Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Poem: Chemical illusions and The Enraptured Framed Within The Unenraptured


I think photos are very much illusions of a time, form and space they appear to capture.

I quote Steven Pinker, Cognitive Scientist: “Our mind’s eye is also sentenced to live in a world of time.  Just as we can imagine an empty space devoid of objects but cannot imagine a set of objects that aren’t located in space, we can imagine a stretch of time in which nothing happens but cannot imagine an event that doesn’t unfold in time or take place at a given time.  We can imagine time slowing down, speeding up, going backwards, or stopping altogether, but we can’t imagine time having two or three dimensions.  In fact, it’s not even clear that we do imagine time slowing down or stopping so much as we simulate those possibilities by imagining things moving at half throttle, or halting in freeze-frame, while time marches on as usual..You might wonder whether these features of our experience come from the design of the mind or from the nature of the perceptible universe” 

That last line really rings true for me. I think a book could be dedicated to exploring that idea.
 

A photograph might seem to be one thing, to the eye, as real as anything, but elements of time, space, and light, that compose it in the mind is very different from the reality that forms it.  Light is an aspect that is the most critical.  Light too, is important in chemistry in visualizing elements, and light is important in modulating mood.  And if the photos can be said to contain basic elements.., earth, sun, water, candle light, architecture, and beauties that traipse through them, then my attempt is to construct visual bonds between these elements, that hold them in ways that are interesting. Some I call “polymers”, like repeating units of an idea that vary slightly.  They are sparse, obvious, simple and true.  Like a model standing clearly before a vanishing horizon behind her on a sunny day, (stands in a world,) part reality and part illusion.  Or forms vanishing in shadow.  Science is about experiment. It is as much about what is found as what we didn’t find, and photos too are the uncaptured as well as the captured.  The positive and negative results are important in the shot.  The emptiness, spatial and time, is also an aspect.  There seems never enough time to take all the photos we want to take,  the second shot doesn’t always come, and that is what makes life so real and chaotic, and exciting.   The fleeting nature of time in a photo is also something interesting too. Time can rush by in big cities.  The sun comes up and sets in a place you’re not expecting. 

There are aspects of design but also of the nature, that compose the city, that I’d say make it different and beautiful.

 
The enraptured framed within the unenraptured , the sparse and dim places, the uninspired.  It is chemical art, where the photo becomes composed of the visual elements like carbon and oxygen, hydrogen, compose rings of cyclodextrins.  Like matter. Unassuming and candid.  I was just as interested in showing the effects of these photos as in exploring them deeper, their impact on photographer.  Less is more.  It took time to find words that would work for these.  Notes are not specific and deliberately so,. The noise is reduced as much as possible. They only speak to the places, or of the places as they should probably do,  but not the photos themselves.  And like a drawing of a molecule, it cannot really show how the molecule reacts, its nature, which is known to the mind’s eye.  I think they are superficial like chemistry drawings sometimes, they reveal very little of the beauty of what’s behind them.  Still this is an attempt to show but not show too much and preserve and enhance the mystery that is very natural and beautiful about this place. 

Photographs like paintings, can hang in mysterious galleries.  Places that are not always physical ones, in the mind’s eye, but places, even landscapes that contains so much more than simple objects.

I think that the rational mind can be hidden sometimes by emotion so that very obvious things that it should perhaps know are hidden from itself, The emotional lattice can’t be seen except like a shape through a foggy window.  But possibly too, we don’t expect the things we want most.  They are obvious and yet unreal because we refuse to accept the potential of their reality.  And we can’t see them either when emotion is deep.  They are invisible like ghosts.  That is because things in the mind’s eye are so much more real, than the objects and light and shapes that compose them, that confront the eye.  They have time.  Time confronts us with causality.  So too are paintings that reveal very little of where they came from, and yet this denied existence is more of what they really are.  Paintings that create the illusion of time and causality achieve something beyond their surface, their elements.  What they represent, in the mind’s eye, is more real than what we see.  And so is life. It is natural that  you would feel that way and if you have feelings about it, as I do, the reaction (to the feeling) might be very natural too.  after much time, feelings that are true, still exist.  And they are possibly unresolved, complex and naked” in that they are simply as they are, with nothing added and nothing taken away.
 

“light coming over the ocean”

 The unplanned nature of this wandering produced I think, a candid personal view of a city through my lens.  Many photos and words behind them are superficial to what lies beneath.  I think more natural photos are the best.  Shadows, disappearing horizons, night shots, architecture and beauties who would traipse through now and then made them more exciting.  I added some notes a year later not because I was trying at documentary, but because most are famous in this city, and should be noted.  So it’s superficiality is perhaps an illusion unseen things and stories that echo behind the images.  They are illusions of reality of life, and emotion.

There isn’t enough time to say everything and so it becomes superficial and most of the deeper elements go unsaid.

Shelley writes in “Hymn To Intellectual Beauty”

“Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,

It visits with inconstant glance

Each human heart and countenance”.

 

Photos visit us too with some unseen power.

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