Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ocean of Air

We live at the bottom of an ocean of air. It's 100 km deep. Although we can't feel it, this ocean is pressing down with 1 kg of weight on every square cm of the earth.  This invisible ocean surrounds us.  It protects and sustains us. The clouds in this image may be between 5 and 10 km above the surface of the earth - far above us, but still deep down in the ocean.

The cloud outlines look like coast-lines and archipelagos. The act of mapping and diagramming is analogous to how we navigate and make sense of the world.. In this image, there is a small 'lens' through which we see the clouds in full detail. The remaining peripheral area is filled with partial abstractions. These areas represent how we fill in our limited perception with ideas and constructs.   To 'make sense' of the world, one inevitably must resort to over-simplifying it.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Mirror / Window

We're looking out a window. The sun has recently set and illuminates the sky from beyond the horizon.  Glass that has been invisibly transparent starts to reflect the interior. At first, shadows and outlines are visible, then as the sky darkens, the outside disappears and the window shows only a dark mirror world of the interior.

'Mirror / Window' is a piece that plays with the idea of perception and reflection. The ghostly images of buildings that appear in the sky partly reflect that same sky and within the shadows, reveal their interior.

An old text describes our perception of the world as a limited view through a dark mirror.  In the brightness of day we might think our knowledge is firm; our apprehension is complete.  In the twilight you start to doubt what is truly outside and what is a reflection of the inside.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


At the horizon over a distant field heavy rain is falling.  The white clouds of half an hour ago have risen into a dark tower churning up into the sky.  A sudden flash and the delayed low rumble - the power of the thunderstorm is awe inspiring! 

Some facts about thunderstorms:
  • Thunderstorms form when warm moist air rises into cooler layers above. 
  • The clouds are over twelve kilometers tall.  
  • On average, they are over 20km in diameter.
  • They lift 500 million kilograms of water vapor into the high atmosphere.
  • Lightning bolts can contain up to a billion volts of electricity. 

And yet, for all their power they are made only of mist. Each storm exists only for a few hours. Each one disappears leaving only a trace of damp in the ground and the fleeting glitter of raindrops on leaves.   Being large and powerful provides no protection.  Nothing lasts for long.