Wednesday, December 06, 2023

It’s a Visual World

Leonora Carrington (asked if there had been other artists in the family): My mother used to paint biscuit tins for jumble sales. That’s the only art that went on in my household.

Interviewer: I wonder where it came from?

Leonora Carrington: I have no idea.

Interviewer: No other artists in our family? None at all?

Leonora Carrington: Why are you fixed on the idea of heredity? It’s not hereditary … comes from somewhere else, not from genes. You’re trying to intellectualize something desperately, and you’re wasting your time. That’s not a way of understanding, to make a kind of intellectual mini-logic. You never understand by that road.

Interviewer: What do you think you do understand by then?

Leonora Carrington: By your own feelings about things …if you see a painting that you like… canvas is an empty space.

Interviewer: If I got one of your pictures down from upstairs and said to you what were you thinking when you painted this…?

Leonora Carrington: No. It’s a visual world, you want to turn things into a kind of intellectual game, it’s not… the visual world, it’s totally different. Remember what I’ve just said now, don’t try and turn it into a …kind of intellectual game. It’s not… It’s a visual world, which is different. The visual world is to do with what we see as space, which changes all the time. How do I know to walk –that’s one concept– to this bed and around it without running into it. I’m moving in space. Or I can have a concept of it and then I can see it as an object in space…”

 - Leonora Carrington (1917 - 2011)
Don't try to intellectualize art

Note. The text above is transcribed by Hugh Blackmer, whose blog is a "must visit" for anyone even remotely interested in photography, art, philosophy, whimsical musings on life and reality, and other thoughts on subjects that language alone is inadequate to describe (Hugh covers a lot of creative ground 😊. The post from which I pilfered Hugh's interview fragment contains links to far more material on Leonora Carrington than just this one interview. Thank you, Hugh! 

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Fungal States of Minds

"Fungal organisms can perceive the outer world in a way similar to what animals sense. Does that mean that they have full awareness of their environment and themselves? Is a fungus a conscious entity? In laboratory experiments we found that fungi produce patterns of electrical activity, similar to neurons. The new field of fungal consciousness is opening in front of us. Let us discuss directions of future studies. Do fungi have holistic states of mind? Do they combine/modify such states? How many fungal states of mind could be described? Do fungi create specific relational contexts? Or are they, on the contrary, not capable of having holistic states of mind, and are just following completely prefixed patterns? At which extent can we include fungi affects into such cognitive processing? Fungal chemotaxis could be part of such proto-emotional states. A deeper consciousness state allows us to understand and accept sacrificing our 'self' for higher purposes (martyrs, heroes).
Given the peculiarity of fungi morphology and degree of connection, we may imagine how radically different computational schemes are embedded into a fungal consciousness. For example, rather than 3-dimensional visual perception, holographic perception might be possible, considering the quasi-flat distribution of mycelia and its mechanoceptive reconstruction of moving objects (animals) at the upper boundary layer. Non-causal consciousness might arise from this specific perception framework, eventually hindering the time perception. All of these remain open questions for further investigations."

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Morning Fog

"Space and silence are two
aspects of the same thing.
The same no-thing. They
are externalization of inner
space and inner silence,
which is stillness: the
the infinitely creative womb
 of all existence.

Eckhart Tolle (1948 - )

Yesterday was one of those special mornings that makes photography ... heck, life! 😊 ... so wondrously special.  Anticipating a long weekend "work" day (a long technical paper I need to start writing but that I've been putting off for days), I had wanted to get a bit of extra sleep before I got started. My wife, who is well attuned to my photographer's soul - and predilections - all-too-well, woke me up early saying, "Hon, there is "heavy fog" outside, maybe you'd...?" .... I was out the door before she finished her sentence. I was so entranced by what I found at the nearby lake I raced to - a dense fog that was gently caressing the water and surrounding woods, a preternatural stillness in the air, and not another person in sight - that, initially at least, all I could do was just stand by the lakeshore, not doing - or thinking about - anything, cradling my camera with a smile on my face, soaking in the precious Zen moment. The photographs I captured in the hour or so that followed (some are shown here) are perhaps nothing special. But, "My, Oh My!" what perfect Alfred-Stieglitzian "equivalents" they all are of what I felt during my early morning sojourn around the lake that morning!

Friday, November 17, 2023

Movement of Colors

"Light in Nature creates the movement of colors."

- Robert Delaunay (1885 - 1941)

"In nature, light creates the color.
In the picture, color creates the light."

Hans Hofmann (1880 - 1966)

Sunday, November 12, 2023

The Color Nearest the Light

"[Yellow] is the color nearest the light. It appears on the slightest mitigation of light, whether by semi-transparent mediums or faint reflection from white surfaces. In prismatic experiments it extends itself alone and widely in the light space, and while the two poles remain separated from each other, before it mixes with blue to produce green it is to be seen in its utmost purity and beauty.
As no color can be considered as stationary, so we can very easily augment yellow into reddish by condensing or darkening it. The color increases in energy, and appears in red-yellow more powerful and splendid. All that we have said of yellow is applicable here, in a higher degree. The red-yellow gives an impression of warmth and gladness, since it represents the hue of the intenser glow of fire.
As pure yellow passes very easily to red-yellow, so the deepening of this last to yellow-red is not to be arrested. The agreeable, cheerful sensation which red-yellow excites increases to an intolerably powerful impression in bright yellow-red. In looking steadfastly at a perfectly yellow-red surface, the color seems actually to penetrate the organ. It produces an extreme excitement, and still acts thus when somewhat darkened."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Theory of Colours

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Leaves, Color, Wholeness

"When we understand what order is,  I believe we shall better understand what matter is and then what the universe itself is ... Learning to see … wholeness … not muddled or contaminated by words and concepts, is extremely difficult, but it is possible to learn …When we see wholeness as it is, we recognize that [its] seeming parts … are merely arbitrary fragments which our minds have been directed to, because we happen to have words for them. If we open our eyes wide, and look at the scene without cognitive prejudice, we see something quite different ... geometric wholeness is not merely beautiful in itself as an accompaniment to the beautiful color. It is essential, necessary, for the release of light. Color, far from being an incidental attribute of things, is fundamental to the living structure of wholeness. Inner light is not merely a phenomenon, but the character of wholeness when it ‘melts.’"

Christopher Alexander (1936 - 2022)

Friday, November 10, 2023

Manifest Form

"The harmony of the world is
made manifest in Form and Number,
and the heart and soul and all the
poetry of Natural Philosophy are embodied
in the concept of mathematical beauty.
Cell and tissue, shell and bone, leaf and flower, are so many portions of matter, and it is in obedience to the laws of physics that their particles have been moved, moulded and confirmed... Their problems of form are in the first instance mathematical problems, their problems of growth are essentially physical problems, and the morphologist is, ipso facto, a student of physical science."

D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (1860 - 1948)
On Growth and Form