Upon walking into my art book and glancing across all of my photos, a gentleman posed the question, “Did you actually go to all of these places?”

In order to fit with accepted social norms, and avoid being some unpleasant fellow who wants to argue the nature of every fleeting thought which winds its way through his mind, I simply said, “yes I did!” The visitor looked around for a few more seconds then left without buying anything.

Silently, I considered an assortment of possible reactions:

After a time, it came to me. What does “Did I actually go to that place?” even mean? What’s in that place that isn’t already in this place? Where does one place end and another begin?

I’m reminded of one of my favorite toys as a child: The Reader’s Digest Wide World Atlas. I’m using the word “toy” loosely; I didn’t imagine that the book was something that it wasn’t (even thought it certainly was large enough that I could have held it open above my head as a parachute as I jumped off the back of the sofa), rather I was actually entertained by its contents:

I often wondered things like, “How do ships deal with that floating dotted line separating the Indian Ocean from the Pacific? Do they have to send people out to repaint it every time a storm comes through?”

Regarding all landscapes, not just oceans, the only border between that over there and this right here is an arbitrary thing that only appears in books. Both that and this are made of the same stuff, and there’s a continuous connection from one to the other. Connections like that are vitally important — There’s a connection like that right under your nose: from your mouth to your butt, and if any part of that link ever breaks, you’ll die!

The entire universe is the same way. But unlike an iceberg coming from a glacier, the universe can’t break in two. The universe doesn’t just include stuff, but all the emptiness as well. The resulting gap between the two pieces would contain more “universeness”, and therefore this hypothetical ‘break’ wouldn’t happen at all. The universe would simply get bigger.

At the smallest level, there is a direct connection between the fundamental building blocks of our DNA and the raw material fueling the sun. Even though we’re way over here, we’re still part of the sun, and therefore part of everything. If I am this, and the landscape is that, and this and that are one big thing, that means my work is simply the universe creating self-portraits.

One Response

  1. Hi. I saw your work at the OKCCC fair yesterday and I loved every single pixel. I blog about some new thing every day, whatever that turns out to be, and today your work was that new thing. In the interest of disclosure, I thought you should know. My folks live in Stillwater, so I’ve seen several of your locales, but you make them look fantastic. I’m just hoping I didn’t make some dweeb comment while I was in your booth…Hope your show was uber successful.

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