Foreword from the book "Veil of Lenses" by Steven Baker

Imagine a mold or cast for cumulus clouds or an oblique circular cone of light made from Hydrocal plaster. I have imagined the poetic incongruity, discussed them and seen them in the sculpture of Steven Baker. Now imagine extending your arm through a solid wall, effortlessly. Mr. Baker has not been able to achieve this yet but the possibility that the molecules of said wall could align in such a way does not pass Steven's mind without consideration. Steven Baker's work resides where solid matter and the fluidity of the imagination merge as one.

Nearing Completion of a large digital pigment emulsion print entitled "Arabesque', Steven discovered a sub-digital world of insane forms and strange, stimulating possibilities. Interested in exploring his discoveries contextually as a sculptural realm 'Veil of Lenses' is the presentation and conundrum of building sculpture that can only be perceived in the mind's eye.

'Veil Of Lenses'is structured into 4 groups of images. Each group contains 36 lenses. The presentation order is based on a fractional palindrome.

1/36 - 4/9 - 9/4 - 36/1

The first group, (1/36), is one image of 36 lenses. The second, (4/9), is four images of 9 lenses. The third, (9/4), is nine images of 4 lenses. The fourth, (36/1), is thirty-six images of one lens. The point of view of all the images in "Veil Of Lenses'and that of 'Arabesque' (which is not included here in this book for reasons of scale) is a single fixed point in space. Imagine this point as a camera viewfinder. If this point of view were to be moved to a different point in space, and one revisited each of the images everything would shift and change. Yet compositionally the lenses in each view, whether in a grid of 36,9,4, or 1 retain their position. The implied concept here is that of a static representation of change. The structure of the palindrome provides a sequence for viewing the images and experiencing the overall composition with a zooming in or magnification of the world within. Ironically, as you get closer to a lens the view allows a sense of increased space or fluidity within the overall structure, consider this as the interchangeability between solid and fluid optics.

It is at this level that the imagination or the poetry of mind set in. The science fiction of Bob Shaw and his concept of "Slow Glass', the "Bose-Einstein condensates" that speculates the slowing down of the speed of light through optics and Duchamp's Large Glass, with the multiplicity of vision in the context of classic renaissance perspective, these examples (and I have more) all have poetic resonance.

It is with my excitement and great pleasure to introduce Steven Baker's "Veil of Lenses', where the profundity of the ephemeral meets the persistence of vision.


JonMarc Edwards, Los Angeles, 2007

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