The Beginning Was The End: Diagrams, 2010 — 2012

While in conversations and rituals with dukun, I drew diagrams to clarify the interwoven structure of humans, nature, and the supernatural at the core of Javanese cosmology. After hearing that no other overviews of this endangered knowledge exist, I designed them in the style of Indonesian educational posters, and later used them in public dialogues. These works serve as blueprints for my Hypercube series.

  • The Four Saudara
  • Archival Digital Prints on Paper
  • 24” x  16”

I unified several sources to make this original diagram, describing the four siblings that accompany humans in the material world. They represent aspects of reality as a coordinated metaphysical field–the cardinal directions, the primary elements, color, time–which humans influence and in which we’re directly reflected: in our process of birth, our senses, our language, and in human nature.

  • Ruwatan
  • Archival Digital Prints on Paper
  • 24” x  16”

This work describes energy behavior during ruwatan, a cleansing ritual: a dalang (shadow master/shaman) combats a sukerta (negative energy within an person), drawing on god-energy to restore balance/expel the sukerta as the sukerta draws on negative energies in the individual and the environment, to maintain imbalance.

  • Metaphysics
  • Archival Digital Prints on Paper
  • 24” x  16”

This piece correlates the dimensions of reality available to human experience in the same time and space–including the forces and energies existing in those dimensions–with different levels of human consciousness.

  • Suksma
  • Archival Digital Prints on Paper
  • 24” x  16”

Each of us is born with a perfect copy of ourselves, a twin, according to Javanese thinking. Our “gut feelings” emerge from where it’s housed, and in the uncanny, familial quality of people new to us, it’s our sukmsa communicating. It’s our connection to the infinite, a tether to our unknowable source.

  • Oowenology
  • Archival Digital Prints on Paper
  • 16” x 24”

Oowenology describes the shared territory between interacting bodies, energies, or processes—i.e., people in dialog—as having its own identity, characteristics, and potential to become a conduit for Knowledge.

  • Knowledge
  • Archival Digital Print on Paper
  • 16” x 24”

This piece describes my experience of observing a ruwatan performed a son of former Indonesian President Suharto. The sensation of energy as it was interacted with/courted by participants is also modeled in my videosculpture, Hypercube #2.

  • Tatal Pawukon
  • Archival Digital Print on Paper
  • 16” x 24”

The tatal pawukon is a Javanese device expressing time in terms of infinite, cyclical patterns of natural, social, and supernatural forces. In this perennial calendar, each day reveals an intersecting complex of these energies, expressed in compressed detail as a single symbol carved in a block of wood.