“An artist is a sort of emotional or spiritual historian. His role is to make you realize the doom and glory of knowing who you are and what you are. He has to tell, because nobody else can tell, what it is like to be alive.”
— James Baldwin.
Vantage points impress upon us new perspective. Malcolm MacIver and Lars Schmitz rally behind the theory that information gain is an evolutionary drive; one that compelled our early ancestors from water on to land.
I suppose vantage points, here, can be considered any framework that parses stimuli into a percept that conserves survival and skews probability functions toward ‘thriving’ outcomes. The visual-cortex, a sieve seizing the information that composes symphonies at the speed of light, is a logical vantage point to elucidate the impetus intrinsic to that bifurcation along the phylogenetic tree.
Science. Art. Both are conjugate phenomena inextricable from one another. In unison sculpting vantage points as philosophies that interpolate some function of our position and/or direction in existence.
‘The Day the Earth Smiled’ offers an ontological vantage point gifted to us from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. An accretion of all our strides dot across, at most, a couple of pixels almost indiscernible under Saturn’s rings.
“When, therefore, an alchemist conjured up the spirit of Saturn as his familiar, this was an attempt to bring to consciousness a standpoint outside the ego, involving the relativization of the ego and its contents.…”
— Carl G. Jung
Like an ode to the Kronos myth; Saturn devours our glory. Consequently, a novel apperception instantiates. Le stade du miroir unfurls, conserved, over scale; the ego redacts.
“my humanity is a constant self-overcoming”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Similar to the moon trailing menstrual cycles, Saturn also looms over our own riddle of the sphinx. i.e. like a cartographer, its orbit (~every 29.4 earth years) traces the main epochs of an average human’s lifespan: infant, adult, elder.
On each return, the alchemist deposits a byzantine grain archived in this celestial hour glass. Offering up each new configuration that constitutes our tenet of self; not unlike the artist that Baldwin references.
“…through this process of melting and recasting there is formed a new amalgam of a more comprehensive nature, which has taken into itself the influences of the other planets or metals.”
— Carl G. Jung.