My name is Danny Stephens. My first calling into the arts was to be an educator. I saw what art did for me and wanted to share that. Now I mostly livepaint at music festivals and concerts, and show art in any venue I can, including galleries, coffee shops, and cannabis stores.
I have re-written my statement enough times to learn that my biggest mistake has been to be concrete in my views and processes. I truly don’t know the real reason as to why I do it. I just feel that at this point in my path it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. I’d love to say that that I do it for the people that open their hearts to me at music festivals after watching us paint. But even in that is a selfish intention to be that person, and to care more that I’m doing what I want to do in my own timing rather than a job I resent.
To change the world in whatever minute amount is my aim… to help usher in a world that we can smell and taste the potential of. We all feel it, but it’s up to the artists to help us visualize it.
How do you attempt to fully comprehend the universe?
My attempt at comprehending the universe is by appeasing a series of curiosities by diving into any material I can find on the subject. This usually starts with a podcast, YouTube video, or studies conducted about it. I then attempt to integrate the new information into my world view, always aiming to remain open to it changing drastically from time to time. This is usually done through conversation and meditation, keeping in mind that “I” is a fluid concept that we shouldn’t be so certain of.
“My main interests or how thought and intention dictate our interaction with the systems that organize us. ” – Are you able to expand on this?
Quantum physics baffles me, and mostly grabs my attention with the idea that our own consciousness is responsible for creating the world around us. Sound is only vibration without our hearing it. Electromagnetic waves only become color through our eyes. Not only this, but it seems to be malleable. It feels as if we are at a crossroads in any given moment, and the way in which we process that moment dictates which reality we split towards. What interests me most about this is how it plays out in the Hivemind. We are always contributing to some sort of critical mass, and have the choice to better direct our attention/intention.
Please describe your piece: Acatalepsy.
This piece is about our inability to fully comprehend the universe, but how it is imperative and noble to try. It’s like peeling an onion. We develop new branches of science to explain the essence of life, peeling back layer after layer, only to realize the center never comes. The “ah ha” moments only produce bigger questions.
The nobility comes from knowing that your quest to figure it all out can at least help others along in the process. The man in the painting is a traveler, inspired by literature, intuitive by nature, scared of his own immortality, and scratching at a better understanding of how evolution has led to him being awake in such a spectacular time in our universe.
How can art help us to understand our own minds / interface with the collective?
Art is but another technology to process the influx of data around us. I see it as communication beyond what our languages can achieve. When we are moved by a piece of art, it is because it speaks to a deeper truth within us. It reminds us of who we really are. This truth is nearly impossible to articulate. Sometimes it takes a strategically rendered painting, a flawlessly worded poem, or a beautifully composed song to even come close.
This plays out in the collective also. When a problem arises in the Hivemind, the solution can be received in the mind of any individual who pauses long enough to hear the call. It then becomes their duty to articulate that in a way others can understand. Art could be our collective light/shadow bubbling to the surface using our individual skillsets.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
All of my views are speculation. It’s only my own meandering and contemplation. I urge others to seek answers to their biggest questions with a light heart and open mind. And to do so while caring more about the truth than a perceived cultural or societal standard.
Find Danny here: dannystephensart.com