Sunday, July 13, 2014

Being Left Behind

Being Left Behind

I spent the evening in a thick dark room,
staring into liquid space,
wishing I was somewhere else;
in Hell, or Egypt, sky or day.
Any place but here.
Any place but warm thick death,
the tepid heat of decadent breath.
Any touch with any skin.
Near any ear.
Or eye.
Or mind.

I spent the evening quietly dying.
Being left behind.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sun Set Free

A new painting and associated poem.

Sun Set Free

I'm flying like a spirit,
high and transparent,
in perfect air,
penetrated by the warm rays
of a distant god's golden hair.

A new day is begun.
A new flower scent of sweet clarity
curls in and around as I run
in nature's loving breath.
My soul is free from pain and death
like an everlasting sun.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Gravitational Wave Detector

For some reason I spent two days last week thinking of gravitational waves, something which might represent a useful form of astronomy in future decades. I thought that an array of condenser microphones (effectively a static electric field) would make a good detector, as a fuzzy cloud of electrons can be more densely packed in three dimensions than using laser interference and chunky satellites to detect these. Of course though, these would be ultra sensitive to vibrations and so would ideally need to be placed in orbit or off planet somehow, so I thought the dark side of the moon (to avoid stray E.M. emissions from Earth), in a crater shaded from the sun, perhaps buried deep under the lunar surface. Yes, cheap (sarcasm) (actually though, it shouldn't be too expensive to do this. All you need to do is crash land a tunnelling machine into the surface and it could bore a vertical shaft into the lunar surface automatically).

Anyway the electron cloud would probably be subject to all sorts of interference from different sources in the radiation of space, and the capacitors would need a power source, which would also be a source of interference (as well as shortening their life-span - still that could be accounted for during analysis).

Then I thought of using the piezoelectric effect to create another type of three-dimensional gravitational wave sensor, little more than a matrix of wires in a crystal. I initially thought that a geologically inactive planet itself could be used as a detector, most planets being crystal rocks of some sort of another, although of course every planet is regularly deformed by gravity, and stochastically which would further corrupt the data. However a big crystal cube in orbit might be relatively tough and free from such concerns.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

War Poem

I helped host a poetry night last night, the fourth of a regular annual event. The night before at about 4am (always a good time to write poetry, don't you think?) I wrote a poem for it, a war poem as the theme was the first world war. It's a bit surreal, so I'm not really sure what it's really about. We ran out of time on the night so I didn't have time to read it, so I thought I'd put it here instead.

There were no people,
just a bird,
on a black twisted limb
of something once living,
in a sea of northern clay in the rain.

And I watched him sing,
and blink a black eye
to the cold-soaked day
in the chapel of pain.

And his feathers were brown,
like a moths, in a case,
in a box behind glass in an Edwardian town hall,
and my skin was white
like the salt spit sky.

His gaping mouth gasped,
drowning in silence.
My deaf-ears were grasping for a music unheard,
as I blinked a black eye.

There were no people,
just a bird.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Role Of Artist

The true artist is a painter, and a sculptor, an actor, a singer, a writer of tales, poet, music composer, songwriter and lyricist, a film director, cameraman, set-designer, fashion designer, make-up artist, hair stylist, photographer, sound effects artist, dancer, entrepreneur, cook, gardener, architect, perfumer, comedian, lover, dramatist and engineer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Perception Of The Passage Of Time

From Wikipedia:

"Is the present moment physically distinct from the past and future..."


"...or is it merely an emergent property of consciousness?"

Yes. The strange thing about the present is that people always think that it is now, irrespective of the date. This alone confirms that the present cannot exist. Anthropologically the present is a boundary between the future (an unknown memory) and the past (a known memory). A creature with no memory has no notion of the passage of time.

Therefore the sense of the passage of time can be defined by the gaining of information in the memories of conscious creatures. But does that mean that time didn't pass before conscious creatures existed in the universe? Let's say that the first creatures with memory and a notion of time evolved ten billion years after the start of the universe. Did time pass slowly in that first ten billion years, or did all of space-time "appear" in a magic puff ten billion years after the start. Well, of course, the result is identical, because the two options are identical. If history exists, it exists as one entity not a series of discrete slices.

But wait, what if a portion of history was forever invisible to us, what if a section of space-time, say a distant part of a universe, beyond a dark horizon that is impossible for any mind to ever detect now, but did exist at some point when no mind existed. Can we say that place exists now, even if fundamentally undetectable. Yes, and no, because either its existence has affected what we can observe (in which can we can indirectly detect it) or it hasn't in which case its existence or not existence produces the same outcome.

So, concerning the perception of passing time, what would be the difference in a person's perception between time passing slowly over a year and instantly jumping ahead by a year. Answer, none. After a year the same information would be in the memory of the person. How fast do we fly through time? The perception is related to memory, thus people will poorer memories, those who store less, feel that they are moving faster through time - a common complaint among the elderly! - And as an aside, those who don't observe much will feel time passing more quickly for this reason too.

Finally let's return to entropy. If the sense of the passage of time can be defined by the gaining of information in the memories of conscious creatures, then surely this is the opposite of the second law of thermodynamics, which states that generally information is lost over time, not gained. Well, alas, memory is impermanent and finite. Although memory might preserve information, it can never preserve all of the information contained in the universe (it would need to be as large as the universe itself, and even then, be identical to it, and two identical things cannot exist; because they would be the same as one thing). It could also not preserve all of the information that is lost for the same reason. If it preserved all of any lost information exactly, the information would not be lost at all. If it preserves less information than that lost then entropy would increase as expected.

Ah, but what if a memory could somehow preserve more information than might be lost! How? By predicting what information the universe might lose in future? The prediction would be inherently unverifyable, and any untrue predictions would be inaccurate and therefore this ultra-memory would increase entropy in its own right.

See also Sensing Time (2012)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Classifications Of Art

The goal of art is to fulfil a social need of the artist and the viewer.

Expression. Males lean towards expressing their personality. Females lean towards expressing beauty. This is intimately linked to human sexual function, as males must prove their reliability, trustworthiness, intellect, strength and general ability to help raise children, whereas females merely need to attract any suitable male.

Classifications of art.

Empathic Art. An artist feels something and expresses that feeling in art. The viewer sees the art and recognises this feeling in themselves. They feel sympathy for the artist, less alone and so comforted. This type of art demands intellectual and emotional understanding on behalf of the viewer and skilled expression by the artist. This is the heart of what people think of as "good art". Take, for example, van Gogh's Wheat Field With Crows, often touted as his last painting. At first a simple landscape painting, closer interpretation of the symbols and, especially, knowledge of the artist's life and, knowledge that it was (or might have been!) his last painting before his suicide, all increase the emotional impact and meaning of the artwork. Crucially it becomes a better artwork through that knowledge because we can feel more for the artist. Skill is needed to express this art well because the artist must convey his/her feelings accurately and convincingly, so a less skilled artist would always create a lower quality artwork. The converse of this type of art conveys nothing about the artist, and nothing the viewer can relate to.

Intellectual Art. An artist makes an observation, comment or expression of intellect and understanding about an external event. The viewer empathises with the event rather than the artist, and so this is less dependant on the skill of expression of the artist. Most photography fits into this category because in a photograph it is the image that a viewer must sympathise with; the only input from the creator is in choosing what to capture, although staged photography can be more self-expressive. This is why photographs don't feel like "good art". Staged photographs, like surrealist constructions by someone like Man Ray, feels more artistic than staged scenes of actors or models, which feel more artistic than real-world documentary, which feel more artistic than random CCTV footage, because each level reduces the input of the creator.

Decorative Art. This type of art expresses no meaning or feeling and says nothing about the artist. It may be purely beautiful, or purely ugly. Some skill of the artist might be conveyed, although in the most extreme form of this art, even this is absent, such as art taken by a robotic camera.

Mementos. People desire a painting of a friend or pet, and the painting serves as a memento. The interaction of having a real person create the artwork increases the emotional experience, making the memory stronger and more pleasant. A photograph would be less emotional, and therefore less pleasant than a painting made by an artist. A painting made by a close friend would make the experience yet stronger, and a painting by an intimate friend stronger still. Thus, this art of this type fulfils and personal comforting social function.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Roux & Cyr

The blog sphere is strange and I've been following a few artists for years, not quite remembering how I found them but still finding each creative twist a turn interesting!

One is Susan Roux and she sent me an email to announce a new gallery that opens next month, then Roux & Cyr International Fine Art Gallery, located at 48 Free Street - Portland, Maine. It's difficult running an art gallery so I thought I'd help spread the word and wish her and the many artists there good luck.

The official opening is on May 24th and the website is

Gosh my blog is eclectic these days. I must try and post a few more paintings! I tend to do most of that on my Facebook Page these days.