Monday, 8 July 2013

Notes and thoughts on Phi

Considering Phi, Spirit and Society; all broad themes and arrived at through intuition and a desire for storytelling in images and words.

Here in this section, I’m going to discuss the distilled themes in relation to the creative project, ‘The Universal Embrace’.


Upon explaining the creative component of the universal embraces concept to Neil Hooley, supervisor, he said he understood, but what does it mean, in broader terms? I forget what I said but I wish I had have recorded it. It followed along the lines of creating something macroscopic and microscopic, through divisions and references to divinity and banality, creating tensions between the two, and re-creating the self through an ongoing narrative. We were getting somewhere.

In my early twenties I would read the work of Paul Davies ‘The Mind of God’, about fractals and the genesis of patterns in maths, how this was extricably linked to the universe, physical matter and its outer worlds.

I enjoyed that type of philosophy and have always had a fascination with shapes, mathematics, and free energy, as described in the animation accompanying this project. What I was really interested in was ‘the sweet spot’ of a cricket bat-the ideal resonant state of things that ended up in the manifestation of reality as we know it. Even to go further, as someone experiencing high levels of anxiety and a diagnosis of schizophrenia, I was interested in the mind and how it worked-so at that time I would leap from written work like Davies, and onto Carl Jung. I marveled at his theories of synchronicity and archetypes, and related it to the art I had studied-suddenly, every piece of art slipped into a dimension of an archetype, both visually and thematically. Art back then was a cathartic attempt and a method to understanding mind.

I felt like I had discovered a blanket ethos I could place over art-and further understand and push my own art to its extremities. In relation to phi, this old feeling that there is a base, a template, for everything that is and ever was and ever will be-fascinated me. As an avid observer of nature I saw this mechanism in the plants and the world around me as a child.

When I started planning this narrative, I came up with a drawing on which an interactivity would be placed, and because life experience has shown both the dark and light sides of reality and emotion, phi was something I felt I could work with because under that all encompassing template, I could construct or design anything at all, and it would fit comfortably under that all encompassing auspice.

In this way, metaphotically, anything was possible to describe in this space. Possibility was an is important.

What I chose to describe, is an embrace between two men, diaristically my partner and I. This was a real turn for me, in the many years I have made art sexuality was suggested, pained over, distorted and feared, yet here at age 40 I feel that a celebration of the narrative of my comfort in this relationship was a good way to keep the project positive and optimistic, and contribute to the well being and greater good of society.

I have had quite a few partners in my life, and the transient nature of relationships for me personally has happened over and over. Yet despite how solid I feel in my relationship now, the universal embrace focuses on an event-a thing that occurs in a particular environment, in a sliver of time. Interestingly though, the focus on this moment visually and philosophically has awakened the feeling of timelessness to all experiences.

Within this environment, there is a moment, and during the interactivity, different themes are pursued.

During writing my narrative, I have come across confronting the self, and also re-creating the self. Re-creating the self (Beattie) in terms of A/r/tography has been wonderfully liberating. This is a celebration of life and love, in all its dimensional qualities. It also pushes schizophrenia, to a lesser extent, into the past, to a degree lesser considered, which I feel very comfortable with.

Even in terms of the universal embraces structure, the genesis of the present is in the past, yet the unfolding past that results in the largest square where the embrace occurs fades into the background, a smaller, but all together necessary component.

Phi as relates to resonance is the celebration of love and commitment-a divine energy that has found its essence at this time in my relationship. However phi was not always celebrated as a sacred number. In his book ‘The Golden Ratio,’, Mario Livio describes pythagoras’ school and philosophy as the study of whole numbers and their ratios, and that the discovery of the magical number phi was considered a ‘cosmic error’; and was suppressed.

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