Machines seem to be good at making symmetrical artifacts, nature is not. However, if you measure very accurately machines do have their limits in accurate symmetry. We think we see symmetry everywhere, but this is a trick played on us by the way our brains create patterns. We perceive people’s faces as symmetrical , they are not.
Me split and flipped.
2 plus 2 make a very weird number!
Lots of early artifacts, I think pre-industrial revolution, do not slavishly use symmetry.
Consider the guilloche panel carved on the top rail of this chair. While there is a flower in the middle and three more at each side, our modern eyes might expect the flowers on each side to reflect each other. Instead the figures are repeated in the same order at both sides, a repeat rather than a reflection.
Sometimes the issue is asymmetry because a pattern doesn’t fit:
I suppose the tiger looks symmetrical on first glance but to a tiger’s eye no doubt full of the charm of asymmetry.
While natural scenes hold not a jot of mirrored sameness, we do occasionally mimic that beauty.
Then in the Arts and Crafts movement therer was a move against symmetry in architecture:
I find it hard to describe why I prefer the windows dotted around rather than in a slavish pattern. I wouldn’t try to say patterns are unnatural but I do enjoy natural chaos.
Sorry the posts have been so thin on the ground. A collection of various minor issues have been getting in the way: work; file sizes on my host server; holidays in the US, posting to Instagram – I would like to find a way to post here direct from Instagram, anyone know if it’s possible?
Then there’s beekeeping and queen rearing, much easier in nature: