The linear structure is based upon the human-line algorithm. The works induce both mechanical and organic connotations: the quasi-automatic pattern, wherein each line is a reaction to the previous one, is dictated and guided by the breathing rate of Franzen. The irregularities within the structure result from the externalization of the artist’s thoughts, emotions, and reflections.
Starting with a single straight line, each subsequent line seeks to imitate its predecessor. Each breath, and therefore each line, will vary slightly, which makes the pattern evolves uniquely for each piece. Depending on Franzen’s constitution, each work obtains an individual motion, which distinguishes it from the others. Concentration and the repetitive act of inhaling and exhaling between each line allows the whole to evolve naturally into logarithmic-like patterns and layers.
The line, as the initiation of each drawing, demands the most fundamental act of life: the breath. Through conscious inhalation and exhalation, the drawing is gradually created. In this process, every inhalation triggers inspiration, which is in itself life. The lines thus carry the energy of the breath, capturing it in visible images, binding it into matter.
The fascination in this work is how the breath directly influences the materialization of the line, and thereby the whole image. The inexhaustible variety of patterns that can be derived from a simple initial line reflects the diversity of manifested energy in the material world. In the course of this process of drawing each line during the length of a single exhale, Franzen achieves a form of spiritual transcendence wherein the repetitive movements become all-encompassing. The artist is able to find a meditative space by translating his essential life-giving breath into this physical manifestation.
The choice of a line as the starting point for these works, as well as in One Line, lies in their role as an omnipresent element in all aspects of life. Lines carry waves of sound and light. They mark the lunar gravity on bodies of water in the form of waves, and that of the wind on dunes of sand. Lines imprint the trunks of trees and record elemental growth and fluctuation; rain falls and grass moves in the wind in these familiar patterns. Even the irreversibility of time leads us to think in linear terms. The resulting artworks are reminiscent of these varying types of lines that are constantly transporting energy across space and time. The minimalist pattern of sequential, but subtly variable lines also provides an allegory for repetition, continuity, and immortality.