simone paterson

108: EVERYTHING, NOTHING, INFINITY

108 is considered a scared number by many world religions. In the Buddhist tradition, 1 = everything, 0 = nothing, 8 = infinity. To me, the number 108 is a reminder to be mindful. That is, everything we do or think ripples through the world. Nothing we possess; money, objects are as important as living and engaging with others in honesty and love.

 

Creating mandalas is a way to visualize creative energy. Traditionally mandalas are made with colored sand. Hours are spent dribbling sand into intricate patters, usually by a group of people. Then these beautiful works are swept away. The process of making mandalas is to bring inner peace, to bring balance, a form of meditation.

 

In the exhibition 108: everything nothing, infinity at Gallery 108 in Roanoke, Virginia and The Art Factory in Maitland Regional Art Gallery, N.S.W Australia, I have created mandalas from photographs of the landscapes where I live. I have documented the four seasons in three different locations, Christiansburg where my home is, Ellet Valley where I spend time with friends and Blacksburg where I work. Each location is coupled with a firearm. A significant issue of difference between the land of my birth (Australia) and the USA is firearm ownership.

 

Firearms are very efficient tools to dispatch the ending of a life but guns are more than tools. Just as new digital technologies are really more than just tools, they actually affect who we are and change the way we think as well as our relationship with others. The supplied animation/video is a visualization of our use of firearms and features mandalas of the local southern landscape. To create a mandala is said to stabilize, integrate and re-order inner life. I am interested in the effect of technology, on bodies and minds, and the possibilities of a transfigured consciousness via new media.

 

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