Learning to Count to One; Can the Center Hold? Tesserae @ .25 : .5 : 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 6 : 12 : 24 : 48 : 72 : 96 : 120. Attraction and Entanglement
This exhibition by Ron Mills-Pinyas is a meditation on how to count to one. The installation Tesserae was continuously rearranged and changed throughout the exhibition dates.
As a painter, Mills-Pinyas thinks about Edward O. Wilson's discussion of notions of free will and what Wilson calls perceptual "qualia" that provoke the "subtle, almost inexpressible feelings we experience about sensory input" and the sensations and their related feeling tones that precede naming, i.e., redness before it is identified as red. In this sense, Mills-Pinyas is painting about how our minds work and navigate optical experience, how our conscious naming of the word and establishing gestalts is established, delayed, invited, and entangled by the meeting of eye and mind. These thoughts dovetail nicely with Eric Kandel's work on "reductionism" in art and brain science, especially how the brain processes abstract art ("bottom up") differently than figurative imagery ("top down”).
Mosaics are composed of small colored stones or glass known as tesserae, plural, or tessera, singular. In Tesserae @ .125 : .25 : .5 : 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 6 : 12 : 24 : 48 : 72 : 96 : 120 ..., Mills-Pinyas was interested in boundaries and edges, color and pattern, geometry and mathematical ratios, all in a play of optics and how perception may be influenced as the eye is invited to pass between or bracket multiple panels of various sizes; to jump and alight, to find alignments, to skip from one area to another, as awareness notices and connects—sometimes unconsciously—similarities or continuities across panels, as it switches optics between focal and peripheral vision, zooming in, panning out.
The Qualia 1+1=1 diptychs are each an exploration of optical attractions and what is perceived as continuity/discontinuity — how 2 may be perceived as 1. Physics reveals that atoms cannot physically touch one another, that they may however achieve quantum entanglement and attraction. To Mills-Pinyas this is, aside from interesting science, an ontological and perhaps psychological metaphor for being with another, remaining distinct, not melding into one, being in proximity, remaining intact.