The Amplification Effect, No. 5

This is an invitation for artists and writers, creators of any medium, to participate in a group exercise.

A group exercise performed in the comments.

A symbol is provided, and participants are asked to share at least twice to generate an amplification of that symbol.

Regarding the value of amplification of symbolic content, Heba Zaphiriou Zarifi writes:

 “From circle to circle of interconnected nodal points, a web is created, an archetypal pattern intimated, knitting the original meaning to the rediscovered. A field of information is developed, leading toward the centre, which is a manifestation of being. The more that amplifications increase in distinctness and scope, the more closely they circumambulate the centre. Furthermore, these central points tend to self-amplify, forming a “nucleus for an aggregation of synonyms and antonyms”, as pairs of opposites needing to be united. There, meaning is unwrapped, engulfing all the parts into a cohesive structure of completeness, bringing us to a new psychological standpoint, with the symbol now in relation to ego consciousness. Out of the necessity of chaos a sequential and rhythmic order unfolds creatively, bridging the immanent with the transcendent. The alchemist would claim that meaning is hidden in the crevasses of matter, and that amplificatio is a way of releasing the spirit embedded within.”

Amplification, by Zafifi

Carl Jung championed approaching unconscious symbolic material with an ‘as-if’ attitude. Jung taught that meaning may be circumscribed, but not described.

The Process

1. Participants self-select.

2. Responses are placed in the comments to this post.

3. Each participant replies with an amplification of the symbol.

4. Each participant replies with an association to another participant’s amplification.

5. Participants are encouraged to repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as they wish.

6. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the group results of the exercise to provide an impetus for future creative work.

Postscript: Consider linking back to this post with any work this exercise generates. Links from this post to any work generated will be shared below.

(For further information, as well as an example of a completed group response mind map, see the inaugural Amplification Effect)


Week #5 Amplification Effect Symbol:

A milking barn.

Join us in the comments below!


Group Response Mind Map (updated throughout the exercise):


Links to Works Generated:

Dusk Comes Early in Winter, by Richard Reeve

19 thoughts on “The Amplification Effect, No. 5

  1. Milking barns make me think of the transition of pastoral tribes to city dwellers. A change from having nomadic herds of cattle to permanent structures like barns. This brings to mind, horses and warfare, raids and conquest from 4000 years ago. Which in turn brings to mind the great bronze age collapse and the changing of epochs.

  2. I think of a milking Barn I think of very old wood and the hands that put it together, how the stable structure lasts for many generations to work from and many generations of animals housed there

      1. Yessss…. I have shook many hands in my travels the last couple years and I believe my absolute favorite are those with the most where you can really see the history feel the history there 🤝🏼🤝🏼🤝🏼

  3. I love this exercise. I’m afraid my mind map took me inwards rather than outwards. It went something like this: Milking barn, shelter, safety, warmth, company, cocoon, growth, rebirth. (Off of shelter, I had – blizzard, storm, tornado. i.e. the outside world is dangerous.)

  4. Right, so moving from the matriarchal to the patriarchal, the question becomes why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, am I right fellas? Cattle…Chattle… milkshakes… Ice cream… we all scream. Edvard Munch. Shadow boxing with Carl Jung is my specialty. Next?

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