2004/10/11

Modern art 41: ARTSENSE 016


Acryl015. Organic life in primitive soup.

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The slide-show of all the acrylics of my ARTSENSE serie has been installed, if interested click
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The theory of evolution is universally accepted in Europe and in China, the two places where I spent my initial 50 years. I had never seen someone seriously questionning this theory and I also had never read a study questionning the wisdom of this theory. So my surprise was not small when after living in the US, one of the first shocking things I discovered was that a significant portion of the population rejected this theory for creationism. I had never heard of creationism nor in Europe nor in China so my surprise was great indeed.

In other places along this book, I approach the differenciation between the Greek and Chinese civilizational building blocks and conclude that the Chinese were in no particular need for a logic of the gods. The axioms founding their civilization contain an ample body of logic explaining what reality is all about and how things change. Civilizations that find their foundational building blocks in the Middle-East don't have this luxury, they need to recourse to an outside mover in order to explain reality and change. For Aristotle holds it as an axiom that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes and effects. "That which is the logical starting point of infinite change must be an unchanging substance, causing change but not being subject to change". From this point in the reasonning there is no escape, the "unchanging substance", the "ultimate mover" will be called god.
This is for the conceptualization of Western civilizational building blocks but the "Great Enlightenment" or the rationality of capitalism, after shaking those civilizational building blocks to their roots, threw them overboard and replaced them.


For sure, the rationality of capitalism is only functional, it never defined how to handle the ontological question of Aristotle's "ultimate mover". This is without any doubt the most fundamental weakness of rationality but I believe that being only a functional system of thinking, it had never the conceptual tools to answer that question. Only recently, has science progressed to the point that an epistemological answer is becoming possible to this question of the "ultimate mover". And what is absolutely amazing, in my eyes, is that this becomes possible just at the moment when Western rationality rejoins the Chinese civilizational building blocks.

Science now conceives of reality as a process of transformations. The big bang is seen as the explosion of concentrated energy of a passed universe. This is then followed by a continued expansion of the resulting universe. Life emerges later in the form of unicellular organisms as the result of chemical reactions ignited by "accidental" energy that will expand their complexity by uniting into multi-cellular organisms. My piece "Organic life in primitive soup" is my vision of multi-cellular organisms in competitive growth and lurching towards more complexity.

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