Mapping Cosmos 2003-2013
As a dancer, yogi, artist and architect I was working my way through the "Blue Book" [Course Catalogue] at Yale University to create a thesis and major that allowed me to best pursue my research and interests. I wanted to double major in Art and Architecture but the intense studio requirements for both made that impossible. So, I majored in Architecture and chose the history, theory, and criticism track that would allow me to create a more unique thesis that did not have to fall within a more rigid "design" structure. I then petitioned to create a double credit senior thesis and built my own thesis committee that straddled the art, architecture, and religious studies departments at Yale University. At the time, I was such a "problem" that my thesis proposal went all the way up to Dean Stern's office and resulted in a meeting asking me to please write about Le Corbusier. When I was unrelenting in my determination to pursue my own path of research, the result was being sent to the office of Kent Bloomer. The first thing he said when I walked in was, "They always send me the crazies." He became my thesis advisor, my advocate, and my lifelong mentor. (See Collaborators)
Under the guidance of Kent Bloomer, I began my thesis project entitled Yoga and the Expression of Architecture The result is a written thesis, and a suite of monumental maps that elucidate the theories of embodiment expounded in the writing. In practice, the actions of writing and drawing are intertwined. In many ways, the final maps are a text, and the final text is a map.
Below you can see parts of the mapping process, examining the homology of the body, the building, and the cosmos. I began documenting the movement patterns and postures of my body in hundreds of pages of notebooks. These notebooks unraveled onto huge sheets of paper, and started to unfold dramatically. Over the next 10 years, the notation morphed and accumulated. As the glyphs congealed into organic superstructures and cosmic maps, they started to transform into molecular structures, jewels, cities, landscapes, façades, and universes. They are the simultaneous journey through the intimate personal universe and the greater cosmos by means of developing a written language. The result is the creation of a personal cosmogony.
Ink on Paper, 40" x 77", 2004
Sublimation is a map that reads as a text. Through a unique notation of the body, Sublimation documents the sequence of movements along a horizontal plane that over time spontaneously expands vertically to generate a landscape. In the details I have added an image from an original notebook page in which I developed this unique notation.
Ink on paper, 40" x 77", 2004
An embodied architectural analysis of a temple complex.
Below are close up images.
Ink on Vellum, 7' x 9', 2005
I traveled to Lhasa in the summer of 2004. Based on travel sketches and studies of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, this monumental drawing describes the process of pilgrimage and transformation. Tiny figures of the pilgrim explore different postures or "asanas" of the body to form clouds, walls, roofs, and landscape. Their accumulation coalesce into the sacred structure. In this way, the very process through which the architecture takes form presents the transcendent relationship between the body, the building, and the landscape.
Below are close up images of the accumulations.
Machine of the Body
Ink on Paper 6' x 8', 2006
You enter in and of the body through the pathway of movement that merges with the movement of thought. As you move you see, you feel, and you create this tool that is your mind perceiving your body and your body shaping your mind. The process of making the map is the process of discovering the terrain.
The map is two giant sheets of paper with an empty space between the two. The Sanskrit alphabet whorls around the central axis while channels radiate out along the pathways created by the postures of the body.
Ink on Paper, 40" x 77", 2013
A visit to The Cathar Castles in the South of France.