Monday, March 23, 2015

IN SIGHT

In Sight Oil on linen 50 x 70 cm 2015
 
 
In Sight
 
Insight
  
...................................................................
 
Visible
 
 Capacity to gain an accurate and deep understanding of someone or something
 
 
 
Regular readers know of my keen interest in perspective. Now...that word perspective has a plethora of possibilities associated with it. It literally means observations of or with sight, of pupil and eye-ball kind. But, it can also carry metaphoric associations of insight, of mind's eye kind.
 
I recently read a fantastic Huffington Post article Terminator Robots and AI Risk by Meia Chita-Tegmark, who is a PhD candidate at Boston University and a founder of the Future of Life Institute, which I have mentioned in previous posts. Using arguments that humans embody their fears in order to somehow render them less fearful, she foreshadows even more fearful outcomes if we persist in embodying fear of artificial intelligence in the form of robots, killer robots etc. She explains that artificial intelligence is not moving bits and pieces, but the unseen aspects of code, information, data Chita-Tegmark writes My fear is instead that, like with any representation that reveals some things and hides others, what the terminator robot reveals is simply something about our mind and its biases, while hiding the real dangers that we are facing. Further on in the article she says, But what is the price we pay for the sensation of fear that we need to nurture through embodied representations? I believe the price is blindness to the real danger.

Chita-Tegmark's article is a perfect example of insight founded in deep understanding and intelligent reflection. I would also say it is an example of someone with clear sight of where blindness may occur. With her knowledge and experience she has shifted perspective and provided humanity with an important warning, an invitation to also shift perspective. But, will we?

I suggest to change perspectives we need disruptive insights into human nature, such as those expressed by Chita-Tegmark. Makes me think of a word that sounds the same as insight...incite.
Please read her article and visit the Future of Life Institute website.

In Sight Oil on linen 50 x 70 cm
This painting plays with lots of my favourite things...perspective, ambiguity, landscape, cosmic clues. The only element missing is my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life! Wait till you see the painting I am currently working on though!

The landscape in In Sight is familiar, yet the colourful round balls cast a sense of the unfamiliar. They provide a cosmic clue that this landscape may not be Earth...but then again it might be? By questioning the landscape's locale it immediately untethers it from Earth-bound horizons, forcing a shift in perspective.

As I have written previously, I believe that in the 21st century cosmological age we need to re-think what 'landscape' is, what it means to us and how we represent it. If we can take 'landscape' into our universal/multiversal environment, the possibility of revealing new perspective of us, our planet and the universe/multiverse are possible. In shifting our perspective of landscape, we shift ourselves...well...we are part of the landscape, operating in its domain in a variety of ways! Imagine if we do not develop our sight and insight beyond Earth's familiar terrain...maybe it could become the domain of what Chita-Tegmark describes as menacing arrangements of zeros and ones. We could be left behind!

We may have already been...left...behind...?

In the painting, direct attention is drawn to the two balls with gun-like sights targeting them. Being caught in cross-hairs, literally and figuratively, is not a pleasant feeling. Yet, these sights need not be malevolent. They could be representative of telescopes trained on potential new planetary homes...but for whom? They could be camera lenses seeking out definition, a record of hope? And, yes they could also be malevolent!

Let's shift perspective...

I deliberately placed the two gun-like sights as if they were 'eyes' looking back at the viewer/s. But, are they human 'eyes' or maybe they are symbolic of Chita-Tegmark's menacing arrangements of zeros and ones, or maybe they are indicators of extra terrestrial intelligence...aliens! The sense of being 'watched' and recorded is pervasive in the 21st century. Think of the debates about our online behaviour, the data it generates and how and why it might be retained...and by whom or what?


In Sight Oil on linen 50 x 70 cm 2015 DETAIL
 

Yet, have I fallen into the trap Chita-Tegmark warns us about? Is my claim that the gun-like scopes are like 'eyes' just another embodiment of fear? Well, it might be...but I suggest that deliberate ambiguity, the plethora of things these 'eyes' could be and the play with shifting perspectives means I have not been caught in the trap. I'd like to think my 'play' may even expose possible cures for blindness. Maybe that's one of the most exciting things art can do? Maybe art has a capacity to incite change in unexpected ways?


Some related posts:
In Between Things: Interstellar Even
The Horizon Has Disappeared
Shared Landscape...In The Multiverse
The Value Of Landscape



NEWS
 
UK NEWS
For those of you who have not seen the news about one of my paintings being chosen for the front cover of The Independent [UK] newspaper's International Women's Day feature please check out my post Round Objects and UK News


NEXT EXHIBITION
My next exhibition will be 21 July - 2 August in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
I am playing with a few titles for the show...one is:

...AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND...

It suggests that artificial intelligence is in a list.
For me it's...
a list of
EXISTENTIAL RISKS

On that 'Cheery' note!
Cheers

Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com

 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

FUTURE

Future oil on linen 92 x 102 cm
 
 
 
THE FUTURE

Of The Universal 
And Maybe The Multiversal Kind
 
IS ENORMOUS
 
BUT
 
ARE WE HUMANS A PART OF IT?
 
 
EXISTENTIAL RISK + COSMOLOGY 
Regular readers know of my interest in existential risk. They also know of my fascination with cosmology. These two interests inter-relate.
 
Cosmology, the study of the Universe [maybe even the Multiverse], makes it very clear that we humans are new arrivals upon the trajectory of Universal/Multiversal time, space and distance. We did not exist for a very long time. The Universe is about 13.8 billion years old and we, Homo Sapiens, arrived in physical form only around 200,000 years ago...just a blip really! Check out the Big History Project's fascinating series Humans for more information.
 
So, we were definitely not around for a very long time. This perspective of the past makes our future seem quite vulnerable. How? There's no guarantee that the trajectory of the Universe/Multiverse will take us along for the full journey, whatever that may be. In the 21st century, a number of realisations and issues compel us to examine existence in different ways to existential ponderings of the past. Today, scientists, philosophers and a plethora of other thinkers and researchers, study the risk of real catastrophic risks that may lead to human extinction. These real possibilities include human-made and natural threats. The human-made ones are things like bio-terrorism, nuclear threat, rampant and uncontrolled artificial intelligence and much more. For further information on existential risks please visit Cambridge University's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk fascinating site and the Future of Life Institute in the USA.. You'll see that science fiction's parameters need to be re-negotiated to acknowledge that some fictions are now being considered as distinct possibilities, especially in the area of artificial intelligence..
 
A cosmological perspective of time, is humbling. If we humans want to stick around, we have to seriously think about our behaviour, abilities and the future. Apart from human-made risks there's the issue that our Sun will not exist forever. Yes, it's got about 4 billion years to go, but it will make life on Earth very uncomfortable long before its ultimate demise. Even without the other smorgasbord of risks facing humanity, our Sun will ultimately cook us or force us to leave to find another planetary home/s. Indeed, many thinkers including Stephen Hawking see humanity's continued existence as contingent upon an interplanetary settlement.
 
But, humanity's continued existence, does not necessarily mean we will be like we are now. For instance the need for interplanetary travel and settlement may mean forced mutations in order to survive. It may mean artificial intelligence integrates with us, so that downloaded minds 'exist' is physical forms that are not flesh and blood. I did say some science fictions need to be re-negotiated to the realms of possibility and thus serious research! If you'd like to read a thoughtful and detailed analysis of artificial intelligence check out The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis by David J Chalmers. Others fascinating thinkers to check out are Nick Bostrom and Jaan Tallin.
 
 
So to my new painting FUTURE
Yes, it is ambiguous! Regular readers know I like ambiguity. Well, I certainly don't have THE answers in order to be less ambiguous, but I do have questions, musings, wonderings. I am engaged and I have fun with this engagement. It's like playing in a sand pit, where the sand slips and falls, but as it does this, I am entertained, become thoughtful, and I learn.

Future looks cosmological. The Universe seems to open up, maybe like an eye? This 'eye' sees... at the same time as beckoning us forward into its glow. There's promise. For me it is both past and future, because the future is always present-as-potential in the past. Maybe that's the promise?

Even though Homo Sapiens appeared only 200,000 years ago, the birth of the Universe created the 'dust' that ultimately lead to life on Earth, including us. 'Dusty' connections back to the source, give hope that they continue, in some form or another, into the future. Indeed, even if we humans are cooked by a dying Sun, we'll return to the cosmos as dust...literally!

And, who knows where that may lead?


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/gate.html
 Gate Oil on linen 100 x 100 cm 2011
Viewers have seen an eye is this painting too!



Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com
 
 
 

Monday, March 09, 2015

ROUND OBJECTS + UK NEWS

She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him. [Jamieson-Fausset Brown Bible  Commentary] Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2009
Previous post HERE
 

ROUND OBJECTS + UK NEWS 
 
I know...the painting above does not have any round balls. However, it does have some NEWS from the UK.
 
She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him. [Jamieson-Fausset Brown Bible  Commentary] was the feature image on the front of UK's The Independent [March 7 2015] International Women's Day supplement.
 
Needless to say I am thrilled with the exposure. Also, thrilled because the opportunity came out-of-the-blue. LOVE! LOVE! out-of-the-blue opportunities!
 
And, I am thrilled that my painting was seen as a meaningful addition to International Women's Day 2015.

The painting is from a series of works themed to the Adam and Eve story. You can see more of them at Adam and Eve-and THAT Tree


Now to round balls.


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/objects.html
Objects Oil on linen 85 x 147 cm
 

In my last post Objects I discuss the seemingly endless things the round balls in the painting Objects [above] could be. These range from the tangible to the not-so tangible.

I also discuss the painting in reference to the relatively new theory Object Oriented Ontology...OOO. I have links to info about OOO in the Objects post.

Regular readers may realise that I often use round balls in my paintings.

So, here's a mini online exhibition of some of these paintings for you.


Cosmic Landscape Gouache on paper 21 x 29.7


Cosmic Landscape is a new work on paper. I am playing with landscape...and regular readers know I like to do this. The round balls could be planets or moons. They could be human-made probes. Maybe alien spaceships? Unlike in Objects the balls are oriented within a landscape that is clearly identifiable as one. Yet, they appear to be floating thus giving a 3d appearance. Without the balls the landscape 'speaks' for itself. The balls, however, disrupt the landscape suggesting alternative narratives and possibilities. Maybe the balls are symbolic of these possibilities?

And...mentioning 3d...many of my paintings do 'go' 3d when viewed with 3d glasses. Here's a previous post where I 'discuss' 3d!


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/landscape-of-everything.html
Landscape Of Everything Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2012


I wrote in my previous post for Landscape Of Everything [above]

When I was painting this image I had many many different thoughts going through my head, cascading in and out, provoking panic, excitement, fear, wariness, joy and more. There were so many thoughts that when I came to give the painting a title, nothing seemed adequate, until I came up with Landscape of Everything.
 
I go onto to write about all my thoughts...and you can read about them HERE. Maybe the balls are symbolic of the various thoughts I had when painting it?
 
Yet, even though the title has the word 'landscape' in it...there is no identifiable landscape. But, regular readers will know I am teasing out the possibilities of landscape across scale, dimension and time. Yes...untethering landscape from Earth-bound horizons!
 
This is a favourite painting of mine. Really happy with it...hurrah to the fellow who bought it!
 
 
http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/are-we-there-yet.html
Are We There Yet? Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013
 
 

And, here are some blue balls! They seem to suggest a trajectory, as if a balloon has been let go. As in Cosmic Landscape there is an identifiable landscape, yet an ambiguous and unusual one. The title Are We There Yet? plays on that question children often incessantly ask on long trips...well they did when I was a kid and when my children were younger. Now though, I suspect portable and imbedded entertainment devices might distract children from noticing time. You can read more about this painting HERE


Multiple Choice Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2015

And...that brings me to another new painting featuring coloured balls...Multiple Choice

The title says it all really...don't you think?

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com

Monday, March 02, 2015

OBJECTS

Objects oil on linen 85 x 147 cm
 
 
Why did I call this new painting... simply... Objects?
 
Well, it's not really that simple! The title belies the possibilities.
 
Regular readers know that I like to 'play' with perspective, orientation and distance. I find a kind of compelling enjoyment in creating images that are somewhat ambiguous. I believe it makes people think, step outside their comfort zones, become more playful...wonder.
 
So, let's discuss Objects
 
Given that I have a great interest in Space...of the outer Space kind...you could think that the round balls are planets. With a cosmological view/perspective, the balls become almost endless in their possibilities. Well, that's what I think anyway!
 
What could they be?
 
They could be Universes...there is a tantalising theory that we exist not in one Universe, but in a Multiverse. I first read about the theory in Lord Martin Rees's wonderful book Just Six Numbers. I have since read a lot more about the various theories of a Multiverse and my thoughts appear in my paintings!
 
And, talking about 'thoughts'...the round balls could be just that...thoughts.
 
They could also be atomic or even subatomic entities existing in their own smaller-than-small 'environments'.  
 
They could be bits of cosmic dust, balloons, bubbles, endless full-stops! We could be looking through them or from behind, or from above or below...maybe all perspectives at once?
 
They could symbolise a plethora of things...philosophies, eons, the juggle of life.
 
And, of course the painting itself is a thing...an object...that has relational capacities not only with its external environment of other things, including us, but with its own plethora of possible visual depictions.
 
OOO - OBJECT ORIENTED ONTOLOGY
This brings me to OOO - Object Oriented Ontology, a new 21st century theory of things...a theory that everything is an object and that existence [the ontology bit] is about how things relate to things . Yes, we are a thing too, so not elevated to a significant otherness, but well and truly within the reality of thing-ness. Here's some extra reading for you Dr Ian Bogost's What Is Object Oriented Ontology: A Definition For Ordinary Folks and Dr Graham Harman's OOO blog Object Oriented Philosophy. Dr Harman is considered a founder of the philosophy.
 
 
Pale Blue Dot [After Carl Sagan] Oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2014
 
 
Late last year I made a presentation at a OOO symposium called Seeing Things at the Queensland University of Technology. My presentation was called Cosmic Perspectives and I suggested that there is a fascinating correlation with the arrival of OOO and a rise in awareness and study of existential risks. I suggested that as existence is perceived to be more vulnerable to massive degradation or complete annihilation we have a need, albeit probably subconsciously driven, to restore reality from post-modern slipperiness to...well...realness. For example classing climate change as a thing/object, that embraces many other things/objects within its ambit, subtly shifts it from a kind of nebulousness to a more specific or 'concrete' state of object-hood. And, thus it seems easier to actually do something about a thing or an object! Think about the increasing number of articles written about possible doomsday outcomes of artificial intelligence, robots etc...from taking human jobs to deciding that we are not necessary! Many articles [you can Google] have been written about the loss of jobs; from doctors, lawyers, drivers to accountants and more. Yes, white collar, professional and blue collar. There's something very real about losing your job...and there's enormous anxiousness about mass career/job destruction.
 
Reality can be a sledge hammer! But, maybe we need the 'wakeup call'?
 
Now there's a thought...maybe the balls are dreams......?
 
RELATED POSTS
After The Implosion  Some reflections upon Post-Modernism.
 
 
TESTIMONIESMy Mum's exhibition Testimonies is up! Here are the details.

My Mum, Elsie Brimblecombe, has been exhibiting her paintings for a few years now. She is inspired by the written word. Each of her exhibitions has been themed to a particular writer and book/poems.
This year's exhibition is a series of paintings inspired by the modern Greek poet Yannis Ritsos . The two paintings below will be in Elsie's exhibition.
 
Place: Upfront Club - 31 Maple St, Maleny, Queensland, Australia.
Dates: 20 February - 18 March 2015
Please check the Upfront Club for opening times - they open from 7.30 am 7 days - you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea there, but just check what days they open till late etc. They also have live gigs there, so you could combine seeing some art and listening to music!
 
Cheers,
Kathryn
 
 

Monday, February 23, 2015

BRIDE IN THE LANDSCAPE - ONLINE EXHIBITION

Living With Distance Diptych 120 x 160 cm


Over the last week I have been posting some older paintings on Instagram . I've also posted some to Facebook. These paintings are from my early 2000s bride-in-the-landscape series. And, something strange and pleasing has happened...people are responding to them in slightly different ways to responses I received 13 or so years ago. Did people like them years ago? Yes, but not quite in the same way.

BRIDE-IN-THE-LANDSCAPE
The painting above Living With Distance reminded me of some of the weather maps/images we Australians have recently been viewing with great interest. Cyclone Marcia hit the coast of Queensland, at Yeppoon, last week, causing great destruction. The accompanying heavy rains have caused flooding across the central and inland coast. Interestingly, when I uploaded this painting to Facebook and Instagram, I had one person comment that it looked like a weather image. This person is from California! I was thrilled that someone had picked up on what I also had seen in my own work.

When I painted Living With Distance I was thinking about the young brides who follow their rural-based husbands into the distance of geographical isolation. However, I was also 'playing' with the idea of distance within a relationship.


Assimilation Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm
 
Assimilation is also reminiscent of a weather map/image. The bride's form seems to becomes the indicator of water flow or cloud cover! When I painted this I was thinking about the country bride who becomes absorbed by the land. Her life depends on the ebbs and flows of the landscape...AND the weather. She also becomes part of a community where women are a force of spirit and involvement in everything from the arts, education, welfare, health and well being.
 
 
Flying Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm
 
 
 
Memory Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm
Previous posts The Moon and Memory
 
 
FLYING
The four paintings above all have a hovering or flying theme! The bride and her spirit watch from above, yet she is intrinsic to the patterns and rhythms of the land. In Flying the bride is like a cloud. Her shadow is cast across the landscape which she is a part of, but also separate from. Her presence has influence. It's as if she is a custodian or symbolic of Mother Nature looking after her Earth.
 
In Memory the bride and her young self as a child hover over a landscape that is cosmic in appearance. Maybe this is one of my early cosmic paintings...and I was not even aware of it until NOW! The phases of the moon symbolise the passing of time. The bride reflects upon the dreams she had as a child. Or, maybe the child is projecting into the future?
 
 
Life Oil on linen 80 x 200 cm
 
Life visualises the milestones of a girl's life. Birth, childhood, education, marriage, pregnancy and motherhood, death! This painting is a bit DARK methinks! I'll let you think upon that for a bit!

A DECADE ALONG
So, why are my bride-in-the-landscape paintings resonating with people in a slightly different way to ten or more years ago? There could be a number of reasons. A lot can happen in a decade. Here are some considerations, off the top of my head.

  • With the deluge of imagery on the internet and social media available today, maybe we are generally more aware of patterns across such things as weather maps and bride-in-the-landscape paintings?!
  • We currently have a heightened awareness of domestic violence, and whilst my paintings are not about domestic violence, the vulnerability of the bride symbol does affect people, even subliminally.
  • We also have heightened discussion about same sex marriage. The idea of marriage is being re-negotiated, albeit slowly, on social, religious, political and economic fronts.
  • I have daughters and I am aware that young women today are balancing many considerations against those that could be considered more traditional dreams, such as marriage and children. I am also aware that young men are taking part in these discussions. The latter is probably the thing that seems so different to when I got married, for instance!
  • Due to the internet, non-stop news, social media etc there is more awareness of the status of women in other cultures. These include traditions of marriage. And, some of these shock us.
  • And another possibility at a subliminal level. Maybe the vulnerability of Earth's sustainability seems more fragile when a bride's presence evokes purity and the call to Mother Nature?

The paintings above are only a selection of my bride series of work.

With International Women's Day next week, I will post some more of my bride paintings. Also, I have some exciting news about a painting and a UK publication! Shall keep you informed.



TESTIMONIES
My Mum's exhibition Testimonies is up! Here are the details.

My Mum, Elsie Brimblecombe, has been exhibiting her paintings for a few years now. She is inspired by the written word. Each of her exhibitions has been themed to a particular writer and book/poems.
This year's exhibition is a series of paintings inspired by the modern Greek poet Yannis Ritsos . The two paintings below will be in Elsie's exhibition.
 
Place: Upfront Club - 31 Maple St, Maleny, Queensland, Australia.
Dates: 20 February - 18 March 2015
Please check the Upfront Club for opening times - they open from 7.30 am 7 days - you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea there, but just check what days they open till late etc. They also have live gigs there, so you could combine seeing some art and listening to music!
 
Cheers,
Kathryn

Sunday, February 15, 2015

ART - MOVIES - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE


Code oil on linen 60 x 110 cm 2015
I've written about Code twice before HERE and HERE
 

GOING TO THE MOVIES
There are a couple of movies coming out soon that I am really looking forward to seeing. One is called Chappie from District 9 director Neil Blomkamp.

And, another movie is called Ex Machina directed by Alex Garland.

Both tell tales of artificial general intelligence, robots and human reaction to these.

Both movies come at a time when serious discussions about artificial intelligence [AI] and artificial general intelligence [AGI] are occurring around the world. These discussions are taking place at the very pointy end of scientific and philosophical research*. There are not only potential advantages, but also perhaps major risks associated with the development of artificial intelligence and super-intelligence.What may have been considered scifi ten or more years ago, is no longer a tenant of the impossible. 

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE
Last week I took myself off to see another movie... Kingsman: The Secret Service I loved it...a spy spoof, with Colin Firth as one of the leading characters! But, there are links to the discussion about technology's capability to transform/change humanity. In the movie a super-rich malevolent megalomaniac, attempts to take control of human free-will via implants and the ubiquitous 'smart' phone. In a way his deranged intelligence, coupled with his immense technological power, is a metaphor for the fear of AI and AGI gone array. We also see low Earth orbit satellite destruction, remote control of vehicles and a lot more techno gadgetry; much of it spoofing James Bond movies.

EXISTENTIAL RISK
Yet, like a couple of other movies I have written about recently [Interstellar and The Hunger Games] Kingsman: The Secret Service channels fears of existential risk. It's not overt, but it pervades as a background resonance. Rather than spoiling the movie for those who have not seen it, all I will say is that existential risk caused by climate change is a catalyst for the story. This is essentially the same catalyst for the story that unfolds in Interstellar. Each movie takes entirely different story telling paths though!

The existential risks and fears associated with AI and AGI seem to drive Chappie and Ex Machina. I am particularly looking forward to Chappie as I have seen the preview shorts a few times and I am fascinated that even in a few minutes Chappie's 'personality' reached out to me. Chappie is an intelligent robot! But, even though Chappie is clearly a robot, the moviemakers have successfully utilised anthropomorphising techniques, beyond making it a biped with head and arms, to create a character with personality that is intelligent and seemingly sentient. For example, in the shorts, we see the robot engaging with a dog, just like a human would. And, we see the robot drawing, en plein air, a picture of a car that it is observing. Getting a robot to relate to an animal, particularly a dog [humankind's best friend], and creating 'art' are very clever ways to anthropomorphise! I gather that in Ex Machina a scene where the intelligent robot Ava is drawing is also pivotal. Yet, there is a danger in anthropomorphising robots, AI, AGI etc...I think anyway. By doing so we project ourselves onto the robot/AI...and I'd say that projection is a kind of wishful thinking with all its inherent blind spots!


http://kathrynbrimblecombeart.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/meeting-place-of-mind.html
Meeting Place Of The Mind Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm
 

ART AND AI/AGI
I am keen to see what Chappie does with its drawing. I am also keen to see Ava's drawing. Why? Because there's drawing and then there's drawing! Yet, there must be something about art and creating art that we humans understand as an essential sign of  being human. So, if a machine can 'create' art then it must pass THE TEST [Turing Test]. But as I wrote above, there's drawing and then there's drawing...rendering something perfectly with technical and realistic virtuosity is not necessarily art or creative! What would happen if the robot/AI made a mistake, how would it problem solve? Indeed, maybe making a mistake would be another sign of human-ness?


* The 'pointy end' of research that I referred to above is taking place at such as The Centre For The Study Of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, Future Of Life Institute based in Boston and Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute


Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox.com





Friday, February 06, 2015

MULTIPLE CHOICE


Multiple Choice 100 x 70 cm 2015
 
IN THIS POST 
  • Discussion about my new painting Multiple Choice
  • My Mum's [Elsie Brimblecombe] forthcoming exhibition Testimonies
  • News
 
 MULTIPLE CHOICE 
 
EXAMS
When I was a student [primary secondary and tertiary] I hated multiple choice exams! Why? Because, unless it was really clear that a 'black and white' question was asking for a 'black and white' answer, I always saw possibility in 'what if'. Questions may not have been clear enough and thus lead to 'what if' wondering. The choice of answers often triggered 'what if' type pondering. And, before I knew it, I had wasted minutes wondering rather than answering...and I'd run out of time to complete tests. As I got older, I learnt to switch off my wondering and give a tick to the answer that seemed, on first impression, to be the right one. I got quite good at switching off my wondering and I ultimately did better in multiple choice exams...a learned technique got me through. Although, I often still did not finish the test!

However, it did not stop me wondering completely!
 
Choice, in reality, does require wondering....don't you think? And, that can and should take time.
 
CHOICE OF PLANETS
For instance, as more and more potentially habitable planets orbiting the Goldilocks zone around distant stars are discovered, there seems to be a suggestion that there will be a choice of potential alternative planetary homes for us to inhabit when Earth is compromised/destroyed, either by us or by external natural forces. But, as the recent film Interstellar indicated, it's really not that simple.

I suggest we do need to make massive efforts to ensure the sustainability of Earth! Why? Because, for the foreseeable future it is our only 'home' and we need time to work out what these choices of other 'homes' may mean. It's certainly not a black and white scenario! Let's not precipitate, more than we may already have, Earth's erosion and demise.  Choices of alternative planetary 'homes' requires a lot of wondering, thinking, pondering, calculating and more...and that all takes time. There's a plethora of reasons why we need to ensure Earth's sustainability, and one of them is to give us time to make the right decisions about future inter-planetary human settlement....if it's possible.

MULTIPLE CHOICE Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm
So, with what seems to be almost weekly new discoveries of potential Earth-like planets, I was thinking about choosing another planetary home.

In my painting, the round balls are planets...yep...representative of a multiple choice of planets. Each one is a different colour or shade of a colour, indicating that each offers a different environment that may or may not be conducive for life.

But where one planet could hover, I painted a tree instead. Yes, my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life. It sends an ambiguous message. And...regular readers know I like ambiguity. It could be Earth/humanity...seeking? Or, it could be our new home, calling out to us; a planet replicating Earth's life sustaining environment? Or...on a more sombre note...it could be life 'lost' in a Universal wilderness.
 
The painting is a landscape. A cosmic landscape. The red and blue background sets a landscape scene, yet it is not clear where this 'place' might be. It could be ground and sky, or it could be a snapshot of a shadowy, gaseous, dusty place in outer space.
 
PLAYFUL?
At one instance Multiple Choice is a playful painting ...the colourful balls creating a party-like atmosphere. But, at another instance it suggests a juggling act where time is the essence...where getting the 'exam' 100% correct is imperative!
 
 
MY MUM'S EXHIBITION
TESTIMONIES
 
My Mum, Elsie Brimblecombe, has been exhibiting her paintings for a few years now. She is inspired by the written word. Each of her exhibitions has been themed to a particular writer and book/poems.
This year's exhibition is a series of paintings inspired by the modern Greek poet Yannis Ritsos . The two paintings below will be in Elsie's exhibition.
 
 
EXHIBITION DETAILS:
Place: Upfront Club - 31 Maple St, Maleny, Queensland, Australia.
Dates: 20 February - 18 March 2015
Please check the Upfront Club for opening times - they open from 7.30 am 7 days - you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea there, but just check what days they open till late etc. They also have live gigs there, so you could combine seeing some art and listening to music!
 
 
Morning Acrylic on canvas by Elsie Brimblecombe

Association Acrylic on canvas by Elsie Brimblecombe
 
 
NEWSPANDORA WEB ARCHIVE  AND MY BLOG
I received an official request from the State Library of Queensland to allow PANDORA [Australia's National web archive - National Library of Australia and partners] to archive my Blog...
 YES this one you are reading now! 
 
PANDORA is an official site for archiving 'online publications and websites of lasting significance' and 'research value' in perpetuity. I am really so very happy that my eight year old Blog has been acknowledged this way. 
 
PLUS
 
I have three new 'galleries' on my website that are activated for online buying. This is a new facility for artists using the ArtHives system. My 'galleries' are:


http://www.visualartist.info/kathrynbrimblecombe-fox/for-everyone-my-book-paintings-that-are-in-for-everyone
Inner Child Gouache on paper 37.5 x 28 cm 1997
From my book For Everyone
 
Cheers,
Kathryn