Observing things from different angles or different vectors allows us to see things differently.

This seems like it should be common sense, but actually, in the moment of seeing, it is hard to imagine things from any other perspective.

Making art activates different levels of perception. This morning I made an image of a tree. It brings to mind a variety of ideas and forms. This evening’s piece is abstract. Instead of working from something I’ve seen, I chose to look at color and form.

Both pieces invoke a visceral meaning, an emotional one, and can both be interpreted from a rational perspective.

They are my own works, so perhaps this is a bit stilted, but, I’d say viscerally they are similar. They each use bright colors and contrast, which makes the eye vibrate in a certain way, emotionally one is more controlled, evoking the tree as a body in the world, and the other is form without definite boundaries. And rationally, one is based upon a remembered observation, while the other was created by following a formal rule, even though it’s result is less grounded.

Life is a little like that. We make choices based upon a variety of criteria. Our values for different parts of our lives and different qualities inform our decisions about what to do when and how. But if we don’t take the time to look at those values, qualities, and actions, we can continually make the same mistake, time and again.

When other people see our lives from the outside, sometimes they make judgements about our choices. But it is just as difficult for an uninformed observer to judge our decisions in the moment as it is for us to do it ourselves. Each of us has constructed a value system by which we elect certain qualities and acts over others, and each of our elections have changed the way we see the world.

In making art, I change perspective frequently, and while it doesn’t allow me omniscience, even over the vectors of my actions, it changes my fixed perception of the world and allows me to better understand the qualities of my actions in the world.

This piece is about the different spheres of perspective, value, and actions. They are all connected, rippling across each other like raindrops on a pond, but each one has it’s own vector and frequency, which create harmony or cacophony.

2 Replies to “Relative”

  1. I wonder what happens to bubbles in a liquid in zero gravity conditions. This has nothing to do with your well crafted philosophical musings, but when you started talking about spheres and ripples in a pond, I started imagining your picture in 3 dimensions, maybe ‘cuz I was just at the sculpture park this afternoon.

  2. Apparently, they do all kinds of things, as evidenced by this clip from the International Space Station!

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