the icon can
One day a man walked into my commercial art studio and introduced himself as a consultant for the government. He had a perplexing problem. How do you build a sign that could last 10 millenniums? I thought for a second or two and said, Yeah, and what language do you use to communicate with our descendants that far into the future. You have to use Icons to relay the message. Whats the copy? I asked. He answered, Lethal Radioactive Dump Ground! Do not dig or settle here. I felt nauseous.
Nuclear waste is lethal to life for at least 250,000 years. Yet our government was only concerned with the next 10,000. Nuclear power is the most ignorant and toxic way man has yet devised to simply boil water. And to think, were considering condemning our future for countless generations to pay for our energy concerns of today? Is the land youve chosen geologically active? You know any kind of upheaval will expose it to the air and water, to toxic radiation for hundreds of thousands of years. I told him, This stuff needs to be encased in solid lead. I used the pyramids as an illustration of the scale were now talking. Even with todays technology, He interrupted, We cant yet build a pyramid. Well, then wed better hurry up and learn how. I concluded.
Years later, by chance, I discovered the answer to the question how its possible to communicate with the future without building pyramids. Its actually a much older lesson. Some of the oldest cave art in the world is found in southern France, up to 40,000 years. Among the splendid colorful charcoal landscapes are animals and plants of their period. The artists of those days would separate the white charcoal from the black in the camp fires wake, and mixed in dried and crushed vegetable matter for pigment. Its probable they performed a psychedelic ceremony as part of a sacred animistic ritual, lasting a couple of days before actually entering into her womb.
The entrance to her cave is a very small tunnel, a crawl space, one hundred yards long. Only small statured persons could make the arduously tight passage. Pulling their equipment in by rope, they finally reached the caverns entrance. 40,000 years later,our modern day archaeologists were greeted by a multicoloredphosphorescent bear scull against a pitch black canvern. I submit the timeline for each drip was meticulously measured. When they placed the scull under the phosphorescent source, they already knew at least 10,000 years would pass, before the scull was completely covered by the minerals. The cavern was probably lit with hemp seed oil lamps. The painting ceremonies began by chewing the prepared charcoals as they searched the walls for patterns and shapes which revealed the animal or plant they were to paint. Then
proceeded to airbrush the shapes. Yes, they were practicing airbrush techniques even then.
I ve seen video of Australian Aboriginal artists use their hands as masks, as they spit the charcoal, in short quick bursts, either directly on the wall, or through a hallow reed. Whether our ancestors knew it or not, human saliva is the strongest bonding agent in the world. Their spit reaches through the eons to hold their message fast against the rocky surface. If we can protect them, future generations will have the honor of feeling the artist's intimate impressions within this wonderful cavern. One unknown artist painted what is today recognized as the oldest known logo in the world. The cross within the circle was drawn twice, each a little different on two different walls. This quintessential Goddess mark represents the sun, the earth, her orbit, seasons and all four directions.
to touch the soul
Today, Her symbolis have been integrated into various corporate and church logo designs. Many Christian churches use the circle centered over the intersection of cross. Bayer aspirin stamped their name on the pill using their name to fill it out. Its been a zodiac icon for millenniums. This is how we communicate with our descendants. The Tamarian (ancient Egyptian - Kemetic) language is partially alive today because of the hieroglyphics. Today, the computer is to take us full circle in our quest to communicate. The most popular operating systems are icon based. They are the simplest form of communication, and are therefore, international in their scope. The icon can speak to those who cant even read. Any corporation who understands the importance of image will pay very close attention to their logo. President Ronald Reagan drilled it into my head, Image is more important than content. Human Beings respond to an image as impulse. So, the business community is continually investing millions of dollars on logo design, promoting their own individuality and distinctiveness. Logos affect us in a most subtle, and yet powerful of ways. My very first word wasnt mom or dad. I pointed my finger at the logo, with eyes wide open, I excitedly yelled COKE. That white on red circular sign still affects my being today.
In my reality, we artists come into the world owing a debt, for our special abilities. And that debt is best paid by finely crafting icons that can both reflect our respective societies, in the now, and speak to the ages, as well. One of the best examples are the two messengers we cast into the vast ocean of interstellar space. Each carrying one set of plaques and laser discs onboard the Voyager space crafts 1 & 2, sent in the mid 70s. On their way out of the solar system they gave us our closest resolution to that date of the outer planets and their moons. I would have loved to been involved in the logo design of such far reaching issues. Like, how to design icons that could instruct possible extraterrestrial, who might happen upon either of the ships, even millions of years later, who the builders were, and where to find Voyagers home. My best advice is to keep it simple.