the sun in our eyes

Natalie Dower, Octadecagon No. 1, 1995

Natalie Dower, Octadecagon No. 1, 1995

Yesterday I wrote about the law of diminishing returns and questioned if we commoners could use such economic theories in daily life. Whether we would turn into nerd-buttoned sociopaths, judging everything by the return on investment it afforded us.

And I was reminded of this work by Natalie Dower, who harnesses the power of mathematics and scaled form to derive the universal constant. To show us the beautiful power in mathematically calculated form. A comfy rational aesthetic. (I’m not going into how she constructs the paintings because it involves crazy equations, Fibonacci sequencing and square root measures to the nth degree).

To mask  chaos. To mask entropy. Cheering us on as we search for reason and pattern for the market’s ups and downs, for our lover’s cold shoulder, for our kids’ grades, for our boss’s promotions. For our success for our lack thereof.

Yes, there should be some over-riding constants, like gravity. Yes, by the force of reason, by sheer brilliance, we should deduce these patterns. From data, draw conclusions. To forecast markets and plan for weather. To profit from Google Analytics. To write a book and blab the secret.  After all, if seashell whorls are governed by mathematical principles, shouldn’t the nature of life be so goverened? Solving the Equation that plucks our own lucky star from the sky. Drafting Pythagorean Fate to run the fifth wideout on our team.

Calculations like constellations to guide us in deepspace life. But when I look up from my daily minutiae, all I see is sun. And my brittle-life theories fracture into wounded kite splinters.

Float down like confetti.

Happy that it’s happy hour.


Rudolf Herman Eisenmenger, Runners at the Finish Line, Silver Medal 1936

Rudolf Herman Eisenmenger, Runners at the Finish Line, Silver Medal 1936

Whew!  The week’s almost over and Friday’s finish line ribbon flutters around the bend. I hear the wheezing huff of fellow teammates pushing to finish deadlines. The flop of others who put their projects off until next week, pens tapping like seconds ticking.

But we still have a bit of time, so let me interrupt your programming to remind you of some obscure Olympic yore.

As it turns out the Olympic Committee did award medals for painting, sculpture, architecture and literature  from 1912-1948.  Artists weren’t too keen on the idea. The subject matter had to be sport and the competitions were held alongside sporting events. Imagine the feverish writing in the Olympic literary salon. Or paint splattered spectators in Olympic stadium. Surprise – not a lot of takers.

I imagine this picture above is a portrait of most artist’s reaction to the idea. A pack of panicked artists sprinting away, in droves.

Finally, in a fit of reason, the Committee converted the “competitions” to “exhibitions” for the 1952 games in Helsinki. But the few medalists from the brief, well-intentioned but frightfully misguided period were scratched from the Olympic games’ official record. What? Removed. Delete buttoned. I’d love to pull that move on my epic fails.

Where will you find me in the Friday PM pack? Panting to the nearest happy hour for a tall pint of bronze or maybe a glass of gold (chardonnay please).