“Psychedelic Universe” exists as a large-scale photograph of an installation made on the Grand Staircase of the Peter Eisenman designed Cincinnati DAAP Aronoff building where I have been working. The brightly colored textiles laid on the ground are from a collection I have been acquiring of psychedelic and op art fabric designs from the 60s and 70s. Here each piece of fabric represents a section of a logarithmic map of the universe recently developed by a group of astrophysicists that includes Mario Juric and Richard Gott. Their map answers a wish to depict simultaneously the objects in the solar system that matter to us (Earth, Moon, Sun etc.), along with the distant galaxies and all remoter structures towards the background cosmic microwave.
I think of psychedelic imagery as an imaginative leap that would represent in spiritual or visionary form the continuity between our life on Earth and the history of the cosmos. These psychedelic textiles are thus set out as if extending our mental grasp of all of space-time. The three lower pieces refer to the Earth, our immediate planetary system, and the Sun. Further on we encounter the Oort cloud and nearer stars like Sirius and the Centauri. The pink circles about half way up are the Hipparcos stars, while the optical black and white fabrics indicate the remoter Whirlpool and Sombrero galaxies. Eventually with the red fabric at the very top of the image we find the Big Bang. As this logarithmic map is created by an imaginative feat that subverts logical representations of space and time, so these psychedelic textiles are an anti-geometric intrusion into the rigorous geometry of the Eisenman building.