Contemplating Inner and Outer Space

Issue 7 November 2014

In and Out of This World

Throughout the ages people have felt that the material world is not all there is. Mystical visions, answers to prayer or an awareness of a power or comforting presence beyond the self have given intimations of a greater reality beyond the everyday. Might this awareness also suggest some kind of survival of death as End of Life Experiences, Near-Death Experiences and Post Death Communication seem to indicate?

Marianne Rankin looks at a range of spiritual experiences and considers the effects on people’s lives and what they might indicate about the nature of consciousness and Ultimate Reality.
Many experiences cited are taken from the archive of the Religious Experience Research Centre, now at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in Lampeter, the collection initiated by Sir Alister Hardy in Oxford when he retired as Linacre Professor of Zoology in 1969. Much has happened since.

From Cognitive Science to A Science of Consciousness

In this essay I intend to demonstrate how cognitive science, which stands at the crossroads of the natural sciences and the human sciences, has adopted an “objectivist” perspective on cognition that unnecessarily limits our understanding of the human mind; and I shall conclude with a prolegomenon to understanding the nature of consciousness and its causal efficacy.

Spannungsfeld and other quantum sculptures

Julian Voss-Andreae is a German sculptor based in Portland, Oregon. Starting out as a painter he later changed course and studied physics, mathematics, and philosophy at the Universities of Berlin, Edinburgh and Vienna. He pursued his graduate research in quantum physics, participating in an experiment considered one of the modern milestones of unifying our everyday intuition with the famously bizarre world of quantum physics. Inspired by his background in science, his work has captured the attention of multiple institutions and collectors in the United States and abroad.

4D and I

Artist and author, Tony Robbin, works with painting, sculpture and computer visualizations. He is a pioneer in the computer visualization of four-dimensional geometry. With his paintings and innovative computer visualizations of hyperspace, he continues to investigate different models of the fourth dimension and how these are applied in art and physics.

The Space Between

Marc Yankus is a photographer and an artist who uses digital mediums to create mixed media. His fine art and publishing experience span a period of more than thirty years. His latest photographs are the hyperreal “building portraits” shown in his most recent solo exhibition at ClampArt, ‘The Space Between’. In this series, select historical buildings are portrayed in altered cityscapes and invented spaces that evoke the experience of memory, imagination and dream states playing out in a magical place.

Cosmos as Masterpiece

Michael Benson works at the intersection of art and science. A photographer, writer, filmmaker, book-maker, and exhibitions producer, in the last decade he has staged a series of increasingly large-scale shows of planetary landscape photography internationally. In his latest book, ‘Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space through Time’, he turns his attention to the history of the visual description and mapping of the universe. This is a story that begins inmyth and ends with science. Selecting the most artful and profound examples of cosmic imagery, Benson chronicles successive cosmological models that capture our growing awareness of humanity’s place in nature.

Art of the Brain

Halfway through his PhD program in neuroscience at UPenn, Greg Dunn was inspired to try a new experiment: using the brain structures he was seeing in the lab as the subject matter for his minimalist Asian-inspired paintings. When he finished his Ph.D, he bought himself a sensory deprivation tank as a graduation present. The gift marked a major life transition, from the world of science to a life of meditation and art.

on ‘The Dialectics of Outside and Inside’ and ‘Intimate Immensity’

“Poets help us discover within ourselves such joy in looking that sometimes, in the presence of a perfectly familiar object, we experience an extension of our intimate space”. According to the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard, inside and outside form a dialectics of division. Yet, despite their mutual resistance, Bachelard argues that both inside and outside depend upon one another for the sake of preserving their identities and that aesthetic experiences and “escapades of imagination” prompts a revision of the boundaries of inside and outside.