Columns of Writing

In this series of Columns I include the written words of authors who have influenced my art.

My childhood imagination was filled with stories of fantasy by Anderson and Grimm, which my mother would read to me. In grammar school I was taken by the elaborate tales of Alice’s excursions through Wonderland. In this piece, John Tenniel’s original images were used. The text is Lewis Carroll’s own hand writing from the original manuscript, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. The text in this Column is from the beginning of the story when Alice first encounters, and then pursues, the rabbit.

Franz Kafka’s surrealism and existentialism influenced my art. A mirror portrait of him, which I made in 1977, hangs in the entrance way to my home. The hand written text in this piece is from the beginning paragraphs of Kafka’s The Trial.

A mirror portrait of Samuel Beckett hangs next to Kafka’s portrait. In 1978-79, my art concentrated on installation pieces: doorways and windows with light and sound systems. I corresponded with Beckett and proposed an actor-less play in which he would write the text, I would record it, and then play it as part of an installation / performance. He wrote back that this proposal interested him, but that he was too busy to take on new projects. A few years later he passed away. The hand written text in this Column is from Waiting for Godot.

In medical school I took an elective about dream analysis. This course was taught by a psychiatrist who trained under Anna Freud. At that time I read Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. The hand written text used in this piece is from Freud’s explanation of falling and flying in dreams (an explanation which is extremely sensible, not psychoanalytic).

In Dreamscape: Connections, a hand written summary of one of my own dreams is included. During a mid-day dream, I was involved in a photography project along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I entered a restaurant to get something to drink, and put down my knapsack. When I turned around, it was gone! With it was gone my camera and week’s worth of exposed film. I was in a panic and soon woke up. Within a few minutes the phone rang—my daughter was calling from Milan, Italy. Her knapsack had just been stolen, along with her passport, credit cards and money! At the same moment in time, I dreamed of my knapsack being taken, as when my daughter’s knapsack was actually stolen. Coincidences like this do not happen—there are connections.

All of the Columns are free-standing, independent structures, paralleling our own human existence.

The images consist of neuronal profiles, intertwined with my own MRI brain scans, electroencephalograms, and transformations of my own art work. It is from these extensive, overlapping neuronal networks that our consciousness, being, and independence arise.

Each Column consists of three layers of polycarbonate, back-light by a LED color-changing lights. As the transmitted colors change, the images change dramatically.

The three layers of images correspond to our own three levels of awareness: consciousness, sub-consciousness and unconsciousness.

Each piece is 65 x 7 x 7 inches in size. All materials used are archival quality. The images were printed with pigmented inks. The electrical light system is UL listed and approved. These pieces were created in 2014 and 2015.