Chromodynamics , a series of four works, is a visual investigation of the question of where, exactly, are our memories stored? These large-scale artistic explorations (5 x 12 feet in size), submicroscopic in origin, go beyond neuronal synaptic connections, and probe memory storage in the world of the quantum, and of string theory.
Our central nervous system has 100 billion neurons, which in turn have trillions of synaptic interconnections. The prevailing theory concerning memory location is that there are changes in the connectivity between neurons, at the ynaptic level. Certainly, synaptic activity is essential to memory formation. Also, in many memory functions, such as learning to ride a bicycle or even learning to walk, considerable permanent changes take place to neuronal systems, neuronal networks and to neurons themselves. However, is the synaptic level itself sufficient to explain the vast amount of memories that we have, and that we continue to accumulate? We accumulate a massive amount of new memories every single day, yet we are not continuously producing new neurons, new synapses. I suggest that memory encoding on the basis of changes in synaptic connectivity is not sufficient to explain our ever expanding memory stores. I suggest that we have to look at molecular, sub-molecular and subatomic areas of possible memory storage.
The images of Chromodynamics were created by looking at fine details, almost microscopic in nature, of pieces from the previous series Symphonic Thoughts. These pieces incorporated my own memories as transformed photographs, brain scan images, and electroencephalograms thinking about specific artistic topics. These fine details, which incorporate so many aspects of my own memory functioning, were enlarged to 5 x 12 feet in size, and further transformed.
Invoking quantum mechanics, the pieces of Chromodynamics display quantum fuzziness and uncertainty. Looking further down into the possibilities of invoking the ultimate of the small, namely string theory, stringiness is incorporated in the fine detail of each piece.
Each piece of Chromodynamics originated from an almost microscopic investigation of a previous art work. What if the process is similarly repeated on one of the pieces from this series? In doing so, the results are unexpected and spectacular. In selected areas, such a microscopic investigation produces images that are very reminiscent of Claude Monet’s large scale, water lily paintings. So, starting with large scale art works, going into the microscopic level produces Chromodynamics images with fuzziness of quantum mechanics, and stringiness of string theory. Yet with a further, deeper level of microscopic investigation, one pops back into large scale art works of water scenes. This is an amazing back and forth phenomenon.
Since Chromodynamics originated from art work based on musical themes, Symphonic Thoughts, the majority of the titles reflect musical concerns. The titles of three of the pieces are musical in nature: Pianissimo(very softly), Subito Forzando (sudden, strong emphasis) and Dal Niente (out of nothing, from silence). The only piece that has a non-musical title is Cubit. The strong cubical elements in this piece, reminded me of a similarly entitled, large-scale, cubical structure that I had proposed as a public arts project to a Washington, D.C. arts commission, in 1977.
The large-scale prints on canvas (5 x 12 feet in size) were printed using pigmented inks and are of archival quality. The series was also issued as archival quality prints on paper, 20 x 46 inches in size, in an edition size of 20.