I have my mind set on a new series of paintings, a series of “space loops.” The original concept for this series entered my mind in December 2006. I produced one study, but shelved the idea. The painting FF0000uturo took its place.
Now the loops are back. Below are just a few sketches. The color combinations are seemingly infinite. But that’s what makes this a series.
As I think about it, the loops kind of remind me of the space colony illustrations that NASA produced in the 1970s, as shown at right. Those space art images captivated me as a kid! People living inside giant cellophane tires filled with synthetic rivers and forests … and weirdo architecture! But the space loop composition arose independently of those; I mean, I didn’t have them in mind as I was geeking out the sketches. Guess I’ve been carrying those glorious illustrations around in my unconscious for years.
On that note, speaking of loops, I bumped into a great-looking book last night titled I Am A Strange Loop, by Douglas Hofstadter. It’s exactly about what I’ve been studying lately: the notion of self. When we refer to ourselves as “I,” what do we mean?
Lastly, yesterday on Science Friday there was a panel discussion about utility-scale solar power projects in Nevada and Arizona, which have the potential to meet all of United States’ electricity needs. The idea is this: Utility companies would shoulder the burden of investing in, and producing, large-scale solar farms out in the desert — instead of homeowners having solar panels on their rooftops. The discussion of utility-scale solar was introduced as if it were such a novel, new idea. But this morning I bumped into a speech that Isaac Asimov wrote 30 years ago, titled “Our Future in the Cosmos: Space,” in which he wrote: “If we could get millions of photovoltaic cells (a kind of silicon cell that sets up a small electric current when exposed to light) and stretch them over half of Arizona (I only mention Arizona because there is usually a lot of sunshine there), we could perhaps supply enough energy for America’s needs.”