Thursday, April 1, 2010

Conveying a "sense of wonder" // Science, Art, Religion intermingle in a universe infinitely mysterious

On going on in New York is an exhibit with a rare and fascinating vision of science, religion, and art as collaborative partners in the human exploration of an ever-mysterious universe.

Full Article Here // Excerpt Below

In the standard histories of the universe there are so many impossible things to believe before breakfast, as the White Queen put it in “Through the Looking Glass” — black holes, antigravity, dark matter and all those sneaky subatomic particles zipping through us — that the strangest and most amazing part of the universe gets short shrift. That would be us, collections of space junk, somehow perceiving and pondering the grandiosity that gave us birth in a sort of intellectual and emotional equivalent of the snake eating its tail.

That is the point of “Ouroboros: The History of the Universe,” a 3-D visual collage of vibrating mandalas, exploding galaxies, astronauts and corporate logos, among much more, on six screens, all in the service of reconnecting consciousness and cosmos. It’s now running in a darkened basement at the Ise Cultural Foundation in SoHo. Put on your 3-D glasses — what isn’t 3-D these days? — and plug yourself back into the cosmos.

The show was created by Ali Hossaini, a biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet, and a pair of video artists and programmers, Blake Shaw and Bruno Levy, a k a Sweatshoppe, who devised the 3-D effects.

Ouroboros, as the Greeks called the snake that eats its tail, has from ancient times been a symbol of cosmic unity and self-sufficiency. Dr. Hossaini says his mission here is to reverse what he calls the “fractionalizing of culture” that began with modern science, industry and art.

One consequence of that split is the continuing ravaging of the environment, he believes. “We know we’re pillaging our habitat, but we can’t make the leap from knowledge to right action,” he writes in a statement that accompanies the show.

“Art cannot be science,” he goes on, “but it can convey the sense of wonder that drives scientists. It can visualize the worlds of science while honoring our sense of self as beings that transcend the mundane” — and thereby, he suggests, help us remember who and where we are.

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