Monday, February 29, 2016

Innocence of Vision

"The only provable reality of a photograph is its physical existence — a flat piece of paper with some smudges on one side...Most adults have to regain the ability to experience pictures directly and deeply. Contrary to their convictions that they understand everything, most people have to reestablish the ability to let a photograph speak for itself. And paradoxes abound, one has to earn the innocence of vision — by hard effort, by serious and deliberate search for meanings in photographs."

- Minor White (1908 - 1976)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Deciphering the External World

“Art is not what we see;
it is in the spaces between."

"The creative act is not
performed by the artist alone;
the spectator brings
the work in contact with
the external world by
deciphering and interpreting 
its inner qualifications and thus adds 
his contribution to the creative act."

"The spectator makes the picture.” 

- Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Mind is Simply Aware

“There is no ideal in observation.
When you have an ideal, 
you cease to observe, 
you are then merely
approximating the 
present to the idea, 
and therefore there
is duality, conflict, 
and all the rest of it. 

The mind has to be in the 
state when it can see, observe. 
The experience of the observation 
is really an astonishing state. 

In that there is no duality. 
The mind is simply - aware.”

- Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Not Things, but Light

“I almost never set out to photograph a landscape, 
nor do I think of my camera as a means of 
recording a mountain or an animal
unless I absolutely need a 'record shot'.
My first thought is always of light.”

- Galen Rowell (1940 - 2002)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Through the Invisible

“The great truth, or the absolute truth,
makes itself visible to our mind
through the invisible.”

- Georges Vantongerloo (1886 - 1965)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spiritual Awareness

“To the vast majority of people 
a photograph is an
image of something within 
their direct experience:
a more-or-less factual reality.

It is difficult for them 
to realize that the
photograph can be the source 
of experience, as well as the
reflection of spiritual awareness 
of the world and of self.”  

(1902 - 1984)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Invisible Organization of Energy

“Science shows us that the
visible world is neither 
matter nor spirit;
the visible world is the invisible 
organization of energy.”

(1939 - 1988)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Forms, Space, and Distinctions

“A universe comes into being when
a space is severed or taken apart… 
by tracing the way we 
[make such distinctions] 
we begin to reconstruct …  
the basic forms underlying linguistic,
mathematical, physical, 
and biological science.”

- G. Spencer Brown (1923 - )

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Between Something and Nothing

“Now, I am going to tell you something.
I don’t know what heading it comes under, 
and whether or not it is relevant here,
but it must be relevant at some point. 

It is not anything new, but I would like to say it. 

There is a beginning. There is no beginning of that beginning. 

There is no beginning of that no beginning of beginning.

 There is something. There is nothing. 

There is something before the beginning of something and nothing, 
and something before that. Suddenly there is something and nothing. 

But between something and nothing, 
I still don’t really know which is something and which is nothing.  

Now, I’ve just said something, 
but I don’t really know whether I’ve said anything or not.” 

- Chuang-Tzu (4th century BC)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Expressions of Deep Order

"If biologists have ignored self-organization, it is not because self-ordering is not pervasive and profound. It is because we biologists have yet to understand how to think about systems governed simultaneously by two sources of order, Yet who seeing the snowflake, who seeing simple lipid molecules cast adrift in water forming themselves into cell-like hollow lipid vesicles, who seeing the potential for the crystallization of life in swarms of reacting molecules, who seeing the stunning order for free in networks linking tens upon tens of thousands of variables, can fail to entertain a central thought: if ever we are to attain a final theory in biology, we will surely, surely have to understand the commingling of self-organization and selection. We will have to see that we are the natural expressions of a deeper order. Ultimately, we will discover in our creation myth that we are expected after all."

(1939 - )

Friday, February 19, 2016

Limited in Time and Space

“A human being is part of the 
whole called by us a universe,
a part limited in time and space. 

He experiences himself, 
his thoughts and his feelings,
as something separate from the rest,
a kind of optical delusion 
of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us;
it restricts us to our personal decisions and our
affections to a few persons nearest to us. 

Our task must be to free 
ourselves from this prison by
widening our circle of 
compassion to embrace
all living creatures and the 
whole of nature of its beauty.” 

(1879 - 1955)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Perception, Structure, Order

"When we observe something, then we reach for it; we move through space, touch things, feel their surfaces and contours. And our perception structures and orders the information given by things into determinable forms. We understand because this structuring and ordering is a part of our relationship with reality. Without order we couldn’t understand at all. Thus in my opinion the world is not raw material; it is already ordered merely by being observed.

Order is a necessary condition for anything the human mind is to understand. Arrangements such as the layout of a city or building, a set of tools, a display of merchandise, the verbal exposition of facts or ideas, or a painting or piece of music are called orderly when an observer or listener can grasp their overall structure and the ramification of the structure in some detail. Order makes it possible to focus on what is alike and what is different, what belongs together and what is segregated. When nothing superfluous is included and nothing indispensable left out, one can understand the interrelation of the whole and its parts, as well as the hierarchic scale of importance and power by which some structural features are dominant, others subordinate."

(1904 - 2007)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What is an Object?

“...Consider an object ...  what is an object? 

Philosophers are always saying, 
'Well, just take a chair for example.' 
The moment they say that, you know they 
do not know what they are talking about any more. 

What is a chair? 
Well, a chair is a certain thing over there ... 
Certain? How certain?
 The atoms are evaporating from it 
from time to time - not many atoms,
 but a few - dirt falls on it and 
gets dissolved in the paint; 
so to define a chair precisely, 
to say exactly which atoms are chair,
 and which atoms are air, or which atoms are dirt, 
or which atoms are paint that
 belongs to the chair is impossible. 

So the mass of a chair can be defined only approximately.

 In the same way, to define the mass of a single object is impossible,
 because there are not any single, left-alone objects in the world.”

(1918 - 1988)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Arbitrary Slices

“They will say: ‘Well, it’s a hexagon,’ but it isn’t a hexagon, and a rectangle which isn’t a rectangle. By describing what it nearly is but isn’t quite, they get a sort of description out. The division into parts is of course purely arbitrary. They could have sliced it anyway they wanted.”

- Gregory Bateson (1904 - 1980)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016

To Dream the World

"We (the indivisible divinity that works in us) have dreamed the world. We have dreamed it resistant, mysterious, visible, ubiquitous in space and firm in time, but we have allowed slight, and eternal, bits of the irrational to form part of its architecture so as to know that it is false."

(1899 - 1986)

Chasing Ideas

“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.

It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down - sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray. 

At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing. But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.”

(1946 - 2000)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Sea Boundless and Measureless

“The hidden well-spring of your soul
must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths
would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to
weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your
knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, 'I have found the truth,'
but rather, 'I have found a truth.'
Say not, 'I have found the path of the soul.'
Say rather, 'I have met the soul
walking upon my path.'
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line,
neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself,
like a lotus of countless petals.” 

- Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Stasis, Rhythm, and Aesthetics

"Beauty expressed by the artist cannot awaken in us an emotion which is kinetic or a sensation which is purely physical. It awakens, or ought to awaken, or induces, or ought to induce, an esthetic stasis, an ideal pity or an ideal terror, a stasis called forth, prolonged, and at last dissolved by what I call the rhythm of beauty." 

"What is that exactly?", asked Lynch.

"Rhythm," said Stephen, "is the first formal esthetic relation of part to part in any esthetic whole or of an aesthetic whole to its part or parts or of any part to the aesthetic whole of which it is a part."

- James Joyce, (1882 - 1941)

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Bildung , Gestalten, and Metamorphosis

“If we look at all these Gestalten, especially the organic ones, we will discover that nothing in them is permanent, nothing at rest or defined—everything is in a flux of continual motion. This is why German frequently and fittingly makes use of the word Bildung [formation] to describe the end product and what is in process of production as well…. When something has acquired a form it metamorphoses immediately into a new one.

...We will see the entire plant world, for example, as a vast sea which is as necessary to the existence of individual insects as the oceans and river are to the existence of individual fish, and we will observe that an enormous number of living creatures are born and nourished in this ocean of plants. Ultimately we will see the whole world of animals as a great element in which one species is created or at least sustained, by and through another. We will no longer think of connections and relationships in terms of purpose and intention; we will progress in knowledge alone through seeing how formative nature expresses itself from all sides and in all directions.

...Among the objects we will find many different forms of existence and modes of change, a variety of relationships livingly interwoven; in ourselves, on the other hand, a potential for infinite growth through constant adaptation of our sensibilities and judgment to new ways of acquiring knowledge and responding with action."

(1749 - 1832)

Monday, February 08, 2016

Ordering and Things Ordered

"Reality is of the senses, brain and mind – that which is knowable.  Existence is cause, ultimate cause. It is unspeakable, unknowable.  Reality is effect, manifestation of existence…  Ordering and things ordered coexist yet have independent significance…  The deepest and most profound emotion we can experience is the belief that the unknown really exists."

- Wynn Bullock (1902 - 1975)

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Quietly Seeking Images

"The not-so-silent conversations between things are always present. What is not so often present is my sensitivity to these voices. As it is said, for every push there is a pull, with every affirmation denial, but with only these there would be nothing but a frozen, rigid wasteland. There could be continuing movement with each new balance point experienced. There is great beauty in this ever-shifting dance. This is very alive and transcends all notions of a static experience. This is what brings life, for without it I would be locked in without possibilities; there would be no sense of creation. All would be frozen before the existence of time, without realization; there would not be a universe. Fortunately, all is conversation and movement - or transformation - that awaits my awareness. There are many entities all about us. I refer to those entities as images (photographs that aspire to say something); they are symbolic cameos, or icons. They have an unambiguous influence upon my life - they move and their movements are instruments of transformation."

- Nicholas C. Hlobeczy (1927 - 2007)

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Interpenetrating Fragments and Divisions

"[There is an...] almost universal habit of taking the content of our thought for ‘a description of the world as it is’. Or we could say that, in this habit, our thought is regarded as in direct correspondence with objective reality. Since our thought is pervaded with differences and distinctions, it follows that such a habit leads us to look on these as real divisions, so that the world is then seen and experienced as actually broken up into fragments.

...the relationship of each moment in the whole to all the others is implied by its total content: the way in which it ‘holds’ all the others enfolded within it.

...both observer and observed are merging and interpenetrating aspects of one whole reality, which is indivisible and unanalysable."

- David Bohm (1917 - 1992)

Friday, February 05, 2016

Chain of Connection

"In considering the study of physical phenomena, not merely in its bearings on the material wants of life, but in its general influence on the intellectual advancement of mankind, we find its noblest and most important result to be a knowledge of the chain of connection, by which all natural forces are linked together, and made mutually dependent upon each other; and it is the perception of these relations that exalts our views and ennobles our enjoyments."

-  Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859)

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Wave - Particle Duality

"Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated “building blocks,” but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole. These relations always include the observer in an essential way. The human observer constitute the final link in the chain of observational processes, and the properties of any atomic object can be understood only in terms of the object's interaction with the observer. "

-  Fritjof Capra (1939 - )

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Representations of the World

"Many people would accept that we do not really have knowledge of the world; we have knowledge only of our representations of the world. Yet we seem condemned by our consitution to treat these representations as if they were the world, for our everyday experience feels as if it were of a given and immediate world."

(1946 - 2001)

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Infinity's Impenetrable Secret

"For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed."

(1623 - 1662)

Monday, February 01, 2016

2005-2015 Portfolio Selections

2005-2015 Portfolio Selection

In response to the gentle nudging and persistent reminders from friends and fellow photographers, I have finally gotten around to organizing and posting a selection of the portfolios I have worked on during the last decade. Interested viewers can peruse the 600+ images by clicking on the link above; the thumbnail view shows only 12 (of the 20 total available) portfolios that are available online. The images are actually a superset of the photographs included in the hardcopy version published a few months ago (which contains 'only' about 60% of the images in the online version). So, grab your favorite beverage, find a quiet place, settle back into a nice, comfortable recliner chair, and embark on your visual journey at leisure. I hope that at least a few images will resonate with you, kind reader of my blog.