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The Hidden World of the Nearby

The Ultimate Hidden Worlds


Nearby And Amazing

My view of fine art encompases the entire existence of humanity, literally from the creation of the universe, since that was when our ability to see and enjoy what we see was made part of human existance. As a scientist/artist I feel compelled to understand this for it is a great failure of humanity to comprehend what eyes and brains can do, and so a horrible waste of human energy is devoted to achieving dominance rather then experiencing the best of the miracles we have been given.

This is the great tragedy of humanity and may lead to its destruction, while the same brain could see and be made joyous by the creation of art in sight and sound. But there is almost no comprehension of the amazing gifts we carry with us between our ears and so what follows is one of the most amazing stories about the human brain. It’s the story of how we see and hear the world around us. It is rarely discussed. Why?

The consequences: We have developed an attitude of low value for humanity and a need to dominate. As a whole we do not make use of the stunnig gifts in our minds. As a very rare inhabited planet we are failing the creation itself. And god? She is sobbing.

Because most of us don’t realize that it is nearly miriculous that we can “see” and hear the world around us the way we do. It is the problem of translating the signals our brains create from our visual and auditory systems to an “experience.” There are all sorts of nerves and connections but how these become images that we see and sounds that we hear is not known, or because we thake these so much for granted that we donz’t give it a second thought. In the years since I choose “The Hidden World of the Nearby” as the title of my work I have come to believe that the more “nearby” a part of our life is, the less aware we are of it and what it does for and to us and how it works.

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Whever you are, if your eyes are open you “experience” a world, you “see.” Well, of course you think, what did you expect. Then think about this: the only connection you have to the world is two small images on your retinas, like camera lenses onto film. How does this become the experience of seeing? How does it become sentience as we call it? How does it become the experience of everything within sight or reach, in three dimensions. It doesn’t move when you do. It is the world. You see a piano across the room, you could find your way to it with your eyes now closed and know what it will feel like.

I suggest you dwell on this when you have a little quite time.

I contend that the ability to experinece, to think, to be selfaware is a gift to us from what I refer to as the “creation” and if this seems a little mysterious, that is because it is.

There is also something stunningly important about it. We treat it as if it were cotton candy. It is difficult to find a metaphor, but if you are a 5 year old and about to take piano lessons and your parrents buy you a brand new $150,000 Steinway Concert Grand. In other words, what we have been given is stunningly valuable, yet we will kill it at the drop of a hat, or not come close to using is for all we can do.

And there is the other part, sometimes I think even more remarkable. Two small circles of skin connect to some bones in your ear and you can experience a symphony. Or your child saying “I love you“ in any language you both know, or in several languages.

But it doesn’t end there, for experience has an infinite range. Beautiful, ugly and every variation. Familiar or not.

What is the point?

Somehow, beginning with nothing, no space and no time, 10+ billion years later we have us, all with African ancestors, a double helix with all our genes in each cell living on a gorgeous earth.

AND WE SIMPLY DO NOT APPRECIATE IT AND USE IT WISELY.<

Diagram of ear

I am an engineer/scientist (MIT 63, 65, 67) and cannot imagefor the most part we don’t think about these miricles, we think about outdoing each other and declare wars. Or divide into tribes that hate each other. Except that some of us compose symphonies to play in concert halls that are bombed into rubble. Or we live in Falujia, Syria and our city of 300,000 is bombed into rubble by Americans sitting in offices in America and Ameerica does not loose one life. This, and millions of variations is humanity. Did evolution fail? Did God fail or is God sobbing. And the workings that do this cannot be more nearby because they are us. And they are hidden because we neither understand them nor really try. Our leaders want to show off shock and awe and so declare war.

What to make of this? We have not thought and taught enough. Religion ruled our thinking and scientists were afraid to take the reins and helpus steer. Technology gave us everything but understanding ourselves. And knowing what beauty and joy were. So we have had a handfull of great leaders, but in my mind one stands above all others and all you need to know are his words:

Government of the people, by the people nnd for the people.

We do not have that because money flows into a few barrels and we have government of, by and for the rich. If we truly can figure out how to level the plqying field so all of us are equal, then it will be up to us to save the planet and the species.

And there is the other part, sometimes I think even more remarkable. Two small circles of skin connect to some bones in your ear and you can experience a symphony. Or your child saying “I love you“ in any language you both know, or in several languages.

But it doesn’t end there, for experience has an infinite range. Beautiful, ugly and every variation. Familiar or not.

What is the point?

Somehow, beginning with nothing, no space and no time, 10+ billion years later we have us, all with African ancestors, a double helix with all our genes in each cell living on a gorgeous earth.

I am an engineer/scientist (MIT 63, 65, 67) and cannot imagefor the most part we don’t think about these miricles, we think about outdoing each other and declare wars. Or divide into tribes that hate each other. Except that some of us compose symphonies to play in concert halls that are bombed into rubble. Or we live in Falujia, Syria and our city of 300,000 is bombed into rubble by Americans sitting in offices in America and Ameerica does not loose one life. This, and millions of variations is humanity. Did evolution fail? Did God fail or is God sobbing. And the workings that do this cannot be more nearby because they are us. And they are hidden because we neither understand them nor really try. Our leaders want to show off shock and awe and so declare war.

What to make of this? We have not thought and taught enough. Religion ruled our thinking and scientists were afraid to take the reins and helpus steer. Technology gave us everything but understanding ourselves. And knowing what beauty and joy were. So we have had a handfull of great leaders, but in my mind one stands above all others and all you need to know are his words:

Government of the people, by the people nnd for the people.

We do not have that because money flows into a few barrels and we have government of, by and for the rich. If we truly can figure out how to level the plqying field so all of us are equal, then it will be up to us to save the planet and the species.

Untitled photo

I play Chopin almost every day on a marvelous instrument. It sounds impressive but is nearly zero compared to a fellow Pole, Krystian Zimerman who makes the most beautiful music on the piano I have ever heard and I desperately want you to know that this beauty, of a whole other dimension, exists.

This performance of the Chopin Ballade No. 1 Op. 23 has been viewed on U-Tube over eight million times. It should be heard and seen by everyone.

There is more, and it is so fundamental, so important, and so not appreciated.

Our perspective focuses on the individual. Here it would be the pianist, or the conductor. But the performance of this moveent of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 illustrates what should be the preaccupation of humanity: the joining of the creative phenomina of hundres of people. We forget the number of musicins, teachers, instrument makers, concert hall designers and builders and more necessary to make this happen. In this case, the are the very best in the world.

But what moves me the most is the absolute commitment to a unity of purpose, the creation of Beethoven and the devotion of all to make this performance happen requires the devotion of every persion involved to one task: to make this music come alive with the stunning beauty it incorporates. It is a pinnacle human achievment. Yet it is, even today, heard and seen by only a few. If I had the power, I would place every human in this conccert hall, the Music Verien in Vienna, the best in the world, and have them listen until their minds and spirits ccomprehended that of Beethoven. And then life would replace death, justice would replace selfishness, compansion would replace the need to be superior. Or at least, that would be my hope for that is whawt should happen. Listen and watach and, for the love of life, think.

Until this instant, I did not believe that the theme of this website would become life from death, and yet that is what it is.

The exuberate milkweed in my artist’s statement is there because my own physician and his artist wife chose to purchase it for her birthday and gradually the beauty of the milkweed has become a symbol for death giving breath to the joy of life. Chopin and Zimerman represent a country rising from death and destruction, but there is a performance I would like to end with. It combines the art of music, dance, and visual beauty and so sums my message.

My childhood was in a small city in the smallest state in America and was virtually entirely Polish. If course language and food, but most importantly music and dance.

My sister and I danced each year in our church’s harvest festifal, the Dozinki and my father taught me a medily of Polish music that we often played together for our Polish friends. The perforance here is by an extraordinary group, the Mazovsa Song and Dance Ennsemble of the Krakavick, one of the five Polish national dances. Just as the dance becomes a large circle is one of the melodies my father taught me. I cried as I ran to the piano to play it again after dacades from the last time. But most of all the theme is one of exuberance, where I feel the beauty and joy of a country that rose from non-existance and being bombed into rubble. Hamanity spans the range from joy to death. I will never know how this eposode will turn out, but Kristian and the Krakovick leave me with beauty, joy, and hope

One Saxophone and Photoshop


“Contradance”

This is the last “photograph I made.” It is a photograph of a single saxophone (made for me by Doug Saglio) and designed and created in Photoshop. It reminds me a bit of a square dance. But it is closer an old form called the contradance. There are three layers of saxophones and I find it a bit alive.

There is a message here. Given the miraculous abilitiy we have to make beautiful things, why do we spend so muchc of our precious selves making useless ward on each other. Why?

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