My bag of childhood memories mainly consists of the typical variety…a few heartbreaks, a couple key successes, failures, a bunch of “firsts” (first kiss, first love, etc.) and a few outliers.
As I was working on new art for my “Overthrow the Quo” exhibit, one of those outliers popped into mind as particularly relevant.
The work in progress photo above (you can see the final piece here), features a background pattern. While I was making it, I got to thinking about patterns and why I’m attracted to them. Then I flashed on a memory of my father handing me the owners manual for his brand new 1979 black BMW 733i.
We always had enough money to eat and nice houses to live in, but I don’t remember any extra cash for indulgences. My father was commuting over 2 hours a day at the time and needed a car that was comfortable and he could count on. In 1979, most autos still weren’t all that reliable.
He handed me the manual and asked me to figure out how the dial worked for the air conditioner.
I scoured the page. I thought long and hard. I analyzed which direction the arrows pointed on the dial, and how that affected which vents the air flow came out of. Eventually I figured it out. As you turned the dial downward, the air would come out the lower vents by your feet.
My feathers plumed as I explained my discovery to my father. He seemed moderately impressed, and said thank you, but didn’t gush as much as I’d hoped. That’s when I realized he probably never really needed my help at all. He just thought it’d be a good exercise for me.
He was right.
Still proud, feeling smart, and slightly disappointed, the event sparked an interest in pattern recognition for me which has lasted a good part of my life. And it serves me in almost everything I do.
Music is built on patterns.
Trying to understand physics and the universe I live in. Patterns.
Relationships. Driving. Computer programming. Patterns.
My thoughts and behaviors…the big two.
Recognizing and applying patterns. That’s how I store information. That’s how I learn. If I want to make a change or alter the course of my life, my success entirely depends on whether or not I can recognize and address the pattern of thinking that got me there.
All of the artwork in this series is about recognizing and questioning my patterns of thinking whether it relates to me personally, or my view of society, politics, and the world we live in.
Abandoning autopilot. The complicated deliciousness of self awareness.