New issue, new website, first Circa Salon, then bounced out of our offices by a fire down below, with no news of when we can return. (Thanks to Hazel Williams and Sean Lynch of Art Mill for facilitating a rehousing, and thanks to all who have expressed empathy / made offers of support.)

An awful lot happening, in other words.

I’m inexorably drawn to trying to make sense of it, looking for some sort of pattern. I read in a recent issue of Scientific American Mind that we have a strong tendency to imagine patterns in random information presented to us – we try to work out the rules by which the ‘system’ is feeding us information, whether the system is some researcher’s computer program or life itself. The survival value of seeking patterns is easy to imagine, but also the perils. What interest me most is not whether this is how humans ‘came to invent god’, but whether this pattern-seeking need is what makes ambiguity in art both so important and so good at holding our attention. Do we stick with an ambiguous visual image / event because our brain tells us we have to find the underlying pattern?

Ambiguity is one of the hallmarks of much compelling contemporary art. Is unambiguous art the sort we tend to walk away from most readily?