This book is a compendium of the results of an experiment that I call the science of expressionism – a formal investigation of how particular marks convey ideas of emotions, and how specific forms affect the appearance of the photo-image. The subject matter of these works is largely a combination of various portraits and images derived from scientific sources such as representations, diagrams and illustration of atoms, molecules, quanta and DNA.

These works are photo-collaged events – photocopy superimpositions derived from photographs and subjected to various formal transformations. There are several kinds of superimpositions, and each one transforms the character of the original image, creating a perceptual deformation of the photo-image – a controlled distortion, a regular transformation. Such forms include my fingerprint, the molecule, atom and quantum particles; the wave, net,and line; and the loudspeaker.

The Materiality of Body
The dominant ideology of the Western world is that of materialism as bequeathed by science. Its results can be seen in the manufacture of various entities at various points in human history. This has changed how the world appears to us, i.e. has transformed what we believe the world to be and how it was caused. These graphic works have been made in the knowledge of this fact. Human form we believe to be instantiated in the scientific world of DNA, atoms, molecules and quanta, subject to invisible forces such as energy, light, mass, gravity, and electricity. However we never actually see any of these things. They are hypothetical constructs or ideas; thus material is known partly as sensation and partly as an idea.

The metaphors of form
Form caries many significations; form is metaphorically as well as sensationally know. For instance, take the form of the wave; the wave pattern can be viewed as an analogy or metaphor signifying many different categories of things or universal qualities. These reveal themselves in scientific conceptions of forces, vectors, waves and light, energy, radiation, movement, the passage of time, change, metamorphosis, growth, flow, rhythm; and psychological states such as the libido, orgasm and ecstasy will desire, passion or emotion. We can see from this that a wave pattern can be viewed as a metaphor for a conjunction of different qualities, and even these can be interpreted collectively as a metaphor for a generalised mystical, spiritual or metaphysical state such as karma, life force, soul, psychic energy, the dance of Shiva; even God!

DNA – an enduring object in the material world
DNA is a sustained physical object in the world of different actual occasions. It is a real enduring object. An enduring object is a succession of occasions that continues or repeats a given character against a background of continuous change – thus we have a line of inheritance. Here, in these graphic works, we can see diverse objects, all inheriting the same forma pattern –this formal pattern is the product of the process of photographic capture in a spatial continuum of black to white tones. Thus conceived, Madonna is a material girl in a material world!

Roy Amiss, December 1998.