Phillip Buntin


This work explores the experiential aspects of incompleteness by creating abstract structures that are explorations between categories of thought in science and art. Not merely diagrams or paintings, I seek to intertwine the two in pursuit of something elusive and unstable. Using implied motion of thought or phenomena, ambiguous figure ground relationships, states in the midst of change, and combining the languages of art and science, I allude to the fragmentation and combinatory possibilities of a reality that is always in the process of emergence and dissipation.  Just as reality itself is ephemeral, so too are the understandings we construct in the attempt to come to terms with such complexity. 

In their arrangement, I am looking for a visual connection first, an embodied reaction.  It is a delicate balance between assertion and negation, between order and its dissolution.  It is the moment when the work is resistant, memorable, yet cannot be held by memory.  This relationship is metaphorical and is used to allude to our strivings and limitations when seeking to understand the phenomenal world.   Put simply, I am interested in how we come to terms with complexity and how complex phenomena always, on some level, elude our grasp.  The balance is struck by driving the images to the point of elusiveness, through fragmentation and the degree of complexity, or obfuscation.

The character of an experience that cannot be completed is the central metaphor in my own work, as I am directly influenced by philosophical hermeneutics, particularly John Caputo’s notions on radical hermeneutics.  Caputo reminds us of the difficulty inherent in all human experience as a complexity that is not fully graspable.  It is his view as well as mine that once we become aware of the limitations of our understanding, we are then free and required to remain interpretively open to the mystery of existence.  It is my hope that my focus offers the same thought experientially, allowing my viewers to realize through absence that our interpretations and understandings of complex phenomena are illuminating yet incomplete, and as such, are always open to reevaluation.