thought shapes abstraction and reality
the starting place for my current work was a desire to understand artists and scientists pre-occupation
with the golden ratio, also known as phi. i felt that i really needed to know what it was about
1.61803398875 that seemed to hold such apparently magical properties. i began by
looking for geometric ways to describe that certain ratio in the hope that i
would stumble on something that made artistic, scientific and
philosophical sense of the whole conundrum. the more i
tried, the further away any rational answer seemed
to drift. i did, however, find myself becoming
entangled and enchanted by the delightful
possibilities inherent in geometric
patterns and the fluid logic of
the way the human brain
also i noticed that the more i directed my conscious thoughts towards searching for an explanation,
the more i was able to surprise myself with the visual solutions i was finding to the problem.
as a further distraction i then began mapping the way the various irrational numbers
that haunt the hinter lands of mathematics and physics relate to each other,
in an attempt to find a pattern or connection. what i ended up with
began to resemble a bar code for something that
could never exist, and that was enchanting.
a few years prior to this venture i had studied, but never practiced, hypnotherapy.
on reflection i suspect my fascination with this aspect of mathematics
created a sort of distraction trance to keep my conscious mind
preoccupied, thus leaving my unconscious mind free to
explore the possibilities of colour, pattern,
geometry and form without critical
interference from my
however, when i wasn't entranced by mathematics i found that my perception of the nature
of life, the universe and everything was changing in a most enlightening way. though
i didn't realize it at the time, this mental exercise changed the way i would look
at life for good. incidentally, a nice poetic way to remember
the key to constructing the golden ratio is:
root five x point five + point five
what makes our world affects what we make of it. science has completely changed our perception
of the universe in the last hundred years and it is those changes that interest me. the
realisation that matter isn't matter, but bundles of energy moving on set paths
and held together in a matrix which appears to have form, has always
fascinated me. the contemporary collective unconscious now includes
integrated circuits, neural labyrinths, subatomic particles,
interstellar space, wave forms, quantum mechanics,
dark matter and chaos theory. fluid
geometry is a representation
of this revised perception
fluid geometry is the continuation a theme which has been running through my work for the last
twenty five years. this began with an idea called thought shapes abstraction and reality
which was concerned with the way people think and the mental constructs we form.
everything that the human race produces is a reflection of the contents and
capabilities of the human mind, so it's not surprising that we
easily see our thoughts and feelings reflected in
many of the things that we produce.
dark projections are an inversion of fluid geometry, an off-shoot in a different direction, an aside,
sidelong glances at other possibilities, wondering what else might be there. contemplating
the shadow and all it implies. a celebration of the mysteries and delights of the dark
side. secretive perversity for the sheer pleasure of it. a projective device, a fire
to find faces in. an invitation to invent. traces of the shapes carved by
light as it moves through space. a desire for something
else, somewhere else. a childish wish.
the polymorphism series is my personal leap of faith. it is my attempt to understand and embrace the uncertainty
and insecurity that comes with knowing there never was a plan and never will be. the essential difference
between a circle and a straight line is that the former defines a finite amount, the latter doesn't.
as such they are reminiscent (albeit inversely) of the 1 and 0 of binary notation, most familiarly
known for it's use in computer code. in a similar way the most basic thought anyone
can have is to make a simple yes/no differentiation. this is also the starting point
of natural growth when cells first begin to divide. when differentiation
meets exponential multiplication the possibilities are infinite.
in the beginning there was only nothing, and that is an impossible position. in that moment the instability of
nothing eventually became untenable when balanced against the possibility of everything.
the process had begun by which we were to exist, and eventually become sentient.
dark matter and dark energy could be seen as an echo of that paradox.
as life develops, intelligence gradually becomes self aware. did we ever consider the possibility
that the world and the universe developed their own rules as they went along? everything
that exists is part of that process - we can talk to god because we are god. we are
now beginning to gain insight into the processes by which those rules are
formed and they are far more fascinating and mysterious than
anything we had previously considered spiritual.
overcurrent alludes to the opinions and emotions not visible at the surface, an inverted undertow
which controls and oversees our comprehension of everyday life. overcurrents are beyond
now, beyond the present - overcurrents are the future, they appear complex
and complicated because that is the nature of the world in which we now
live. telecommunications and the media have become the fabric of
society, permeating everything to the extent that we are
almost oblivious to their influence. the persistent
complexity of our lines of communication has
required us to reduce all complex thoughts
and images to the most simplistic
with increasing dependence on the media for information and opinion, we have unconsciously become
a collective. our layers of sophistication belie the basic nature of our fears and desires. what
we know is all we know. repetition of a message reinforces its importance and validity,
regardless of its credibility, while seeing every angle passes for understanding.
the conventions to which we conform, the rules we obey, the tricks we
play, the beliefs we hold sacred, the devices we employ and
the limitations we shun and avoid help to maintain
our illusion of free will and self determination.
overcurrent is beyond now, beyond the
present - overcurrent is the future.
representations of the overcurrent are produced by initially creating a stylised geometric line drawing over a photograph
which, when deleted, allows the remaining monochrome image to be coloured and reconstructed according to the
requirements of the total structure. it is then further modified through the interaction of successive
duplications to enhance the inherent complexity of the subject. even though nothing
of the original is left, the resulting electronic strata that runs through the
image remains as its binary signature.
architects, town planners, engineers, economists and politicians produced the overdrive series for me.
by letting their purpose define their form, the structures they've created have inadvertently
become a most pertinent statement about the concerns of our current age. each new
solution creates another problem which requires another solution. the more
one tries to control a situation, the more uncontrollable it becomes.
how will these monuments be interpreted hundreds of years
from now? the shapes of our roads appear to suggest
something about us, mirroring our aspirations.
without people or vehicles to define their
function, their purpose and intent
is still self evident.
the electric garden
a glimpse of the bigger picture, born in a brief moment of zen simplicity. looking at the stamens
of an iris one day i was completely overwhelmed by the realisation of how intense
and complex life is. the more we know about the universe, the
less significant our place within it becomes.
by comparison all human concerns
pale into insignificance.
cyber fauve began as an experiment combining photographs and fluid geometry in order to see
beyond the apparent surface and reveal other aspects of a scene. i found that by
introducing abstract elements which seemed in some way sympathetic
to the photograph i intensified my remembered experience
of a place, showing not only how it looked,
but also what it felt like to be there.