Monday, November 30, 2020

Narrow Borderland of the Senses

"Outside our consciousness
there lies the cold and alien
world of actual things.
Between the two stretches
the narrow borderland of the senses. 
No communication between
the two worlds is possible excepting
across the narrow strip. 
For a proper understanding of
ourselves and of the world,
it is of the highest importance
that this borderland should
be thoroughly explored."

- Heinrich Hertz (1857 - 1894)

Postscript. Brooks Jensen (editor of Lenswork) offers a neat "trick" to jump-start - and otherwise stimulate - the creative process: spread a portfolio of your images or artwork (small physical prints work best) on the floor, and just play with various arrangements. You may either find stepping stones to ideas percolating just beneath the surface of your muse; or (if you are especially lucky), you may discover latent patterns-of-patterns that define you as an artist - invisible threads that run through your work that only a meditative bird's eye glimpse can reveal; or, as has happened here, you just happily stumble upon heretofore unrelated images that combine to tell their own story to you. The three images assembled together in the triptych above are unrelated, except that all were captured by me at very different times: the left-most image was an "accident" (literally, a waterlogged remnant of a 20 yo print of trees, if you can believe it!); the middle image is an 8yo shot of my ongoing "synesthetic landscape" series; and the right-most image is an oil abstract taken about a decade ago (which, up until my self-imposed "Brooks-Jensenian-exercise," was quietly sitting on an old hard-drive in its pristine raw form). The three images inexplicably aligned themselves - in sequence and correct orientation! - as I threw the first batch of 50 or so small prints on the floor to view. I imagine some Arthur-Clarkian tale being woven of an alien world: first "seen" by a probe as it navigates its way through a hole in an orbiting asteroid; it hurls through the planet's atmosphere and plunges into a stormy methane ocean; and starts collecting data on strange boundaryless lifeforms. Or, it could just be a randomly assembled meaningless triptych of equally random meaningless images ... though, for me, meaning, as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder :) Indeed, I wonder how many other phantasmagoric worlds will remain forever invisible to me, because there are not enough moments of time left in my life to conjure the right sequence?

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