The science is settled, for sure one of the most unscientific statements that makes rounds in today's public debate. The compelling question everyone -and especially scientists- should ask is: 'settled by whom?'. Another urgent question, for anyone interested in the history and Philosophy of Science... 'who laid down the foundations of the sciences? We can only cope with the world by ordering knowledge and certainties in an effort to fend off threats to our well-being and thrive by employing the opportunities that our environment offers. In this upside down world we are stuck with alternative facts, abandoned legitimate scientific methods, while Fake-news saturates our media. The internet is weaponized and hacks into our personal sphere, nudging us and capitalizing on our data. We are in need of a firm cadre and challenged to develop some vital Nietzschean 'artistic truths'.
Readers who visit this blog regularly might remember the Vatican Machine that I made earlier this year. At that time I explored a lush 17th century copper engraving by the Amsterdam printer and publisher Joannem Janssonium. In my post Building the Reliquary I looked at the image taken from his Mundus subterraneus depicting the cultural clash between the West and newly discovered China. We see how a bunch of the scientific instruments is placed at the side of the Westerner, leaving the side of the China man empty. Moreover, this proud tableau evolves under a bright shining Jesuit coat of arms high up in heaven among saints and angels. There is no doubt that the whole age of enlightenment is riddled with Jesuit scholars, many if not all of the great scientists went through Jesuit education or where later initiated in secret societies tightly affiliated with Jesuit institutions.
When a Jesuit of the minor rank is to be elevated to command, he (always a he) first pledges a remarkable oath under a black banner with the words IUSTUM NECAR REGES IMPIUS (It is just to exterminate or annihilate impious or heretical Kings, Governments, or Rulers). This is a rather telling motto that casts it's shadow over today's stunningly complex building of scientific knowledge. Maybe in the light of this it's time to reconsider one and another.
Today we have the first Jesuit Pope in history. If we observe how the Vatican doors seem to sway wide open to political leaders like Trump, Obama, Pence, Netanyahu, Merkel, Charles Michel, Macron and industrial figure heads like Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Tim Cook to name just a few, we understand that we are not dealing with an obsolete religious institution.
All in all I thought this is the perfect moment to make a sort of altar piece and call it my 'Jesuit matrix premise'. A black box containing the following elements, a landscape, an observer, hinged cadres and doors forming a fold-able triptych. The black Pope Arturo Sosa on the left and Pope Francis on the right, or vice versa if you open the vitrine and use the model as diptych. There is undoubtedly a lot to discuss under the silently shining stars if the doors are closed.