Bill Viola

For the Persian poet Rumi, each human life is analogous to a bowl floating on the surface of an infinite ocean. As it moves along, it is slowly filling with the water around it. That’s a metaphor for the acquisition of knowledge. When the water in the bowl finally reaches the same level as the water outside, there is no longer any need for the container, and it drops away as the inner water merges with the outside water. We call this the moment of death. That analogy returns to me over and over as a metaphor for ourselves.

“For the Persian poet Rumi, each human life is analogous to a bowl floating on the surface of an infinite ocean. As it moves along, … Read More

Since the time of St. Jerome, it was mandatory for any kind of scholar or thinker to spend time out in the desert in solitude. It’s no coincidence that the desert has been a major part of the visionary or mystical experience from the beginning of time.

“Since the time of St. Jerome, it was mandatory for any kind of scholar or thinker to spend time out in the desert in solitude. … Read More

I think we’re in an age where artists really have an incredible range of materials at their command now. They can use almost anything from household items – Jackson Pollock used house paint – to, you know, advanced computer systems, to good old oil paint and acrylic paint.

“I think we’re in an age where artists really have an incredible range of materials at their command now. They can use almost anything from … Read More

Fifty years from now I don’t think optical realism is going to be an issue in visual communication any more. Experience is so much richer than light falling on your retina. You embody a microcosm of reality when you walk down the street – your memories, your varying degrees of awareness of what’s going on around you, everything we could call the contextualizing information. Representing that information is going to be the main issue in the years ahead – how the world meets the mind, not the eye.

“Fifty years from now I don’t think optical realism is going to be an issue in visual communication any more. Experience is so much richer … Read More