RGB 75 NOISE 08 -200 brightness +noise + blurn dark

The Hidden World of the Nearby

next

preface

IT IS TIME


To rethink what it means to be human.

Introspection is not a word we use very often.

However, our civilization is in grave danger and we had better start thinking.

The science of genetics has shown that we are all Africans who migrated north about 100,000 years ago. But only those who went far enough north are white for the short days gave too little sunlight to make vitamin D and so our skins lightened.

But, despite a commmon heritage, we are always at war. ew;;;;;;;kwajr

, despite a common beginning, has divided us into many different parts: nations, tribes, religions, political views and more, each with different beliefs and potential for greatness.

I am constantly surpised that our greatness, individully and together is not part of our everyday thinking and our separateness continues to lead us into conflicts of great potential harm.

The reason, I believe, is that we are not aware of the fundamental great truths about ourselves and our origins that science has revealed nor are we aware of the glorious potential of our minds, individually and collectively.

It must seem odd for an artist and scientist to preface a discussion of his life’s work from such a perspective. But the experiences of a lifetime of work, study and education keep prodding me to write while showing my work and suggest some beginning steps that we could all take together.

I am in my 80th year and so have little time.

My art is inspired by nature and is about nature and it has a name, “The Hidden World of the Nearby” that arose out of my experiences with nature. I have come to believe that there are truths about how and why we were created, and the miraculcous nature of that creation, and especially of our minds, that are as nearby as anything can be and yet are so easily overlooked.

SPRINGTIME


When all life begins.

It took me nine years to find the photograph below that I call Spring Sunrise. It is part of “the hidden world of the nearby” for it was made on a road that is an entrance to the Interstate highway that is the most northern in America that crosses the entire continent from Boston to Seattle. It took me seven years to find the location and two years of regular morning visits before the day in 1983 that it sprang to life.

A wonder of fine art of any kind is that it speaks in all languages and so it gives me hope that all who look at it would feel the effervesance of the earth beginning a new season.

Ipswich Sunset

This is an extraaordinary perspective for I am looking directly into the rising sun and am also near to and at the height of the trees that are just coming into leaf. What you cannot see is that in the upper left is a four lane Interstate Highway leading into Boston. I was immensely fortunate to be there on this day and at the time when the sun was rising and in the one day out of dozens that I visited vernal pool should be giving life to this glorious mist. It lasted about 45 minutes and I photographed until the mist was gone. Of dozens of sheets of film, two were full of the life I had hoped to find.

Untitled photo

A wonder of fine art of any kind is that it speaks in all languages and so it gives me hope that all who look at it would feel the effervesance of the earth beginning a new season.

It is not immediately obvious why global warming should be such an issue. Humanity has taken it pretty lightly despite the news. Oil companies and gas companies are still going about their busisess but the expected temperature rise by 2100 is expected to be cataclismic.

The mystery, of course is why we have so neglected the earth. That is part one. Part two is the significance of an earth reduced to something considerably less than it was before we started warming it and what population it will support and that leaves me with the question of how important is the earth in the largest context we can resonably comprehend: the time, 10.78 billion years since the big bang and the nature of the universe that resulted.

This is, of course, a formidable topic and one beyond the range of an electrical engineer even with three diplomas from MIT. However, the issues that pop out are, from my perspective perplexing but straightforward and they are issues that have interested me since childhood so I do have some opinions are see a bunch of unaddressed questions.

The question(s) are simple: why are we here and what should life be like. The perplexing part is that physicists keep working on "theories of everything" yet these issues are rareluy if ever mentioned. And it doesn’t stop there. Have you ever heard happiness or joy or beauty as important issues in a presidential debate? Do you even know of someone who raises these issues in the context of the creation, which for us means the big bang. In the summer of 1959 just prior to matriculating at MIT I spent two weeks at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. I was participating in a program for students about to enter college to study science. It was just two weeks and involved doing a project of one’s choosing (mine was particle physics) and hearing leactures by a Professor Bennet and participating in discussions. There is one thing I will never forget and it was very simple. Professor Bennet kept telling us “the more you know, the less you know,” meaning, of course that every door you opened, everything you learned put you in touch with another part of the infinity that is knowledge. He has turned out to be right.

I read some time ago that the field of philosophy seemed to be loosing its relevnce and just a few minutes ago read an article in The New Yorker about the development of logical empericisism in Vienna between the two world wars. I have not heard much about it lately and I believe I know why. It tried to express life in words and sentences with absolute precision of meaning. That is not life, it is a kind of death for it uses words as chains.

The great art forms: poetry and literature, painting and photography and music and dance all speak a language that cannot be translated into words. A Chopin ballade can take anyone, no matter what verbal language they speak to a new place of joy and beauty. This is what we want to do and what this website is about.

I have been tuned into the field of cosmology since before high school and am reading about it now along with some related fields. This might explain the title of the first chapter of this project. And I have found that my early thinking in a way paralled that of the German philosophy.

“Why” has ocupied my spare time thinking for some time and even a toe in the water leads to an infinity of questions, one of which was the book (and TED talk) by Jim Holt subtitled “Why is there somethiing rather than nothing?” which seems a bit crazy for a kickoff of a website of photography. However, after a fair amount of thinking and reading I have concluded that there is no answer to be found in reading or research or science or philosophy or religion. If you want an answer there are four things you must do. When you look you must see, when you listen you must hear and from these two you must learn what is joy and beauty and then learn how to share it and teach it. And you will realize all four are mixed up together. Some will happen to you alone, some with another and some with many others but sharing will always be a part.

There are infinite temptations that are easier: ideologies; religions; throught structures of every kind, but many lead to fake satisfactions.

Science is a great help because it shows how incredible is the creation that makes the experience of joy and beauty possible but they are not part even of the so called theories of everything.

What’s wrong? say my evangelical friends, just turn to god and I reply that god is not a cause but the name of a cause and there is no explantion of where god came from. So I decided I would propose joy and beauty as the goals of life simpley because they are the best that I have found. They are not taught by science but they are implicitly taught when learning any of the arts. Learning to play Chopin, to paint, to sing will put you on the road. And the only link I can find to science is that I am interested in both and the only way I can link them is that I enjoy both although science does not explain how I am able to do or percieve art, what good art is, nor does it tell me how to play Chopin. The connection seems even more elusive than linking gravity and quantum mechanics and thus finding the crown jewel theory of everything.

However you choose to view this (or ignore it) there does seem to be a gap here and it is a big and important one, because I think it has lead to the missing red tree (see next section), the greed of oil companies and what appears to be the likely destruction of the earth, a “a catastrophe for all people.” It also leads (with the help of the virus and Pres. Trump) to anxiety, depression and wondering if anyone is going to give a damn about these images or if they will surive. On the other hand they might turn out to be a reminder of what once was beautiful in the places I roamed.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In