Grinder

The "Grinder" image series straddles the division between representation and abstraction. By photographing the residuals of a creative process, the images are a strict depiction of an accessible condition. Yet because the mechanics of the process are not widely identified, most viewers are unable to recognize the referent. Although the photographic medium is unavoidably a record of existing energy patterns, confidence in its documentary veracity can be exploited.

To develop greater control over the characteristics of a viewfinder surface, I learned how to grind various glass surfaces against themselves. This produces microscopic conchoidal fractures as the abrasive rolls about between the two surfaces and removes material from both. After completing a specific lapping job, but before cleaning off the surfaces, I am letting the water evaporate and then photographing the resultant patterns of residual substance. These custom fabricated ground glass objects eventually are positioned at the optical focal plane of refractive convergence devices. The art is literally in the process.

Frequently processes are contained within processes, playing out both in the smallest details and simultaneously on a grand universal scale. Attentive awareness of procedural decisions and ramifications informs the result, which in turn affects the next iterative cycle. Action and interrogation are intimately linked to form intentionality, without need for an elaborately defined narrative history. Infrequent unexpected flashes of inspiration, intuitive leaps from a concrete foundation of information, punctuate persistence. These images conceptualize creativity.

Universal forces repeat at different scales, manifesting as similar natural pattern formations. Things do exist outside of the reach of our minds, yet we can only observe existence in the context of personal cognitive interpretation. After processing, all experience is immaterial, spiritual rather than physical. The creative process includes a degree of mysticism balanced between careful control and unexpected serendipity. The dynamic interplay between these dichotomous spheres of influence is a great source of satisfaction, providing evolving cognitive interest over a lifetime of engagement. With each new unpredicted discovery, process control is subsequently redefined, opening up yet more implementation potential.