The Postmodern Sublime and Figuring the Impossible (short version)

The central theme of my work for the last thirty years is that consciousness is irreducible. We simply cannot get to some substratum that tells us who we really are in the world, and so if you believe the evidence, then abstract forms can no longer represent our true nature. The Sublime will always exist, but I have tried to show that whatever presence it brings will always be haunted by its absence. You can reduce the Gap to a minimum distance and idolize the presence within it (as I did in my Geometric paintings), or expand it to be inclusive of the other (the Hybrid paintings). You can open the Gap to the point that it becomes an abyss, or accentuate evil through the absence of any presence (Abyss in "Root" and evil in "Dahmer,") and yet the Gap remains. The Gap is eternal and immutable precisely because it exists neither here nor there, but exists beyond representation. Rauschenberg had stated that he wanted to bridge the gap between Art and Life, and he succeeded for his time. Today, we know that the Gap inhabits an impossible space across many disciplines. The literature has become overwhelming in disciplines as diversified as Theology, Atheism, Continental Philosophy, Analytical Philosophy, Neuroscience, Neurophilosphy, and Bio-ethics. The Gap produces arguments for the existence of God, free will and the potential of not bridging the Gap. I have had a long interest in Eastern and Western religions, and I think as long as there is a Gap, religion can and will fill that space. But for me, I am an atheist, believe in free will, and hope that the world will become a better place. The Gap is fundamental to our nature, but creativity and religion are not. The challenge for artists today is to find some sense of a self by figuring around the Gap between art and life through creativity, and being open to an ever changing world at the limits of representation. The goal should be to open up a space of indeterminacy not only within the identity of the self, but within our governments, our religion, and yes, our visual and literary arts. We should become comfortable with the fact that there is and always will be a Gap. Indeterminacy gives us the gift of wonder!