7.12.2004

Understanding Infinity

The vastness of the universe is certainly well beyond human comprehension. Just the size of the city you live in is already stretching the limits of your imagination. Truly, even with a birds eye view, you cannot grasp the scale of distance you see before you. Our minds were only intended to process the immediate surroundings, anything beyond a certain distance and size is simply unimportant. But we do have the desire to understand... and an inkling of an imagination to start with.

For me, it is this concept alone that drives my artistic side. I'm not talking about arts and crafts, I'm talking about abstract thinking. I love to probe the limits of my imagination in as many different ways as I can. That is really what drives me to create poetry, when I'm motivated anyway... I want to throw together a combination of words that inspire thought. I want to pry open the ceiling of our imagination, into possibilities unknown. It's a difficult task, maybe impossible. Even if I create a work of prose that I can be proud of, that I think just might be good enough to spark a sense of curiosity in someone else's mind, I cannot know whether it is simply my desire to succeed which is fooling me into believing that I have. I am locked within the confines of my mind, utterly incapable of observing it from a suitably subjective distance.

Writing is indeed one of my main outlets of artistic energy, but that same set of neurons that gives me that outlet is probing for another way out... I've tried creating electronic music. I feel as if I have the capability of creating something worth listening to, something that could vex your mind as much if not more than my words could (however much that is). But my ability to throw together notes has proven to be... uninspiring.

When I was a pre-teen I spent many summer months probing my more traditional artistic abilities with pencil and paper, even with photography. Tracing was fun, but simply for the fleeting moments in which I could fool myself into believing I had created an original piece of art. I was helpless to create anything but straight-edged perspective drawings. They were easy because you could get away with using only a ruler as a guide -- even a toddler could draw a straight line. I merely had to decide where the lines would go. Its those pesky curves and the shading that are beyond my analytical mind, which is constantly wondering what precise angle and thickness to execute.

But with computers, you can accomplish more with less skill. Now a toddler can not only draw a straight line, she can draw a perfectly straight line. She can choose from all possible visible colors. She can add shading, gradients, even add perspective. Surely with these powerful tools at hand, I can produce something worth thinking about? Unfortunately, no. Computers provide an infinitely broad set of tools, but it still takes a human mind to create depth with them. Why? Because it is the human mind which will be consuming the artwork, no other reason. And so probing the depths of your mind is a prerequisite to producing art worth thinking about. But probing the depths of your mind isn't enough, either. I can sit here in silence and feel the deepest of emotions about the universe around me, but unless I can harness that energy and push it out through my extremities onto some kind of physical medium, you might just think I'm a really quiet person.

And it is that ability, that harnessing that I seem to be lacking completely. Because no matter what prose I create, music I compose, pictures I take, or what images I produce, they seem woefully inadequate, and they are. Not that I'm not semi-talented in at least one of these trades -- the point is I don't feel that I've conveyed the emotion at the scale I intended to. No where near it.

Anyway... recently I've felt creative again. And although you might look at this image and be impressed, you should know in advance that creating it only required a few clicks here and there. Yes, I did apply subjective randomness to it... I did try to influence its message. But it's still cookie cutter. It's my result of following a starfield photoshop tutorial, courtesy of Greg Martin, a very skilled artist.

This is my attempt to convey the infinite depth I feel inside my mind to you... this is my attempt to try and understand that depth myself. But it doesn't even get close.

My Mind's Home

(view it full screen to avoid blurriness)

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