly hurting the market for existing copies of this book.  The Codex is ultimately an artifact, not a message—it’s a reminder that flesh-surface of actual paper has a power that electrons on a screen do not.  Everything in the Codex was written and drawn by hand—evoking illuminated manuscripts and Da Vinci’s legacy of dope notebooks.  Some of the best tea I ever had in my life was picked by monkeys in the Fujian province of China.  It’s called Monkey-Picked Tea, and it’s $37 for 3 ounces.

At least the Codex is free.  Much love to Luigi Serafini, the primate who hand-crafted this:

Sorry, due to traffic this file has been removed for a bit, digg + 150meg pdf is crippling my server.

Codex Serpahinianus

Codex Serpahinianus ink

Codex bugs emerging

Codex fish species

Codex moving trees

Codex critters and stuff

Codex eyes taxonomy

Codex mind control

Codex fractals

Imagine Re-Designing Reality

Just hypothetically, of course.  It only has to work on paper.  You could also use legos, or design a computer program, or make several million dollars just to prove a point with it.  Any which way, imagine being able to free up your mind enough to achieve a truly blank slate.  Imagine re-building a culture that’s not based on suspicion, fear and struggles for control.  How much could humans change?  Would it take a few generations to achieve—or just a couple really great parties? 

Codex school

Codex Best Train Ever

Buddhabrain Buddhabot Buddhabrot

The River City

The Cliff City

Coastal Power Plants

1 response to "Shameless Filler: A Codex Serpahinianus Gallery"

  • avatar

    Dec 06, 2007 at 10:29 AM

    A couple of really great parties should do it grin

    That’s why I’m helping organise…

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