The three sections to the Phenomenalism Folio Story
1. Chvad and the beginings of The Phenomenalism Folio with original press release.  

2 This page on My Thoughts about  the title, where it comes from, a look into some of the sources, and what I made up about what the video and the folio mean to me. 

3 The Folio View and Registration page. Here you can see all of the 462 images and register your print if you like. 

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Reflections On Chvad's Title

Initially I was intrigued and confused by Chvad’s title, "Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20”, only a few words made vague sense to me and I could not understand how they could ever be related to one another.  After reading and re-reading the press release then researching his referenced materials  on the internet, I have come to a better understanding (guess) of why Chvad chose this name for his music.  From that understanding and to help promote his work, I have developed, the name I have chosen for my 462 prints, “The Phenomenalism Folio”. 

To illustrate each of the three main themes, "Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20” I  made the photo collage triptych that you can see above.

The first Image

This is Chvad's screenshot of the video that he used as part of the Liner to the CD.  Seeing this beautiful image frozen it time was my inspiration for making the screenshots and printing them out, I have designated it as a defining image and numbered it as 461 / 462 in the Phenomenalism Folio. 

How can an image represent Phenomenalism?  

Phenomenalism posits that physical objects do not exist as things in themselves but only as perceptual phenomena or bundles of sense-data situated in time and in space.  This is so much like VideoArt.  While VideoArt is happening live, the images magically appear as reflections of the sound and each other. 

Each of 462 captures during the 73 minute piece represents a selection of 1/29.97th of a second.  There are still 131,268 - 462 or 130,806 frames or images not being presented, (that's how many more images you get when you download the video.) Each of the separate images is one of 462 moments of 131,268 occurrences is a phenomenon.

The image is also haunting, after a while it shifts and I can see a face.  I have named it "The Evil Demon Phenomenalism". 

 === The Evil Demon ===§ion=5 

Descartes reasoned that our very own experience may very well be controlled by an ''evil demon'' of sorts. This demon is as clever and deceitful as he is powerful. He could have created a superficial world that we may think we live in. 

In ''[[Meditations on First Philosophy#Meditation I: Concerning Those Things That Can Be Called into Doubt|Meditation I]]'', Descartes stated that if one were mad, even briefly, the insanity might have driven man into believing that what we thought was true could be merely our minds deceiving us. He also stated that there could be '[[evil demon | some malicious, powerful, cunning demon]]' that had deceived us, preventing us from judging correctly. 

Descartes argued that all his senses were lying, and since your senses can easily fool you, his idea of an infinitely powerful being must be true as that idea could have only been put there by an infinitely powerful being which would have no reason to be deceitful to him. 

Cartesian Doubt presents a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one's beliefs.  These concepts stem mainly from René Descartes, who sought to doubt the truth of all his beliefs in order to determine which beliefs he could be certain were true and resolved to systematically doubt that any of his beliefs were true, in order to build, from the ground up, a belief system consisting of only certainly true beliefs.  From this, Descartes proposed two arguments, the Dream and the Demon.  In the Dream, we can distinguish dream from reality at least in retrospect, in the dream, there is only the vision but in reality, there is a product. The Demon could have created a superficial world that we may think we live in, deceiving us, preventing us from judging correctly.  Then, Descartes' attempt to apply the method of doubt to the existence of himself spawned the proof of his famous saying, "Cogito ergo sum" (I think, therefore I am). That is, Descartes tried to doubt his own existence, but found that even his doubting showed that he existed, since he could not doubt if he did not exist.  

The second graphic is a photo of Dark Star over Forbidden Planet. 

Why does this symbolize Cartesian Doubt? 

As the power of a flower of crystal chrysalis covering a stamen of glass, the flower on a forbidden planet sees and possibly grows from the power of the dark star above.  Now, because the photo exists, these thoughts have come out of a dream and have produced a footprint in reality which is reflection of the dream flower’s thoughts which now exists as an image.   Therefore, the isness of what is is.  "Cogito ergo sum” QED. 

The names Dark Star and Forbidden Planet come from the Press Release. In it one finds out that Chvad was inspired by two of his favorite science fiction films Dark Star (1974) & Forbidden Planet (1956).  In this photo, I have combined one of my Video Art Pieces with one of Kathleen's Assemblages to produce this picture of what life might be like on a Forbidden Planet governed by a Dark Star.  I highly recommend these esoteric formative films from the early years of experimental Science Fiction film.  And when you watch them I’m sure that you too will find your own resonances and the art that they have produced over 40 or 60 years later... 

Quoting Chvad's press release…  

The work of Louis & Bebe Barron on Forbidden Planet, which is credited as being the first completely electronic film score, has for years had an influence on Chvad. While a fan of John Carpenter’s film scores, it wasn’t his music for Dark Star that resonated with Chvad, but rather Carpenter & Dan O’Bannon’s (co-writer of Dark Star) take on alien & artificial intelligence.  The contrast between those intelligences represented by an alien beach ball with feet with a penchant for mischief & a self-aware bomb confused about its perception on life opened the doors to tying a self-playing composition to a larger narrative.  

Thus one can see that this image also represents both Phenomenalism and Cartesian Doubt. 

The third element of the triptych is Bomb #20 

Bomb #20 a compelling visual representation of the project by artist Heather Bondra with whom Chvad collaborated with to create the original collage that summarizes Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20 and is also used for the CD album art.   I have chosen this image for the third image in the triptych as a reflection of Bomb #20.   

But what is so special about Bomb #20? 

The name Bomb #20 comes from Dark Star, a Low-budget story of four astronauts in deep space, whose mission is to destroy unstable planets that are in the way of navigation routes in star systems which are to be colonized. Bomb #20 is a "smart bomb" who thinks it is God. 

Note:  At one point, in Dark Star dialog ….. 

     Doolittle goes out to space and talks to Bomb 20. 

DOOLITTLE: How do you know that you exist. 

BOMB 20: Intuition. 

DOOLITTLE: You can't base everything on intuition. 

BOMB 20: I think, therefore I am.  

     Doolittle falls to the planet they wanted to destroy, Tangy gets kinda trapped in a traveling concussion of lights, so that he'll be traveling through the universe forever. Doolittle uses a piece of debris to surf down to the red planet….. 

Now you are all going to have to check out this movie…


William Laziza