Allina, Hlynsky and Mills at The Front Room
Works by Babette Allina (Director, Government Relations), Dennis Hlynsky(Professor, Film/Animation/Video) and Thomas Lyon Mills (Professor, Foundation Studies) are included in a group exhibition at the Front Room Gallery.
The exhibition, “Mapping Heaven,” has its genesis in “Darwin’s God” by Robin Marantz Henig, a March 4th, 2007, New York Times Magazine article which discussed Stephen Jay Gould’s idea of religion as a spandrel in the evolutionary biology of the brain.
A spandrel in architecture is the triangular space between the shoulders of two arches and the ceiling above it. Spandrels are a byproduct of the architect’s intent to hold up a ceiling or dome with a colonnaded row. Stephen Jay Gould appropriated this architectural term to describe religion as a byproduct of the evolutionary tools of agent detection, causal reasoning and theory of mind.
Gould’s choice of an architectural term becomes poetic when viewing art that explores mapping and the diagram as a metaphor. As Thomas Lyon Mills wrote,
“Like mapmakers, we draw and paint what we observe, but find our drawings inevitably cross over into the unknown, for, like maps, they are never truly, wholly accurate, never allowing for shifting points of view, or even the necessity of dreams. This then, is our region—where the visible and invisible meet, where the observed and the intuitive lie side by side, and where the seen pays a constant debt to the unseen.”
Dennis Hlynsky notes that “One of the diagram’s most intriguing aspects is how it allows us to see a mind at work, thinking things out on paper, unconcerned about whether others will find that thinking coherent. Diagrams can easily leap time and space, bridging unlike ideas and giving form to otherwise impossible notions or invisible plots.”
Front Room Gallery
147 Roebling St.