The Cathedral of Light

Time is the substance that, when handled properly, opens the door to the possibility of devotion.
— Nathaniel Dorsky

The Cathedral of Light. Cedar Creek, TX

The 'Cathedral of Light', what does that mean to you?

 It's simply a camera obscura. A humble space where am able to sit and watch life projected across a multitude of surfaces that catch the light. Some crisp and bright, others soft and glowing – all ephemeral. It feels like an analogy for the human mind. Light pours through the glass lens as it does our eyes.

Is it a photograph?

It’s certainly a ‘photographic’ experience, but, ultimately, I don’t think it’s a photograph. The Cathedral plays the role of a camera, by allowing us to look deeply at the constituent parts of a scene - pure seeing and pure thought – but there’s an extra dimension at play here. Time.

Hockney has a theory about how you can't look at most photographs for very long, because they lack time. The Cathedral of Light attempts to address this problem. As I watch the projected light, I must also meditate on time as it passes.

Could the cathedral be used to take a picture?

For me, attempting to capture the image in a singular moment – to “fix” the image – would be to destroy it. It would strip the experience of 'lived time'. As time passes, the projection begins to change, as does the viewer. Neither can be 'fixed', or captured in totality. Ultimately, time forces attention, and it is said that attention is a form of prayer.

Is it religious?

The Cathedral of Light could feel like a religious experience for some. Ever since Nietzsche proclaimed, 'god is dead', I think we have all been searching for a cathedral of sorts - a place to congregate, to communicate, and to see.


Inside the Cathedral of Light