ietsnut / Object Index

Welcome to a research artwork in progress titled “Index of Forms”.

This experiment is showing the process of visualizing “Plato’s Theory of Forms” and organizing/indexing them using a design principle called “Object Oriented Programming”.

Plato’s Theory of Forms is a metaphysical theory which states that everything in the physical realm (where we are), is based off of a “Platonic Form” from the Realm of Forms. A Platonic Form is a transcendental blueprint for a physical object. When we are born we know every True Form, but when we get older this fades. This view of the world and everything around us is similar to Object Oriented Programming (or OOP for short). Just like Plato, OOP also views every instance of an object as a construct of a blueprint, called a class.

Take a physical circle for example. Plato would say that there exists a Form called Circle, which is the blueprint for the ideal Circle. But when we define it in OOP, we could say there is an instance of a Circle, so a Circle object, which has been constructed by the Circle class. But, unlike Plato, OOP also looks at inheritance. So we could say that Circle is a child of superclass/parent Shape, so Circle inherits/implements the properties of Shape.

By using OOP as a way of categorizing and organizing Platonic Forms, the artist wants to try and make an index of Forms with the help of children. Here we will also try to visualize superclasses like Shape and Animal, and even the parent of every object, the Object Form itself.

Click here to navigate all the objects.