Category Archives: Universe

The Question Remains

The other day someone described my last blog post as being “mental masturbation”. At first this irked me, but just a bit. Soon I smiled, then realizing the aptness of its title, “A Touchy Subject“!

The post touches on what seems to be a paradox, which is that the universe, being infinite, must be shapeless in its entirety.

But then the other night, something else occurred to me . . . something about what seems to be the one truly universal symbol (the perfect circle). It is a symbol that can be interpreted as “an idea”, and therefore ideas exists in their own dimension, and universally. Countless imaginary circles can be gracefully layered on top of each other. Each one can be minute beyond measure. But then there is the enormity too, and there in lies the eternal paradox?

An imaginary circle can be infinitely large, so one may argue that it “encompasses” an infinite universe. Yet this completely contradicts the theory of shapeless universe . . . both claims appear to be logical.

And so perhaps the imaginary aspect of the universe perpetually tries to encircle the entire universe, even if it knows it is pursuing the impossible dream? Eternal persistence . . . and in the process, life happens here, there and everywhere? It would seem so.

Anyways, as for me, I now feel like I’ve gotten a better appreciation for the concept of infinite looping, but I prefer the term “eternal braid”. I like the latter term because it reminds me of my faith in eternal love, and yet I loathe the #pray that pops up with the day’s rotten news . . . it just seems wrong . . . kind of empty?

I’ve been very fortunate to experience so much magic and plenty of love in my life. I’ve also seen and been a part of so much that is just plain rotten. In the process of creating art, (regardless of what you may think of how it looks), I’ve found this solitude of both magic and love. While I’ve been well trained in various aspects of the scientific method, I can’t help but sense that the universe is well beyond any of that . . . the unquantifiable . . . and it seems to be more of an art form than anything else, and a loving one at that.

As for “coming down to Earth”, what does all this mean? I wonder that myself, and that question has been around for a very long time now. It’s a disturbing question when you really think about it:

A Touchy Subject

Since my last post I’ve been thinking more about this issue of whether the universe can see itself in the moment . . . kind of like a snapshot. Ever since first entertaining the notion I’ve had this doubt about it, which has led to some rather nice drifting of the imagination. And as a bonus, if I think about it when I go to bed, inevitably I’ll soon drift into the most peaceful sleep.

One of my first thoughts about this “picture” was that an infinite universe – in its totality – has no shape. Perhaps another paradox? Perhaps not. After all, when we think of pictures we think of seeing with the eyes . . . one of our five “standard” methods of perceiving the world. But to “see” in the moment is to sense in a way that is different than the physical movement of light into the eye . . . is it not seeing beyond the light?

So what we see is not the present moment, but the very recent past. This doesn’t mean the universe can’t sense itself, it only means it must see itself in a different way . . . “all-knowing, with a different way of knowing”.

As usual, this is another one of those “Pandora’s Box” kind of posts, so I’m going to leave it at that. The only thing I’ll say is that now when I look at a photograph, and the photographer claims that it is capturing the moment, I can’t help but think that this is not quite true. What is in that picture is not a moment, but rather countless pieces of a very brief time . . . after all, no picture comes from “one blob of light”!

Finally, I hope this is my last post on this subject, at least for awhile. In case you are wondering, I do spend a lot more time on losing myself in art than on writing about these issues, or even thinking about them. Lately much of it isn’t what I’d call my best work, but still okay and always enjoyable to create.

This piece below seems to fit this post, and I consider it to be one of my recent best. I call it “Apple of My Eyes”.

New abstract art by Lawrence Grodecki

“Apple of My Eyes” by Lawrence Grodecki

PS – In terms of the movie clip up top, “Contact” is one of my favorite movies, especially this scene. But when it comes to timeless travels, I have to say, “Who needs the machine?”

New abstract art by Lawrence Grodecki

The Energizer

In my second last post, Reflections on Light, I made a few comments on the question, “Can an infinite universe see itself?”

The comments were brief, though abstract and intriguing, at least to anyone fascinated by the subject. I mentioned the issue of time – the past, present and future. While writing those words, something in the back of my mind was telling me there’s more to this . . . more of a “Hmm” moment than an “Aha!” one.

I have to admit though, there is certainly a “Wow” factor to imagining the entire universe “seeing itself” in the moment. For me it’s simply something fun thing to think/ meditate about. On the thinking side, I begin with the assumption that the universe can perceive every moment everywhere . . . that seems to go hand-in-hand with the belief that truth exists.

Anyway, there I was, dwelling on the aspect of a view of the universe in the moment . . . as a still picture. Since then it’s occurred to me that in this universal present moment, one can “go no further”, time wise and else wise. How very odd, and wonderful!

Added to that, I got to thinking about the physical universe and the claim that it is all in motion. Any perception of that motion happens in the past – knowing or sensing that something happens only occurs after it happens.

Put those last two paragraphs together and it seems like in a way there is only the past, but this “occurring past” also blends with the present . . . in other words, in the biggest picture there really is “no future”.

Let There Be Energy!

Recently I’ve been pleasantly surprised to come across a few art experts who happen to be quite taken with the relationship between art and physics, or perhaps it is metaphysics. One of them was talking about energy and how the term originated with Socrates, who used it to describe something about work, but in the context of creativity.

But back to that absence of future, and the present watching the past – the all-seeing eye as an audience – it does make one re-think Shakespeare’s famous line, “All the world’s a stage”. The big question remains about the degree of audience participation . . . at times it certainly does seem to be there, and even in some of those still pictures? I’ll definitely be taking another look at Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” again. I may also have to go back and re-discover what Einstein meant when he wrote about something “spooky” out there.

In the meantime, I’m tentatively calling this picture, “Who’s Your Partner?” The top picture has been resting for quite awhile – it’s called, “Dipping”!

Abstract art by Lawrence Grodecki

Who’s Your Partner?

 

Surreal art by Lawrence Grodecki

Reflections on Light

It’s been a good week. Lots of new art done and in progress, and some unusual ideas to boot, and those began by thinking once again about light.

I attribute that goodness to a wonderful three hours spent in a father-daughter conversation with both of my girls over the weekend . . . they inspire me more than they know, and in this case they really helped me get through a nasty bout of the blues, one I tried to hide yet I’m sure they sensed anyway.

Far from just doing some art, there has been some reminiscing, about many things over the years. That includes a vague recollection of the first time a teacher tried to explain imaginary points. He drew little circles on the blackboard. These represented the points – though they are imaginary, it was good to know that they are circles! Then he explained what a line is – the shortest distance between points that don’t really exist.

That part was super-easy to understand, but to this day I remember being more interested in those points. Then again, it seems I’ve always had a thing for details . . . and for playful curiosity, which brings me back to this matter of light.

A few nights ago I had one of those thinking dreams. It was about playing with my scanner. When I began my art immersion 11 years ago, scanning had much to do with that. It was lots of fun, especially break the rule of flatness and trying different things in 3D by leaving the lid up. Looking back, I’m guessing it was much like earlier artists experimenting with light boxes, though in my case I use the term experimenting very loosely.

I have a yearning to try something new now. It involves mirrors and a box at the very least. This will allow me to see what happens when I attempt to reflect the light from the scanner back on to itself. That’s the simple version of it.

While dreaming about this project I thought about the flow of light and how this would all play out, kind of putting my mind in the box for a change. However, in no time at all my thoughts went out of the box, drifting towards light in the more universal sense.

Then last night I had a different dream, again about light, but this time in the context of pictures. One of those weird questions came up, “Can an infinite universe see itself?”

Intuitively it would seem that a much higher form of intelligence must have such a capability, though I’m not at all sure of it. In no small part, my apprehension comes from a very abstract paradox, and that has to do with time. It’s also based on the premise that such a high intelligence would have to be able to have such a view in the moment – completely unobstructed by the constraints of time – the past and the future. In other words, this view would have to be a “still picture”.

What complicates matters is that everything is in motion. Therefore that in-the-moment look of the universe is always changing, so how can there be a “still picture”? Then it occurred to me that such a vision might very well be completely hallucinatory . . . a magic ride in the most supreme state . . . euphoria coexisting with sublime calmness . . . a higher intelligence indeed!

I love this kind of paradox. It gives me comfort, knowing that there is so much we can never figure out – much like love I suppose? And I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the universe loves the mystery too, and perhaps it likes to playfully send goofs like me on the occasional wild goose chase?

But one can only play the game in short spurts, at least this one. Thankfully I still prefer to do little part by putting bits of the big picture into my tiny ones, each one its own mysterious adventure!

Finally, now and then I’ve mentioned being witness to a little magic. The picture below is perhaps the only “physical” thing I can share with you in that regard . . . the rest are simply memories that get diluted in the attempt to describe them. I took this picture about eleven years ago, using a very basic digital camera. As part of my art-play, I wanted to use a picture of the woody siding from the townhouse I was renting at the time. It was to be used a background layer of sorts. The upper window in this picture was my bedroom. The picture is taken outside my front door, near the parking lot; There is no streetlight or light source anywhere near this entrance.

The picture was taken at night, as you can see. I had no sense of this light when I took the picture. It was only discovered a day or two later, when I uploaded the image into my computer. When I first saw it all I could think was “Wow”. Not longer after I began thinking that cameras do not capture light . . . instead, perhaps it is placed? And sometimes wonderfully so!

our Home (Victoria Woods)

 

 

New illustrative art by Lawrence Grodecki

A Knock At the Door

Perhaps it is best not to be in a reflective mood when working on this picture, “One More Step To Heaven”? Ah, to be or not to – actually this version of the picture is saved as “3b” – maybe I skipped a step?

That elusive stairway, or is it a case? As one immersed in visual art, I’m totally biased . . . can’t help thinking of it as a “stare way”! I do believe that our imagination can take us to many such fine places . . . and there must be plenty of humor out there, right?

After all, no matter how somber St. Peter is described as the gatekeeper, still there are so many jokes about his pearly ones! Then again, one must take a leap of faith to believe that the gods have a firm grasp on the difference between good humor and bad. Think about it. As you are greeted at the gates with a big smile, the big guy points you to a door out there marked “Heaven” and away you go. St. Peter roars in laughter as he turns his back at another “Gotcha!”

Thankfully he has his eyes closed, so he didn’t see me move this deceptive door around to in front of him. He seemed to have a look of panic when he opened his eyes, finding himself now on the wrong side of the gates.

As for me, I just whistled away, floating away on a different path . . . all very odd given how I could never whistle down here! Time to go now – need to clean a cheap grill!

A cropped version of art called "Hoping"

Hoping

It’s tempting to write something about Canada’s recent election, which I followed so closely, looking for a glimpse of a return to some form of human dignity. I won’t do that except to say that something quite remarkable happened. It has to do with the newly appointed Minister of Justice. She’s a lawyer, so no surprise there. To learn more you can read her story here.

In an election full of big promises and tons of symbolism, this shines through as much more than a symbol and I wish her well . . . yeah Canada? I hope so.

I’m tempted to write about my little dream, another one about black holes, and the notion that they are impenetrable because they are full of Love . . . intense beyond comprehension, a universal force and something to do with new creation . . . and so love conquers all after all? But conquer is not the right word, as in that place and situation there is simply no fighting allowed. That has always given me hope too.

So in the end I won’t write about anything other the release of a new painting which has turned out to be very, very well-received in all my social media circles. I had been leaning toward launching it as a limited edition print, but instead I’m adding to my selection of Open Edition Prints – see the main menu above.

 

Fifty Floating Apples

Last summer I wrote a blog post about floating apples – Going Bananas Over Nuts and Apples. It’s a special topic for me, as is gravity and that kind of mystery.

That mystery is imagination itself, where ideas live, play? For me it is without a doubt the most real aspect of the universe, intact beyond anything physical, and fluid more than static. I think some of that is there when the apple floats – when the tree can no longer hold it, and yet just before gravity begins the descent. And I wonder, “Do butterflies “know” something of this, but in a very different, magical way?”

Please keep that in mind, as it may the best way I can describe some of the thinking behind this new painting. It’s called “Floating An Apple” and it was done somewhat with Magritte’s “Son of Man” in mind. Perhaps this is my tribute to his message in that picture, show here:

image of the Son of Man painting

The Son of Man by Rene Magritte

On the painting’s Wikipedia page [1], Magritte is quoting as saying this about his painting:

At least it hides the face partly well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It’s something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.[1]

Floating An Apple_Proof2