The Interface Paintings

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Page 1: The Interface Paintings

by T. L. Mann


At a certain point in man’s evolution, his brain went from unconscious, as say, that of a dog’s, to conscious in the sense that we humans commonly ascribe to ourselves: we reflect on our existence. Only man does this. No other animal, chimpanze, dolphin, etc., does. If they did, they would express this to us in whatever language they have at their disposal: a monkey would endeavor to draw, however painstakingly, evocative figures for us in the dirt—a dolphin, advancing on the tip of its tail, redolent of purpose, would trace deliberately intriguing signs—something, anything, to try to communicate the same existential predicament that we as human beings find ourselves in, that is to say: « Do you have any friggin’ clue as to what is going on? ».

Due to this transitional point that was bridged in our evolutionary past, it is not surprising that we see so much neuro-biological complexity in ourselves today, the most noteworthy being our oscillatory consciousness-subconsciousness trait—the most fundamental of traits, and responsible as much as anything else for that which makes us human: irreducible—as far as we can be aware—by either ourselves or by anyone else to any final identification or understanding. This complexity of course, extends to the extreme manifestations of our psychological nature as well but we need not go there for this exposé, which is meant only to offer an idea behind the « interface » paintings.

The interface paintings:

The idea behind these paintings stems from that part of our nature, alluded to above, that is forever elusive in any absolute sense, incarnated we might say, in an unseizable, unseeable bridge, or interface. The paintings represent this bridge and the psychological and physical sides to ourselves that this bridge links together. These sides, this duality: mind-body, body-spirit, however you want to refer to it, is of course, an ages-old subject and is foundational for all the world’s great religions and philosophies, consequently, the idea behind the interface paintings was hard to miss. Trying to come to grips with the interface itself—what the hell it is that you’re feeling from such an experience and representing it in the form of art—is another story however. In effect, the experience here takes on the added complication of the mind’s dichotomous nature in and of itself—its difficulty in claiming an ultimate sense of the real, as opposed to the imagined or misunderstood.

Nonetheless, however complicated the enterprise might seem, coming up with a physical representation for it proved to be quite simple, given that it was an accident, and quite a surprise, in view of the fact that a form of it has existed right in front of our nose ever since we domesticated art so to speak—ever since the idea came to people to display art with the aid of a frame, this fundamental, ubiquitous, accoutrement that, it turns out, has a metaphysical yet definite relationship to the “interface” (see accompanying article “About the Interface” for details).

Which brings us to the physical, or technical, aspect and explanation. In a nutshell: the part within the painting’s ‘frame’ (the humanly created part) represents the mind or spirit. That which is exterior to the frame is the physical world, our bodies as well. The frame itself, is the necessary bridge linking the two.

The fact that the frame is doubled so to speak, with an inner field, is my attempt at putting a finger on this bridge, or interface. And, though the whole is what is of ultimate importance, the bridge, however difficult it is to put your finger on, makes it all possible. In fact, it is responsible for that infinitely elusive quality that makes us human.

Examples are given immediately below.
IMPORTANT: The complementary analysis—mandatory for a complete understanding of the interface—follows these examples in the article: “About the Interface”

Examples of Interface Paintings Shown Below

Taken Aback

Dimensions: 75 by 60 cm, framed.
Media: Paint on wood panel, with wood blocks on wood structure.

To note: A link to the interface is directly made by wiring physical elements to it. To accentuate the relationship, these physical elements also bear the exact same colors of the interface, or bridge. The bold colors of the interface are used in order to give extra emphasis to it, the interface being the most important part of the work. This bold color can also be interpreted as a counterpoint to the more ephemeral or cognitively subtle aspect of the idea behind the interface. This aspect is normally depicted at the interior of the work. See the two articles explaining the interface concept, one at the beginning and the other at the end of this page.

Attention: When I did this painting it was as if you did it. For you to say it is my problem…


Comments are closed.