Art and Photography > Art Events and Exhibitions > 2016 Geome One Screening

2016 Geome One Screening
Los Angeles, California
October 15, 2016

Sponsor: Threshold Stairs Media

A multimedia screening of Adi Da Samraj's Geome One: Alberti's Window, in Los Angeles, Saturday, October 15, 2016. The outdoor event beautifully coincided with the full moon.


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Pictures from the Screening


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Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)

Alberti's Window I from the Geome One Suite
Albertiís Window I from the Geome One Suite
(© 2016 ASA)


Adi Daís Albertiís Window I

Excerpt from Gary J. Coates' essay, The Rebirth of Sacred Art: Reflections on the Aperspectival Geometric Art of Adi Da Samraj.


Adi Da’s aperspectival art is radically different from all forms of myth-based “God-art”, as well as all forms of perspective-based “ego-art”, and even all forms of non-perspectival and multi-perspectival “ego-art” of the modern and post-modern eras. He defines the images he makes as an entirely new kind of artistic expression. “The image-art I make and do is ‘Reality-art’--not in the conventional sense of image-art that imitates or merely reproduces ordinary ‘reality’…but in the sense of image-art that intrinsically egolessly coincides with Reality Itself.”41


The Last Supper, a perspectival fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio,
Cenacolo di Ognissanti, Florence, Italy. Photo: Nick Elias



Center panel (Wednesday), Albertiís Window I, by Adi Da Samraj
(with Vesica Piscis)



Albertiís Window I, by Adi Da Samraj (54 inches x 559 inches) invites the viewer release point of view based self-identity and to fall into a world constituted by ďPrimary GeometryĒ and ďPrimary ColorĒ that is free of the limiting, and ego-reinforcing force of perspective.


By intention, then, both the design and experience of Adi Da’s aperspectival images are radically different from perspectival images such as Ghirlandaio’s fresco, a fact which is powerfully evident in Alberti’s Window I (2006-7), the largest (137 x 1,419 cm) example of Adi Da’s recent geometric art to be included in the exhibition. He explains: “I have given the title ‘Alberti’s Window’ to the suite Geome One as a means of pointing out that the image-art I make and do is, in fact, not Alberti’s kind of space, not the traditional space of Western art — which (first) 'objectifies' the surface of the artwork, and (then) uses various devices to draw the 'viewer' into the 'objectified' surface.”42

To fully understand and experience this monumental work of art as intended, the viewer must first un-learn his or her prior understandings of the nature and purpose of art as well as his or her socially conditioned habits of art viewing.43 At first glance, for example, one might be tempted to not really “see” Alberti’s Window I, preferring simply to breeze by it, casually noting how it can be placed in its proper art historical category. Indeed, it is possible to observe formal resemblances between this image and similar works of a number of the masters of abstract modern art. But to see this, or any other work by Adi Da Samraj, merely as an exemplar of a type of art produced in the past would be to miss the life-changing experience he intends his viewer to have.44 Alberti’s Window I, like all of the other image-art he has created over a period of some forty years,45 is not merely a meaningless play of abstract forms and colors on a two dimensional surface.46 Rather, it is a complex, paradoxical play between abstract form and fundamental meaning intended to create a vehicle for an ego-forgetting and ego-transcending aesthetic experience.47

Adi Da began the piece called Alberti’s Window I by making photographs of the environment in which he lives, including views looking out of a window in his studio in Fiji. Using these images “as a visual starting point — like a sketchbook, and a key to unlock feeling memory”,48 he proceeded to make computer-generated images in response to the image-content of his photographic “sketches”.49 By means of a spontaneous response to each iteration of the developing image itself, he created over time an aperspectival work of art radically different from the visual world of Ghirlandaio’s fresco. Thus, as he explains, “The imagery in Alberti’s Window does not follow the 'rules' of perspective, nor does it presume the usual 'subject-object' orientation, as if actually looking through a window to 'outside'. In Alberti’s Window, the surface itself is the domain of the event that is the image.”50

While meaning is maintained, in part, by Adi Da’s constant reference to the original photographs taken at the beginning of the process, the forms and colors of Alberti’s Window I also embody the fundamental principles of what Adi Da calls “Reality Itself”, which, according to him, is what the world is before it is perceived by any “point of view” of any self-contracting ego-“I”. While it is clear why and how linear perspective makes use of geometry to create its spatio-temporal illusions, it is not so readily apparent why or how Adi Da Samraj uses geometry to create order and meaning in his art.

Noting with approval that Cezanne, and various artists since Cezanne’s time, have created art based on the use of primary geometries, Adi Da observes that, when fully and deeply experienced, the structure of human perception and the structure of the manifest world itself are both rooted in the underlying presence and ceaseless play of primary forces and geometries.51 He uses geometry as his primary means of artistic expression in Alberti’s Window I, and his other aperspectival geometric art, because he believes that this abstract formal language speaks wordlessly and universally to the underlying order of both self and world.52 Thus, because Alberti’s Window I is built out of the interplay of primary geometries, it is possible to tacitly feel, when standing in the presence of this monumental work, that one is perceiving a meaningful field of generative forces rather than a meaningless display of geometric forms.53 One experiences in the geometric structure of this work the essence, rather than merely the outcome, of nature’s processes of being and becoming.

But what of Adi Da’s use of strong, radiant, and light-filled color in Alberti’s Window I? Starting with his Spectra Suites in 2006, Adi Da has used a palette of “pure” colors in order to orchestrate very specific effects: “A pure color is a vibration…a piece of the spectrum of visible light…Color is not arbitrary. It must be exactly right for each image in particular. Color has emotional force.54 Colors in relation to one another generate, by that relatedness, different modes, or tones, of emotional force.” He further explains that, like primary geometry, color also “has meaning in the nervous system, in the folds of the brain. That meaning is not something that can altogether be stated verbally, but meaning is inherent in color.”55 Thus, depending on the subject, each work of art he does requires its own palette of colors.

Alberti’s Window I is constructed out of a full spectrum of pure and vibrant colors, which, like the crisp, precisely delineated geometries characteristic of the piece, are made possible by the use of digital technology and advanced methods of image fabrication.56 Color values range from light to dark, and include hues ranging from cool tones at one end of the rainbow to warm ones at the other. Each color strikes a different note, giving rise to overtones and undertones of feeling-response and meaning-association. One finds, for example, dark shades of cobalt blue as well as airy tones of light-infused powder blue, in the cool end of the spectrum, that evoke feeling-images of ocean depths and endless skies. Robust, full-bodied hues of warm orange, various shades of golden yellow and intense, otherworldly reds trigger feeling-memories of spreading sunsets, the glowing radiance of evening fires, and the rich earthy tones of soil and rock. Woven amidst this complex field of geometrically structured, multi-layered and interacting colors, one also finds pure black and pure white.

Thus, even though one cannot literally see painted images of the primal elements of earth, air, fire and water, one can feel their presence. While Alberti’s Window I is not representational, as in the case of such “realistic” paintings as The Last Supper, it does express at an archetypal level the all-pervading presence of the primal elements and shaping forces which are always at play in the constantly changing, self-regulating and dynamically balanced natural world.


First panel, Albertiís Window I



Seventh and last panel, Albertiís Window I



Albertiís Window I


But, remarkable as this accomplishment might be for any abstract geometric work of art, Adi Da, it will be remembered, claims much more for his images than the mere depiction of the deep structures and archetypal experiential qualities of cosmic nature. “My image-art is made and done to perceptually embody — and, thus, by means of the ‘aesthetic experience’, to communicate — the inherently egoless, non-separate, and indivisible Self-Nature, Self-Condition, Self-State, and Perfectly Subjective 'Space' That Is Reality Itself.”57

Such a bold intention would suppose, at the very least, that the perceptible visual patterns, colors and subtle qualities of images such as Alberti’s Window I would be homologous to what he claims is the very nature and structure of “Reality Itself”. While words must always fail to describe that which cannot be said, Adi Da does indicate that “Reality Itself”, or “That Which Is Always Already the Case” has, “no ‘thing’ in it, no ‘other’ in it, no separate ‘self’ in it, no ideas, no constructs in mind or perception, and, altogether, no ‘point of view’.”58 Does Adi Da’s art measure up to this standard? Does Alberti’s Window I communicate a sense of non-separateness and the “irreducible paradox of unobservability and unknowability” that he claims is the “actual (Real) state of every one and every thing — even in the apparent context of all things arising.”59

When first gazing upon Alberti’s Window I, the mind and the mind’s eye race to discover the hidden order that structures and, therefore, explains the power and beauty of the work. One wants to get a handle on it, figure it out, domesticate its strangeness, reduce its complexity to something simpler, something that can be named and known. And at first, it seems that it might be possible to do so. Yes, there are indeed organizing structures to be observed. First of all, one notices that the great length of the piece is divided into seven identically sized triptychs, each of which has a larger central panel and two smaller side panels. The central triptych, which has two large multi-colored circles intersecting to create a large eye-like vesica piscis, appears at first glance to give the work a kind of overall symmetry. Yet, a closer look reveals that there is, in fact, no overall symmetry: the images to the left of the central triptych are more complex and less clearly ordered than the panels on the right of it, which are calmer, less brightly colored, more highly ordered and more figural. Thus, while each individual triptych might remind one of the daily movement of the sun from morning to night, the temporal rhythm of the overall piece is directional as one moves from left to right, rising to a peak of balanced harmony in the center and falling back to a state of subdued calm and greater formal simplicity at the end. One senses in this pattern the presence of both circular time and linear time. With this insight, the thinking, grasping mind has something else to say about this enormous image, something else to hold on to.

Other formal ordering devices also can be noted and described. There are, for example, both horizontal and vertical regulating lines, which define fields and sub-fields where changes in geometry and color tend to occur. Certain form motifs repeat to give an overall sense of unity: radial patterns originating in central white circles dance across the length of the piece; fields of vertical stripes, containing multiple figure-ground color reversals unify the image in the vertical dimension; triangular forms and linear arrow-like motifs keep showing up, creating a sense of rising and falling forces; strongly colored red, yellow, white and blue circles of various sizes emerge as recurring figural forms, appearing at first to be clearly separate elements, only later to be seen as circular windows opening views into underlying, layered fields of color, which recede or advance according to the laws of color perspective.


Second panel, Albertiís Window I


Sixth panel, Albertiís Window I


Albertiís Window I

The longer one spends with Alberti’s Window I, however, the more it becomes evident that every apparent ordering system is always also inevitably undermined. Exceptions to the rule are the rule. Every instance of local order arises only to dissolve again into a playfully creative chaos, which is a paradoxical kind of order that can be felt but never fully described. Eventually, one comes to the conclusion that in Alberti’s Window I there is order without system, in a work of art that is a living field of dynamically balanced polarities. Symmetry and asymmetry, cool colors and warm colors, horizontal lines and vertical lines, rising forces and falling forces, circular forms and angular forms, advancing colors and retreating colors, pure geometries and undefinable shapes are woven together to create an image that is never at rest, yet, always seems to be calm and centered. One slowly comes to the understanding that in Alberti’s Window I there are, indeed, no separate forms, and that a mysterious sense of creative order and a prior, underlying unity are all-pervading.

Finally, when the compulsive search for order, purpose and meaning falls completely away, and one simply becomes mindless in the face of the overwhelming size, seductive beauty and incomprehensible complexity of this monumental work of art, one discovers that Alberti’s Window I cannot be defined or grasped by the mind’s eye or the ego’s “I”. The only possible response that is left is to surrender, simply and spontaneously to the allure of the piece and to wander happily without any “point of view” in the dimensionless spaces of this primal landscape, which is a reality that is both familiar and strange. Forms are then felt with the “eyes of the skin”,60 colors are sensed as temperatures and qualities of being, and order is experienced as what Adi Da describes as a “non-necessary” and “non-binding” appearance arising out of an unseen reality both infinite and filled with light. In this realm and state, there is no time and there is no space. This experience brings a sense of freedom that is unthreatened and unthreatening. There is only pleasure and delight that spontaneously and naturally arises as soon as the frenzy of seeking and the need to name and control is forgotten. This is the experience that Adi Da describes as “aesthetic ecstasy”, which is his true purpose in creating his art:

The living body inherently wants to Realize (or Be One With) the Matrix of  life. The living body always wants (with wanting need) to allow the Light of  Perfect Reality into the “room”. Assisting human beings to fulfill that impulse  is what I would do by every act of image-art. My images are created to be a means for any and every perceiving, feeling, and fully participating viewer to “Locate” Fundamental and Really Perfect Light — the world As Light, conditional  (or naturally perceived) light As Absolute Light. Ultimately, when "point of view" is transcended, there is no longer any "room" or (any separate "location" and separate "self") at all — but only Love- Bliss-"Brightness", limitlessly felt, in vast unpatterned Joy.61


Third panel, Albertiís Window I



Fifth panel, Albertiís Window I



Albertiís Window I

Wassily Kandinsky wrote in 1910-11 that, “The great epoch of the Spiritual which is already beginning…provides and will provide the soil in which a kind of monumental work of art must come to fruition.”62 Were he alive today, Kandinsky might well consider the monumental art of Adi Da Samraj to be the fulfillment of the spiritual-artistic impulse that he and other revolutionary artists at the beginning of the twentieth century sought to bring into the world through the invention of abstract art. If properly understood and rightly and fully experienced, the aperspectival geometric art of Adi Da Samraj can be seen as a harbinger of a new age of consciousness and culture.

ďI Am Manifesting the self-organizing force of Reality in the context of perception and communicationóand, therefore, of images.Ē

Adi Da Samraj

Notes

41 Adi Da’s “Reality-art” must be understood as the result of a “profound philosophical and Spiritual preparation.” He says that only after decades of the most intensive consideration was he able to discover “the means to go through and beyond all traditional and ego-based modes of thinking and understanding”, making it possible to finally make images “on an intrinsically and entirely “point-of-view”-less basis.” As quoted in Adi Da Samraj, Perfect Abstraction, pg 16

42 Adi Da Samraj, Aesthetic Ecstasy, pg 31.

43 As Adi Da says, “My image-art can be characterized as a paradoxical space that undermines “point of view”. That undermining (which occurs in any instant of fully felt participation in any of the images I make and show) allows for a tacit glimpse, or intuitive sense, of the Transcendental Condition of Reality (even as all conditional appearances, and, Ultimately As It Is) — always, inherently, and totally beyond and prior to ‘point of view’.” Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, op. cit., pg 53.

44 “By viewing Alberti’s Window I in this art-historical manner, I, along with even all artists who make and do images in the geometric abstractionist mode, am eased into a convenient position in the historical sequence of academically defined space and time. Such a manner of viewing image-art is, ultimately, a choice to ‘objectify’, control and be indifferent toward the perceptually-based opportunity of profundity that image-art is”. Adi Da Samraj, Aesthetic Ecstasy, op. cit., , pp 14-15.

45 Adi Da argues that even though his art is abstract, meaning is intrinsic to it: indeed, he claims that each of his works produced over a period of more than forty years, from his Zen-like brush paintings and multiple exposure photography to his more recent computer-generated imagery, expresses a fundamental tension between abstract form and meaning. For an excellent survey of Adi Da’s entire artistic production to date, see Mei-Ling Israel, The World As Light: An Introduction to the Art of Adi Da Samraj, Middletown, CA, The Dawn Horse Press, 2007. For an explanation of the relationship between form and meaning in his work see Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, op. cit., pg 55.

46 He explains that he makes art that “embodies a disposition that transcends both the ‘new’ view of image-art as ‘surface only’ and the ‘old’ view…of the image as a perspectivally-organized ‘window on the world’.” See Adi Da Samraj, Aesthetic Ecstasy, pg 14.

47 Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, op. cit., pg 55.

48 Adi Da Samraj, Aesthetic Ecstasy, op. cit., pg 32.

49 As is the case with all his digitally fashioned art, Adi Da was assisted by a team of computer technicians staffing multiple computers. He gives precise instructions about what he wants done in terms of the form and color of the image until he feels that the work is completely resolved. In this way of working, nothing stands in the way of his ability to be completely immersed in the spontaneous process of image development.

50 Adi Da Samraj, Aesthetic Ecstasy, op. cit., pg 32.

51 Based on his own direct meditative experience Adi Da reports that “if the deep process whereby the brain makes perception happen is profoundly felt and (thus) understood, then it can also be understood that the basis of the natural world’s construction as perceptual experience is primary geometry, or elemental shape — curved, linear, and angular.” Not only is the perceptual process so structured, but he also observes that “The natural world itself is (inherently) a self-morphing and self-limiting construction (or a naturally improvised and spontaneously self-organizing art-form), formalized and fabricated by means of a plastic interaction between primary forces and structures… Everything perceived is a structure that demonstrates the interaction of these three all-patterning forces of shape”. See Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, pp 55-56.

52 The reason we don’t normally perceive that this is the case, Adi Da explains, is because of the inconceivable complexity of the interactions of primary geometries characteristic of the natural, material world, which create an appearance of rounded softness when seen by the natural eye. (see The World As Light, op. cit. pg 99, and Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, pg 56) Adi Da states, however, that even if it is not possible directly to perceive the fecund and generative presence of primary geometries in nature, “it is altogether possible to tacitly feel that whatever is actually being perceived in any moment is something structured in the primary geometric manner, and that (consequently) all apparent complexity is based on very simple primary elements.” As quoted in Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, op. cit., pg 56.

53 In an essay called “My Working Principles of Image-Art”, in his book Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, Adi Da summarizes twelve ways by which meaning in his art is constituted through abstract geometrical form. Several are worth quoting in order to clarify assertions made in the main text of this essay. “5. The image-whole is meaningful form; 6. Meaningful Form is always a play upon the intrinsic aesthetic laws of pattern that are inherent to the human brain and nervous system, and that underlie all aspects of human perception, cognition , and action; 8. The formal characteristics of the image-totality are a play between two modes of motion (or of patterning tendency) — the motions that are tending toward symmetry and the motions that are tending toward asymmetry; 9. The finally realized image-whole is a balanced resolution of the inherent conflict between symmetry and asymmetry…; 10. Within the formal (or meaningfully formalizing) elements of the image-play are characteristics of polar opposition in mutual dynamic association…; 11. The finally realized image-whole is, necessarily a unified whole, a perceptual order that is characterized by an equanimity that demonstrates a realized balance of and between (or in the context of) all the opposites within the meaning-field and the image-plane; 12. The finally realized image-whole is, necessarily, a perceptual demonstration of (both) the root-principle of the prior unity of all conditionality and the Transcendental Principle of the Primal Equanimity of Reality Itself…” pp 45-46.

54 Mei-Ling Israel, The World As Light, op. cit., pg 96.

55 Adi Da Samraj, as quoted in The World As Light, ibid., pg 96.

56 Adi Da Samraj, ibid., pg 95.

57 Adi Da Samraj, Aesthetic Ecstasy, pg 39.

58 Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, op. cit., pp 56, 57.

59 Adi Da Samraj, ibid., pp 56-57.

60 For an insightful and inspiring essay on the negative effects of the dominance of the visual sense in contemporary architecture and culture, and the need to create an environment that speaks to all the senses see, Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, Wiley-Academy, 2005.

61 Adi Da Samraj, Transcendental Realism: The Image-Art of egoless Coincidence With Reality Itself, op. cit., pg 57.

62 As quoted in Maurice Tuchman (ed.), The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985, New York, New York: Abbeville Press, Publishers, 1986, pg 11.



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