A Glimpse of Infinity – Artist Statement

“A mystic is anyone who has the gnawing suspicion that the apparent discord, brokenness, contradictions and discontinuities that assault us every day might conceal a hidden unity.” Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Aric Attas, A Glimpse of Infinity, No. 547, Dye Sublimation Print On Aluminum Panel, 30 x 20", 2017. Inspired by Cosmology, Physics, Spirituality + Kabbalah.

Aric Attas, A Glimpse of Infinity, No. 547, Dye Sublimation Print On Aluminum Panel, 30 x 20″, 2017.

My current work is a photographic reflection of my meditation practice, study of the ancient Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah and exploration of modern scientific cosmology. Through my art making I seek to understand the origin of the cosmos, the nature of the universe(s) and our relationship with the Divine.

It is the Kabbalists belief that beyond the apparent separateness of things we experience every day lies the hidden unity of Ein Sof (Without End). Through meditation, prayer and other Kabbalistic practices we can experience moments of non-duality where these distinctions dissolve into Nothing. In this state even the perceived separation between humans and the Divine dissolves into Oneness. The Divine surrounds all and is within all. This experience can bring an expanded awareness to our daily lives helping us live with a sense of wholeness and peace.

Science seeks to understand the creation of the world and the laws of nature by probing beyond the reaches of our ordinary perceptions of reality. These inquiries and the images that emerge from them also play an important role in my work. Concepts such as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, gravitational waves and String Theory along with Deep Space photos from the Hubble Space Telescope and other scientific instruments fuel my curiosity. A deeper understanding of cosmology from a scientific perspective gives me a profound sense of wonder.

The camera provides a vehicle for me to continue my explorations into the infinite. Driven by curiosity I invite the unexpected as I photograph the ordinary with the extraordinary in mind. Meditation and study of Kabbalah have revealed places of profound wisdom and peace, science has shown me places of mystery and wonder. Through my images I seek to synthesize these ideas and express experiences which lie beyond words or literal representation.

The journey continues in the digital darkroom which I approach as a creative laboratory. Here I engage a process of revealing and concealing my source images through a series of combinations and recombinations. The rhythm of this exploration forms a type of meditation which opens a heightened sense of awareness as I seek to discover new and surprising images. During this process I often feel the same sense of wonder as watching photographs slowly emerge in the developing tray of a traditional darkroom or gazing at the glowing stars of the Milky Way on a dark night.

I use light to engage the mysteries of creation and the infinite. Balanced at the intersection of spirituality and science my work is an exploration of the ineffable. Grounded in my spiritual practice and scientific curiosity the resulting works radiate a sense of wonder, wholeness, healing and peace for me.

Aric Attas

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