[Click Once and Often Twice to Enlarge]
Below is the “base.” It is a detail from a neighbor’s bush that was planted as a screen between the sidewalk and the small house, which is one of the few in Wallingford that has gone vacant because of the burst bubble.
The bubbles – on the leaves – where photographed on an afternoon in the first week of January 2010. Above is a detail from the same plant – or long young hedge – which was chosen because of its “scar.” I use it as a detail in the montage that follows in order to break the regularity of it all. (I see now that I appear hugging my camera in the biggest bubble.) When I learn the more sophisticated powers of “Photoshop Layers” there will be more and less regular opportunities for introducing asymmetry into these montages.
Over the past three years I have done scores of these. Much more than snowflakes they are all very different. And they are all in process – often waiting for irregular and pleasantly confusing layers. In four years of walking the neighborhood almost everyday I have “collected” a large library of subjects that were “captured” for these purposes. Most of the bases are natural and photographed as found, like this one, but a few others I have prepared by arranging sticks and flowers and such with an eye to how they will multiply. But this multiplication is so transforming that really anything will bring forth modest and always, I think, stimulating revelations. As you will note below the more you multiply through successive flip-flops these designs the more they head march towards texture. With one more generation below we have a fabric suitable for a men’s sports coat (at 16,276) and with two more (as yet not rendered) perhaps a formal suit for wearing in tolerant society (65,104). All of them from rain-splattered leaves on an unidentified bush.
Below the scar are the multiplications. The first is a quartet. From there we flip and flop and jump to 4, 16, 64, 256, 1,024, 4096 and 16,384. All have been layered with an asymmetrical piece copied and itself multiplied or flipped (or perhaps flopped) from the detailed “scar” at the top. No. 256, especially, may be imagined as a quilt or a ceiling. Some of this shares the pleasure of making quilts and even knitting – although it is much quicker. Perhaps 65,104 will follow in a moment more idle than this. If it is brought up it will seem to be nearly pure texture in which the parts cannot be seen clearly and are imagined to be in a chaotic distribution rather than arranged. I think. “All will be revealed.”
4096 / This 4096 montage may serve as an hour glass for me – a “Time Remaining” calendar that encourages me to not waste time. Now 71 I could treat the above as a check-off list for time left – if I live as long as my two oldest brothers Ted and Norm and my father Theodore. All three lived to within months of 80. If I count everyone of the gray “hour glasses” in the montage above as representing three days, then I may there both purview and preview the sum I have remaining for abiding here in this often enough happy veil of tears, but only if I am as fortunate as the others and do not stumble into some misery that I would rather escape than abide.