James Gyre is the polymath proprietor of Naked Geometry and also (in the interest of journalistic integrity) my husband. We recently sat down for a conversation about art, magic, and how to use digital recorders:
Ok, so here. If you press play then you can press start and it starts again, so you can just press play, and then ask me your question, and then…
Ok. So, who are you, and why are you naked?
I’m James Gyre, and while I might have some sort of secret agenda deep down inside of me I haven’t found it yet. So I try to present my work unadorned by whatever I can detect to be my subjective contextually specific thoughts on geometry, nature or reality.
Hit this button.
You do so many things – painting, DJing, arguing about politics on the internet. How did you decide to focus on geometry, and what are you doing with it?
well, to be quite frank, part of my decision was financial. I felt that my geometric work was at a level of excellence that would be relatively easy to monetize, and that’s proven to be true. And it’s pretty hard to work on any of my other goals without a source of income that doesn’t cause me to loathe waking up and going to acquire money.
I do have a goal that is specific to geometry anyway, which is to explore the connections between the great schools of geometry, and I’ve made some strides into that. Specifically, trying to unify traditional Islamic geometry with plane theory, fractals, science, hyperbolic mathematics and more traditional Euclidean geometry.
This is a huge question, but how do you feel like your magical practice relates to your art and even the business of art?
That is a huge question. Well, for one, like almost everything in my life – including some of the biggest decisions that I’ve made, like marrying you and having children and buying a house – I feel like my intuition was very aggressive in causing me to pursue this. It seemed like the right idea unequivocally, and it very often guides my decisions of what work to make.
In terms of a business sense the same thing could be said. There are times when I don’t want to go out but I’ll force myself to go out because of a deep intuitive feeling, and then I’ll meet a client or have a great project proposed to me. I don’t think that magic or intuition has any barriers as to what it acts on. I don’t think that on some fundamental level because I don’t feel like it’s particularly – I’m tempted to say non-scientific here and there are ways in which it is and ways in which it isn’t – but I feel like magic is a force of reality that doesn’t really put up walls because something is commercial or just because something’s artistic or just because something’s natural or unnatural. I think it has full purview.
My focus in both those realms, scientific and magical – and for that matter artistic – tends to be that what works gets priority even when I don’t understand its mechanism.
How do you feel about witches?
My whole life I’ve been attracted to witches in all the ways that people can be attracted to other people. I’m sure there were more and less noble reasons for that at various times. Currently I feel like there’s not an insignificant amount of my genetic memory that’s bound up around witch culture. There’s a sense of home around witches…and while I’m largely thinking about women, it’s not exclusive to women. People who are in tune with nature, the passage of time and the inherent realities of that. People who have a magical worldview and feel capable of changing the world in ways that they don’t fully comprehend are much more exciting collaborators, friends and community members than people who feel unable to change the world except through the most obvious mechanical means.
Definitely. Do you have any projects on the horizon that we should know about?
Well, there are only so many aspects of it that I should discuss publicly, but I have a desire to use some of the viral internet skills that I’ve acquired over the past two years to create an online identity that can funnel significant virtual resources for my local arts community, if not also significant physical resources. I’m gonna keep the name of it private, though, because it’s still undecided within the community whether anonymity is an important aspect of it – but it’s a bit of creative Babylonian mechanics.
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