john middlebrook, artist statement


I believe that the way we examine the world around us passes through stages. These stages are not strictly the result of maturation. Once one has passed through all of them they can be experienced again at any time in life.  

For me these stages include (1) the initial, naïve, unfiltered exposure to feelings, images, and nature which one can revisit even after many exposures. This is the mind of a child but also the mind of a scientist or explorer. (2) At an early age, many of us are given or assume aspirations, idealism and the hope to become something important, to take what we are given and what we experience initially (maybe in mind-set 1) and make it better or different. In this state of the mind, we are tempted by a heroic quest to achieve great things. In this frame of mind, we are moved to action even as we are building ladders from which we may one day fall. (3) The last mental mode recognizes that social institutions and communities have their own dreams, proposed solutions and failures. One comes to realize that we are not alone in our personal quest and our personal shortcomings, as we might feel in mode 2. We are indeed surrounded by others who have their own version of our story and that when many stories are compounded there is a communal destiny that is greater than the sum of the individual parts.