thinking

About the Parallels – Hommage a Bolyai

Hommage a Bolyai DSC_7628_1

When János Bolyai, the greatest hungarian mathematician, created the basis of the hyperbolic geometry, in a letter adrressed to his father, Farkas Bolyai, wrote the followings:
[I had] created a new, another world out of nothing

András Prékopa, full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences states in an article:
„Euclid’s axioms were born just the sake of order, to find a clear way in the chaos of concepts and statements and clarify what is evident and what needs to be proven.“ Euclid’s  geometry was a system that functioned. And still functions. In our terrestrial scale. But if you want to go beyond a point, this system does not work anymore. You can not find new paths walking along the highway.

What was Bolyai’s excellence? He broke with the previosly known paradigm: most mathematicians tried to prove the verity or falsity of the fifth postulate. As long as all mathematicians failed to prove the verity of the fifth postulate Bolyai omitted it and expanded it in a very special way  – and created a new geometry, suitable to explore non-terrestrial scaled spaces. But I don’t want to start a mathematical issue here  – the aim of this post concernes photography. The point is to think. And rethink.

Obviously: every system, based on a set of rules function under specific circumstances. Systems are created to achive goals. Goals have needs on basis. And the system helps us to to reach our goals, satisfy our needs. Once any kind of need is expressed we can build a system to satisfy these needs, and to facilitate achieving our goals – but in those given circumstances. But what is the circumstances change? What if the needs change? Yes, we need a new system. And the task is: find that specific rule, that part of the mechanism that does not function, replace it, or, as Bolyai did, omit it. The result? It could be a new, another world out of nothing.

Wheter all circumstances of photography, every non-dynamic form of visual expression has been isnpected? All its rules are indispensable? Is today digital revolution means the end of image-writers’ era? There could be new forms of expression insisting on the existing set of rules? Is every rule of this system necessary to complete todays photography challenge? Btw: everyone in the occidental culture has at least a pen, a sheet of paper or a computer with text writing software on it, but not all of them are novelists or poets…

Humans, in order to function as humans, need an order, a system. But is this system vital for perception? In our special case: perception of art? Can perception function without any preconceived order or system? And this preconceived perception can be used, or can be useful for us in art or photography? Is ‘useful’ an appropiate, reasonable term accomodating the artistic experience? Does the world may exists only by perception without any explanation, translation of it? And we can enjoy only perception – without interpreting it by the filter of our intellect? Does orderless, intellectless perception means chaos? Or anything, that does not fit our reason is tagged as ‘chaos’? If so, can we explore the outer spaces?

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