While Transcendence relates to the immaterial aspect of the Divine, the notion of Immanence speaks to the indwelling of the Divine in matter. Ancient cultures understood this and developed ways to remind themselves of the indwelling Divine by creating rituals and sacred objects (talismans and icons) that anchored the sacred in mundane, everyday living. These Sacred/Mundane ceremonial assemblages are created as a dialogue with these age-old practices and are made to bring me in contact with Immanence - that immutable quality that seems to permeate absolutely everything. Somehow, I’ve realized, it is my gaze and my attending to objects with a quiet, open heart, that seems to activate it.
My assemblage-making is primarily an intuitive process and secondarily an emotional/conceptual one. I begin by collecting things from my mundane, daily living, from a curb-side or a second-hand store. I find discarded items that contain a lived legacy that somehow burrows its way into me. Its resonance chooses me. It is as if I am summoned: I listen, I resonate with the object, and so I keep it.
The act of collecting is enigmatic. What is value? How do we value things? Is it the memory? A relational trace? The price? The fact that others value it? That it is elusive or inaccessible? Is there such a thing as inherent value? Indelible value? An essential quality? What is that thing that goes off like a Gong in my heart when I look at it?
Having culled and collected things, I then begin assembling them. Much like a child who sets up their favorite toys for play, I periodically bring out these objects and combine them intuitively. I put things together. I listen. I wait for an inner knowing that lets me know that these few things are rightly combined. I also listen to the conceptual and emotional messages that these juxtapositions unleash in me.
The process is fluid. Sometimes objects get paired permanently - most of the times though, they remain like Legos, quietly awaiting - disassembled, in storage - for the next moment when the game once again is played.
The act of storing things is sacred to me too. How do I care for them? Store them? How do I wrap them? How do I present/share them? I refer, in these cases, to religious and museum methodologies for storing, presenting and sharing sacred objects. I study these practices and procedures because they pull me out of my mechanical routines and remind me to look at the world around me with fresh eyes – quiet, still and filled with awe.
I once heard someone say that Beauty - in its pure, unmediated emanation - is the physical manifestation of Truth. I become aware of this dimension when matter somehow speaks to my heart and sets off a powerful stirring inside. I look (in my assemblages) for those tremors and every once in a while there is – for an instant – an earthquake.