According to Pittsburgh-based Chilean artist Alberto Almarza’s blog profile, he “meticulously blurs the boundaries between consensus and potential reality, creating a bridge between the realm of matter and that of inner vision.” All of which rather reminds me of the Jim Morrison quote: “There are things known and things unknown and in between are The Doors“.

Anyhoo, given Almarza’s interests and self-proclaimed liminality, it was starkly inevitable that he would one day pick up on the Voynich Manuscript (as indeed he just has). Even so, I think it’s fair to say that the form of his preliminary sketches (“Voynichus Conifralias”) seems far closer to the draughtsmanlike excesses of the Codex Seraphinianus (though without its whimsical distorted rationality thing, admittedly).

Luigi Serafini’s beautiful objet d’art strikes me as an infinite postmodern jest, an internally evolved architecture of a private language, with too many arbitrary degrees of separation for us to tease out any of the tortuous tweening stages. And what of its striking parallels with the Voynich Manuscript? Having probably grown in similar ways, I say, both ended up broadly as unreadable as each other.

Incidentally, recapitulation theory famously tried to claim that ontogeny [how an individual develops] recapitulates phylogeny [how species developed]. Though this is scientifically incorrect, its internal confusion might help points to the confusion within Voynich Manuscript research – do people look for a macro-level / species-level phylogenetic explanation when they should be looking for a micro-level / individual-level ontogenetic explanation?

Almarza certainly has excellent technique: but to grow his own Voynich Manuscript or Codex Serafinianus, I suspect he would need not a seed, but a weed – something almost with its own will to live that develops almost by itself, despite extensive authorial rational pruning. Surely what is most remarkable about both these texts is not their mad structure, but their lack of construction marks, hmmm?

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