Intelligent Life - Laura Allen
“We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.” Brian Cox
From the Artist:
The paintings of my 'Intelligent Life' series represent moments of genesis. The forms suggest brief flashes of something new and orderly coming into being; they are seed moments, moments in which a thought or an intelligence begins to coalesce around a grain of self-awareness. They represent an emergence, an instant that happens wholly within the realm of the physical but nevertheless shines with a sacred luminosity. Issues of scale emerge as well in the ambiguous shift between the macro and the micro, between the cosmological and the microscopic.
I begin each painting with a series of spontaneous watercolor pours, which I then work back into with various resist techniques. Once dry, I carefully choose the forms I wish to keep; I look for billowing, cloudlike forms with a clear sense of emanating light and then use a combination of goauche, acrylic, graphite, and ink to define them. Along the way I sometimes use collaged elements and drawing to add logical and mathematically deliberate aspects, and to enhance the suggestion of impending sentience.
Aside from the arts, I have a lifelong love of science and technology; cosmology, artificial intelligence, and futurism are some of my favorite topics. At some point I realized that there's a poetic/artistic commonality between these fields that centers on concepts of genesis: how does order and self-awareness arise from chaos, or arise indeed from nothing at all? What was the one law around which order crystallized at the moment of the Big Bang? As we inch closer and closer to realizing strong AI, will there be one single moment, one seed thought, one shard of self-awareness around which a sentient personality will crystallize? If so, how will we represent it pictorially?
Laura Walton Allen is a visual artist, writer, and instructor living in Seattle, Washington. She attended university at Stetson University in Florida (majoring in Biology and English Literature) and University of North Texas (majoring in Visual Art.) Though she works primarily in paint, collage, and assemblage, she has worked in mediums as diverse as welded steel, installation, theatrical design, and others.
In the past ten years, Laura has also been an actively publishing writer, workshop instructor, and enthusiastic arts advocate. Her visual art has been featured in numerous exhibitions, and her poetry and other writing has appeared in numerous regional and national journals. She has worked in diverse literary positions as well, from adjunct creative writing instructor to editor-in-chief of a bimonthly arts magazine.
She lives in West Seattle with her husband Philip. Her studio is located in Seattle's Inscape Arts building in Sodo.