Expulsion

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Title: Expulsion

Year: 2012/2019

Artists: Victor Raphael & Clayton Spada

Dimensions: 25"h x 54"w

Medium: Pigmented inks and metal leaf on canvas

Synopsis:

  

The Bible casts the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden as a story of retribution for an act of disobedience. This parable, however, could be viewed in another light: the assurance of an uncomplicated existence in paradise would deprive the autonomous spirit of any reason for being, so the “sin” of curiosity was the sign Father was patiently awaiting, indicating that it was time to nudge his children from the nest. Rather than being left to passively languish in a completely mediated state of perfection lacking challenge or purpose, we were prodded to make our own way through an endless tangle of choices. Any good parent would have done the same thing.

Neutral Current

Neutral Current

Title: Neutral Current

Year: 2014/2018

Artists: Victor Raphael & Clayton Spada

Dimensions: 30"h x 60"w

Medium: Pigmented inks and gold leaf on canvas

Synopsis:

  

When space-time erupted into being over 14 billion years ago, quantum disturbances sorted themselves out into four fundamental interactions — electromagnetism, gravitation, and the strong and weak forces — which then filled the universe with the subatomic building blocks of matter. Over the next half-billion years or so, photons scattered by free electrons were coaxed into polarized patterns that imprinted into visible light. Protons paired up with electrons to form neutral hydrogen atoms while gravity patiently clumped the latter together tightly enough so they could slam into each other at very high speeds. The self-destruction of these massive but unstable fusion reactors, or quasars, gave rise to much smaller and more stable stellar thermonuclear reactors within which radioactive decay induced by weak force neutral current interactions between subatomic particles has continued over billions of years to pump out the raw material and radiation that makes our existence and continued survival possible. We are thus in a very real sense connected to the beginning of time by a ribbon of astronomically outlandish, but nevertheless miraculous, probabilities.

Eclipse

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Title: Eclipse

Year: 2015/2018

Artist: Victor Raphael & Clayton Spada

Dimensions: 75"h x 24"w

Medium: Pigmented inks and gold leaf on c

Synopsis:

 Ekleipsis is the ancient Greek language term for being abandoned. This aptly describes how our prehistoric and earliest civilized ancestors must have felt as they watched one of their most revered and prominent deities disappear from the sky. Solar eclipses have from antiquity sparked fear, inspired curiosity and tormented legends, myths and superstitions, and even today the vestiges of old folklore still hold sway in populations across many cultures. An eclipse is essentially a stark reminder that nature offers no secure vantage-point or immunity for its audince, which is always part of the program. Perhaps the ancient Greeks got it right, after all.

Entropy

Entropy

Title: Entropy

Year: 2017/2019

Artist: Victor Raphael & Clayton Spada

Dimensions: 25"h x 72"w

Medium: Pigmented inks with gold and metal leaf on canva

Synopsis:

  

Things happen in the real world because physical systems undergo a process that governs how much work and heat occur at its boundaries. As momentum and distribution of a system’s components increase energy becomes more uniformly dispersed, their ability to do work declines irreversibly. Input of additional external energy exacts a penalty somewhere else, thus conserving the total amount of energy. The summed effects on the overall behavior of this process are distilled into a value called ‘entropy,’ a measure of the total thermal energy that is not available to do work. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy in an isolated system always increases and processes that increase it will occur spontaneously This essentially defines which physical processes can happen. If cosmic workings are collectively viewed as information, entropy is best understood as an average value of uncertainty about the source of a given set of data. In the calculus of existence, entropy is the equation dictating that things happen because they can and go on until they stop happening because they simply will.

Biosphere

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Title: Biosphere

Year: 2002

Artist: Victor Raphael& Clayton Spada

Dimensions: 20"h x 24.8"w; Overall: 24"h x 30"w

Medium: Pigmented inks on Moab Entrada


Synopsis:

In the cosmos are the makings of an infinite assortment of possibilities that virtually guarantees life will arise, despite an equally spectacular array of perils working to prevent its continuity. Once established, though, life has an uncanny facility to fiddle with its immediate milieu to suit its own proximal needs. And once having tweaked the environment to a new dynamic, life then finds a way of adapting to this different state of affairs … or not. Given a sufficient degree of intelligently mediated self-determination and a huge dose of luck, life might eventually manage to replicate its own biosphere so as to propagate itself over great distances.

Common Ground

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Title: Common Ground

Year: 2008

Artist: Victor Raphael& Clayton Spada

Dimensions: 20"h x 25"w; Overall: 24"h x 30"w

Medium: Pigmented inks on Moab Entrada


Synopsis:

Against the backdrop of planet Earth and the thin sliver of atmosphere that protects life from the utter oblivion of deep space, a diagram of Gavin de Beer’s classic phylogenetic tree of the animal kingdom serves as a starkly graphic reminder that humankind is intimately interconnected with all life on the planet. Although it is unrealistic to hope that our activities as a species will have no impact on the integrated ecosystem within which we must survive, our technological behaviors have resulted in undeniable significant negative impacts that cannot be sustained. However, Einstein’s palm-prints not only stamp humanity’s ownership on the problem, but also give hope that we have the capabilities to solve the problems.