Jason Hakenwerth shared his reflections on abstraction.
There is only one thing. Consciousness. Everything that exists is a fragment of the all-encompassing consciousness. All seemingly separate objects: trees, rocks, buildings, birds, rivers, planets, stars, are all manifestations of consciousness in matter. Many people will argue that consciousness is a phenomenon generated by thought, and when we stop thinking, our consciousness will end as well. But this is only true if we create a “self” out of it. Ultimately, there is no “I”, there is only totality, and there is no end – there is only eternity. As an artist, I see my orienting function as, like a hiker on a remote trail, to lay down stones that point the way, to help others not to stray from it. And so when I encounter other artists’ dazzling work, I feel connected to their experience. A sense that others have traveled this path and that it is a worthy endeavor. When stones are stacked so neatly and skillfully that they seem to defy gravity, it’s a reminder to let go of the need to achieve a goal and recognize that the most sacred things are the examples we leave for others along the way.
My work is a constant practice of trying to place the stones in such amazing ways that they become bright beacons of reassurance that we are not lost, we are not alone. We are life. We are consciousness. We are.