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"my search for a classical form in the emerging medium of digital art" - harvey rayner

Archive for October, 2006

Zen In Geometry And Numbers. Geometric Sketch For New Conceptual Work

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Zen In Geometry And Numbers 

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I’m not a mathematician and as far as I am aware none of my work has no real mathematical basis. My geometric ‘studies’ are instead based in an intuitive and philosophical affinity with the geometric relationships I have derived my art from over the last decade and a bit.

I have an nerdy obsession with symmetry and this obsession leads me into very abstract areas of thought. I also have a preoccupation with trying to understand the nature of reality. Geometry for me, as it was for the Greeks, is a philosophical language. It is a language that allows me to explore these abstract areas of thought and also give expression to what I find and feel is significant in it. Also, thrown into the mix is the influence of my Buddhist practice and the Buddhist teachings I have read.

The Buddhist concept of void and form, for me within geometry, has a parallel in the concept of infinity and zero. The Buddhist notion of self and relativity also has some expression within geometry as the notion of ‘one’ and symmetry.

The figure above shows how 1 sits at the centre of infinity, and that the progression to infinity and zero from 1 are actually the same thing.. Conventional mathematics gives us a picture of infinity that looks like this:

-infinity….. -5,-4,-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,4,5…… infinity

The picture has zero in the middle and +/- infinity at either end. Infinity in this picture is far away in the distance and can never be shown however far we zoom out.

The Zen view and experience of reality is that the whole universe is here right now in this moment. Taking this concept into the realm of numbers, this universe is infinite as it is simultaneously void of inherent, permanent existence. A Zen axiom is that all things are born and return to emptiness. Now, all magnitudes relative to zero are infinite. Or we could say any number divided by zero equals infinity.

My diagram represents numbers as arcs except number 1 which is a straight line, or rather a portion of an arc of infinite radius.

The inverted figure contains a theoretical progression of all numbers from zero through to infinity with the number 1 shown in the middle. The values shown to the left of 1 are the reciprocal of the values shown to the right.

We thus get a ‘picture’ of reality like this:-


However, the progression to zero is the mirror image of the progression to infinity. This could be seen as a delineation of the Zen notion of ‘all form is void: all void is form’.

Thus we picture the geometry of this as representing:-

0, infinity, 0 or 0, 1, 0

This is all a bit heady and is not intended to be a proof or some absolute representation of the nature of reality. The geometric sketch above is simply my attempt to give an alternative expression to concepts that are very difficult to communicate with the spoken word. When I first started messing around with this geometry many years ago, my own view of relativity and reality shifted in response to what was revealed in the language of the geometry. It may not have shifted any closer to gaining a closer experience of reality, but my revelations seemed profound enough at the time and I figure there could be great potential in geometry to communicate this abstract area of thought and experience.

The work above is a sketch originally intended as personal notes on key geometric relationships. I hope to develop it into a more resolved work of art, but unlike my previous work, i will not be looking to hide the underlying philosophical component, but instead making it central to the work. Much of my work over the last ten years or so contains geometric/philosophical intrigue for me at least, however the language I have used by enlarge was designed to cover up much of what could be potentially elaborated on from a conceptual point of view. This was probably in response to what I used to see as the over conceptualisation of art.
 Inversion Art Geometric Study

Above: Study from around 2000 based on the same geometric relationships shown at the top of the page, but where the potential conceptual component in not explored.

New Root2Art Links Logo Designs

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Root2Art Digital Art Links Logo

To make linking to my site easier, I’ve designed some logos and produced the appropriate code to make adding them to a page that much easier. Its pretty basic stuff I know, but it might be an obstacle for some novice users. The logos aren’t as big as this one needless to say.

This design really has grown out of the work I done for the SVG logo design contest.

New Root2Art Links Logos And Banners



Bespoke Retro Picture Frame 2.0

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

Bespoke Retro Picture Frame

i’ve been trying to get some reasonable photos of my frames with my new retroesk seals. this picture doesn’t really show them off, but its not this that caught my attention with this photo. the vertical shadows cast by the frame have given me an idea. i think these frames would work really well on a wallpaper with a strong vertical emphasis. something also a bit retro maybe. my problem is that at the moment my only way to play with this idea is in software, which make a poor substitute for a photo. anyone out their owns a wallpaper design studio? the paper type that is.




Retro Wallpaper And New Node Frame Renders

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Glass Node Frame On Root2Art Retro Wallpaper

this is my first attempt at creating a 3dmax model of a Node Frame in an environment. the wood still looks like plastic and the stainless steel poles look more like chrome, but its an improvement over previous attempts. i only started using serious modeling software last year and i’m still a novice with it. however, building and rendering in software is a craft that can be learn through diligence and practice, so its just a question of putting in the time and learning from those out there who can do a better job. i feel modelling and rendering a completed design in software is a bit like cooking. obviously there is a creative component, but there is a huge element of technical knowledge and understanding of ingredients which is only really born out of experience. maybe all designs like this, and it just because cooking and 3d modelling are two things i aspire to be good at, but still struggle with technically.

i’m keen to develop some good 3d models of my Node Frames as i will be able to show all my prints in this context without having to build 100 or so frames and photograph each one.

Complex Digital Art Composition Flash File

Monday, October 9th, 2006

Complex Digital Art

i’ve created a swf page of my most ambitious composition ‘Death Of Modus’ so viewers can use the flash controls to zoom in and out. when i finished it in 2004 it was the most complex work i have ever undertaken. i kind of feel now however that this actual site has become the biggest visual design project i have now worked on. oddly enough building this site has got me revisiting my older much simpler work again and its with this more elementary design style that i see my work now evolving.

Simple Digital Art


New Art Investment Pages For Custom Node Frame Collection

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

As well as a new home page this week I’ve uploaded some pages on my Node Frame collection

Investment In The Root2Art Node Frame Collection

I’ve also rejigged the whole directory structure of the site for seo reasons, but you won’t notice any real change looking through the different sections. my next priority is to get some good photos of my frames as at the moment the computer renders are not doing the product any justice. i also have plans to launch an experimental prising scheme for my work which i will be using to drum up a bit of publicity.

oh yes, I’ve also created an art buyers questionnaire to get a better handle on what you want and expect when buying art online. fill it in and i’ll send you some limited edition signed root2art postcards for free.

custom picture frame

custom node frame