# Twilight of the torsos

2011,

Oil on linen,

39.5″ x 27

**Ideas I’ve purloined to toy with in Twilight of the Torsos:**

Despite (and within) reiterating empire collapse, it is still tempting to savor the irony and beauty of more complex strata of human thought: philosophy, pure math, ethics, the arts, introspection into beauty itself – “higher” thought comprised within a self-reflecting system (that sees itself self-reflecting)…

And in that spirit, I purloined and translated into “Twilight of the Torsos” intendments from the following, among others:

The illusion of self: its existence as pattern in a system (in a loop that allows a system to “perceive itself”) – the nature of our sense of “being” and “consciousness” –

“The self, such as it is, arises solely because of a special type of swirly, tangled pattern among the meaningless symbols…” About self-referential meaning, loops, equivalent of a TV camera pointed at a TV (GEB’s notion that when such a loop arises in the brain or any other substrate, a unique “I” is brought into being out of inanimate elements — How “selfhood seems so terribly real and tangible to its possessor, and yet also so vague, so impenetrable, so deeply elusive” (GEB)

Sierpinski’s triangle, a product of the mind, an exercise of pure mathematics –

A fractal island, the roughness of us and our natural world – a curve consisting completely of corners, no smoothness anywhere. The broken, wrinkled and uneven shapes of nature…

Imaginary numbers (imaginary numbers corresponding to geometrical transformations of the complex plane)

Fractals, the mathematical patterns of chaos

Quarks- an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons, the components of atomic nuclei. Due to a phenomenon known as color confinement, quarks are never directly observed or found in isolation –

DNA is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms (with the exception of RNA viruses). DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes. DNA is one of the three major macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life.

Symbols for ideas like Infinity and Peace (and the notion that symbols are meaningless until endowed with meaning within a “strange loop” closed system: where the symbols somehow track or mirror various phenomena sufficiently to give rise to some degree of “meaning”)

Φφ (phi) ancient Greek symbol for the golden ratio 1.618… so popular in mathematics, art, and architecture

Goedel’s incompleteness theorems – the meta-mathematical notion that no consistent system of axioms whose theorems can be listed by any sort of algorithm is capable of proving all truths about the relations of the natural numbers. The second incompleteness theorem, a corollary of the first, shows that such a system cannot demonstrate its own consistency. Beyond numbers, Godel’s theorems suggest the incompleteness of any system to prove truths about itself outside its system. Gödel’s theorem shows that, in theories that include a small portion of number theory, a complete and consistent finite list of axioms can never be created, nor even an infinite list that can be enumerated by a computer program. Each time a new statement is added as an axiom, there are other true statements that still cannot be proved, even with the new axiom. If an axiom is ever added that makes the system complete, it does so at the cost of making the system inconsistent.

Rhizomatic thought vs arboreal models – Deleuze and Guattari use the term “rhizome” and “rhizomatic” to describe theory and research that allows for multiple, non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation. In A Thousand Plateaus, they oppose it to an arborescent conception of knowledge, which works with dualist categories and binary choices. A rhizome works with planar and trans-species connections, while an arborescent model works with vertical and linear connections. Their use of the “orchid and the wasp” is taken from the biological concept of mutualism, in which two different species interact together to form a multiplicity (i.e. a unity that is multiple in itself).

Poet Ruesell Edson: “self” as “teetering bulbs of dreads and dreams”