The Myth of Visible Certainty is a series of artful events at historic the FIREHOUSE 8, built 1917, featuring local artists, photographers, musicians and chefs. Conjured by Laura Stepping of the Mrs. Robinson Society and designed to shake us all into the present – various works explore the space between the past and future – and what is known and unknown. Photography captures a moment in time. A bottle of wine evokes a certain terroir. FIREHOUSE 8 acts like a time capsule, preserving a space where the spirit of those who served the community can still be experienced. Three events allow us to play in that dimension and celebrate where we are today.
OCT 12 Opening Night 6 p.m. Photography by Heimo Schmidt, founder Luddite Magazine. Photography installation by Paul Burke Inman. Snacks by Craftsman and Wolves. Music. Libations. Celebrations.
“Making art is about bridging a gap between the known and unknown. It’s how I stay present.
My father left behind a visual inventory of his life, photographs and negatives he never printed. Each image of his that I reconstruct is an altar, a collaboration between father and son.” Paul Burke Inman
OCT 18 Artists Dinner with Farm:Table Seating limited to 30 special guests. $125 per person: Four-courses paired Zepaltas Wine selected by sommelier Amy Currens. A unique experience guaranteed. RSVP email@example.com
“A dinner to acknowledge the past life of the Firehouse and those men who served their community. But most importantly – it honors where we are today and the community we have become.”
OCT 28 Dead Writers Salon Expect sherry and spirited cocktails by Rye on the Road. Music by the Gaucho Gypzy Jazz Band $25 minimum suggested donation. Music. Vintage Fashion. Shenanigans.
The Myth of Visible Certainty
What we evoke or share vs. what’s captured or experienced is manifested in the best examples of photography. Celebrity portraits—familiar and mysterious at once. Every day objects when isolated as still-life become more than their function. Photos of your parents taken before you were born become engrained in your psyche. The memory of your child self play out over so many snapshots until you are better acquainted with the past than who you are today. The distance adds up. Authentication, a futile exercise.
My fascination with the concept of visible certainty is tattooed on my body. A term introduced by Galileo and made popular by E.Tufte. It’s about observation, credibility and evidence. Seeing is believing. Embracing uncertainty, the option.
[galileo 1610 treatise, sidereus nuncius
"Quod tertio loco a nobis fuit observatum, est ipsiusmet LACTEI Circuli essentia, seu materies, quam Perspicilli beneficio adeo ad sensum licet intueri, ut et altercationes omnes, quæ per tot sæcula philosophos excruciarunt, ab oculata certitudine dirimantur, nosque a verbosis disputationibus liberemur. Est enim GALAXIA nihil aliud, quam innumerarum Stellarum coacervatim consitarum congeries: in quamcumque enim regionem illius Perspicillum dirigas, statim Stellarum ingens frequentia sese in conspectum profert, quarum complures satis magnæ ac valde conspicuæ videntur; sed exiguarum multitudo prorsus inexplorabilis est."]
"What was observed by us in the third place is the nature of the Milky Way itself, which, with the aid of the spyglass, may be observed so well that all the disputes that for so many generations have vexed philosophers are destroyed by visible certainty, and we are liberated from wordy arguments. For the Galaxy is nothing else than a congeries of innumerable stars distributed in clusters…" ]
In the Myth of Visible Certainty, an exhibition at FIREHOUSE 8 in San Francisco, I present two photographers who have mastered the art of using a camera to traverse time and space while calling us into the present. Both make us want to dwell a little longer in the moment – engaging us with images they call into focus, allowing us to dispense with our inclination to predict, validate, authenticate. Art keeps us present. The best place to be, I’m certain.
@firehouse-8, 1648 Pacific Ave. San Francisco beginning Oct 12, 2012 RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org