Re-Minding Our Place in the Universe

Joel Weishaus


"The old division of the Earth and the Cosmos into objective processes in space and time
and mind in which they are mirrored is no longer a suitable starting point
for understanding the universe, science, or ourselves."

Cosmography traces the human
genome back to where
"great Orion, the Pleiades,
and Sirius become speaking acquaintances."

In the 17th Century, Pythagoras'
kosmos began to morph from
"to arrange in a beautiful order"
into a science that
transposes mysteries into
measurements and subtracts
daemonic ciphers as rude
metaphysical gossip.

Does the human brain deploy
billions of neurons for us to
conceive reality with a collapsed
imagination, in which the Muses

are refigured as  probability
patterns of marketable clones?

Balancing on the edge of the
bottomless pit from which the
Sybil’s oracular voice is rising,
to be a scientist or an artist is
to breathe her revelations in
without falling in

As Literary Digital Art, Cosmography endeavors to inscribe "a certain vibration or luminescence of the sentence"(3) into a
medium "too
narrowly focused on the specific workings of novel technologies rather than a sincere exploration of cultural
shifts in which that technology plays only a small role,"
To accomplish this, it invokes the archetypes, or "gods," of seven
planets in our celestial neighborhood; plus the Sun, the Moon; and Incognita, "a narrative revelation of hidden things."

Tropes include invagination, fragments exhumed from the authored corpus and transplanted into the body of a living text,
which, along with superimposed images and animations advances us toward a more generous, transdisciplinary sphere.

From our home planet we behold the universe and decode the data our robotic surrogates beam back to us. "But the truth
is that we are only part of a complex network of elements and relations that make up planet Earth. Within this enormous eco-
system we live our lives influenced by events and conditions that began long ago and far away."

Earth evolved in such a way as to permit the emergence of organic life; however, if we process our planet as special, rather
than specialized, allowing for "regions of indeterminacy,"
(8) we will fail to appreciate what other cosmic bodies may reveal to
Thus, unfolding in words and images a relational life, Cosmography is a deceptively transparent performance.


1- R.N. Anshen. Introduction to B. Lovell, Emerging Cosmology. New York, 1981.
2- F. Waters. Mountain Dialogues. Athens OH, 1981.
3- R. Calasso, Literature and the Gods. New York, 2001.
4- A. Vierkant."The Image Object Post-Internet."
5- A. Faive. Access to Western Esotericism. Albany NY, 1994.
6- See, B. Nicolescu, Editor, Transdisciplinarity–Theory and Practice. Cresskill NJ, 2008.
7- C.L. Crumley, "Historical Ecology: Integrated Thinking at Multiple Temporal and Spatial Scales." Lund University, SE, September 2003.
8- H.H. Pattee. In, K. Kalevi, Editor, Towards a Semiotic Biology: Life Is the Action of Signs. London UK, 2011.


Although selections from Cosmography may be published in various formats, it is being designed on a 14" inch monitor with
1366x768 resolution, within a frame 1000 pixels wide, and may not display correctly on smaller screens with lower resolution.


[Image above links to Contents Page]


The spirit of this work proceeds with a story. There once was an artist who sold a new painting to a patron
who hung it in his livingroom. A few nights later, while the patron slept the artist snuck into the house and
continued to paint the picture.

SUN / Helios
MOON / Selene
MARS / Ares
VENUS / Aphrodite
NEPTUNE / Poseidon
Jupiter / Zeus [In Progress]

Mercury / Hermes
Uranius / Ouranos




For Susan Alison Rowland: partner, wife, the love of my life.

In memory of my sister and her husband: two generous souls.

Thank you to:
The Center for Digital Discourse and Culture.
Colleagues and students at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Portland State University, Department of English.
The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy.

©Joel Weishaus 2017.