Brian Evans

Associate Professor of Art
Art and Art History, University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL USA

We are order-seeking creatures. Through our senses we receive signals from the world around us. Our senses convert these signals into neural data we then interpret, thus creating all of our experience. We try to make sense of these signals. What endures? What repeats? What changes? We look for structure.

We recognize and compare patterns, trying to understand the sensory data. We build a basis from which we make choices. Living is the making of choices, based upon the received signals and perceived pattern within those signals. Finding pattern is the making of metaphors—mapmaking across conceptual domains.

As a digital artist I make maps that bridge the domains of number, sound, image and computation. I map experience to number and back into experience again. New patterns emerge. New knowledge is possible. From new knowledge a finer sense of order can be discovered.

flora #1 (time slice)
9" x 6" (14" x 11" framed)
archival inkjet print

How much is lost in the reduction of reality to human sensation. The infinite detail there in front of us is reduced to 100 million discrete measurements made with the rods and cones on the retina of the eye. Infinity reduced to 100 million, which is reduced another ninety-nine percent as the signal is compressed to travel only 1 million pathways on the optic nerve. It’s a wonder we can make sense of the world at all.

These little photos are also reductions, slit-scans of flowers rotating on a table top—2D slices of time. The four dimensions of our reality (x, y, z, t) are reduced to two (x, t) showing a different aspect of the real. The temporal is mapped into the static and new forms and structures are seen. These works are metaphors for the language of mathematics. What wonders we can discover through the processes of abstracting, reducing, mapping, and finally looking in new ways at the little slices of information we receive from all the surrounds us.