Against interpretation:  not an explanation for that  

For direct perception and play: an ongoing participation in “this”

from Wallace Stevens' poem 'Notes towards a Supreme Fiction' :   " It must be abstract.  It must change. It must give pleasure."    

“A war between the mind and sky”   field of light ) ( light of mind    


field of light:   An equivalent to Monet’s “Envelope” --  "For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually.  For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value."  Monet      

 Can awareness of this "envelope"  be made part of direct experience, rather than by representation?

Installations are designed to engage a flat white wall as an unconfined ground and a reflector of ambient light.   I am not interested in the "White Cube" as an idealizing pedestal, just a sufficiently open wall reflecting light from different sources.     Light:  reflected - diffused - absorbed

“Ambient Optic Array” (J..J. Gibson)   (DeKooning’s  late work)

light of mind:  judgments of sameness and difference between elements and their properties, alignments, proportions, and locations.  An entangled coherence and decoherence of relations (temporal) within an “intuition” (immediacy – presentness – recognition of a state). 

 A passage of conflicting, resolving, and eclipsing correlations between surface and edge.

field of light ) ( light of mind    (polarity:  opposed but mutually generative forces)

a polarity between an expansive outness in the field of light (vertical and horizontal extension) -- and a work’s cohering inness in the directed light of mind. (sagittal intention) 

a transaction between boundary and intimacy in the visual field  (peripheral and foveal perception - physiognomic?)

an ornament succeeds as art when it appears to generate its ground as place, and when this ground isolates its ornament as particular.  i.e. Some Romanesque capitals appear to create their vaults while the vaults accentuate the uniqueness of each capital.

a process of individuation  -- In Art, mind and matter coexist.  Perception is an ongoing act of measure that enables existence of both perceiver and perceived. --  anti "picture" (i.e.  the picture as object....a frozen window to an imagined place.)  anti essence. A polarity is anti essence.


MAKING:  Method )( Sensation     (facture is a dimension)

Method:    Materials/Tools/Actions

  •  Materials:    Mostly common cheap materials selected for their opposed sensations; crafted, and installed to reveal the “field of light”: paper, aluminum foil, charcoal, wax, chalk, sand, mesh, plastics, wall paint.   (Arte Povera) no intrinsic value in materials that can obscure aesthetic function.  
  • Tools:  knives, straight edges, meshes, abrasives, squeegees, cellulose and other adhesives, water
  •  Actions:  . No:  gestural actions  in the use of media (i.e. drawing, painting, cutting)  Yes: sagittal actions  -- printing, tearing, screening, spraying, flocking, blotting, placing, applying  --Basic hand craftsmanship - no mysterious techniques  -  Papier Colle - Braque’s “papery, powdery, procedures” (Picasso)

A work is an "array" of applications - not a mural, site specific, or environmental installation but a location implied by a placement of elements .  (Matisse cut outs as applications: adjustment and placement

Materially a piece is almost nothing compared to its size, but its properties, craftsmanship, and installation are primary to its being.  There is little of substance to see except differences between surface, edge, and light through point of view and judgment.  But each application element is still perceived as an object distinct and separable from its ground, yet attached to the wall with precision, continuity, and tightness - like a limpet. 

Sensation:   Contrast)(Gradient)(Affect    (all senses are one)

Isolation and continuity:  the appearance of taut adhesion (touch)  to the wall gives each element a feeling of autonomy and common ground, conditions for a sense of place.

Saggital actions in the use of media give textures, tones and gradients a sense of non-expressive, atemporal directness - another form of "application".

Whiteness has no meaning … the white wall is a scaleless reflector of ambient light.   Occasional use of indigo as a dark element, a recognition of color on the border of another dimension.  (At the moment I feel that strong color distracts from awareness of an overall field of light).  

Shifting appearances but no continuous spatial illusions. (no crossing of elements?)


DESIGN    Form/Emphasis/Tradition

Design principles are used to join and separate elements and their properties, by acts of perception  (light of mind)

A work pulls you in and spreads you out, but does not push away as in the “presence” emphasis of Minimalism.  Yet the wall plane becomes a counter to the directed forces of looking.

Within the object of a "picture"  (painting, drawing) composition is constrained and weakened.  But free from these preconditions composition can directly address the body’s internal sense of equilibrium between forces of balance and impulse.  I prefer the term "array" over "composition" in the sense of arranging elements in an open field to be ready for action.

When an unframed array is perceived directly and kinesthetically as a “dynamic equilibrium” it can no longer be considered as a presentation of a hierarchical division of importance.  (Minimalism's critique of modernist abstraction)  - turning Mondrian inside out.

 Judd’s hybrid art ("Specific Object") resists composition by creating a "presence" that is conceptually apparent and not dependent on construction over time.  The "image" of an array is not seen as continuous, but only as a result of ongoing acts of construction and destruction.  

The invention of a composition always permitted surprise and aesthetic decisions from within the process of making (as well as looking). An "array" can resist boundary, shape, and preconceived concepts as content. (like composition arrays can evoke a figurative representation.  Emphasizing different materials in the elements resist this.) 

Simple forms towards a formless unity



Modernism is long dead. Long live its desire for iconoclasm, new vision, and the primacy of the “actual” in a time that is losing it as the source of reality. 

not conceptual but comprehensible – no mediated interface but an unmediated direct perception of things, sensations and their relations --- not digital, not analog, not metrical, not symbolic, not transcendent, not ironic, --- direct, intimate, immanent,actual and out.  “Perception destroys memory by its own act.” David Rabinowitch

Euro modernity’s misguided universal idealism could be reimagined as a diverse “Consciousness that exists for itself.” (Gilroy “Black Atlantic”) Through his love of Jazz dance and music Mondrian was beginning to see that his aspiration for a convergence of life and art already existed in African culture but in a fundamentally different way than “The Modern” was going. 

The strength of “things” as art is in their stillness and silence.  In this they can bring to awareness the dynamism of “reality” even if only for a moment.  "To restore silence is the role of objects " Samuel Beckett        (the uniqueness of Calder’s mobiles)

A work becomes art when it is seen again and again with pleasure, surprise and fulfillment. (Matisse's "armchair"?) Most environmental installations are seen cursorily and only once as a form of entertainment or information.  Where do they go?

Can Visual Art steer our story telling minds to the dead end where the imagination makes a leap for the real?  Can at least some Art be a conscious opposition to "virtual reality" and the algorithm (the infinite interior)

Determinations of sameness and difference can lead to an awareness of the particular in the right conditions.  The particular does not exist by itself but in polarity between relation and sensation.  Material beauty is a superficial device for attraction, but it can activate an alertness and attention to the particular in a kind of timelessness. 

Dimensions:  Vertical is the body's unification of gravity (in) and ground (on).   Horizontal is the body's unification of distance (away) and extension (beside). Saggital is the body's unification of intimacy through seeing acts: foveal (within) and peripheral (without).  Facture is the unification between matter and  properties 

A construction is a counterpoint across dimensions, not an integration of parts, but an embodiment of independence. 

Artists of coherence and decoherence: (unity across time)

Mondriaan                           dynamic equilibrium – balance)(light - in/out - form/formless - construction/destruction

Pollock, Rothko                     foveal )(peripheral  (intimacy/boundary)  flat/spatial

Rabinowitch                          construction of vision - properties across states as objects - “scale” -  time

Reinhardt, Rothko, Irwin        liminal boundaries/ facture

Martin, Hesse, Judd             formless facture

Morandi                              double edge (inside/outside) substance/appearance

Cezanne                              the “non-finito” bringing the outside in.

Immanent Realists:

Owen Barfield  (Goethe)       Figuration 

Daniel Kahneman                  System 1 and  System 2 

Gibson (s)                              Ecological Perception (direct - embodied - affordance)