A Statement

There’s no way to describe an artistic practice in a single page without the tone and narrative coming across with dashes of simplicity and triteness. This is an unfortunate reality of trying to create a single vantage point onto a pursuit as creator and student to a set of objects, when the reality is that such a pursuit is ever changing and irregularly faceted: there is no single vantage point to be had. Hopefully there is enough purpose and meaning in what follows, that at least an entry point to a landscape of ideas is revealed. Like all stories, it is best to start at the beginning.

When I was a kid, I used to worry a lot about absolute truth. There were no gray areas in my head only right and wrong, true or false, on or o . I would pester my mom continuously about the exact place I was before birth. It wasn’t a spiritual question I was asking, but one of how my presence extended on either side of the conscious timeline; a question of logistics and continuity. Luckily my need for absolutes has shifted, and with this shift I have found an approach to my practice that allows me to pursue the creation of objects that play with the space between the relative and the absolute; the space where the parts of us live that make us human.

This shift was spearheaded by my background in mathematics and an idea within the eld: incompleteness. The basic idea is that any structured system will contain within it the elements to create a question that the system can’t answer. In frameworks of knowledge this is a big deal. It means we will never come to maintain a complete body of knowledge, only an evolving one.

We as people, are systems in ourselves. The I is a system; a biological system with operations like addition and subtraction, but we give these operations different names like intuition and creativity. We shape and maintain an image of ourselves using these operations on the foundational elements of our current mind, which in turn creates new ideas that we arrange to reveal a certain truth and create new foundations. This is a cycle, however, faking an absolute outcome. As we continue to build on our truth, towards a perceived absolute completeness, we come to a point where the self we are presented with, begins to lack clarity. It’s as if we have been able to ask a question without having clear language on how to answer it. These are not questions like, “Where is the closest grocery store?” -- something unknown, but available for discovery -- but a question like, “How did I know my first love?” At these moments we must encapsulate our current self in a new self. We must augment and evolve; we must let go of what we once found to be certain. And we do this through tools created through culture: science, religion, and art.

It is in these moments of self-evolution that our facts and absolutes are shown for what they are: beliefs that we stopped needing to reaffirm; statements that we have lived with for so long without question that we have forgotten they were built from arbitrary parts. The books of our knowledge -- books lining the creases of our brain -- are continually torn apart, glued together, thrown out, or penned anew. Characters added. Plots re-imagined. Knowledge is nothing more than the web of these stories; ideas woven and locked together. A tapestry of bias and belief.

I see my practice as having two purposes: as a way to explore structures of knowledge and also as a way to bring people in touch with their own created belief, allowing them to more deeply connect to their perceived path. We can not come to understand our purpose in life without a profound understanding of the fluidity inherent in the way we perceive ourselves and the space we ll; the way we create meaning from certain internal rules. We must strive to experience moments where we can hold the image of ourselves in the mirror of the beliefs that underlie our truths.

These moments are opportunities to celebrate the ability for our truth to make us feel complete, while also knowing that this same truth will eventually lead us to become aware of our incompleteness as well. And if we are brought to realize these moments in the right way, we will not struggle and try to validate what we already know, but we will move to become who we are meant to be in that moment. An acceptance of this cycle is a love of Self.

What I hope for is that others will see what I make as I do: mathematically influenced objects that examine the feedback loop we have with the emotional relationships to ourselves and our environment..


Talk to me.

Drop me a line if you want to talk about anything: mark@markvonrosenstiel.com. You can also find me on Skype (mvonrose) if you're a voice sort of person.

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