Ross Ashton Projection Artist
I was invited by The Pittsburgh Festival of Lights to create a piece for this year festival.
The resulting 5 minute work is a visual 'poem' on the theme of man's need and desire to understand the universe around him, and to pass on knowledge through the generations.
I believe that we all have a need to make sense of the world; and that this is a basic human drive.
How do we answer the Big Questions? How do we explain the universe and our place in it?
It was a great privilege to be asked to contribute to the Festival.
The blank canvass gave me plenty of creative scope to produce a work that was visually arresting - to catch people's attention.
However, it was also imperative that I offered a communication in which they could actively engage so they stop, watch and think as they follow the story.
A 'Palimpsest' is a manuscript page from a scroll or book that has been scraped off and used again, thereby implying potential layers of information.
In the same way man has used the ideas of past generations to build up explanations of his universe, only to reject or remodel them again and again.
This work traces the development of communication from early cave drawings and carvings thorough to hieroglyphics, the discovery of mathematics and calculus, the medieval monasteries which were powerhouses of learning in Europe through to rationalism, then on to binary code and computer languages. Binary has a special significance as a language that no one can speak, but that can be interpreted as something everyone can understand.