daniel alexander smith

Euclidean Mind

It's Not God that I do not accept, you understand, it is this world...
created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept.

The Brothers Karamozov, book 5 chapters 3-5

First portrayed in The Brother's Karamazov, the concept of the Euclidean mind illustrates the chasm between human rationalism and the ambivalence of nature. The human mind, a Euclidean mind, is bound by rational ideals: cause and effect. Nature, however, does not justify its actions. Either nature's will is beyond good and evil, or it has no will. In both cases, causes are questionable and effects violent. Faced with the amorality of nature, the Euclidean Mind chooses immorality: it rejects God's world in favor of his people.

The Euclidean Mind I've made is a monumental contradiction, four times life scale, but only six inches deep. Natural materials are made rational, while synthetic materials become organic. Carved plywood produces artificial grain; the body is sliced and ordered; blood turns to plastic; and the mind rejects its substance in favor of its ideal. The materials of nature remain, but the mind is present only through absence.