I've always had this weird intuitive sense that tingles when I think about the roots of humanity. Like somewhere deep within my soul is the answer to why it is that humans are here.... why do we matter? Ancient societies questioned this too. Theory ran the perspective of human importance in relation to the universe. As the human race discovers more abut the Universe, we also discover more about ourselves, and where we fit within it all. I think that we as a modern day society have lost touch to ancestral roots. I feel we are in need of reconnecting and opening ancient eyes within ourselves to perspectives that once guided our now foggy perception.
In Ancient philosophy, humans looked tot he sky for the answers to reality.. to life. We have always inherently followed the cyclical pattern of the Sun, and also the Moon. Our temporal system is all based on the cycles of the celestial bodies. The Universe has always been an object of interest as well as an object of faith.
It has been stated that the Universe started 13.8 billion years ago and that it is still expanding. The Mayan calendar ended in 2012. Coincidentally the age of Pisces also ended in 2012, and Earth has begun shifting into the Age of Aquarius. Is this new astrological age perhaps when humans can learn to reconnect to our roots and become enlightened with the divine interconnections of universal energies?
Only time will tell.....
"Recently I have been really trying to deconstruct this idea of perception... What is perception made up of? Sensibilia, Intellegiblia and Transcendia are three components. Sensibilia being the physical realm of perception (perception through the body). Anything that is a sensual experience falls into this category. Movement itself falls within sensibilia, the vibrational energy that flows throughout life. So how do we make sense of all of this....? Intellegiblia! Intellegiblia is the realm of perception that is linked to thought. A realm that is beyond the tangible physical aspects of things. Anything can exist within this realm... if you think it, than so it shall be! This realm is beyond the objective world and is non- tangible and subjective. It includes the mind within the body, but also the mind beyond the body. But.. what does this mean... beyond the body? Well, that is transcendia. Transcendia is the perception driven by spirit, by the soul. It is the essence of you in perception. When you experience life in the realm of transcendia, you experience life as spirit. "
Information from "Sacred Mirrors, Visionary Art of Alex Grey"
My research has been focused on the mathematical ratios and sequences that explain the geometric patterns of our natural world. Through the discoveries and writings of our ancient philosopher Plato, we have come to find that there five solids known as the Platonic Solids. Plato associates these solids with natural elements such as earth, air, water, fire, and ether, and these solids are what define all matter within the universe. Through exploring the properties of these solids, and patterns created by them, scientists, spiritualists, and philosophers have come to find reoccurring mathematical symmetries and sequences such as Phi, The Golden Ratio, and Fibbonnacci Sequence, that appears on both a macro and microscopic level of physical reality. These patterns can be seen and experienced through, movement, light, sound, and vision, and they repeat from the molecules in our bodies, to the stars in the galaxy. Life manifests itself in a series of patterns that tessellate and grow in an efficient and beautifully geometric form (Wilzeck 2015). Through my research, I seek to create an awareness of these symmetries and patterns to provide a connection to our environment and provide an understanding that we as humans are also the environment.
Euclid (325-265 B.C.E.) of Alexandria (Egypt) wrote the book Elements which is one of our first recorded and most basic teaching of geometry (it is still used today). This book marks a movement in history in the way that we think as a species, because it proposed a new way of thinking based on empirical thought; where ideas could be reality based on just an individuals thought. This is also the first record of the knowledge of the divine proportion. The Divine Proportion (Phi) is a ratio in which the whole is to the larger in exactly the same proportion as the larger is to the smaller. Or, a pattern of numbers that increases by adding the two previous numbers. This ratio can be reduced to 1.618 (but is continuous) and has multiple names such as Phi, Golden Mean, Golden Ratio, and Divine Proportion. It is a mathematical representation of the structure and framework in which life is manifested. Phi is present in both micro and macrocosms of all life forms on this planet, and beyond. (Hemenway, 2005).
Ancient civilizations relied on geometry and used it as there tool and blueprint for understanding the physical world and how it functions. People recognized geometric patterns, proportions, and ratios that related from part to whole, and saw that these were not only apparent in everyday natural life, but that they could also apply this knowledge in order to create.
Phidias (490-430 B.C.E.) was a Greek sculptor and mathematician who is known to have applied the Divine Proportion to the rectangles in the architecture of the Parthenon in Greece. The building was constructed in parallel lines in which the height and width of the columns are spaced in the ration of phi. Phidias worked on the Parthenon with Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher and mathematician who is a founder of Pythagoreanism. Pythatgoreanism is a school of teachings that are based upon “ideas that the metaphysics of number and conception that reality (including musical and astronomy) is, at its deepest level mathematical in nature (Wilzeck, 2015).” He is also recognized for the theory of Harmonia Kosmos translates as “fitting together, the beautiful order of things” (Hemenway 2005).
Plato (427-347 B.C.E) was next to recognize the divine proportion. He described five regular solids known as the platonic solids. These solids apply the divine proportion within their formations, and are said to be the basis for the structure of all matter in our universe. Platonic solids are shapes where each face is same regular polygon and the same number of polygons meets at each vertex. The platonic solids have been identified with the four basic elements-the hexahedron with earth, the tetrahedron with fire, the octahedron with air, and the icosahedron with water. In ancient Greek philosophy, the people believed Platonic solids to have a spherical property, where one Platonic Solid fits in a sphere, which alternately fits inside another Platonic Solid, again fitting in another sphere. This organization of spherical property is similar to our modern atom which shows a nucleus surrounded by electrons in orbit, which create a sphere of energy. This goes on infinitely large and small, as everything connects. Phi occurs in each of the platonic solids, within the geometry of the surface area of the faces of each three dimensional solid. Finally, in Plato's view, the regular polyhedral shapes are the building-blocks not only of the inorganic world, but of the entire physical universe, including organic and inorganic matter. (Hemenway 2005).
The Fibonnacci Sequence is a series of numbers that proceeds by adding the previous two numbers together, and it is a sequence of numbers that goes on infinitely. This mathematical sequence correlates with spirals that are found in art, science, and nature. Leonardo Fibonacci is the founder of this sequence and it first showed up in his book Liber Abaci. The Fibonacci sequence has a direct correlation and has a mathematical relationship to phi. When you take two numbers in the sequence and divide the first number by the second number, the decimal is always 1.60 which is approximately equal to Phi. This sequence is commonly applied to analyze growth patterns of plant and human life. Leonardo Da Vinci even used this sequence to construct the Vitruvian Man. (Hemenway 2005).
Next we have Johannes Kepler, who discusses the harmony of the world and the laws of planetary motion, in which he explains how planets move in ellipses and not circles. His view of the universe is linked to the platonic solids, as he believed the planets were aligned in the shapes of the platonic solids. He even created a platonic solid model of the solar system, which he believed was the blueprint of the universe. He stated that the five platonic solids could be applied to six planets if the solids bounding surfaces marked the spaces between the planetary spheres (Hemenway 2005)(Wilzeck 2015).
In the history of the human species, there was a deeper connection between human life and the earth. Cycles and patterns of life were commonly recorded, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world and of our place as humans within it all. As humans evolved as a species, I think we have lost some of this connection, and created an imbalance in our practices. In today’s society I find that people are heavily relying on technology and so distracted by its wonders, that they forget where everything is rooted from, which is nature. By becoming aware of how our world is synchronized and the harmonic scale levels in which we reside, we can begin to use the divine proportion and sacred geometry to define how we internally perceive the world. When we apply this information to ourselves, to our bodies, we can begin to think about our place in the equation of the divine proportion, and see that we are both the larger and smaller parts in relation to the universe. This awareness to the natural and “beautiful” ideas that the world embodies enlightened me to the idea that everything can be reduced to patterns, and has an underlying structure. I think this is sort of the birth in my obsession with both recording, and creating patterns. By re-establishing a relationship with Mother Nature, we as a species will create a deeper understanding of our inner and outer selves, and what are place is in the universe (Dalai Lama, 2005)(Wilzeck, 2015).
More recently, I have been looking into the studies of Rudolf Laban by reading his book “Choreutics.” Rudolf Laban is a dance theorist who draws a lot of his information from the Pythagorean community and theories of Plato. Laban is known for the theory of space harmony (also known as Choreutics). This theory is based upon universal patterns of nature, and man as a part of a universal design. Being a dancer and choreographer, Laban recognized patterns in the movements in human beings. He recognized a spacial pattern in human movements and saw the shapes of the platonic solids within these patterns. He was then able to reduce these movement patterns to choreutic scales through looking at inclinations, pathways, levels, and directions of movement. This determined the pattern of movement through the shapes of polyhedrons and the platonic solids. His theory is called space harmony for its relationship to harmonics and vibrations that can be seen in other theories such as the Harmony of the Spheres suggested by pythagoreous, and then later Johannes Kepler. (Laban, 1966)
In a more contemporary practice, the platonic solids, and phi are applied to a lot of common eastern knowledge. In Yogic philosophy there is a relationship between the platonic solids and the chakra energy systems. Each chakra corresponds with a platonic solid, as well as an element of each solid, as determined by Plato. In the book “The Universe in a Single Atom- the Convergence of Science and Spirituality”, the 14th Dalai Lama speaks a lot about the commonalities between Buddism and science. Buddhists commonly deconstruct thought by a combination of introspective thinking and . sensory perception viewed through a body. Modern Western science is primarily based just on thought rather than an experience. The Dalai Lama compares different scientific advancements in genetics, consciousness, and cosmology and quantum physics from the western society, to the more peaceful eastern practice. He believes that it is with a balance of both of these knowledges that humans can live in harmony with the rest of the world (Dalai Lama, 2005).
What I have learned is that on a physical level, everything can be reduced to a particle…. Or a wave. Sound, light, movement… EVERYTHING can be reduced to a simple frequency. Everything infinitely large, or small, is connected and is always constantly vibrating or moving. This to me means that movement is a fundamental aspect of perception, and that space itself, is a combination of synchronal movements. Each movement has a structure, yet all structures are composed of movements.
Overall I am convinced that our perception is made up of both what we do, and what we do not see, but just because we cannot see it, does not mean that it doesn’t exist. I specifically used glass to make this piece because I think that these geometric patterns, movements, and proportions are commonly taken for granite, or even overlooked. By utilizing the transparency of clear glass, I showed the shape of space (something intangible and unseen) and made it tangible.
Leonardo Da Vinci is one of my artistic influences because he is one of the first people to actually draw one of the platonic solids. His artwork was heavily impacted by the mathematical discoveries that were taking place during his lifetime. Da Vinci was always fascinated with all things science and his art work and philosophy reflect this interest. He filled sketch books with scientific nature studies, as well as architectural, and human form studies that in some way, all related back to a geometric foundation. Da Vinci, believed that art was connected with science and nature and his notebooks were filled of thoughts and drawings on how things are connected. The Italian Renaissance period (the time in which Da Vinci was an active artist), was a time in which artists were viewed as high members of society, and their practices were thought of to be similar to a practice of a scientist. Artists like Leonardo and Michelangelo followed the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, and even depicted them in some of their later paintings. I find that my work and Leonardo’s work focus similarly on the need to understand something on a deeper level, and allowing math, science and nature, to lead the way to this comprehension.
All in all, I think the ideas I am researching are ideas that I can continue to explore for years into my future. I know that I am both an analytical as well as spiritual person, and I find that the more that I continue to explore these mathematical sequences in my research, yoga/dance, and artistic practice, the more reoccurring, and interconnected these ideas appear. I am very interested in continuing to explore the word space, and what it means be a living being that occupies and alters space. Whether I continue in glass, printmaking, performance art, or writing, I know that these topics will always be on the surface of my thought processes. My intention in all of my efforts is to create a moment of interconnectedness where the viewer recognizes these mathematical patterns as a framework that provides the structure for how we experience everyday life. I would like to create a moment of transcendence where the viewer steps outside of themself and sees themself as a part of something larger (or smaller), and how everything is inevitably connected through a system of complex energy networks.
" I have always thought about the way that we see things. Even as a young child, my curiosity was peaked by the "unseen." My mother being a microbiologist gave me insight on the microscopic world, which in turn, opened my eyes to how much I don't see within our world. How much information am I missing!? I had always had an interest in how we as humans understand the world, and most importantly, how we understand our place within it. I resonate with the quote "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are." This to me is directly related to movement because we move through life in the form of our bodies, and our bodies are in constant motion. I know that everything is in constant motion through vibrations, I have started to theorize that all life forms move in specific patterns. I have found through my research that geometric shapes and self similar growth patterns manifest themselves on all levels. Micro to macroscopic, energy is essentially moving in the same way. I am obsessed with the idea that so much is going on around us all the time, that we simply cannot see, or hardly have an awareness of. So much of our perception is an illusion, I mean hell.... our vision is an illusion!!! I think that the unseen is a enticing place to provoke curiosity. Does altering the perspective of ones reality allow for them to realize that things may not be what they seem to be?
In all of this interest I am essentially seeking the relationship in which pattern moves throughout space and time. I find that there is an earthy spiritual connection to this idea as well a a physical connection. How do cycles of the earths moments begin to alter the cycle in which humans move? Some living beings have circadian rhythms. We base our time system on movement cycles of the planet. For example, A lunation is a westerns calendars month. One earth orbital trip around the sun is a year.. we literally base our movements in relation to the patterns of our universe... AND MOST OF US DON'T EVEN REALIZE THIS!!! It is this type of interconnection that I seek. I think the notion that movement is a fundamental aspect of perception has been lost..
"I view movements of the body as visual language. I believe that we as human beings are nothing but matter manifesting itself through a matter of movements of particles, working together to create our beings. I am interested in how our bodies occupy space and ways in which we can make our movements tangible. How does our body relate to or affect itself within the context of other materials or situations? Rudolf Laban is a dance choreographer who is known for his philosophy on Space Harmony. "Space Harmony is based on the universal patterns of nature and man as part of a universal design and order. (Choreutics:Laban)." Laban saw spacial patterns in human movement and recognized these patterns of moment to correlate with the shapes of the platonic solids. Kinetography is the phenomena of circles existing throughout nature and life. A person's kinesphere is defines spherical space determined by the area around the body whose periphery can be reached by extending the limbs in any direction away from the central point of standing. Technically speaking, a persons kinesphere isn't visible until the moment in which they begin to move within it. We make our kinesphere's visible by something Rudolf Laban refers to as trace-forms, or results of our movement represented in two dimensional line. Empty space simply does not exist. Space is a hidden feature of movement, and movement is a hidden feature of space. EVERYTHING IS MOVING. At all times. Matter is composed of a complex series of vibrations. Movement is a basic experience of human existence. Time is always involved in movement and movement is always involved in space. As we move through a space, the past, present, and future, aspects of time are involved in out movements. As one part of our movement vanished into the past, the next movement is in the present, followed by a third movement which presumably follows the present movement to complete the future movement.
All of this relates back to my basic interest in the structure of our universe, how we as humans occupy space, and how being aware of how we perceive the world, helps us to take control and be in charge of defining our own reality. By understanding we are just another small part, moving along in resonance with other sentient beings, we can find a center in our reality."
"Aspects of physical reality are hidden within numbers. Numbers describe the size and shape of physical reality. In order to understand what defines our reality, we must understand that geometry is the root of nature. It dictates structure. You are geometry. The five platonic solids, theorized by Plato give shape to the structure of our physical reality. In Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman practices, the platonic solids studied as symbolic meanings within harmonic shapes found in nature. Representing Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, and the Universe as a whole. Yin is considered to be the matter of the world (earth and water) and Yang to be space time (light and sky). By attempting to understand the structure of the world and why we as humans are here, we begin to take control of our reality, and guide our own paths through the human experience"
" Divine Proportion, Phi in Art, Nature, and Science"- Priya Hemmenway
"Scientists say that everything is always moving, Even the most solid objects are in motion. Molecules are constantly vibrating down to sub atomic levels. SO what is everything really is moving? The earth is constantly rotating upon its own axis therefor we MUST always be in some sort of constant motion. My question is... do we all vibrate to the same frequency and amplitude? Are we all in tune with one another? I've always felt that you "vibe" with certain activities, certain groups of people even. But what is this vibe? Recently I have been thinking that the vibrations we run our lives along help to define where we are comfortable. For example, when you are passionate about something that feeling resonates within you. You can feel it, If the frequency is right.. other people can hear it too. If particles of our physical reality travel in wavelengths than maybe these wavelengths are a fundamental part of understanding and perceiving our realities."