Nathan Miner


This work is visual strategy for considering the world and ourselves as unknowable non-object probabilities of dynamic pattern. What does this mean?

We tend to believe we know more than we do. We extrapolate conclusions from our perceptions based on too little data processed through a cacophony of cognitive biases, emotional filters and erroneous assumptions. We project our interpretations of the world onto the rough architecture of our perception with a rapacious addiction to a unseen inner mandate: the inventive and creative force of our mind to manifest associative coherence from a chaos of sensorial stimuli. The mandate requires closure to queries on the unknown, but this demand shuts down our perceptions and our raw lived experience in favor of answers, or labels, or at least clean boundaries/discreet packages of the mysterious that themselves can masquerade as known quantities. 

Our experience of the world comes with a strategy for interpretation written within a belief that separateness is the underlaying function and foundation of the universe. We believe in our sense of self as a container of individuality in a world populated of like and dislike but equally discrete independent beings and objects. Down to the subatomic particle and out into the depths of space we see the world more or less as a series of subjects nesting in objective containers. We believe in the idea of self and the independence of our own agency and form, and read our lived experience as a narrative function by the stories that give us the meanings we crave, the answers to our unknowable queries, for which unrecognizable definitions are not acceptable. 

This illusion of separateness is easier to recognize in the abstract than through the pragmatics of our lived experience, because our bodies demand an interpretation of self. We might recognize our creative agency in manifesting this identity, questioning and criticizing our being in terms of desire and design. Am I good enough? Am I pretending to be someone I am not? Is this the real Me? A constant subtext to our identity formulations, the inventive process of creating ourselves, these questions are at times also the pretext of our being, and the prime text of our purpose. We know that biological and environmental feedback is at play within the nature and nurture of our lives, and that the life-long activity of shaping ourselves is a form of trial and error. For the unwilling or unaware the agency of this creative task will be exercised by environmental default rather than desire and design. 

Like the manifestation of identity in the architecture of our lives, we interpret the boundaries of our context to fit this script. The truth of an unknowable infinitude of possibilities underlying the constancy of this interpretive act is rendered invisible by the first rays of consciousness. Daily and in moment-to-moment we lean in on the boundaries of our contextual design, feigning ignorance about our creative role in producing them to find the support we crave, the knowledge and emergent understanding of our existence we rest the invented versions of our realities upon. This is the root code of our being and goes as unnoticed as the air we breath. As in meditation, however, we can become aware of our breath, and in art we can also witness the mental gymnastics of a mind unconditioned to not-knowing. 

In my art I create a space for not-knowing as form of currency in a culture unaccustomed to its valuation. My work is strategy for undermining the native and habitual functions of mind that render the raw power of creativity, that is the natural product of the human mind, impotent. I strive to undermine these habits of projecting knowledge where knowledge should not know any bounds, such as in the nature of consciousness and the subsequent definition of its context, as a method for keeping open processes of inventive perception that breed in these grounds. 

The futures of this work are in development through integrations of virtual- and augmented-reality in hybrid physical/digital classically constructed/contemporary installations. I tend to make my work with paint, but imagination is my medium.