The Savant and Physical Processes

"The savant, instead of seeing a field of wildflowers, sees 247 flowers. Similarly, we don't just see a world of physical processes, churning out complex plans, desires and needs. Instead, we see the handiwork of an infinite wisdom, the working out of a divine plan, the children of a creator."
Terence Deacon, The symbolic species: the co-evolution of language and the brain, London 1997, Chapter 14

I love thinking about this as the way an artist works, and is a way I try explicitly to explore in my work. A figurative artist must be this savant, and paint precisely 247 flowers in order for a viewer to experience a field of wildflowers.
Landscapes are often seen as the handiwork of infinite wisdom, the working out of a divine plan and my landscape architecture research has taught me to look at landscape as precisely a world of physical processes, a churning out of desires and needs, which expresses itself as the landscape we see.
So I am engaged in the investigation of these landscape processes, and by using these processes to create drawings/paintings, I am trying to dig out the idiot savant whenever I am in looking at a landscape.

No comments:

Post a Comment