"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather it makes it visible."
"Back Enngineered" from the new Full Face Photo (E03-00824)
to match the light values and resolution of the original Viking
(70A13 & 35A72)
by jim Grefsrud
To date, the predominant focus of the Mars investigation has been on
settling the question of whether the Face on Mars is a natural
formation or builders’ art. This has led us down a path of endless
photo analysis and debate, not unlike that surrounding terrestrial
artifacts of very ancient origin -- for instance, those found on the
plateaus of Giza, Egypt, or Marcahuasi, Peru.
The growing quandary over what are the measurements of "reality" for
an "alien work of art," and what are the standards/rulers we should
use to assess that reality, will most likely continue for many years
Dr. Malin and "the hidden few" at NASA that make the decisions, have
been looking for "peer reviewed" information by other scientists.
But even uncovering more visual data has not proved sufficient to
say one way or the other if the structure at Cydonia is Art or a
Indeed, if this is an ancient work of art, wouldn’t it make more
sense to be looking and analyzing it with the tools of Art itself?
Should we not be looking through the ancient records of our own
planet (given that at least half the Face seems human) for clues to
understanding the significance of its primordial message?
Have we have been so focused on the "artificiality" question... that
we have neglected the more fundamental implications of such a
momentous find - its overarching meaning?
Should we not approach this artifact with the same awareness we
bring to Picasso’s "Guernica"; Duchamp’s, "Figure Descending
Staircase"; or Pollack’s hidden, two-face icons? Surely, more would
be served now by meditating deeply on the implications for humanity
if we began to seriously consider this approach?
What clues does the
Face on Mars now offer -- if any -- about our
own ancient (and still almost completely unknown) evolutionary past
Does it possibly embody in its Monumental form symbolic stories of
our human DNA?
What about myths related to our consciousness?
And, what is the
symbolic significance of the depiction of the feline?
These questions are far more complex (and, frankly, far more
interesting) than "scientists" versus "the artists." As everyone
knows, there are the hunters and there are gatherers. The hunters
strike out for new territory, exploring the unknown, and in so doing
expanding the boundaries of human awareness and consciousness. The
gatherers remain put, providing essential stability required to
literally maintain the system. Both the Arts and the Sciences have
their "hunters" and "gatherers." In the Art world, the
Impressionists fought a hard battle to break free of the French Art
Academy and thus birthed modern art as we now know it. In the
Sciences, Galileo paid dearly for holding to his vision.
Today, in the space sciences, we continue to have "gatherers" -
experts who are very good at keeping systems stable, and without
whom, minus their practical space science and engineering
applications, space travel itself would be literally impossible.
Yet, many of these "experts" now presume they are the only human
beings qualified to define the realities of Space. But are they
really? Are they qualified to be the ultimate arbiters, or even
authors of reality "out there?" For instance, are they truly
qualified to evaluate a work of Art ... in Space !?
Where is the subtle line separating "the real" from the so-called
"ink blot test?" This is a valid question - certainly after twenty
years of dealing with the scientific, political and artistic
problems of "Cydonia."
Yes, the linear process of "science" is a great tool for gathering
and quantifying the data that’s come back from Space, especially
background readings on the age and make up of other objects in the
solar system. Yet, those are not the tools appropriate (or even
able) to understand the Soul of Space... the Message of the data -
especially, any kind of truly "anomalistic data." This calls on the
spatial / non-temporal mind rather than the linear / quantitative
mind. Whatever it turns out to be, the fact is that the question of
"the Face" has become a catalyst in the collective consciousness of
millions, stirring primal memories and hoped for dreams and fears.
In all fairness, one cannot (and should not) lump all scientists
together (or all artists for that matter...). In this process, we
observe two basic types of scientists:
(1) the "visionaries / hunters" -- who are willing to risk it all.
Tesla, and Hawking are obvious examples of this group.
(2) the "scientific priesthood" of "linear thinkers / gatherers" --
who perpetuate and maintain the accepted models, creating stability
for the system, yet at times stifle fundamental growth -- by closing
off the visionaries through their stubborn attempt to "maintain the
status quo" (the peers of Galileo, Tesla, et al.).
Within the current NASA, we clearly can discern (as exemplified by
the true story of Louie Freidman -- a former JPL manager who became
the Executive Director of the non-governmental "Planetary Society"
-- who literally covered his eyes when first handed a packet
containing Cydonia research by the early Independent Mars
Investigation Team) this fearful "status quo" attitude of the
resident "scientific priesthood." Scientists who are so threatened
internally by a challenge to their belief system, whose position is
so fragile, that they will NOT ALLOW themselves to even see another
Then there are those linear thinkers who claim they "want to see";
who actually manage to create a framework that allows them to
embrace an identity as a "pioneer" by departing somewhat from the
limitations of the actual data and their fellow linear thinkers --
even to the point of manipulating in their minds "pixels and
shadows" to substantiate (in the case of the Face on Mars) their
prior perceptions of "adorning diadems" or "perceived facial
symmetry," and more... all in an effort to make the data predictably
acceptable to their own pre-conceived ideas (and consciousness) --
rather than truly discovering "what is."
Finally (in this age of the federally funded monopoly of science),
there is the inevitable layer of political reality: why do those in
NASA who do see (and they do exist...) NOT WANT THE REST OF US TO
SEE!? Indeed, has our attention been continually, deliberately
diverted all these years into endlessly debating the question of the
"reality" of the Face on Mars to keep us from deeply examining its
Some, when confronted with an unprecedented phenomenon, remain
stubbornly opposed to accepting anything unfamiliar as "reality."
Others (as just noted) seem to have a need to "add familiar
elements" to such phenomena, to confirm that what they see is still
part of their personal "reality." The truly open mind -- willing to
explore and discover what actually is there, to suspend judgment
long enough to leave an opening for reception of The Message (if
any) that is being communicated from their encounter with an
unexplained phenomenon - is truly rare ...
Throughout the history of this planet, great civilizations have
inevitably been measured by their art (just look at Egypt!). Art has
in fact been the eyes and voice of all societies, the expression of
the creator’s psyche in its social setting, acting as a platform to
launch the consciousness of all his or her viewers to a larger
understanding. The artist brings together elements to inspire the
viewer’s imagination... to expand the given "theme" - whatever it
might be Art has thus served as a catalyst for the transformation
and unification of the collective consciousness throughout all
cultures on this planet; why would we expect any less of a highly
sophisticated society living on another, nearby planet?
What we are witnessing in our terrestrial response to this ancient
Martian Cydonia enigma called "the Face on Mars" is nothing less
than the temporal displacement of consciousness and the igniting of
secrets codes within our collective human unconscious. One only has
to walk into any Modern Art museum to understand how utterly useless
scientific measurements are for understanding The Message being
communicated by that kind of "archetypal phenomena" - by a
fundamental work of art.
For those who are now struggling to experience this literally
monumental Art -- The Face on Mars - for those who find it confusing
to see two faces (or other forms) combined on a single Martian mesa,
remember that the scale of this Monument meant that most of the
time, for most viewers, it was seen one image at a time ... and then
in profile. And, as the sun traveled across the Martian sky, it
"sculpted forms in light" upon features that were carefully laid out
to respond to this literal movement of planetary Time. Facial
Features -- designed to trigger deep realizations and emotions in
the intended audience for this extraordinary Monument (including
us?), to be so prominent in one view - were obviously (now) intended
to quietly dissolve into literal invisibility just hours later.
Ironically, it has turned out that this is not NASA’s time worn,
overused 20-year cliché -- "a trick of light and shadow." Rather, it
is a tour de force of the Builders’ increasingly apparent genius in
using "light and shadow" to create almost truly Timeless Art ...to
communicate a Message down through time that "someone" thought
profound ... It’s now up to us to stop quibbling about the reality
of what we are seeing at Cydonia, to turn our collective efforts and
imaginations to finally understanding the true meaning of that
Message ... of a Martian work of Art.
" This object/sculpture was obviously intended to be a LIVING
sculpture -- far beyond even my original estimates in the first
editions of "Monuments."
- Richard C. Hoagland