remember reading a few years ago a claim made by the physicist Stephen Hawking
that we appeared to be on the verge of finding a "Theory of Everything"
which would relate all of the fundamental forces of nature as different
aspects of the same meta-force.
"Oh, happy day!" I thought. Surely this Theory of Everything
(TOE) will spawn new technologies that, for instance, might allow me to
harness the illusive and fickle force of creativity upon which we artists
depend so heavily. This possibility inspired my Devices
Series of paintings, musings on how the TOE technologies will
benefit the ordinary person. At the same time I did a little research
and was disturbed to find that:
- Hawking's claim
was made back in 1979, and TOE-dom has yet to be achieved.
- Similar claims
were made at the end of the 19th century, just before the orderliness
of classical physics degenerated into warped and twisted spaces, uncertain
outcomes, and 26-dimensional fundamental-building-blocks-o'-matter candidates,
those peculiar wriggling strings ("quantum maggots" as I envision
them, gnawing away at a sane reality).
- Creativity is
not considered a fundamental force of nature.
- Apparently the
"everything" in "Theory of Everything" is only a
small subset of EVERYTHING. If indeed we are on the verge of finding
a TOE, it is just a little toe. The Big TOE is still out of reach.
disillusioned by the slow progress and limited scope of the modern high
priests, I decided to embark on my own search for the TOE. And while
the search is far from over, I have recently stumbled upon a close relative
of the TOE: the FINGER - or more accurately, the five-finger ensemble.
Furthermore, I suspect that this ensemble might just be the biggest
obstacle to finding the TOE.
At the risk of
being excommunicated from the human race, I posit that we have been
led astray by our hands, that the chirocentric paradigm will carry us
no further. The hand defines the human being to a disturbingly large
extent; the modern human in particular is distrustful of anything that
cannot be "grasped" directly, or at least quantified ("digits"
come in handy here). The hand is our meta-tool, parent of all other
tools, manipulator of the physical environment and shaper of our reality.
It has worked its way so insidiously into our psyches that our cosmologists
get downright sweaty when confronted by those things that are outside
the domain of the hand. I believe that this is why the TOE keeps slipping
through our collective fingers, through the widening cracks in our current
cosmological models. The hand is, quite possibly, the Anti-TOE.
-Marc Silva, Fall