read more Monday, May 14, 2012; 3:37 PM
jackson pollock inspired scribble

Sometimes, a scribble is just a scribble. Other times... what follows is a random stream of thought, not meant to necessarily be factual (that will make sense further down). This is just an excerpt from the running dialogue in my head.

From the moment I saw my first Jackson Pollock ( painting, I was enthralled. Maybe it's the randomness of his strokes (drips, really). Maybe it's the subtle patterns that can emerge from the jumble of lines.

Some people will look at this piece and see noise. Something no better than the messy crayon drawings of a young child. That's ok. I take no offense to that. On the contrary, I think there is value in occasionally seeking out the simplicity of a childish mind. We are hardwired to fit every sensation, every experience, into preconceived patterns that allow us to make sense of our own realities. Plural, because my reality is hardly yours, and vice versa. And that is the crux of the problem. The way we are brought up, plus our accumulated experiences, make us predisposed to interpret everything in a way that makes sense to each of us; but, not necessarily in a way that makes sense to anyone else. But, why? How can two people look at the same thing and see it differently? How can two people experience the exact same event and have totally different interpretations?

There are common things that we accept as real for everyone. Take the color an apple, for example. We all agree that it is red (ok, ok, let's exclude non-red apples for this discussion). What color is red, really? Yes, it is the result of how our bodies evolved to process a narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum. But, does that mean we all see red the same way? In a very simple example, a person who has a type of color blindness will not see what most people see, when they look at that apple. Ok, that's easy to understand. It can be more complex than that, though. Computer monitors, for example, can all display the same photo of a red apple. One every single monitor, the shade and hue that is displayed will be different - though perhaps only very slightly, in some cases - than on any other monitor. The same can be said of our bodies.

A particular brand and model of monitor (doesn't really matter which one) is made in assembly lines, and is meant to be exactly the same as all others of the same brand and model. Yet, each and every one will have tiny variations in its manufacturing which will result in slightly different color representations. People are not born with the same expectation of uniformity, beyond the basics (5 fingers, 5 toes, and all that). So, it follows that from tiny differences in the number and layout of the rods and cones in our eyes, the tiny differences in the shapes and sizes of our eyes, to the "wiring" in our brains and our body chemistry, our experiences of the color red will not necessarily be the same as any other person. All the infinitesimal differences add up to potentially large differences. That reasoning can be applied to any of our senses. Therefore, since our senses determine our interpretation of reality, this reasoning can be applied to our experiences - which is why we can be as varied and as random as the lines in this piece.

And, yet, a pattern still emerges. We are not completely different. There is a basic similarity between most people, beyond our basic physiology. Not so similar that we all get along, but not so different that we are always at odds.

So, when you look at this, you may or may not see this as art. It may or may not evoke any kind of emotional response - positive or negative. It might remind you of something from your past, or it might not. It could be a trigger which opens your mind to other possibilities - or it might just be a scribble.

That, in case you are interested and haven't gotten bored to death reading all this, is just one of the odd little concepts that is constantly bouncing around in my head.