Where Physics and Art Intertwine: “Seven Dimensions of the Unseen”

Photo by Jeannette LaPointe.

Physics. It’s quite literally what makes the world go ‘round. From the sky to the ground and everything in between, the way we see our world is dictated by the principles of physics. As a species, we’ve only just begun to graze the surface in our understanding of the delicate, complex science of how our world works.

Its complexity and inherent beauty is precisely why abstract photographer and Gardiner, resident Jonathan Pazer chose to channel physics with his new photography exhibition, “Seven Dimensions of the Unseen.” On display at Roost Studios on Main Street in New Paltz from Thursday, Oct. 13 until this past Sunday, Nov. 13, Pazer’s exhibition featured “a series of photographs taken of the light emanating from impromptu sculptures consisting of projecting and reflecting light,” according to Pazer’s artist statement. Pazer also paired his photographs with original poems, which were designed to show Pazer’s reactions to his own creations, he noted.

For a unique spin on tonal photography, Pazer used small lamps and randomly-assembled sculptures to project shadows and light onto a screen. Together, several image-casting lights combined to create a single image. Pazer dubbed his unique process “constructed light, or image casting.” 

The images Pazer created were promptly “photographed and processed as a single image without manipulation,” he said. Some of Pazer’s photographs seemed to suggest faces, silhouettes or specific objects, but his work wasn’t designed to depict reality, according to his artist’s statement. Any people or objects that appeared in his images were purely a matter of happenstance.

Upon entering Roost Studio’s gallery, Pazer’s artwork seemed to shimmy and sway in its own right. Paired with the artist’s simple, evocative poetry, his photographs, hung against the gallery’s blank walls on printed canvases, came to life before my eyes. Pazer’s prose was clear and uncluttered, but his photographs struck me as anything but. I found myself unable to look away from his richly textural, multi-dimensional depictions of light and shadows. Highlights from “Seven Dimensions of the Unseen” included the purple-hued piece “PLAINS OF EXISTENCE” and the textural, high-contrast image “HER FACE.”

To provide some hands-on insight into his artistic process, Pazer included a small installation of adjustable lamps, translucent objects and a blank screen for visitors in the gallery to toy with light themselves. This inclusion truly completed the exhibition: with a laborious, complex process like Pazer’s, an interactive installation was a clever and fun way to engage guests.

Art enthusiasts can find more information about Pazer on his website, pazer.com.