While there, one of my assignments was to design a physics article entitled "Glueballs." I was usually given the obscure physics articles. When Ed Bell, the art director, assigned the story to me he gave me the scrap, a collection of Feynman diagrams, and said sarcastically, "Good luck." This was an article that was considered hard to "art" because what the subject dealt with was at the subatomic level. There's no real-world representation or reference for us as flesh-and-blood humans. The processes that are described are only understandable by the lines and squiggles that compose a Feynman diagram.
I looked at the scrap. I was struck by how anthropomorphic the diagrams looked. They also reminded me of Miro paintings. The diagrams were completely incomprehensible to me, but I could sense an inner logic the same way one can see a logic in a written language that one doesn't understand. So I redrew the Feynman diagrams and blew them up large.
Here's the piece:
I'm posting this because as I rework my artist statement what keeps coming up is the connection to science my work has.
I'm rereading a book of Einstein essays entitled "Ideas and Opinions." It's a wonderful collection of essays. One of the themes he writes about a lot is the connection between art, science, and religion. He puts religion into three categories: a religion that is based in fear, one that is based in morality, and one that he calls cosmic religious feeling. It's this third type Einstein is interested in as a scientist and human being.
I'll quote one paragraph that stood out for me:
How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give rise to no definite notion of a god and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive of it.
He concludes his essay with:
A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.