arf sculpting

began as a safety patch: arf was made to pull away from any warm-blooded tissue — to retract as fast as it can (has never been too fast, though) if sensing a body close by. Arf sculpting as an art form was thus born: slow, patient handholding and handwaving (with or without touching) to morph a mass of otherwise rigid, impenetrable, self-restoring arf into arbitrary forms. ■    Perhaps unsurprisingly, “spoon bending” did more to popularize arf than its free storage and other goodies. Further patches improved malleability, response speed, ease of handling; eventually it was more than just shape — you can stop or accelerate arfs growth, vary the texture, density, color (natural arf feels like polished wood — but can be made anything, from hard enough to make ringing bells to elastic, soft, even fuzzy). Nowadays arf is scripted as much as sculpted, but no script works without hands-on manipulation; e.g. you can fractalize by multiplying your pinch, recursively with transformations, to make a large volume respond to a tweak in a hot spot. Basic sculpting is doable on any piece of arf but your native culture — tied to your/your familys genome — is always more responsive.  ■    The idea of growing a livable home out of arf has no single author; several projects were started almost simultaneously. First attempts were small and clumsy — the material was still scarce, hard to handle, evolving fast; pioneers learned from accidents that ranged from a cat leaving a cozy depression (slept on a naked arf floor) to a whole estate turning into a hopeless knotty mess. Coevolution heals the joints; now humans control their arf almost as thoughtlessly as their bodies: unconscious arf doodling is what one most often does when thinking. ■    Children with their active growth biochemistry are keener sculptors than adults: a toddlers first arf interactions may predate walking and talking. Kids sculpt around them as naturally as they play — given enough arf, they will carve out a (child-sized) room in a day; a typical playspace is a honeycomb — a foam of slowly bubbling and collapsing cells, one per game or fantasy. First “arf kids” raised in amorphous organic homes may have been at a disadvantage in math and abstract thinking by seeing so little Euclidean geometry around them. ■    Sculpting isnt only slow because arf is slow. As years pass, you sculpt your home simply by living, moving, breathing in it; even a planned remodeling project may get mere minutes of meditative hand-holding per day, with decades before something begins to shape up: “speed-hungry ancestors would gasp at the inefficiency” but our human-scale domiciles strive to be as lived as a well-worn book — warmly handcrafted, arfgrassed to taste, no wall and no corner left mechanically flat and soulless. Just like the early-modernity “international style” cleaned the slate — reset everything to straight lines and rectangular boxes — the post-deconstruction science age with its “new organics” (evolving), rounding, streamlining seeded the “decor-less barocco” aesthetics of the arf era.

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