Thursday, August 27, 2015

It's Everything Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm

It's nearly the end of August and I suddenly realised that I was almost about to miss my Blog's 9th anniversary. I started this Blog in August 2006, never imagining that it would become such an intrinsic aspect of my work as an artist. Some un-imagined outcomes are:
  • The act of regularly writing has helped shape and sharpen my ideas.
  • The act of writing stirs new ideas too.
  • By posting once a week I have a kind of visual diary of my thoughts, paintings and influences.
  • Undertaking regular research about my influences and inspirations has broadened my ideas, but it has also been immensely intellectually satisfying.
  • Late last year I was invited by the State Library of Queensland to have my Blog archived in perpetuity on PANDORA, Australia's national archive of online sites of significance and ongoing research value. This was totally unexpected, but a delightful acknowledgement for me!
  • The ability to link posts etc to social media sites helps broaden my audience.
  • A dynamic Blog is also a wonderful way to easily promote my work to all kinds of people - buyers, curators, writers, galleries etc.
  • The regular writing has, I think anyway, helped improve my writing. This is a good [actually excellent!] thing because I am about to embark on a Research Higher Degree, a Master of Philosophy, at the University of Queensland, Australia. A thesis is a lot of writing!

One thing I never imagined in 2006, when I attended the artists' PR and Marketing seminar that set me on the blogging path, was that I would ever be invited to give a presentation on Blogging. BUT, this happened a couple of weeks ago! And, it went exceptionally well too. That early 2006 seminar was held at Metro Arts, Brisbane.

Here's a link to my Blog's 8th anniversary post. The most popular post in 2014 is still the most popular one in is Cosmic Ouroboros
Cosmic Ouroboros oil on linen 120 x 150 cm 2012
One thing that is new in the last year is that I am now on
Below is a screen shot of my INSTAGRAM profile/page
Please follow me!

And, here's another screen shot. It's of one of my other online presences - my website 'gallery' for CODE  - my 2015 solo exhibition

I have again been invited to participate in the
Tattersall's Landscape $30,000 Art Award
I am delivering the painting tomorrow.
Judging and opening is next week.
Below is a photo of my Tattersall's Art Prize entry all packed up and ready for delivery.
I've entered Life Calling Anyone There?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

 On The Edge Gouache on paper 34.5 x 53.5 cm 2001

Last week I attended a very interesting and stimulating symposium in Melbourne, hosted by Deakin University. The title for the symposium was Unruly Techniques: Linking Knowledge Practices Through Art, Science and Technology.

Also, last weekend, I visited the National Gallery of Victoria's fabulous exhibition Masterpieces From The Hermitage: The Legacy Of Catherine The Great


On Sunday, here in Brisbane, I attended Neil deGrasse Tyson's amazing presentation where he discussed a range of cosmic, intellectual and social topics.
 Neil deGrasse Tyson event in Brisbane August 16 2015. Hosted by THINK INC

So, I had an array of stimulating experiences within a few days. Always a great thing! But, given my interests in art, science and technology, I come away from these experiences with some clearer thoughts and perspectives.

But, some background first.

Brisbane born [!] twin sisters Margaret Wertheim and Christine Wertheim both made keynote presentations at the Unruly Techniques symposium. Margaret has studied physics and mathematics and is a well known science writer. Christine is a writer, performer and artist who teaches at the California Institute For The Arts in LA. Christine's keynote Pata-Critics: The Art and Science Of Imaginary Solutions was fascinating and will be discussed in another post. Both women live in Los Angeles and are co-founders of the not-for-profit The Institute For Figuring .

Margaret and Christine Wertheim are also the instigators of a most wonderful project ie: The Crochet Coral Reef Project which the website describes as The Crochet Coral Reef is a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world. It is one of the largest community arts/science projects in the world with around 8,000 people contributing I first heard of the project a number of years ago and was intrigued by its hyperbolic math inspiration, as well as the use of handicraft to explain/visualise a difficult concept. The project's intersection with hyperbolic maths is explained HERE. Subtexts include environmental issues as well as disruptive perceptions of a traditional feminine handicraft

Seeking Perspective Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm
I've uploaded this painting because many people who saw it at my recent exhibition CODE commented on it being like coral. This description if often given when my tree-of-life cascades across the painting.

Margaret Wertheim made some interesting statements and observations that are dear to my heart. I was thrilled that she clearly articulated them and to such an audience. Early in her presentation...remembering this is at a art, science and technology symposium... she quite forcefully stated that science does not need to have creativity added to it...because it is already intrinsically creative!

And, towards the end of her presentation she made a comment about the crochet hook being a piece of technology - a handicraft technology. She made a plea for the arts to not think of legitimate technology, for enabling creative expression, as only being the kind you plug in, a computer etc. She cleverly and humorously described our fingers as creating digitised work!

SO - Some thoughts-observations:

After listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson and thinking about all the other science events, books, Youtube videos etc I've read/watched/attended - something occurred to me. I actually think that science generally is currently much more exciting, innovative, flexible and creative than the arts [generally] currently are! I agree with Margaret Wertheim - science does not need to have creativity added, even bestowed, upon it by the arts or artists or anything else.

Indeed, maybe it's the arts that needs self-examination, to become more dynamic, reach beyond the tight boundaries of the market and go searching for its creative restore a kind of inspirational capacity that contemporary science is stirring.

The so-called art/science nexus, I believe is not about one being good for the other or appropriating aspects of the other, but more about each pursuit maintaining a confident integrity. Science, I suspect is more confident than the arts, which in some areas seems to be needy of science's approval. If there's to be cross inspiration I suggest it comes from a confidence that exudes, not only academic and intellectual rigour, but also playfulness....and all that it encompasses.

DeGrasse Tyson made a comment that struck me as significant. He said that by being a scientist he could stay a child ie: keep the wonder, play with ideas, imagine the seemingly impossible, have fun. I don't detect a lot of fun in the arts, particularly the visual arts, these days! Perhaps the arts, somehow, disallows the inner child, quelling the kind playfulness that pushes boundaries at the same time as inspiring. Maybe artists need to also feel happy to declare, I love being an artist because it means I can hold onto and love my inner child?

[Christine Wertheim's Unruly Techniques symposium presentation on pataphysics - the fictional in science as distinct from science fiction - gave clues for art']
Tree-of-Life Time Travelling Oil on linen 85 x 150 cm

The Neil deGrasse Tyson Brisbane event attracted 2,500 people. He received a standing ovation from the entire audience. The rise of the intelligent-geek-science-'celebrity' is refreshing and illustrates the public's desire to be informed and inspired. People like deGrasse Tyson will help spread scientific literacy, thus leading to increasing public understanding, and informed critique, of 21st century issues. Politicians, policy makers and educators...take note!

Here's me at the Neil Degrasse Tyson even in Brisbane. I got there early - keen!
Margaret Wertheim's comment about the crochet hook being a technological tool, is exactly how I have thought about the paint brush and paint. They are technologies - yes, old and traditional - but given they have been around, in some form or another, for 40,000 years I suggest there must be something about brush and paint that is important ...something about us being human. New technologies offer amazing possibilities for everyone including scientists and artists, but they belong to a pantheon of tools that include seemingly simple ones too.

A full and diverse tool-kit reflects sophistication...don't you think? Indeed, it's much more fun if you have lots of things to play with!

And, now to...

The Masterpieces From The Hermitage exhibition. This exhibition illustrates Catherine The Great's dexterous ability to govern, learn and see the potential in cultural activity, expression and acquisition. The art in the exhibition provides many examples of visual language, that an audience of the time could decipher to gain meaning and knowledge, both explicit and implied.
 A didactic that gives some idea of Catherine The Great's expansive thinking - from the NGV's Masterpieces From The Hermitage exhibition

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


 Australian Landscape Cut Out Oil on linen 50 x 70 cm 2015

Australian Landscape Cut Out was not in my recent exhibition CODE because it was in Sydney, awaiting, along with many other artists' paintings, for pre-selection viewing for the Wynne Prize. This prize is for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours or to the best example of figure sculpture by Australian artists.  Alas, my painting was not pre-selected and it arrived back in Brisbane after CODE was finished. However, the painting below Privileged Landscape? was in CODE and caused great interest.

Regular readers will recognise both paintings as 'cosmic landscapes'. They play with perspective, the kinds of perspective contemporary cosmology and astronomy provide. The universe is now literally touched by humankind, as spacecraft progress even beyond our solar system. This has happened progressively since 1957 when the first spacecraft, Sputnik 1, was launched by Russia.

Spacecraft take photographs of, and collect other data about, entities they pass, encounter or land upon. Information and images are sent back to Earth for scrutiny and examination, providing more knowledge about our universal well as stirring even more awe and wonder.

This year, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft got close to Pluto on its onward journey beyond. Many photographs and other data were sent back to Earth. As with images from investigations of other celestial entities the ensuing descriptions of the Pluto photographs struck me as important, and not just for the obvious reasons. For me it's about how we conceptualise landscape. Indeed, contemporary space research is 'telling' us that landscape exists beyond Earth's horizons! We use descriptive terms to understand other planets, moons etc based on our experience of our Earthly environment. These descriptions take 'landscape' into space!

Here are a couple of quotes from NASA's New Horizons site that illustrate how humankind's descriptive needs bring landscape into universal dimensions. New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a giant surprise: a range of youthful mountains... and... A newly discovered mountain range lies near the southwestern margin of Pluto’s Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region), situated between bright, icy plains and dark, heavily-cratered terrain.

Concepts of landscape must expand to include and embrace ideas of a Universal Landscape. An expanded view of landscape may assist humankind in navigating how it deals with 21st century issues that pose existential threats, such as extreme climate change, bio-threats, technological risk and more. How? A Universal Landscape provides us with not only perspectives that are outwardly focused. It also provides us with perspectives of Earth situated within a vastness that clearly shows how beautiful, isolated and vulnerable we are. Indeed, despite exciting discoveries of potential Earth-like planets, currently we humans have nowhere else to go. Perspective is 'telling'...even 'imploring'... us to get on with each other and to look after our Earth-HOME.

In Australian Landscape Cut Out and Privileged Landscape? I have attempted to question attachments to local landscapes that might blind us the variety of perspectives cosmology is offering. Discernible landscape characteristics of Earth ie: continents, oceans etc effectively disappear when viewed from the vast distances of space. Indeed, so do boundaries and borders, and accompanying notions of nationhood and land ownership. If we remain attached to Earth based ideas of landscape, then 'landscape' and orientation disappear with vast distance ...yet an expanded idea of 'landscape' means we can keep oriented within a universal environment.

In both paintings the starry universe is visible where the continent of Australia has been cut out. This was a deliberate attempt to draw the universe closer, to suggest that our orientation with and by landscape needs to expand beyond the local. Regular readers know of my thoughts on the importance of developing skills in seeing multiple perspective, even simultaneously. These paintings play with ideas of multiple interplay between the local and universal, the nano and vast.

The famous image Pale Blue Dot, taken from Voyager 1 as it left the solar system in 1990, showed Earth as a small dot amongst a swathe of other small sparkling entities in space. No discernible Earth landscape features were evident because the planet had become a spec upon a much larger landscape...a Universal one. Humbling indeed.

In the 21st century humankind has an opportunity to re-examine landscape.


Greener Pastures

New World Habitability: Vacation Anyone?

Pale Blue Dot

Team Humanity

Perspective - Yes Again!

That Word - Landscape


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

 Detail of Universal Code Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm 2015

My recent exhibition CODE was a terrific two weeks of conversation, meeting new people, contemplating my work and sales too. I have ideas for more work...but I will probably not be having a solo exhibition next year. Whilst I will still be painting...I have other plans afoot!

One visitor to CODE, a fellow-artist friend Mandy Ridley, gave me an idea for this post. Mandy is a very accomplished artist and I encourage you take a look at her website to see some of her amazing work. She commented on the fact that photos of my paintings don't reveal the 'exquisite' details. And, it's true...a photo of an entire painting does not allow the viewer to get close to the paint, to be startled by details that fall into a wholeness when seen from a distance. So, at Mandy's behest I took lots of photos of details.

The photo above is a detail from Universal Code which you can also see [on left] in the photo below.
The detail image above reveals the string of binary code, expressing/instructing the word LIFE, which forms an amorphous encircling of a golden orb. The detail image also shows the 'terrain' of the background paint. I use the word terrain because whilst I manipulated the paint, I also let it do its own thing. With lots of turps and other manipulations, the background layers of colour travelled across the linen surface before settling and drying. The result, which I had hoped for, was a truly cosmic 'terrain' for me to work upon.
The photo below is also significant because here's a visitor, another great artist-friend Suzanne Danaher, viewing the paintings through 3D glasses. Yes! My paintings 'go' 3D when viewed with 3D glasses. It's something I am completely unaware of doing, but I like that it happens, particularly because my work explores other or cosmic dimensions.
You can see Suzanne Danaher's work HERE

In the photo above you can also see a painting called Privileged Landscape? . Suzanne, wearing the 3D glasses was struck by the way the blue Earth 'popped' out of the painting and moved back, forth and sideways as she did!

Below are two detail photos of Privileged Landscape? In both photos you can see the Australia cut-out and the texture of the red/orange/yellow background, which was created with a combination of deliberate 'accident', manipulations and over-painting.
Detail Privileged Landscape Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2015
Detail Privileged Landscape Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2015

Below is a detail photo of the painting Objects which you can see hanging in the CODE installation immediately below the detail photo.

This painting was another one which really 'popped' when viewed through 3D glasses. The coloured balls seem to levitate away from the painting, whilst the pale coloured smaller balls remained on the surface of the image. The viewer really felt like they were travelling through a 'cosmos', whether it was a trip through the planets or one that passed by atoms. Yet, even without 3D glasses this painting does generate a feeling of travelling through or amongst things.

The detail photo shows one of the coloured balls against the background, which again is like a terrain. I allowed the paint to do its own thing, but with a manipulative eye and a dexterous hand.
Detail of Objects Oil on linen Oil on linen 85 x 147 cm 2015

The installation photo [above] of CODE also shows two other paintings apart from Objects. The painting, with the yellow ball, hanging in the same alcove as Objects is Future and the one hanging on the far right is called Seeking Perspective

The detail photo immediately below is from Seeking Perspective and the next photo is a detail from Future. In both images you can see line-work, underpainting and even the texture of the linen.
 Detail of Seeking Perspective Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm 2015
Detail of Future Oil on linen 92 x 102 cm 2015
The installation photo below shows Seeking Perspective viewed from a different angle...or perspective! Also in this shot are three framed works on paper.
In the photo below you can see Objects  as well as [left] Beyond Yesterday  [middle] Code. There are detail images of both Beyond Yesterday and Code further below.
The detail of Code focuses upon one of the tree-of-life's's a segment of electronic circuitry. I painted a few of these amongst the branches to draw attention to the branching quality of nature as well as human-made devices, particularly those that have something to do with communication and surveillance. In the painting one branch coils off into space with its tip ending in a string of binary code expressing/instructing the word LIFE. Yet, 'ending' might not be an appropriate word to use, because 'instruction' is generative...where does life begin and end?
 Detail of Beyond Yesterday Oil on linen 80 x 55 cm 2014
Detail of Code Oil on linen 60 x 110 cm 2015

Website Gallery

Below is a screen shot of the 'Gallery' where I have uploaded most of the paintings that were in my recent exhibition CODE. Please visit the 'gallery' by clicking HERE


Thursday, July 23, 2015

 CODE - Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox

It has been two weeks since I posted. This is the longest gap I've had since I started blogging in 2006. I normally post once a week.


CODE is open! The doors opened on Tuesday and I've been busy...sales, visitors, chatting and more. I hung the show on Monday and I sold the first painting half an hour after the doors opened on Tuesday.

Exhibition Dates: 21 July  - Sunday 2 August
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Qld, Australia.

I've posted some installation shots of CODE for you. Plus the one below of me on the steps of the gallery.

As I have been chatting with people who have visited CODE I have had an opportunity to think about the catalytic agency of the artist and the arts. In most of the conversations I've had people draw upon their own experiences, dreams and thoughts. It's as if the paintings entice and elicit...pulling on people in a way that engages and embraces imagination.

I have previously written that I do not believe the arts or artists have roles. Why? Because, to have a role immediately indicates some kind of prescription, agenda and hoped for or planned outcome/s. Surely the arts is more than this? Surely the arts can agitate, stir and stimulate in ways that are surprising, confronting, beguiling and provoking without an articulated need or prescribed KPIs? Surely the arts are more dynamic than any kind of  'role' could suggest?

As I said...I prefer to describe the arts and artists as having catalytic agency. This description immediately conjures open-ended possibilities for the artist and his/her audience. An open-endedness means that imagination can take flight...without a flight plan. A destination is not exciting! It means questions can be asked that have perhaps never been asked before. It means that knowledge can be created in tangential ways. It means that the artist, and the actual artwork, are launching pads which do not remain static. Each visitor with every conversation they have in their own heads, or with the artist or another person, provides another 'life' beyond the materiality of the artwork. This, in turn, means the artwork is much more than a 'product' made by a creative industries practitioner.
 CODE - Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox
Over the years I have had many conversations with people who visit my exhibitions. And, even though CODE has been open only two days I've already had some invigorating discussions. The paintings are catalysts...people tell me about their interests, fears, favourite movies, passions, and stories. We take flight together as the paintings draw out of people their ideas about life, Earth, landscape, the Universe, science, culture, philosophy, technology and more.

Regular readers know I love to think about and play with perspective, both literal and metaphoric. Today, through conversations at CODE, I experienced a play with perspective where the possibility of going beyond safe horizons to unchartered territory with others, was realised. I suggest that perspective must be travelled across its close and far distances, in deft and fluid traverse. Advance notice is not fact, it could be debilitating, shutting down the playfulness of perspective's improvisational dance. The proposition that artists and the arts have a catalytic agency provides a far more expansive propellant than giving them a 'role' to perform or play. There is no way a simple 'role' could ever be a dance partner with something that has catalytic agency. I see no compatibility. Yet, I suspect perspective is the perfect partner.
 CODE - Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox
  CODE - Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox
 CODE - Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox
CODE - Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox

Thursday, July 09, 2015


Privileged Landscape? Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2015
Privileged Landscape? is another of my cosmic landscapes. Yes, there's Earth with a cut-out of Australia floating around in space, but still tethered to Earth via a thin ribbon.
The title, a question itself, poses many the Australian landscape privileged? If it is, who or what privileges it? What about all the other national landscapes? What about an Earth landscape? What happens if one landscape is privileged over another? And, could the landscape infer other kinds of 'landscape' like a political or economic one?
When I was painting this painting, I was thinking about the influence of the famous photograph taken from the spacecraft Voyage 1 as it left the solar system in 1991. At Carl Sagan's suggestion the camera was turned back towards Earth and the subsequent photograph called Pale Blue Dot entered into humanity's image lexicon. The perspective of Earth as literally a pale blue dot amongst billions of other shining entities had a profound impact on people who questioned how special Earth and humanity are? From this vast distance no discernible characteristics of Earth's landscape were a sense landscape, as we know it, disappeared. However, I propose that a new cosmic or universal landscape made an appearance in a reality that had never been documented before. With its appearance perspective was able to reveal itself as a magnificent and flexible lens to probe the close and far distances of the Universe.
So, using perspective as a lens or tool, how special is any one country, continent, nation, state? If we think about the sustainability of the planet, privileging any landscape becomes problematic. Indeed, for humanity to survive we need the planet to be nurtured as a whole. Whilst potential Earth-like planets may have been discovered, orbiting the Goldilocks zones of distant stars, there is currently no alternative home for humanity. This is likely to be the situation for a long time. We need to think of Earth as a living whole landscape ... a landscape that exists in a horizon of time and scale that is universal, and possibly multiversal. Our survival may depend on it...
I entered a similar painting to Privileged Landscape? in this year's Wynne Prize which is awarded annually for 'the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours or for the best example of figure sculpture by Australian artists’. Alas, my entry was not selected as a finalist. I will upload it in a blog post in the coming weeks. Many of my thoughts expressed above were also drivers for my Wynne Prize entry. Plus, I liked to think it critiqued, in an expansive way, the privileging of the Australian landscape in the prize criteria which was set in 1895, ninety-five years before Pale Blue Dot!
Exhibition of new paintings.
Doors open Tuesday 21 July at 10 am!
Exhibition Dates: Tuesday July 21 - Sunday August 2
Open Daily: 10 am - 6 pm
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, new Farm, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
For more images and words please visit  BLOG page for CODE
For a 'gallery' of images please visit WEBSITE CODE 'Gallery'

Friday, July 03, 2015


Montage of images from my Instagram site
All these images relate to my forthcoming exhibition CODE
The doors to my exhibition CODE open on Tuesday July 21, here in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. You can read about the exhibition and see more paintings on its own page HERE 
Exhibition Date: 21 July - 2 August. Open Daily 10 am - 6 pm or by appointment.
Graydon Gallery 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Australia.
If you are in Brisbane please come along to see the show.
Regular readers will have worked out that I am fascinated with lots of things. I enjoy thinking about issues relating to cosmology, landscape, age-old symbols, science, technology and existential risk. I see links between them, but also to politics, society and more. As an artist I weave these thoughts into my paintings in ways that are not illustrative or didactic. However, I do hope they might inspire wonder and questions.
And...I have been given the opportunity to expand my engagement with my interests in art, emerging technologies, science and existential risk. How? I have been accepted into the M. Phil program in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland. My working title for my research is 'Existential Risk: Contemporary Art, Science and Emerging Technologies'. Yes, my topic will need narrowing down!
I am a graduate of UQ, but it has been awhile since I've been a student. I completed my B.A with a double major in Art History in 1980 and in 2001 I completed a bridging course for entry into a PhD [Art History]. Despite successfully completing the course I did not ultimately seek PhD enrolment, due to wanting to focus on my art practice. Also, at the time my children were 3, 6 and 9 and as a single mum I knew I'd not be a good mum, artist or student if I tried to do everything. But, now with my youngest at university, I have time.

Montage of images form my Instagram site
Some of these images relate to my forthcoming exhibition CODE and some are of older works
For the Facebook Event page for CODE please click HERE

Montage of images from my Instagram site
Some of these images relate to my forthcoming exhibition CODE and some are of older works

Friday, June 26, 2015



Entrance Entrance Mixed media on paper 30 x 42 cm 2015
Entrance is a fantastic word. It holds meanings that play with nuance. One meaning for entrance is that of a literal entry, like a gate, an opening, a foyer...something that allows or guides arrival at a place. One can also sit entrance exams that upon successfully completing allow entry into an educational institution. There is also making an entrance. For example, a flamboyant person, upon arrival at an event can make an entrance by drawing attention to themselves with their behaviour, style, clothing. They distinguish themselves from others who arrive without notice or attention. And, another meaning of entrance is to en-trance...captivate, beguile, enthral, mesmerise.
A flamboyant person, arriving at the entrance of a mansion where a party to celebrate a friend's successful completion of university entrance exams, could make an entrance that was so delightful and captivating that people might be entranced!
Where AM I going with this?
When I was painting Entrance Entrance [above] I was thinking about space travel. Yep, space travel! I was thinking about people who are planning to go to Mars, a destination they are not likely to return from. That's if they actually arrive! I was thinking about the discoveries of potential Earth-like exoplanets that may promise safe harbour for humanity in the future. It will require intergalactic travel! I read about these things...and...I am captivated by the possibilities. They trigger the imagination is ways that take a way I am en-tranced!
In Entrance Entrance, a cosmic landscape is interrupted by what looks like a gate, fence or bars that obscure the horizons beyond. Does this indicate an entrance to the wonders of intergalactic territories? Maybe it's a warning to tread carefully? Or, maybe humanity has already travelled forth, but cannot return? Maybe 'home' is on the other side? After all, going through an entrance does not guarantee a return.

The colourful 'barrier' may simply be a suggestion to stop and think. Many commentators remark that the 21st century is a 'crossroad' where technology promises amazing things, if we monitor and question carefully. If we don't, there may not be a way to 'turn back'. Just because we can do something, does not mean we should. I love the potential for inter-disciplinary research and investigation, drawing scientists, economists, philosophers, artists, and more together, to pave the future's pathway with rigour and excitement.
Maybe the fantastic-ness of space travel and the promise of technological enhancements to and for humanity are like the flamboyant person arriving at a celebration...they have made an entrance into the 21st century and we are en-tranced.  Indeed, there is so much media coverage, popular and serious, of Mars trips, newly discovered Earth-Like planets, and seemingly extraordinary technological advances, including the potential of exponential artificial intelligence development. But, what if there are other 'arrivals' into the 21st century that have entered quietly without making an entrance? If they have, hopefully they are of the benevolent kind!
I am reminded of an article I wrote about recently. The article, Terminator Robots and AI Risk by Meia Chita-Tegmark, appeared in the Huffington Post in February. Chita-Tegmark is a PhD candidate at Boston University and a founder of the Future Of Life Institute, a research centre and think tank focused on existential risks posed by emerging technologies. In the article Chita-Tegmark writes about humanity's propensity to 'embody' fears in things we can see and warns that the real dangers may lie in the unseen. She writes, The risk of AI is very likely not going to play out as armies of robots taking over the world, but in more subtle ways by AI taking our jobs, by controlling our financial markets, our power plants, our weaponized drones, our media... Evolution has not equipped us to deal with such ghostly entities that don't come in the form of steel skeletons with red shiny eyes, but in the form of menacing arrangements of zeros and ones. 

Chita-Tegmark's article got me thinking...a lot. Shiny eyed and steel skeleton-ed robots or beguiling AIs like the beautiful Eva in the recent film Ex Machina or 30 year old Blade Runner's four awesome replicants are all examples of how making an entrance can en-trance humanity with extra-ordinariness and excitement. This entrancement somehow gives the impression that we are confronting our fears, lessening their influence. But, the outcome may be a diversion of attention from Chita-Tegmark's ghostly entities and menacing arrangements of zeros and ones. These arrive unseen and unnoticed, not attracting attention against the 'flamboyance' of 'embodied' manifestations.
We need to go beyond the surface...beyond entertainment ...beyond entrancement. Being entranced is a very human characteristic and whilst it can be extremely satisfying, it may be one of our most significant existential risks.  
You might like to also read these posts and see the paintings too:


Count Down To CODE
My forthcoming exhibition
Tuesday July 21 - Sunday August 2
Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Rd, New Farm, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Open Daily: 10 am - 6 pm or by appointment
Artist's Talk: Sunday 26 July 11 am - 12 noon
Below is a photo of 3D glasses I take to my exhibitions. Why? Well, it was pointed out to me a few years ago, by a visitor to one of my shows, that my paintings would 'go' 3D with 3D glasses. When it was first mentioned to me I thought 'SURE', but as it transpired, many of my paintings do separate into multiple dimensions when viewed with 3D glasses. It certainly acts as a talking point!

And below is a photo of four works on paper that have been recently framed in readiness for CODE!