A. C. Ember stands for “protector of the sun’s ashes,” which I decrypt as a charge to balance the energy of the present (Cy: sun) with the lessons of the past (Ember: ashes) while preserving a strong future (Alex: protector). This tripart temporal archetype is related to the artist who is present with spirit, the healer who is managing the past that has become our body, & the scientist who uses their mind to repeat studies for predicting future results. After 18 years of photography, music & community organization, I began to see how we are all primed for this triune expression based on our brain’s design: the right hemisphere governs the spirit / archetype of the artist, our corpus callosum (center brain) governs the body / archetype of the healer & our left hemisphere governs the mind / archetype of the scientist. To stimulate these core aspects of our being, I shape my artistic expression as photographic bodies of work based on how our bodies work, sourcing from both Eastern auric systems & Western endocrine gland systems.
Synesthesia of color (spirit), shape (body) & sound (mind) is played with during analog slideshows paired with music, & even more broadly in installations where confluences of music, essential oils, foods, drinks & crystals combine to heighten one another’s essence. After studying many spiritual traditions, I have come to resonate with the idea that our soul is something that is developed, cultivated & grown through the harmony of spirit, body & mind. In this light, a most useful lens for holistic integration is syncretism: a unification of philosophies wherein all perspectives are utilized to appreciate the overlaps across the accumulated wisdom of cultures & civilizations, all to appreciate the macrocosmic / microcosmic relation between our body & universe.
Syncretism finds a rich precedent in the Vedic tradition, where associations between colors, glands, chakras, scents, foods, notes, crystals, mantras, plants & myriads of other vibrations are celebrated, venerated within art & honored in ceremony. Hence, you will see in the descriptions, at the end of each body of work, my ongoing refinement of how these categories correlate within each of the 7-fold energy systems. My intention is to remember who I am & apply that gnosis to a revolution of our educational systems where the artist, healer & scientist are no longer seen as separate, yet necessary for authentically whole embodiment. Shamans are one such character that unite the triplicate approach: scientifically using tools repeatedly shown to influence parts of our being, curating dress / decorations of artistic flair for theatrical impact, all with an underlying medicinal motive of techniques / plants / elements for removing blockages, toxins and traumas to ultimately serve as a dynamic healer.
“The only journey is the one within.” -R. M. Rilke
While print styles vary according to the body of work, methods include metal prints, light boxes, lenticular prints & traditional fuji crystal archive paper. The following links display some of these forms:
Lenticular Prints: ember.space/lprint
3-D Gallery Tour: ember.space/musing