One solution is as good as another; if it’s even a puzzle or needs explication, which remains debatable.
Possible Uses of the Design in Question:
a) A proto-DARPA experimental device developed by top engineers under the influence of LSD to channel orgones into potent ”love bombs” which when deployed on the populace of an enemy state caused all those exposed to strip and engage in mass orgies. Deployment was eminent, but the device physically disappeared under the Kennedy Administration and its researchers re-assigned, though it continued to be funded well into Bush II for reasons that have remained classified. Counter-intelligence Archeologists have been working to recreate the original device from this only known design for the armament, but a functional prototype for the instrument has yet to be constructed.
b) A rare patent office reject, a design allegedly for the de-seeding of space lettuce. It has since become a potent symbol of the Patent Office reform movement, which uses this exceptional reject as a running joke for all the terrible patents that get rubber-stamped into existence and then employed for nefarious ends by “patent trolls,” organizations that collect patents never to develop new technologies but only to use them to exploit other companies through lawsuits. This model appears in the logo of many patent reform organizations.
c) It is the only known working diagram for one of Houdini’s many extremely complicated tricks. Though it is indisputably Houdini’s, it is still unknown exactly what the trick was or how it was meant to be performed.
Erik Frydenborg, Installation view of Dr. (illegible). Courtesy the artist and Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles.
d) A model for the organization of the universe developed by a little known all-female cult of mystical physicists with origins in the early nineteenth century. They took some of the founding principles of gravity and expanded them beyond their logical origins into ornate arcana. Based in a commune in central Vermont, the last known adherent of the organization relinquished all artifacts and secrets of her rite to the Order of the Golden Dawn, who subsequently destroyed almost all traces in ritual immolation. Only this model survives, which was tattooed on the last follower’s chest and recorded for posterity by her attending deathbed physician along with a rudimentary history of the organization mumbled to the good doctor in a fever dream.
e) The inspiration for an art exhibition about unknown solutions, lost knowledge, and the importance of a determined curiosity. The model is a symbol of mysteries that are worth endlessly exploring in innumerable physical and conceptual incarnations, with histories invented, even as the “real” solution can’t possibly be found. The artist begins with a simple unknown element that inspires his curiosity. The exhibition displays the traces of his unique process of invention and investigation, the model only a starting point. Here the arrangement of objects matches that of a scientific inquiry, a museological array done with seriousness. But the objects themselves are as cryptic as the diagram that inspired them, freighted with the unknown, though realized with a material style, a voice, that belongs wholly and compellingly to the artist.
Please choose at random any one of the above imaginary solutions. They are all valid.
Erik Frydenborg, Detail of Parens/Life's Work, 2011, Archival Lightjet print, collage on paper, decollage on paper, garment fragment, ink and linen tape on found printed page, ink and linen tape on found handwritten index card, Found library book end pages, paint on medium density fiberboard, polyurethane plastic, pigments, polyurethane rubber, ash plywood, stain, wax 80 x 96 x 24 inches. Courtesy the artist and Cherry and Martin Gallery, Los Angeles.