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Mandala Cruft (Occam's razor)

This cruft algorithm extracts an image from the CNN home page once every eight hours. The image is then processed into a mandala, with the addition of the original source image and caption. CNN presents a constant stream of images of violence, potential terrorism, and the imminent hurricane or earthquake, as well as the daily dose of political polarization. As an artist I want to take these powerful source images and convert them into equally powerful images of peace. I hope you enjoy them, while also being reminded of the transformation from which they were created.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maṇḍala is a Sanskrit word that means "circle". In the Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions their sacred art often takes a mandala form. The basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the shape of a T.

In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, as a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. According to the psychologist David Fontana, its symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises." The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self," and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality.

In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala]

Occam's Razor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The principle is often summarized as "simpler explanations are, other things being equal, generally better than more complex ones." In practice, the principle is usually focused on shifting the burden of proof in discussions. That is, the razor is a principle that suggests we should tend towards simpler theories until we can trade some simplicity for increased explanatory power. Contrary to the popular summary, the simplest available theory is sometimes a less accurate explanation. Philosophers also add that the exact meaning of simplest can be nuanced in the first place.

Occam's razor is attributed to the 14th-century English logician, theologian and Franciscan friar Father William of Ockham (d'Okham) although the principle was familiar long before. The words attributed to Occam are "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" (entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem), although these actual words are not to be found in his extant works. The saying is also phrased as pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate ("plurality should not be posited without necessity"). To quote Isaac Newton, "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor]

CRUFT: Art from Digital Leftovers

My work includes traditional art practices in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Recent work includes generative art, performance, installation, and network based art. My arts practice explores the Internet not just as a distribution platform but organized under the umbrella concept of Cruft. I take apart, juxtapose, recycle, and interrupt the relentless flow of media to reveal a relationship in which we don't simply consume media, but are also consumed by it. Computer code is automated and runs on a server which at specified times goes out to the Internet and scrapes source material from the web to then produce a form of digital collage. Each auto-generated Cruft is the digital residue created from the information flowing through the Internet at that moment. This work is then automatically uploaded to my web site for distribution to the viewing public. My work on Cruft has encouraged me to think about the nature of the unique art object and it’s dematerialization, from atoms to bits, allowing for potentially infinite copies.

Misdirection as Mass Deception
Like the magician performing sleight-of-hand to deceive and misdirect the eye, those in power tell us where to look and what to think. The mass media provides the stage where the deception unfolds focusing public attention with emotion and fear. Having been in lower Manhattan on September 11th 2001, I experienced first hand the collision of terrorism and warfare into the visual, resulting in our network connected screens compressing the time between living and documenting an event. The media showed images of the planes impact and the buildings collapse in a repetitive loop. Our screens became weapons of terror, the system of representation was hijacked and we were forced to relive those terrifying moments by viewing images presented as a never ending present. In 2003, as the United States invaded Iraq, I began to notice how the media presented images that contributed to fear and consensus, and as the images disappeared from view, I wondered what became of these digital leftovers and I then started creating auto-generated Cruft.