The initial mystery that attends any journey is how did the traveler reach his starting point in the first place? Louise Bogan, Journey Around My Room
This is the quote that Lawrence Krauss used, to commence his talk about cosmology sponsored by the Richard Dawkins Foundation*. He went on to say that scientists love mystery, they love ‘not knowing’. This is also the essence of artistic practice. Mystery the propels the original creation of ideas of value; it comes about from interdisciplinary, new ways of seeing things. And it is these ideas that shape our culture. It is also mystery, and the need to communicate it to others, that inspires and drives me on a daily basis. These ideas need to breathe and gestate, to gather the momentum of meaning. They need room for experimentation and failure. Without these fundamental elements within the creative process, artists don’t expand boundaries, creating a healthy state of flux.
To conclude, I’d like to quote Walter Pater (1868): “… art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass, and simply for those moments’ sake.” Let’s not forget the essence of art and the true meaning of culture, in our quest to make it politically correct. And let’s not forget, as the physicists remind us, that we are all made of stardust.
*Krauss’ lecture is on Youtube: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo).