I was reading Da Vinci’s notebooks and I came a cross a number of things that look like network diagrams or circuit diagrams. What are these things? They are cross sections of building facades, floor plans, flows for aqueducts, sketches for river systems.
This is a painting I did recently. What is it? It is abstract. It’s nothing but color. It does resemble a circuit diagram or perhaps tubes, but what was I doing while I was painting this? I was thinking about lines, shapes, colors, relations. It represents something inside me, the symbols of my unconscious and perhaps something about this collective moment in history. I was struck by how similar this design is to the drawings of cross sections and aqueducts.
Da Vinci wrote in his notebooks that when you have trouble creating a composition for a group of people or a battle scene look at a stone wall. The stains, the color, and so forth will call in you a certain composition and from this you can be inspired. In abstract art it is the opposite. We are creating the stone wall from which other people will derive inspiration. The stone wall happens from chance not from intention. Each line in a painting is a result of a decision. What goes into that decision, maybe it is very algorithmic like Sol Lewitt, maybe it is based on something random like throwing yarrow sticks and the i ching (like John Cage’s compositions). However this is all visual representation of decision making.
Each decision has an impact, just like decisions in the real world. There is no undo, there is no erase. The only way forward in painting is through. This reminds me of the law of karma, every action will have a reaction. Every paint stroke painted on the canvas (or in this case newsprint) will leave a mark.
I am part of a bunch of sense making groups. I am not sure why. I sort of can make sense of the world, but I am metaphysically curious. In the words of Robert Anton Wilson I enjoy exploring different reality tunnels. The crises in sense making is really stemming from a crises in decision making or not knowing how to make a decision. There are so many ways to make a decision when you think about it. I just discussed two. But we can vote, we can make a logical proof, we can do a simulation, so many different things. Painting is the art form of decision making. It is about where should I put the paint, and once I put the paint down, does it work and where should I put the next piece of paint.