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  • The Probability Landscape

    Over the edges and horizons of the probability landscape, waiting for us, are the unseen, unthought forests and deserts of the visible. Finn Brunton [1]

    Brunton’s statement is a bit out of context, but I couldn't resist its topographic poetry. It called to mind a site visited earlier this year located near Lake County's Warner Valley. This selection of photographs of archaic petroglyphs attempts to capture an instance of a “probability landscape.” Warner Valley 

    [1] Brunton discusses visual analysis of paintings by computers using algorithms. The materials, strokes, lines, and marks are “decisions made against the backdrop of all others possible marks not made.” For him this means, “every painting becomes a landscape painting.” Hence, a probability landscape. This stylistic and material analysis leads to discerning authenticity, attribution, and dating. With rock art, variables may include pigments, application methods, pecking and abrasion, and the characteristics of the stone and its coatings. Finn Brunton, “The Hidden Variable.” Artforum, November 2014, p.120.

  • Freeing The Rocks: Four Potentials

    This last day of this wintry month - let’s elevate the season, beyond reason. Top down.

    Rock on Top of Another Rock, a large-scale sculpture by the artist duo Fischli/Weiss, is an installation in London’s Kensington Gardens, courtesy Serpentine Gallery and The Royal Parks.  Hurry – it’s in place until March 6, 2014. (Then what?)

    Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer is called “ongoing” by LACMA. Really. A 456-foot-long concrete slot bearing a 340-ton granite megalith, it resides on the museum’s “campus” with “no admission ticket required.”  The cap boulder, famously trucked through four California counties in early 2012, was blasted out at the Stone Valley Quarry near Riverside (or, if you are inclined to the poetic, between Palm Springs and San Diego).  You may recall Michael is the son of renowned UC archaeologist and rock art fellow Robert Heizer.

    The Kempe Stone, ten feet in height, is an Irish megalithic portal tomb about 10 miles east of Belfast. In 1884 The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland estimated the capstone at 17 tons. Go take a look or simply Google or Bing – it's storied.

    Oregon’s own meta-lithic, a shelter near an old lakebed in the southern Warner Valley, Lake County, holds faded red pictographs. Massive capstone about six feet above ground level. (Photo: Douglas Beauchamp)