Demonstrating the Extensive Continuum
5'-8" x 5'-4" - Mixed Media with Acrylic Binder on Canvas
Collage with Photo by Carol Beckwith and Turner’s View of Venice
In the collage Demonstrating the Extensive Continuum, I try to make an image that suggests both indefinite divisibility and unbounded extension, the defining properties of Whitehead’s extensive continuum. This collage includes a photo of a Turner Venetian vista with airy, intricate, long perspectives, together with an especially dramatic perspective of camels and riders in a photograph by Carol Beckwith. Forms in the photos and the painted ground are shown in deep perspective with suggested overlappings and changed positions to suggest a space-time continuum.
The two photographs are placed to form a common horizon and are tinted with color to strengthen the harmonies between them. Each photo has a partial painted frame to highlight where the photo and painted background meet. This indicates the original spatial limits of each photo, suggesting that each represents a limited standpoint. Yet both frames open to the ground with its various details – spitting camels, human figures, fragments of architecture, a satellite view of the earth – suggesting an overlap of events in space-time and a widening multiplicity of standpoints. Each photo reads as if continuous with, or as having parts in common with, the other by reason of common prehensions and suggested overlaps – sand colored earth and water surfaces, long distance perspectives, bundled figures, and the associations of camels as ships of the desert. Deep perspective, with its implication of infinite space, among other possibilities, suggests infinite extension, supplied to a perceptual object by embodied experience. My painted boat images, with their implication of apperception, suggest the mind pouring selected stored experience into a perceived object. Thus a symbol of apperception becomes another indication of extensiveness.