Thursday, June 29, 2017

" a free and open encounter..."

And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?

                              --John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644 
David Martin, "Paul at Areopagus",  1639-1721

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Statement: Christopher Arabadjis

Two pieces from artist Christoper Arabadjis appear in Emanations: 2 + 2 = 5; and then a great many more appear in Emanations: I Am Not a Number, which presents a number of his designs with an "hexagonal" theme (incidentally reflecting the number of the volume). His work combines science and fine art intelligently and suggestively, and so fits very well with our purposes. Here is a statement of his aesthetic idea:
I draw nearly every day using ballpoint pen. I have done so for over six years. I start every drawing the same way with a mark (or shape) and a rule for how to repeat it. A rule usually consists of specifying how different the second mark can be from the first. For example, Untitled (2016-12-001) [below] started with a red square somewhere in the middle of the paper. The rule for repetition was that the next mark had to be red, four sided, and touch the corners of the first, but its internal angles could change turning it into, say, a parallelogram. The pattern resulted in a wavy checkerboard.

As I make marks I try to rigorously adhere to the rules. Once this process is set in motion, I let go and see where it takes me. Of course each mark is a small yet conscious decision, but I work quickly enough that it does not feel that way. In fact I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I am like two people when I draw. The other is an observer who watches a creator who looks like he knows what he is doing and where he is going.

If a drawing seems to stall under the weight of too much homogeneity I will re-calibrate the rule, loosening it to allow for greater diversity. If there is not enough tension, a second system will be introduced consisting of a new mark and rule combination. In the aforementioned drawing I introduced a second mark that was a blue four sided shape that had to fully touch all of the red marks around it, e.g. it filled in the white areas of the red checkerboard wherever it extended to. However, when they reached the edge where the red marks ended, they could extend beyond the boundary in the same way the red marks had colonized a region. 

Sometimes the second system is one of opposition and sometimes one of compatibility, but the goal is for the systems to complement each other for the greater good of the whole. There is no limit to the number of systems that I would introduce, but the more systems, the more difficult it is to resolve a piece. 

I currently use red and blue ink to explore the way color interacts, but only two colors in order to limit the outcomes and isolate the connection between cause and effect. I work like a scientist because I was trained to think logically from a young age, and because I studied physics for fifteen years. I think of these works as mini physics calculations or simulations. Like building my own universe from scratch, or as we say in physics from first principles. The development of each drawing mimics the process of growth with a built-in mechanism for mutation – the inability of my hand or my mind not to make a mistake. In fact I’ve come to see mistakes as acts of creation.

Christopher Arabadjis's work will be on view during my talk this Sunday at the WAH Center. To learn more about the event, please click HERE.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Through Optic Glass

…his ponderous shield
Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose Orb
Through Optic Glass the Tuscan Artist views
At Ev'ning from the top of Fesole,

Or in Valdarno, to descry new Lands, 
Rivers or Mountains in her spotty Globe.

-- Milton, Paradise Lost, Book I
Milton visiting Galileo, colored engraving after a painting by Annibale Gatti

Galileo's drawings of the moon, 1610

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"...nevertheless I took it as a pledge of future happiness..."

Milton visiting Galileo when a prisoner of the Inquisition. Alexander Hart, 1847.

“There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisoner to the Inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought. And though I knew that England then was groaning loudest under the prelatical yoke, nevertheless I took it as a pledge of future happiness, that other nations were so persuaded of her liberty. Yet was it beyond my hope that those worthies were then breathing in her air, who should be her leaders to such a deliverance, as shall never be forgotten by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish.”

― John Milton, Areopagitica A speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing to the Parliament of England, 1644

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WAH Center, July 2

Terrance Lindall has sent out an announcement for a talk I am giving Sunday July 2 at the WAH Center:

"Illustrating the Visions: Alloys of Art, Poetry, Politics and Philosophy"

Talk by Publisher and Professor Carter Kaplan of International Authors our private library: below the Memorial Shelf for Dr. Robert J. Wickenheiser


Sunday July 2, 2017
Luncheon 12:30 – 1:30 PM   $25

Talk 2:00 -3:00  FREE ADMISSION

Display of AI Books and original illustrations by renowned artists
International Authors link:

"International Authors: A consortium of writers, artists, architects, filmmakers and critics, International Authors publishes work of outstanding literary merit. Dedicated to the advancement of an international culture in literature, primarily in English, the group seeks new members with an enthusiasm for creating unique artistic expressions."

"Emanations is an anthology series featuring fiction, poetry, essays, manifestos and reviews. The emphasis is on alternative narrative structures, new epistemologies, peculiar settings, esoteric themes, sharp breaks from reality, ecstatic revelations, and vivid and abundant hallucinations. The editors are interested in recognizable genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, postmodernism—but the idea is to make something new, and along these lines the illusion of something new can be just as intriguing. If a story or poem makes someone say, “Yes, but what is it?” then it’s right for Emanations. Essays should be exuberant, daring, and free of pedantry. Length is a consideration in making publication decisions, but in keeping with the spirit of the project, length is “open.”  Emanations is a continually shifting and evolving project, and contributors should see themselves as actively shaping our editorial vision and compass."

The Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters is a program of the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center). The Circle serves as a hub for discussion of new ideas about diverse subject matters. It is especially keen to point up intersections in areas of study that on first glance appear to be contradictory, especially in the areas of art and literature. Observations on the human experience in a receptive individual can sometimes evoke intuitive leaps of creativity, bringing forth new ideas in science, philosophy, literature and the arts. We hope to encourage this.

We believe that a strong education in the classical humanities is a fundamental prerequisite for good citizenship in every country in the world today. What is Classical Humanities? It is nothing less than the spiritual, ethical and intellectual foundation for Western culture. Classics are a vibrant, interdisciplinary field that lies at the heart of the liberal arts. It is the lack of a common heritage and common values that gives rise to basic conflicts among peoples. A broad education in the classical humanities can bring about a common understanding and a common set of values.

Our outstanding members serve as inspiration to young scholars whose concepts are forming and who are or will be developing projects important to our 21st century civilization. 
To learn about the Williamsburg Circle of International Arts and Letters, please click HERE. To  learn about the WAH Center and the Yuko Nii Foundation, please click HERE.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Conversations with Philip K. Dick... in Emanations: I Am Not a Number

Tessa B. Dick,the widow of Philip K. Dick, is working on a new book about PKD's ideas and art. Here is the cover for the project, which will be published in the near future.

We are very fortunate to have two sections from Ms. Dick's manuscript in Emanations: I An Not a Number.

The first section describes some of PKD's cosmological speculations. I think the description is worthwhile because the speculations are not only interesting in themselves, but also because Ms. Dick provides insight into how PKD developed his concepts and theories. In the second section, Ms. Dick describes PKD's plans for sequels to two of his novels, The Man in the High Castle and The Penultimate Truth.

Please click the cover image to learn more about Emanations: I Am Not a Number:

As a footnote, I want to point out that The Penultimate Truth contains what we might describe as "experimental" or "avant-garde" writing. Far from being a strict modernist limited to conventional linear narrative, Philip K. Dick was indeed capable of extraordinarily sophisticated and elegant grammatical architectures that create layers of complex multi-valiant meanings, astonishing impressions, and finely-nuanced emotions. In The Penultimate Truth, this literary shifting begins at chapter five.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch image featuring Salvadore Dali as the antagonist

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch is one of Philip K. Dick's best novels.  In future Highbrow posts, I might set forth my reasons for saying so.  In the meantime, here is a curious Dali-inspired Palmer Eldritch digital panting by an artist called... "SharksDen".


Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Passing Reference

Please click the cover image to learn more about Emanations: I Am Not a Number.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Radiant Snow in the Korean News

Horace Jeffery Hodges and his new book Radiant Snow (International Authors, 2017) have captured some attention in the Ewha Voice. Please click the image to read the article.

Emanations: I Am Not a Number is now available

Please click the cover image to view the Amazon sales page.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Outline of Thought

The Wikipedia article entitled "Outline of Thought" presents much more than is suggested by the title.  I'll leave it to card-carrying Highbrows to negotiate this one for themselves, with my suggestion that this is an archive of words and concepts useful to advancing the mission of literary creativity.  Please click HERE.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Chicken-and-Egg Problem

More from Annie Jacobson’s The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top Secret Research Agency:
As ARPA director, [Eberhardt] Rechtin believed he knew why the agency had run into so many difficulties during the Vietnam War. He called it the “chicken-and-egg problem” in congressional testimony related to the Mansfield Amendment [which barred the Defense Department from conducting “any research project or study unless the project or study had a direct relationship to [a] specific military function]. When asked by a committee member if it was appropriate to describe the Advanced Research Projects Agency as a “premilitary research organization within the Defense Department,” Rechtin said that if the word “military” were replaced by the word “requirement,” then that assessment would be correct. Unlike the regular military services, Rechtin said, ARPA was a “pre-requirement” organization and that it conducted research in advance of specific needs. “By this I mean that the military services, in order to do their work, must have a very formal requirement based on specific needs.” Rechtin said, “and usually upon technologies that are understood.” ARPA existed to make sure the military establishment was not ever again caught off guard by a Sputnik-like technological surprise. The enemy was always eyeing the future, he said, pursuing advanced technology in order to take more ground. And ARPA was set up to provide the Defense Department with its pre-requirement needs.

“There is a kind of chicken-and-egg problem in other words, in requirements and technology,” Rechtin explained. “The difficulty is that it is hard to write formal requirements if you do not have technology with which to solve them, but you cannot do the technology unless you have the requirements.” The agency’s dilemma, said Rechtin, was this: if you can’t do research before a need arises, by the time the need is there, it’s clear that the research should have already been done.

                       (pp. 335-336)

Eberhardt Rechtin

Friday, June 2, 2017

V838 Monocerotis

The unusual variable star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon) continues to puzzle astronomers. This previously inconspicuous star underwent an outburst early in 2002, during which it temporarily increased in brightness to become 600,000 times more luminous than our Sun. Light from this sudden eruption is illuminating the interstellar dust surrounding the star, producing the most spectacular "light echo" in the history of astronomy.

As light from the eruption propagates outward into the dust, it is scattered by the dust and travels to the Earth. The scattered light has travelled an extra distance in comparison to light that reaches Earth directly from the stellar outburst. Such a light echo is the optical analogue of the sound echo produced when an Alpine yodel is reflected from the surrounding mountainsides.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been observing the V838 Mon light echo since 2002. Each new observation of the light echo reveals a new and unique "thin-section" through the interstellar dust around the star. This video morphs images of the light echo from the Hubble taken at multiple times between 2002 and 2006. The numerous whorls and eddies in the interstellar dust are particularly noticeable. Possibly they have been produced by the effects of magnetic fields in the space between the stars.

                                          source : Hubble