Mathematical nonsense and truth at the Bonita Museum.

If you are intrigued by human creativity, science or philosophy, you might enjoy the artwork now on display at the The Bonita Museum and Cultural Center. The title of the exhibition is Rule 42, Stretched Language.

Why Rule 42? According to one popular work of fiction, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Go ahead, smile!

Why Stretched Language? Perhaps because human language can be stretched in endless ways. Words assembled in infinite combinations can represent one’s personal experience or shine light into dark places. Be made into poetry.

Words are symbolic. Numbers, variables and equations are also symbolic. They, too, can be used in poetic expression. Indeed, the exhibition’s subtitle is “Explorations into visual, concrete and mathematical poetry.”

Supposedly, the works in this exhibition each have something to do with mathematics. It seemed to me, however, that they all celebrate something larger: the unique capacity of diverse human minds to imagine, rationalize and create. And even embrace pure nonsense.

Psychronometrics. Sounds scientific. Sounds profound. The equation and description are impressive. But the assertion is that our psychological experience of time, and how time seems to accelerate as we become older, is related to Einstein’s theory of relativity.

To compare the two is utterly absurd. That equation in the photograph above includes velocity. Neither the young or the old have managed (yet) to approach the speed of light!

But you know what? The plasticity of the human mind, which can imagine and rationalize absolutely anything and everything, is what is on display. These are the metaphorical works of visionary artists, not “serious” scientists. Infinite artistic truths cannot be defined with a few equations.

More rational visitors to the exhibit might laugh at some of the jumbled assertions and associations. Rule 42, Stretched Language can be a stretch.

My advise? Don’t be too critical. Step outside your own idea of Truth and enjoy!

This rather unusual exhibition ends on December 3, 2021.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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