It's interesting how light and gases conspire to produce their effects. Photons permeating not aether, but atmosphere. Light bouncing and bent, the atmosphere can reflect and rend to stunning effect. I propose a fifth dimension to standard space/time, the affective. Despite what some might say, as my understanding of physical phenomena increases, my wonder at them and their natural beauty is no-wise diminished. My knowledge lends a depth to my appreciation, helps me know where to situate it. My understanding/experiences are like voices singing at/in me. Knowing why the sun's light appears a certain way in relation to the horizon and that its beautiful is like two voices singing in harmony, producing chords of construal. As I understand from different "directions" I find choirs of sorts develop. Sometimes the notes conflict, sometimes they resolve later, only to become discordant again. There emerges perhaps an epistemological symphony.
Changing Gears then...
I've been thinking on and off lately about what "now" means. It seems at first a fairly common sense idea, a useful temporal term. This stems from considering the speed of light and how it mediates vision (supposedly, at least that's the best way I have to understand, not withstanding some sort of "simple seeing" or vision). Side note: I feel like I should be reading Hume right now.
Anyway, what does it mean to see now? Cosmologists would agree that when we look to the stars and nebulae, we are not seeing the "now" or present state of those celestial bodies. We are rather being impinged upon by the light of millions and billions of years past. It seems then the difference between viewing extra-galactic objects and our sun near the horizon is only one of degree, not kind. Seeing happens in time, minute as it may be, an interval is present. Is there then any instantaneous awareness of the world around us? I imagine lots of questions that are given birth by this one, and have no intention of chasing the answers.
When I say I see it "now", I seem to point to something past, not really at a given instant "now." I feel like I have to suspend this thinking anytime I talk about tensed facts (it is now 10:42 for example). Does this make me and everyone else anti-realists with respect to the present? Is "now" one of those "useful fictions" like perhaps numbers? "Now" in an objective sense seems like it must refer to the smallest possible time interval, one that is instantaneous (whether such exists), and not divisible, but all instants seem potentially infinitely divisible (whether actually infinitely divisible I doubt, but never-mind).
So, when I see, how do I describe accurately that state of affairs? "I am seeing the sun lit valley" seems appropriate to the scene above, as it acknowledges at least the ongoing nature of the act, the constant unfolding, as opposed to "the valley is now sun-lit." Now I can't help but notice that one description reflects my internal state of affairs vs. that of the valley.
I suppose that's enough confusion until next time. I am at least sure about my love of art.
J0hn Hunter Speier
Recent work, and explorations of techniques, aesthetics and poetics.