.::..Nicholas Sagan..::. …:.::..artworks and experiments…::.:…nicholassagan@gmail.com

An Empirical Paradox!/?/!/?/!/?

How is my artistic practice a series of exercises in the paradox of empiricism? It seems that the mediated surfaces and observations which use the visual language of astronomy has all the trappings of something that is real but is not in the sense that it has not been directly observed.  My work is ABOUT that paradox, my work IS the paradox. How is the stark, asexual scientific aesthetic applied in my work? To show the paradox I must use the paradox. The work is supposed to look “like the real thing” or at the very least observations of the real thing and thus embodying or revealing this paradox that which is empirically gathered/observed is some sort of penultimate truth. Sure, it is a recreation of a certain truth as I’ve experienced and interpreted it, but it is one single perspective.

Mediation is the other key element under discussion here.  It seems that with these ideas/projects, the more any image or object is mediated with the same visual language of observational astronomy, the more ‘real’ it seems (or could seem).  If I were to take photographs of these surfaces and diagram them in the same manner as how NASA treats Lunar images, would I end up with a ‘real’ thing?  The painting as a ‘thing’ exists, of course, as a painting…which is true of EVERY painting…but the subject matter of every painting is that of subjective interpretation.  But even if a painting is rendered in a photo-realistic manner there is still a *touch* of subjectivity.  All of astronomy is subject to a human touch, however little an experience can be mediated.  My argument is that artists and scientists are really kind of after the same thing: a mediated interpretation of reality, resulting from data gathered through empirical and/or experiential methods.

Also, while it is not my intent to be ‘funny’ with these works, there is a humor in them (or so I’m told!).  It seems that this humor is akin to playfulness or imagination, rather than a sort of ironic humor.  On second thought, there is a little bit of that, too, because of the nature of the paradox.  Isn’t irony a type of paradox?  Or is a paradox a type of ironic situation?  Well, I’ve painted myself into a corner there….

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