piero scaruffi
The Infinite

It is a beautiful infinite
whether you are the puma-shaped cloud of a storm chasing imaginary deer across imaginary forests of belly-dancing trees in the crumbling sky that inhabits it;

or you are a snail gliding down a dewy spiral inside the trunk hollowed by lighting and your twitching antennae probe the dark defenseless vacua that drain it;

or you are a fly watching it through the jungle of glass threads that clawed your wings under the silent motionless scrutiny of the spider;

or, identically, you are the hiker who found a long-lost route to the summit and feels that he has entered naked an infinite room fitted with infinite doors leading into other infinite rooms of infinite doors.

(Written on Mt Williamson, second highest mountain in California, 6 July 2013, after discovering the “red chute”, but ironically found only recently while packing for a flight)

Formatted version: http://www.scaruffi.com/

(And see http://www.scaruffi.com/
monument//hikes13/willgl.html for the Red Chute route to Mt Williamson)

Taiquan Tian (1960, China) - photographer



*The universe is a pointless distraction
*Nothing has killed more people than religion, and, still, all religious people claim that their religion is about peace
*Death is a mystery only for those who are alive
*Your identity, dignity and privacy are the collateral damage of any business plan based on advertising revenues
* Nature is a vast cemetery
*Anybody who claims to understand science does not understand science
*Are we mapping the territory or is the territory mapping us?
*Humans want to build machines that think like humans while machines are already building humans who think like machines
*The less you know about the past the more likely you are to be amazed by the present


Body: An Introduction
A Brief History of Creativity from Athens to Silicon Valley
L.A.S.E.R. videos

Stanford physicist Patricia Burchat on “Dark Matter” http://youtu.be/4J2I1ZDIFOU
Cognitive neuroscientist Lucia Jacobs on the evolution of the brain http://youtu.be/360LlqiC8dc
Kinetic artist Kal Spelletich http://youtu.be/YvB5EwB7ToM
Art curator Sharon Spain on art built from garbage http://youtu.be/lOu4v2XOBEM
Ambient composer Robert Rich http://youtu.be/kmcQHlR22js
Visual artist Shan Shan Sheng http://youtu.be/d1gVHWhaBxA
Renetta Sitoy on Laetitia Sonami http://youtu.be/vb4ta3StR4A
Chaos scientist Jim Crutchfield http://youtu.be/A7Bzyfznsic

LASER program: www.scaruffi.com/leonardo

I, unborn, blame the universe for its being immortal. I had nothing to do with it. I was initially opposed. Then reluctantly gave my consent to a decision that, in my humble opinion, was taken impulsively without careful consideration of the consequences. We did not foresee the astronomical coincidence that would cause some of us never to be born; in fact, never even to be counted as not dead. Being unborn, of course, is a way to avoid dying. I am not eternal, though, because i am not. If i were, i would be. There is a price to it: not having my own voice, i find myself speaking in the tongue and tone of whoever i just finished reading or listening to. It is not a habit: it is the biological inexistence that makes me do it. I guess i don’t really speak or think: i am more like a mirror, trapped in its own impossibility to become the fleeting images that materialize in it, almost always invariably stubbornly swung around. There should be a better way to spend eternity observing eternity than to be an observer of something of which i cannot be part. I still have to begin beginning.


Consciousness - Part 10 of “Thinking about Thought”

Why do painters paint
sunsets and not dawns?
What more stunning
than the flickering last moment
of a star’s life
before sunrise buries it alive?
Art and nature are mutually
incomprehensible, unable
to settle their argument
on empirical grounds.
Nature’s beauty is not arbitrary,
but its logic lies
beyond our cognitive closure.
A necklace of omens rings
the unfolding mysteries
of the emerging landscape.
Painters are neither actors
nor spectators, just symptoms:
we are Nature’s incomplete homework.
All the poems ever written originate
from the ghost of the syllable
that has never completed
the astronomical distance
between those two unequal minds.
Now the Sun looks like a hummingbird
frantically beating its wings
to stay aloft the forest trees.
And a whole world of terrifyingly
redundant minutiae comes alive
in blinding spurts of color.
In Eliot’s image:
dawn is the cruellest hour,
breeding threads of the spider web
out of dead flies.


(Towards a Theory of Ambiguity)

Certainly this is not the real ending,
certainly the last scene will make sense
of the beginning, of the shocking episode
after which our life only felt like a flashback;

certainly the audience is the audience
and not the actors,
certainly the curtain hides the stage
from the ascending rows of seats
and not viceversa,
although we play our roles on both sides,
both actors reciting the script that was bestowed on us
and spectators laughing and crying at that very script

(whether i also wrote the script
or you wrote it for me,
or someone else wrote it for both of us,
or it existed immutable since the Big Bang
will prove to be irrelevant
when we realize that the script
is the same for everybody,
for the young who think of it
as a blessing
as well as for the old
who at last see it as a curse);

a non-linear fractal script
that fans out in all directions,
a labyrinth of interactive pages
that accounts for the multiplicity
of destinies and revelations;

that stokes our feeling of insecurity
populating an already unstable timewarp
with imminent eventualities never occurring;

that callously reenacts as words and gestures
the infinite loneliness of the dimension-less point
surrounded by an infinite multitude of points;
any depth so shallow, any wholeness so crippled,
like a sinkhole swallowing clumps of truth
before you can even glimpse their neon signs;

that raises more questions than it answers,
more questions, in fact, than can fit
inside a brain during a lifetime;

and because the real ending still eludes us
we turn to the millenarian sphinx that held our hand
when we entered blindfolded the dark tunnel of backstage,
hopeful that she might know what is coming next,

the pregnant Moon, mirror image of the egg, that never gives birth;
the weightless Moon that always hovers and never lands;
the leafless rootless Moon that quaffs darkness and inhales stars;
the childish Moon surfing dancing curling but never spinning;

not a blazing totem for nomads lost
in the empty silent desert of self-delusion
but a plain signpost for neophytes
to navigate the overcrowded sky
of knowledge and meaning.

(More poetry: http://www.scaruffi.com/poetry/halfmoon.html )