[NetBehaviour] The Reality Principle: Patrick Lichty @ Barristers' Gallery

Patrick Lichty voyd at voyd.com
Thu Oct 2 21:15:38 CEST 2008

The Reality Principle: Works on Toast.
An Exhibition by Patrick Lichty
Barristers' Gallery, New Orleans, Oct. 11 – Nov. 14, 2008

Reality (noun):
The world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an
idealistic or notional idea of them.

We live in an age of wonder and paradox.  So much of society in the United
States is based on belief-based reality rather than rational fact; there are
competing realities being built and sold every day.  In one day, I had three
competing realities asking me to believe in them - Anna Nicole Smith's
Dexatrim fantasy life, asking me to “Enter her reality...”, Dick Cheney
telling me “What the reality was...”, and a radio evangelist coming to me
through “The Reality of Jesus Christ.”  That particular week, reality had
become commodity and/or fantasy, or perhaps it still is.

In fact, there are other realities that were being sold to me online.
Several years ago, a cold grilled cheese sandwich revealing a blotch,
apparently in the form of the Virgin Mary, was sold on the auction site
Ebay.com for several thousand dollars. The ambiguity of that image was
something that I could just not accept, but I understood the reality of its
response.  Given my misgivings, I sought for something I could believe in...

Reality Principle (noun):
The ego’s control of the pleasure-seeking activity of the id in order to
meet the demands of the external world.

Verisimilitude (noun):
The appearance of being true or real.

For the past five years, I have been seeking answers to my own questions of
ambiguity and truth in order to resolve myself with today's definitions of
reality.    These engravings into real slices of Wonder Bread are real
images toasted at an unambiguous 600 dots per inch.  Looking upon these, I
can tell you that's no blotch – that's JFK, MLK, Baudrillard, Cobain, or the
Virgin in a way that is undeniably real.   You can't deny me this.  But can
I say that Jesus is talking to me through my toaster?  Or is the reality
that an image of Elvis appears on my computer screen and appears minutes
later on my toast, courtesy of the business end of a 50-watt laser cutter,
can stand as proof that I am in ineffable communion with the King?  Given
today's definitions, I think I can say that this easily fits definitions of
a “truth-based reality”.  Or at least it's as plausible as the other
realities I see on a daily basis.

Perhaps I have experienced a crisis of Faith.  Maybe I do not believe in
Miracles; perhaps I have lost Faith in Reality.  However, I do believe in
Wonder; and that's a Reality I can Believe in.

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