Light on the Water

This form of natural focussing appears like writing on a surface in this video clip which I made in response to the Richard Feynman commentary on ‘seeing’.

Feynman’s explanation is concerned with how the workings of the senses gives us a human sense of agency, ‘despite’ the electromagnetic maelstrom in which we are suspended. As Feynman establishes, this maelstrom is constituted of evidence of ‘everything’ and it’s ‘out there’. Something more selective, suggesting meaning, is afforded by this surface and its very specific behaviour. The surface gives us an intersection; it interrogates the maelstrom. It does this by interposing a chunk of animated mathematics into the visible spectrum, thus providing something our senses can attune to.

In connection with the concepts I wrote about in ‘Making the Geologic Now’ (which illustrates an equivalent physical phenomenon within the geologic record) it seems from this that thereĀ are processes of imprinting history that occur at every conceivable scale of both time and material, that is, from Nano- Micro- Macro. In order for this to become intelligible we have employ the notion of a ‘surface’ via which we establish a meaning. Without such ‘surfaces’ the information, or ‘that which can be written’ may not be lifted from the chaos. I’ve compared this to the narrative imprinting ‘into the rock’ of the figurative forms and human actions from the Egyptian pantheon, joining the everyday to the metaphysical; in other words, adding additional dimensionality to the everyday moment. This narrative becomes accessible across time, even though some of it is concerned with such ‘moments’.

The modally of human vision appears to exist exactly at this mid scale interface in the quantum environment, meaning that our visual cognition can extend both in directions from outer to inner space. ‘The Problem of Scale’ indicates a knowledge boundary that continually retreats. As we look further into inner space there are additional dimensionalities wrapped up everywhere we look. If a convenient surface is not available, a notional one must be invented in order that we may engage with what’s ‘out there’ as well as what’s ‘in there’.

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