Charcoal & pastel on paper, 2ft x 5ft
This is the largest & most complex work I’ve ever completed. I’m not certain I can explain it fully & coherently, but I’ll try.
The work was designed based on the natural geometry of a rectangle, in many areas I left the guidelines visible. I did this to test the adherence of art to mathematical ideals, rather than the normal intuitive decision-making process most artists follow. The work features my other, Sara Kendall (llynksmusic.com), whom I love deeply, and this shot is from the first time we met. This has deepened the significance of the work for me.
The piece features language from an article on game theory. Game theory is a field of study involving the use of math to model interactions between intelligent agents or ‘players’ in an environment. This also influenced my intention to adhere mathematical principles to artistic composition.
In game theory there’s a notion of ‘nature’, a player which has no strategic interests in the outcome of a game. Nature has influence over the game, but remains indifferent in its actions. In the same way, your environment has influence over you, but the collection of seemingly ‘random’ events caused by decentralized human & machine intelligence decisions & other random natural events doesn’t have an opinion on your outcomes. It moves on in its behavior indifferent to any benefits or losses that you as an individual accrue. Nature may seem to benefit (1) and you may get nothing (0). But if your ‘preferences’ don’t hold any weight and you hold no interests in outcome, then in terms of your preferences, nothing is ever good or bad. This is not a new concept; Buddhism describes nonattachment, Taoism describes acting with “the way”, countless other belief systems talk about harmony. In beginning to move in accordance with natural results, in no longer holding interests in the game, one can realize oneself is nature. This is indifference in the sense of ‘I will accept whatever outcome and remain balanced’. Assigning no negative value to your “losses” invalidates the label “loss”. The tears will still come, and then they will go, and they'll never be unwanted.
(This work is available for purchase here.)