March 8, 2012

LA Luna


Ana and I?aki returned to LA from Spain and we met up at their house in Laurel Canyon and this is their view from the deck of their home. The moon was full and the sky clear, the lights of the city twinkled from the atmospheric thermal layers, planes stacked up to land at LAX, helicopters danced like dragonflies and it was no surprise that our conversation centered on that most of the time. I was thinking of the astronomical motifs that dominate the paintings in my upcoming show, but I didn't want to nerd out narcissistically about it... luckily, I?aki spun out what he knew about astronomy, specifically about the sun and the evolution of stars.

He said that stars have an evolutionary arc, clouds of hydrogen spun out of the big bang and the great inflation coalesce and shine as the first stars. Each star has a life cycle (ten, by his account) and with each one, elementary elements are compressed and fused into heavier elements and it isn't until the fourth generation does a star have the elements needed to spawn life as we know it on earth. We all know this by and large in part or whole, but he was focusing on the wonder of how we are... stardust (cue Joni Mitchell) and how little we really know about the world and how much we will get to know as time and science marches on. Again, these thoughts are well trod in our time, but can we really exhaust a well of wonder of this dimension? I?aki drilled into his wonder at levels that renewed my awe. He made me think of Hiroshi Sugito, who in his own subtle but pointed way, in his art, dwells on similar themes about the wonders of scale in tension, of the humbly small and the impossibly large.

A couple of days after, I found this video:

The Most Astounding Fact from Max Schlickenmeyer on Vimeo.

Posted by Dennis at March 8, 2012 1:04 PM

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