Unreal Nature

December 24, 2016

Rituals of Strife

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:47 am

… Idioms developed for one field may be applied to phenomena encountered in the other.

Continuing through The New Landscape in Art and Science by Gyorgy Kepes (1956; 1967):

… The difference of energy potential of high and low, warm and cold, positive and negative are the causes of physical action, and the differences in potential of nerve fibers are the basis of neural activity; the collision between the known and the confronted unknown generates human purpose and understanding.

[line break added] The conflicts between man and his environment, between man and woman, between man and man, between group and group are the motive forces that shape technique, culture and human history. Early myths symbolized life’s processes — childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age; and the succession of the seasons, days and nights and the movements of the heavenly bodies — as rituals of strife between cosmos and chaos, between the divine powers and the powers of evil.

… To comprehend nature’s visible records as dynamic counterparts of artistic expression is to find a common key to the morphology of our inner world and the morphology of natural processes. Idioms developed for one field may be applied to phenomena encountered in the other. Articulating our inner world with metaphors drawn from the form events of outer realities, exploring outer realities with the morphological content of inner experience, we may read the significance of the patterns we meet today.

For in the same way as we learned to read the differences between the eruptive violence of an angry man’s lashing fist and the caress of a mother’s hand, or between the orderly growth of a twig and the erratic darting of an amoeba shapelessly pouring itself into a chain of asymmetry, so can we discern the differences of direction, meaning and scope of a new multitude of resembling patterns: a flow of fluid passing an obstruction, a Schlieren photograph of heated air around a Bunsen flame, a solar prominence shooting 140,000 miles high.

schlieren-soldering-iron-heat

My most recent previous post from Kepes’s book is here.

-Julie

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