The Fourth Pyramid

Jesse Bransford, detail of The Fourth Pyramid, 2013, Dimensions variable, Tempera paint on wall and floor, panels and paper, Installation at Galveston Artist Residency.

A rotating wheel, an engine designed to bring energies from the celestial realm into this space, this place. Galveston.

Jesse Bransford, detail of The Fourth Pyramid, 2012, 4.25x7", Printed soft cover book, edition of 200.

Light and heat are the easiest, most accessible and defined energies we have at our metaphorical disposal. Electricity, to an extent harnessed and understood, but more mysterious. Gravity surely presents us with an energy that is harder to grasp. It entails another remove, an abstraction from direct sense. That first abstraction led us to the maths that govern our control of the material energies. But in the interest of this rationalization, this externalization, something of the speculative sense of wonder in the world has been excluded, and the stern assumption that we know deafens us to possibility. This possibility opens a space to the poetic, to metaphor, which I say have as much purchase on consciousness and reality as heat, light electricity and even gravity.

This image and below: Jesse Bransford, detail of The Fourth Pyramid, 2013, Dimensions variable, Tempera paint on wall and floor, panels and paper, Installation at Galveston Artist Residency.

Light is a metaphor to approach when mechanizing The Fourth Pyramid. A vintage timepiece is also a mental picture. A light-clock if you will. How do you wind a light clock? By walking around it of course. Making and looking at the central mandala of The Fourth Pyramid involves hundreds of perambulations. We carry an infinite potential in our minds, and it is constantly spilling out, effervescing into the space between. The piece is meant on one level to absorb that excess, to point our light into the world.

There are other energy potentials.

The days of the week originally personified points of light in the night sky, just as the months of the year demarcate the constellations of the zodiac. The planets are their own path makers, moving on roads different from those of the rest of the night sky. Their personalities are much like our own, and they too shed potential. The light-clock is tuned to draw those energies to it’s center as well. If we had to characterize these energies in relation to the energy that we give to the engine, these are subtle and refined, as opposed to our bright light, a light that we barely believe in, let alone control. Their refinement gives them particular qualities that we have some knowledge of that pass through the names themselves: Venus; love, Jupiter; luck, etc. Each of the seven wanderers have talismans that have come to represent them. Some of the talismans represent specific personas that are contained within the planet. Angels, Daimons, Spirits and Intelligences, the personification of these forces into beings gives our light a direct interface with their light; the winding is accelerated and focused to points.

This space must be protected. Not from evil, but from confusion, from the distortion of the quotidian. This is not normal. Rules are being changed, if for only a moment. The door is blocked, and entry is given either in a breech of the image space or in a new path through other entries. Either way, the Angelic tlismans guarding the entrance protect and seal the interior space.

Each planetary talisman is born from numbers. Numbers assembled into grids. These grids produce more numbers and more relations, another way our consciousness can multiform the energies we have at our command. These grids, known in antiquity as Kameas, bound language, number, speech and form in a way that allows all of these structures purchase on the energy being harnessed. Each Kamea sits in relation to a planet and in turn to a day of the week. Each day of the week gives ascendence to a particular force and marks both time and relation to the planet in question. By removing the panel with the Kamea and setting it on a plinth underneath its hanging place, the talisman of that planet is revealed underneath, keying the panels on the south wall directly to the mandala on the floor.

To the southwest, a corner projects forward a series of rotating and concentric triangles. Evocative of gender and it’s associations, these triangles primarily point down, invoking the feminine, passive and generative energies of the universe. Here they draw energy into the vortex of the central mandala, adding to and amplifying the human and planetary energies in play.

The mandala itself pulls the energy into itself, differentiating planetary forces by color and shade. Deeper in the interior of the mandala a rotation occurs and the energies are directed to elemental force, those of air, earth, fire and water: a second distillation as force travels to center. At the central golden bindi, the energy coalesces, just as gold is said to coalesce at the center of the great alchemical work. But it it not finished. The point is a fulcrum, a mirror/lens/gearbox, both of the self, who observes this spectacle, and of the whole. A gestalt shift from microcosm to macrocosm. Cosmos revealed, and the energies repurpose to a point to the east. The cube revealed as a cross, the fulcrum of all spiritual energy, here containing many secret signs to transmigrate the energy and cast it towards the east wall, the fourth pyramid, where the spell is completed, and the energy given to the space and the region. Surely an auspicious gift for an auspicious moment. Metaphor released.