Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dioptric Camera

We have completed our experiments with the Bull’s eye after following Descartes instructions in the fifth Discourse (see post July 16 2008). Descartes of course preceded photography but we believe, if he hadn’t, he might have wanted to capture nature through his disembodied bull’s eye in order to steal a glimpse of the world from outside human perception. We constructed a camera obscura by removing the lens from an early 20th century paper negative field camera and portable lab. We removed the original lens and replaced it with the cystalline nucleus from the bull's eye inserted into a dark slide and taped it to the lens mount.

Our working hypothesis was the bull lens and camera obscura would permit us to photograph beyond the surface appearance of things, much as the child in the Christian Anderson’s fable The Emperor’s New Suit perceived beyond the deception of the golden gown. In order to conduct good science we were required to neutralize all factors capable of influencing the results of our experiment. We were obliged to find a subject that we could be certain harboured a deception. We therefore decided to photograph a politician, since politicians are craftsmen of manipulated perception. If the image produced by our bull crystalline camera resembled one taken with traditional photographic equipment we would know instantly that we had failed.

After much careful consideration we selected a head of state of a relatively unknown and unimportant Nordic country so as not to offend the delicate financial network that sustains our research. We are very pleased with the results of our pilot experiment with Mr. Steepen Heartpoor who is currently the Mayor of Upper Canada. The first photograph is the official Queen’s issue portrait of Mr. Heartpoor, the second is a reproduction of the first portrait using our own Bull crystalline camera obscura.

The phone is ringing off the hook, there are many, many more portraits that we have been commissioned to make but lack the time and resources to proceed as quickly as we would like, and since this is the end of the summer we must turn now and begin to prepare for the new school year, if such portraits could ever be realised they will have to wait until the summer of 2009.

Good night and God Bless , and all the best for the coming year.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Shadow of God Cast by the Light of Man.

The troublesome if not paradoxical notion that man was created in the image of God has unfairly deprived man of his own image. Even though Christ walked the earth in the form of a man, and the fossil his body has left behind is certainly the imprint of a higher order primate, this image has come to symbolize God not man. Science and religion are equally irreverent of life, their feigned opposition over the origin of the shroud has served only to further mystify and therefore alienate us from this wonderful, yet imperfectly ordinary phenomenon. It is not surprising that the only examples of these anthropomorphic apparitions recorded in Judaeo-Christian history, (the Shroud at Turino and the Sudarium of Oaxaca), are those which can be associated with God. I have to say frankly , I think this tomographical imaging mentioned in the post below is more scam than scan.

The truth is these apparitions are common and reveal themselves to anyone with sufficiently developed visual acuity and the heightened awareness that Coleridge referred to as suspension of disbelief. Most can be photographed but only using silver based emulsion and only once the photographer has perceived them directly. There are some unsupported accounts that these images are actually portals. Full figure portals like the shroud at Turino would allow travelers to venture through the firmament where as smaller face portals like the Sudarium, which allow only the head to pass through, are used for viewing only.

The most recent apparition occurred in a sleepy suburb north of Montreal in 2006 under the door matt at the home of Carlos Argentino. Carlos Argentino, who does not believe in God, found some solace if not self-gratifying sobriety from the fact that this apparition, if in fact divine, formed under the very jute rug where he wipes dung from his boots.

Arial view of the Argentino apparation in 2006

View under the jute rug at the entrance to the Argentino home north of Montreal

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

La dioptrique

This summer we decided to recreate Descartes' experiment to see if we could spawn a universe from a single ray of light. We followed the exact procedure from Descartes' fifth discourse "Des images qui se forment sur le fond de l’œil" (the material insemination of a surgically occluded utopia).

Today we competed the first trials and have published the results with a series of short tutorial videos. I expect the full documentation, including a translation of the original text will be available before the end of the summer.

The site is being temporarily stored here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tomographical Scans of the Holy Shroud
The research team from the PPP (Posthumous Psychomorphological Physiognomy) have posted the data stream from the holy shroud of Turino. Watching the stream is an enchanting experience. The history behind this accomplishment reaches all the way back to the 18th century physiognomist Johanne kaspar Lavater who inventd a science for reading moral character and intelligence by studying the features of the face.

Physiognomy systematically mapped out a catalogue of human facial morphology as visual indexes of personality, morality and intelligence. Though his theories are not generally granted much authority today in scientific circles, Lavatar opened the door to the understanding that nature's living surfaces might be intelligible.

The idea that the human face could be a decipherable imprint of the human spirit excited scientists and philosophers to no end. Such an x-ray into the human soul could also function as a biological lie detector, a barometer of emotional status or as a beacon for psychological disorder. In the nineteenth century Physiognomy became the basis for sub-theories in anthropology, natural science, psychology and metaphysics.

Today with the advent of virtual imaging technologies we have successfully applied Lavater's basic precepts to the complex metaphysical world of quantum physics. Of all the current venues of scientific research attempting to extend Lavatar's theories to the thresholds of contemporary science, Posthumous Psychomorphological Physiognomy has, beyond any doubt, given the most astoundingly sensational results. Naturally as physiognomy developed through the nineteenth century specialists were able to decipher more and more information and from deeper and deeper within the manifest personality. Emerging awareness of psychoanalyses combined with the accumulated index of facial topography allowed Victorian physiognomists to venture even into the unconscious and repressed areas of the psyche.

Psychoanalytical physiognomy became the darling science of the early twentieth century. Posthumous psychoanalytical physiognomy (or necrogenic psychography as it is known in the Americas), is certainly among the most fascinating fields of psychoanalytical physiognomy. In combination with new imaging technologies, contemporary physiognomists are shining a clear rational beacon into the murky obscure world of spiritism. Far more than a billion gigabytes of data has been processed by digital physionotraces used to scan the necrogenic imprint on the Holy Shroud of Turino to create the image stream.

Dr Knetmassegesicht, director of the Department of Applied Necrogenic Psychography of the University of Toronto expressed the enthusiasm this project has generated throughout the international community of psychoanalytical physignomists when he recently declared...

" ...with each passing scan we descended deeper and deeper into the mind of God."

Visit the data stream here

Morpheus Suite Lectures

We found this transcript of a 2003 lecture given by Jorge at the LCUCC. Jorge had two introductions; the first by Mr. Vincent Hoelscher of Ramtek Computer Corporation, who commented, "It is very possible this man, this artist, has unwritten the history of our future" The second introduction was given by Dr. Arnold Nusp director of circular research in Ontology at the Politecnico di Turino in Piedmont. Nusp provides an excellent intiation into Metacosmogony for those who are just arriving.

The Transcript of the Nusp introduction and the Jorge lecture are here

On Becoming an Alchemist

Here is a transcript of a lecture by the New Mexican photographer Jobe Peta Nipkin that he gave in Toronto at Ryerson University in 1989. It’s subtitle Zen and the art of Mastering Precision Instruments is a nod at the History of Photography’s long relationship with metaphysical philosophies. This fascinating travel guide maps a pathway out of the Newtonian Universe which parallels photography’s own evolution from absolute objectivity to profound subjectivity.

Transcript can be found here

The Physiognomy of Dream by Bogus Jorge

We wanted to introduce this Blog by submitting a review of Jorge's 2003 publication The Physiognomy of Dream by Clementina Lanzillotta which appeared in Gnosis vol 279 September 2003.

The review follows:

Some of our most fascinating speculations concerning the true origin of those , Mesopotamian manuscripts known collectively as the Book of Nanr or The Book of All Books –recently discovered at Aarrwaaza d’Ishtar in Al Hillah – have come to us from a young Argentine metacosmogonist Bogus Jorge. Metacosmogony, a new branch of metaphysics that in Jorge’s words “was thrust upon us by revelations in The Book of Nanr,” studies the humanly perceivable world as an independent subset of the natural universe. In Jorge’s words Metacosmogony is “…simply the science of inner space.”

In his ground breaking publication The Physiognomy of Dream, (Grove Press, Inc. New York, 2003) Jorge weaves an enticing historical model where these Mesopotamian manuscripts are argued to be the original and authentic first book of the Pentateuch. Jorge points to the unlikelihood that the Sumerian proto-literate culture from whose western branches the tribe of Israel descends would wait some 1500 years for Moses before committing their sacred knowledge to script. In fact, according to Jorge, much of the Sumerian creation myth comes from the Assyrian versions found in Assurbanipal's library at Nineveh, which predate Moses considerably.

It has not uncommon to find consensus among scholars to the fact that Moses is most likely not the author of all five books of the Pentateuch. Jorge goes a step further by suggesting that Moses actually replaced the original manuscript with a more suitable version.

It follows then that Moses is in fact the true author of Genesis. However, according to Jorge it is Genesis that is not the authentic first book of the Pentateuch. In an eloquent defence of his hypothesis he concludes that the original first book of the Pentateuch, whose winding passages the Assyrians call The History of Mind was in fact The Book of Nanr, The Book of All Books.

Jorge considers these Mesopotamian manuscripts to be the only surviving testimony of a time before humankind's digression into its current mental stupor which, borrowing from Percy Shelly he describes as “ the veil that those who live call life”. In The Physiognomy of Dream Jorge relates the experience of his own awareness lifting up from the pages of the scriptures to see the world anew. He writes:

I became aware of the great dream and my role in its projection. This is why Moses, in transcribing the world's earthly laws was bound absolutely to destroy the Book of Nanr. Moses returned his people to the dream. In the dream one is immediately convinced of the ephemeral mutually dependant nature of existence. Each dreamer willingly subjecting himself, as we subject ourselves today, to an authoritarian order whose unnatural laws describe and maintain the complex architecture of our delusion. So thoroughly attractive is this illusionary system that any one of the entrapped minds will obediently dream its own cage and sit in it. Even if that troubled existence should no longer provide amusement or has itself become painful, the mind will not awaken. Tricked by the seductive image of materiality and mutual substantiation, the dreamer- rather than simply opting out of the conspiracy and returning to his native logos as isolated infinity-, will make application through appropriate interceding officiates to ask others, courteously and with great respect for protocol, to stop dreaming him.

The Physiognomy of Dream leads us backwards through the history of mind in search of the intersection that split it from the world. We begin in the smouldering forges of the Iron Age where we find the human imagination imprisoned in dark caves and immobilized by chain and shackle before the wall of shadows. We are then ushered to the fire and shown the low wall and the men who carry the articles done in stone and wood used to cast the shadows. It is here where Jorge’s history of mind ends. Now captivated by the crafting of lenses and the enthrallment of light, the mind abandons its venture along the elevated roadway and remains forever in this Cartesian refuge, frozen before its own reflection.

From here we venture backwards to the dawn of civilisation, which Jorge considers to be the very threshold of our slumber. The lands of Sumer and Akkad sat on the rich delta between the Tigris and the Euphrates butted one against the other in a fierce dualism that went back to their very beginnings. The Akkadians were barbaric and violent, the Sumerians peaceful and imaginative. As the Sumerians emerged from the Neolithic stage of culture their advancement seems to have accelerated to a point of rare excellence in all matters of art and science. The Akkadians on the other hand grew only in might and envy. Prophecy had foreseen the total destruction of Sumer at the hands of the Akkadians in a massacre of unprecedented proportions. On the morning of that terrible campaign, when iron tyrants advanced as rolling thunder, the entire land of Sumer, its forked towers and layered courtyards, its immense walkways and grazing pastures, the endless corridors of its subterranean libraries, its markets and spherical domiciles were all found vacant. The Sumerians had awakened.

In its conclusion The Physiognomy of Dream translates direct passages from Nanr, in which a plan is given for the construction of a Camera Obscura, within whose boundaries minds can be dampened and absorbed. The light-tight box captured and restrained the vital energies of all who would freely venture through its tiny portal. This chamber of feigned death was a prison game designed to amuse its creators, sated with omnipotence and eternity. Sumerians created it and were the first to travel to its confined and windless space but Jorge does not believe that we are their descendants. We then, are the descendants of the Akkadians, or of a single Akkadian, whose mind, slowed by the vinegars of deceit and envy, drunk in the sumptuous gas, inhaled the poisonous vapours of mercury and rose as sticky dew adhering instantly and forever to the shiny copper plate.

Jorge does not believe we were meant to find Nanr but having done so we possess a map of the exit, an escape ladder leading us from sleep. Some 2,500 years after Plato wrote his Republic, we may at long last continue up the elevated roadway beyond the low table and shower in the light of day.

Clementina Lanzillotta is assistant professor in epistemological relativism at L'università di Taranto in Ontario.