A cosmology is a philosophical construct dealing with the origin, processes, and structure of the universe. The cosmologies in this exhibit attempt to show diversity, progressions, and the common need in all human cultures to understand our place in time and space.
There is more to the world than what meets the eye and what meets the eye is not always what it appears to be. The study of cosmologies has been the work of shaman, priests, philosophers and scientists. Although having a deeper understanding of the universe seldom brings happiness; what it offers in return is insight, enlightenment, and perhaps even the satisfaction of saying "So that's what's been going on!"
It could be argued that our greater reality is a realm beyond human perception and that in attempt to understand the true nature of existence, the persuit of such knowlege has the tendancy to drive people toward madness. Reality is a multi-faceted concept, which can only be interpreted through symbols and the mind of the individual. As a collective, humanity has gathered many groupings of symbols and has created many elaborate reality structures that we refer to as culture, religion, and science.
Although we are all drawing upon the same source, interpretation is always different between individuals and on a grander scale cultural structures can differ so greatly that they can come into conflict. Good, evil, normal, and strange are subjective symbols that are relative to individual perceptions. The conflicts in interpretation for an individual can generate antisocial behavior and for large groups it can lead to war.
The comparative analysis of world cosmologies has been a centerpiece of anthropology from the very beginning. The study of cosmologies relies heavily upon the sciences of ethnology, archaeology, and linguistics. This exhibit is a work in progress and is based upon the research of J.B.Waskul. It represents a visual approach to defining the cosmologies from a variety of cultures. The exhibition is presented in hope of creating a better understanding of our own beliefs and mutual respect for all people's need to understand their origins, the purpose of their existence, and their destiny.
The following artwork was created by J.B.Waskul, a student of anthropology at Wayne State University. To see more of the artwork of J.B.Waskul visit his webite at http://www.freewebs.com/jbwaskul/. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions concerning his work, you may email him at email@example.com.
Many of the original pieces were on display at the Wayne State University Museum of Anthropology from Winter 2006 to Fall semester of 2007. For more information on the WSU anthropology museum and upcoming exhibits go to http://www.clas.wayne.edu/Anthropology/
Visit the String Punk Studios website to see the many new creations of J.B.Waskul. http://stringtheoryinc.webs.com/
Special thanks to Steven Lewis for his photographic talents in this project. To see more of his work, click on banner.