fixed idea * growth ^ duration = new

Typically compulsion or obsession is thought of as repetition— Mathematically this is expressed by counting, adding or multiplying; but these methods are limited, and only represent linear growth. Time is aggressively warped in the space of obsession and cannot be accurately expressed by a simple counting of the accumulation of minutes, seconds or moments. Within the void of obsession, time and duration have an intensifying effect. Stripped of all distractions the obsessive’s faculties and attentions are hyper-focused. In mathematics, when discussing growth over a period, multiplication alone is not sufficient and instead we use exponents. In equations, exponents are a way of expressing a situation where you begin with a set of conditions, change or growth from this set of condition occurs. In these situations the degree of change (the new) is unknown at the outset, as it results from exponential growth in relation to time (duration). Obsession is an example of this kind of recursive process, where growth is compounded through duration— once surrendered to or entered; obsession gives rise to growth: new, unexpected operations lead to new failures, which result in new ideas, instigating new thinking, problems and exponential growth. As a mathematical formula, obsession’s effect could be represented as— 

fixed idea * growth ^ duration = new.

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Kevin Townsend

Kevin Townsend is a Boston-based artist and professor at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA) and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). Townsend’s work explores and exploits a range of drawing ontologies, engaging drawing as ritual and vessel that occupy and encapsulate space and time. --- I MAKE. I TEACH. MY STUDIO PRACTICE AND MY WORK AS A TEACHER ARE NOT DEFINED BY AN EXHIBITION OR AN INSTITUTION, THEY ARE DEMANDED BY MY PERSONALITY. FOR ME, ARTIST AND EDUCATOR ARE NOT SIMPLY PROFESSIONAL TITLES, THEY ARE WORLD VIEWS— WHICH AT THEIR CORE REQUIRE FRAMING, DISTILLING, CONDENSING AND ESTABLISHING CONTEXTS FOR IDEAS, INFORMATION, AND ABSTRACT CONCEPTS IN ORDER TO ENGAGE AN AUDIENCE IN DIALOG. THESE MINDSETS DO NOT DISSIPATE WHEN I LEAVE THE CLASSROOM OR THE STUDIO, THEY PERSIST THROUGH EVERY FACET OF MY LIFE, UNIFIED BY THEIR DEPENDANCE UPON SYNTHESIS— SEEKING EVIDENCE OF GROWTH THROUGH PROCESS.