There is art and there is thought, but what is the relationship between art and thought? What kind of relationship might there be? Does such a thing as pure artistic thought exist? What impact could and should such thought have, or not have, on art itself and on a world that might include art?
Taking his point of departure in elementary questions like these, the Danish visual artist Jørgen Michaelsen (b.1961) has worked for several years to develop a device to facilitate thought which can be used operationally in connection with producing art. This ‘thinking machine’ is called DRY-WET-COMFORT (DWC) and is in itself an abstract transformative structure, forming dynamic syntheses of triangular figures of thought. A vital aspect of working with this machine has been the trialectic thinking developed by Asger Jorn in the 1960s. One could say that trialectics combines Hegelian-Marxist dialectics with the complementary thinking developed by the physicist Niels Bohr. On the whole, though, it is not a simple task to explain the nature of trialectics, since it is not a theory as such. It would probably be more pertinent to describe trialectics as an anarchist-critical reflection practice and, as such, it can be perceived on the background of the so-called pataphysics, which Jorn was interested in for many years. The concept of pataphysics was coined by the French writer Alfred Jarry (1873–1907), who defined it as ‘the science of imaginary solutions’ which, contrary to common science, addresses the exceptions to the rule. The pataphysical component in Asger Jorn is beautifully expressed in his book La langue verte et la cuite, published in 1968 by Jorn in collaboration with the French writer and pataphysicist Noël Arnaud.