Writing a preface is a strange task. It is the first thing a reader finds within a book but is, ironically, often the last thing the author writes. Perhaps it is inevitable to find that, upon giving the book form, many details still cry out for inclusion. In this case, the downside is that I am constantly reminded that the challenge of giving voice to ideas is not a task to take for granted. Repeatedly a paragraph or two marks an idea that might be the basis for an entire book. If nothing else, this book makes it clear that there is much to say about art, science, technology and consciousness. Already my mind is conceiving an outline for one or two follow-up publications.
On several occasions, I faced the daunting task of reaching to say something in words without finding language that matched the thought (or the visual) precisely, despite my best efforts to elucidate my thoughts. All who write know this dilemma well. Alas, try as we might, such is the nature of the practice.
A further example of “what I found missing” in this book, I am pleased to say, can be found in an earlier publication, Nature Exposed to our Method of Questioning. While not actively conceived as a set, it is intriguing to see that Innovation and Strategies is precisely the right sequel to Nature Exposed. Indeed as a pair they illustrate how our research interests develop in tandem with the paths we travel.
My research interests reflect my life as a professional artist as well as the circumstances that brought me to academic themes related to art and consciousness. Although many people, ideas and situations have informed who I am, it was discovering an essay by the late classical scholar E.R. Dodds, “On Misunderstanding Oedipus Rex,” that I understood how important is the communication and clarification of ones cherished ideas. Some time before the essay surfaced in an anthology that I was reading, I had disagreed with a scholar (who specialized in subjects related to art and consciousness) on how we might interpret this famous play by Sophocles. I read Oedipus’ actions as motivated by shame, with no sense of the inner guilt that imbues the Judeo-Christian traditions, which was so dominant in the scholar’s interpretation. Our points of divergence were pronounced. Of greater concern to me personally was his inability to conceptualize that my point of view had any validity in the scheme of things. This exchange