Monthly Archives: May 2010

Clouds are Thoughts



Seeing the wispy evanescence of clouds, their impossibly complex dynamic patterns, and their fluid ever-changing reality is working its way into my eyes, through my neurons, into my mind.
Clouds under sun, chambered space, vaulted, architectonic, cavernous, reticulate, striated, grisaille, flecked, sinewy, tenuous webs; filamentary, prismatic networks, airy brilliance, complex dimensional, silken, extensive, expansive, nets; threaded, watery air; cloud-streams, rivers, lakes, oceans of clouds, seas afloat, roiling architecture, instantaneous, shape-shifting, transforming without end; pearl nebulae, pawing through cold blue space, solid air, sensations of your inner regions, seeing the tenuous vaporous extensions, bulging white flesh, strung between beams of Sol; flying buttresses in the sky, concatenations of clear water, processions of progeny, tugging the horizon’s heritage beyond my view, genealogy of clouds, overwhelming the skyscape; entire, river-bottom pebbled, suspended waterfalls, instabilities of vastness, disturbance of flow; a porthole opens, azure sky pushing through, wide-spreading whirlpools, onrush of wind, cooling eddies of downward flow, warming heaving up, consuming invisibilities.

My work is about this process. It’s how “things” get translated through networks of events, patterns, sensations, experience, and how they become thoughts. The quantum structures and patterns of things, events, processes in the world are perceived, apprehended, and effect changes in my being. This feedback becomes the work – a transformational emergence reflecting the universe, nature, and the world as perceived, conceived, created, and then perceived again as art.

Things are in constant states of flux. They’re patterns of energy, discrete states changing instantaneously into forms from formlessness and back again. The act of perception occurs via the senses that translate physical effects upon patterned grids of neurons – the pointillist assemblage of rods and cones in the eye, through nerves to the brain.

This is what I draw and paint and write about – how things appear to me and how they appear in my work. This is how I see and comprehend my experience of the world. It has to do with the unimaginable complexity of the universe, our perception and comprehension of it, and of ourselves. At the bottom of it all is the sense I have that my work is a reflection and representation of what is outside of us and within us simultaneously and at any instant.

up there in solid blue air
architecture of vapor
white water rapids

lacking boundaries
they move cautiously
aware their dissolution
is imminent


Image: “The clouds are my thoughts,” by Tullio DeSantis, digital image, 2010.


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Three Spring Poems

words and image by Tullio DeSantis
The urge to possess

I learn to anticipate your arrival
Between the angle of the sun and your hunger
Arranging myself
Waiting with my camera

One day I pull the trigger
Hold your image in my hand
And forget I ever knew you

Low-Rent Birds

I fall for common birdsMy youth misspentWith bushtits and boobiesRobin seduced meEach and every springI loved her For her breast aloneI’m still thrilled by starlingsSimple silhouettesWith little hearts as grandAs the beating coresOf brilliant eagles That have no time to flirtAll birds are lovebirdsEqual in the blue eyesOf the empty sky


I wanted you to wait
For my camera
I wanted your image
And to speak your name
As if by saying, “Indigo Bunting”
I could possess you

Camera ready now
I see only air
Above your branch

Where you were
Beyond your grey perch
Behind its green leaves
The sky is bluer now

But for a name
I could have been you
On that walnut limb
At the center of the world


Image: Ruby-throated Hummigbird by Tullio DeSantis


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Network Effect




Super-organism of mind.
Externalized nervous system of digitized human impulse.
We live here in mental ways.
We inhabit this cyberspace always and forever now.
Even when we are not attending to it, it carries our interactive messages.
They live. They are read, assimilated, repeated.
They evoke responses in our absence.
We leave them here and return to them.
We return with the periodicity of planets circling stars.
Our new selves are here.

We are compelled to return to access the new selves we create here.
They are who we are as recreated daily in cyberspace.
Our digital personas become an externalization of our urges
– to communicate, to extend ourselves throughout space and time.

They have a life of their own.
We access and interact with our digital entities
– striving to become them, even as we create them.

I’m gazing past my computer, out the wide window in my study, toward the rest of the world, wondering how things from out there enter into this machine. The cables emerging from behind it seem as dumb and lifeless as plastic wash line but inside, of course, they’re bundled bunches of electronic neurons. All the numbers that refer to this machine are astronomical–megabytes of this, gigabytes of that. Somewhere, they connect up to terabytes and terabytes squared–vast processing powers beyond comprehension.

Inconceivably complex and beyond the ken of any one individual, the totality of information that flows through the Net in any given second is everywhere connected. There are live cameras feeding into it from all corners of the globe, billions of users adding content, news networks, satellites, observatories, radio telescopes–all the thought, fantasy, imagination of human experience coursing through these gigabytes and gigabytes of silicon memory. The Net is the global electronic consciousness of man, all mankind thinking together as one mind, one Mind.

Is cyberspace a place where human consciousness can merge with all the unknowable energies of the cosmos? Is there some theory of electromagnetic radiation, quantum physics, chaos theory, mental/spiritual energy that can explain it?

Things change. Entities that continue to survive and prosper change in positive ways. In them, destructive tendencies are harnessed in ways that can provide energy toward constructive goals. The community becomes a different version of itself each day. Tidal waves of effort and individual contributions move this place through cyberspace on its own self-defining trajectory.

As we are a community of contributed content, the act of self-definition is the very essence of what we are about. If one could observe the total ebb and flow of content and comment and absorb it all as it occurs, one could actually come to know who and what we are at any given moment. Of course, this is impossible for any single human being. We are too vast for that.

The most each one of can do is catch the drift of human trends as they fill the cyberstructure, animated by communicating our experiences and ideas among ourselves.

As any organism, we move toward self-definition guided by our past and propelled toward an unknowable future. As any body in motion, dynamical processes of flow control the course through which changes occur. As we are essentially waveforms, our transformations can outpace our comprehension.

One thing is certain. We are new beings in a new world each time we log in.


Image: “What is Real,” by Tullio DeSantis, acrylic on canvas, detail, 2010.


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