Where these esoteric ideas originated from:
Because my artworks are based on ideas from the process of personal incubation – an explanation for the basis is needed. The origin in my thinking has always been cored around the economic engine which drove society.
I can’t say really say that there was a thunderclap moment – when that thought initially crystalized. But like many of you when Billy Joel (Ex: Allentown) and more importantly for me Bruce Springsteen (almost all of his early music) sang about the de-industrialization of the US economy – the economic premise of the music totally resonated with me.
Almost every nightly newscast in the latter 1970s and early 1980s had stories featuring the shuttering of steel mills and manufacturing plants. But that was just in the background of my mind. Perhaps purely reinforcement in my thinking. Though I had attended two extremely wealthy school districts in Virginia (Langley HS) and Maryland (Bethesda Chevy-Chase HS) – the guys I hung around with were not the ones who were the vast majority of the upwardly mobile kids who made up 70%+ of the student population.
No, I hung around with the kids from the blue-collar families instead. These kids were essentially ghosts in the hallways and classrooms. Most had zero interest in being there. They lived for the school day to end. They never spoke in class. Graduation meant nothing for where they wanted go – usually into a trade and never onto college.
I didn’t just hang around with them during school hours. Since we rarely went to class how could I. I also frequented their homes, listened to what was they were battling – usually money issues. Sometimes even saw what happened when resources or reason was absent when it was needed most. Violence erupted seemingly from nowhere.
When Bruce Springsteen sang about his neighborhood kids who were trapped in the rapidly declining manufacturing economy and all the collateral damage and the mayhem which financial desperation had unleashed in their lives – I understood exactly what Springsteen was going on about. What began as nothing more than a feeling would ultimately grow into what can only be described as an obsession. To find the cause why any group gets pressed into an economic corner.
What I would find:
One of the earliest people to ever use the term economic evolution was an economist Joseph Schumpeter. Schumpeter had read the writings (author covered in next paragraph) which had been smuggled out of the Soviet Union before the author was executed in one of Stalin’s purges. What Schumpeter meant was that the entrepreneurs would not allow for market equilibrium to occur. That their constant development formed what he called “creative destruction.” That for example steam would be superseded by the internal combustion engine. As the two cores crossed – as steam declined – that there would be a huge economic impact (read that as an economic depression).
The explanation which fit the facts for Schumpeter and I was what is termed Long Wave Theory. A Russian by the name of Nikolai Kondratieff (aka: Konderatiev) theorized that there were Long Waves or Super Cycles lasting half a century or more driven by technological innovation. The boom and bust cycle caused the economic depressions capitalist societies experienced.
Long Wave Modeling as of this writing remains outside of accepted economic canon for now. Though its acceptance is growing every year. Because technological development is at the core of the model – it is seen as evolutionary. Ironically the computer scientists used the term evolutionary artworks first. They used the term to mean what computers do without instructions from us. Well – of course there are instructions – computers don’t run anywhere without some form of code structure. What was meant – is that systems were evolving to where they could produce artworks.
What I mean by Evolutionary Artworks:
As I use art to flesh out my own ideas is not in reference to a computer system evolving but rather my evolving understanding of socioeconomics which began in high school for me and has come a very long way in the over 40+ years I have spent looking at the problem. What began as socioeconomic perspective morphed into Long Wave theory driven by techno-economics after a metric ton of research. The artworks have not only evolved from a social perspective but also the artworks themselves as descriptions of what evolves and animates history. Further the palimpsest nature of what I am doing allows the material to now speak as well. Which is not to say that the underlying materials are somehow becoming sentient but rather that I am evolving as an artist in that I allow the materials a voice in the final artwork. The narrative becomes fuller and richer as result.
Finally, the meaning is not simply that I am evolving my thinking and my artworks but rather that the artworks attempt to articulate the primary driver as to how humanity as a family and a history evolved. In order to do that the various artworks culminated into what I have proposed as a standard model for history. You may either return to my homepage or continue to an overview of the proposed standard model.