Texts from Spheres book (Random Thoughts)

spheres rafael rozendaal

This is a selection of texts from my Spheres book, in collaboration with Philippe Karrer.

When we stare at the ocean, we can’t see that far because of the curvature of the earth. Clouds are not that far away either. Stars can be very far away, but a lot of stars don’t even exist any more by the time their light hits our eyes. The further something is, the longer it takes before you see it.

People always emphasize it’s good to grow and innovate, but it’s also good to repeat and refine.

In the future, people will not carry around devices to access the internet. Instead, with a pocket knife, they will cut a rectangle out of thin air, right in front of them, and there the internet will be. Unfortunately, many people will leave pieces of sky on the floor which might be dangerous.

Creating data makes me much happier than consuming data. I always try to have a good input/ output data ratio. I absorb much more information than I publish, but I always try to make things. I don’t want to just be a data consumer. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
There is so much incredible content out there, I see nothing wrong with deciding to just read and watch movies and listen to music for the rest of your life. But when I don’t create data, when I just absorb data, I start to feel restless.

Wishlist for laptop makers: Please make laptops that float. Any device should weigh exactly zero grams, so you can place it anywhere in mid air without a table or a hand supporting it. Please make the device not too entertaining, most devices are too addictive right now. Please make laptops that have a back/forward function to travel through time. Please make a laptop that makes people gentle, patient and understanding. It would be great if this laptop would stop people from hurting anyone. Please make a laptop that absorbs CO2 and changes it into tropical birds and orchids and sunshine, and a bit of beach too.

Artists deal a lot with temporary luxury. They might be dirt poor but they will do a residency or stay at a collector’s home and experience temporary luxury.
Now that I’m growing older I realize I need to run a good business myself, I can’t wait for favors from the elite.

I am very interested in the undepictable character of mathematics. Infinity, by definition, cannot be seen. If you could see it, it would not be infinite.

According to Wikipedia: “Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking.”
I agree that theory is the result of thinking. I want to stress that there are many forms of thinking. Thoughts existed before words. Theory can be a text, but it can also be a smell. “The result of thinking” might be a very broad definition, but I like it.

I’ve always been curious what it would be like to see the world through someone else’s eyes. But I realize you can’t just swap bodies with someone. And switching bodies would not make you experience their personality. I don’t know how you would be able to experience being someone else while still being yourself.

I am always hungry. I always want to eat. Unfortunately that makes you fat. So I have to stop eating sometimes. If it wasn’t bad for my health, I would be eating bacon and chocolate all the time.

There are things you want to do and there are things you have to do. Sometimes you have to do things so you get to do what you want to do. Sometimes what you have to do is not something you want to do. Sometimes what you want to do is something you have to do. What you want to do is not always what you should do. What you have to do is not always what you should do.

Art does not exclude people, the art world does. It is used because the exclusivity drives
up the price. Art is a place for weird ideas that would not survive in the mass market. Because the audience and clientele is limited, the price of each work has to be high (compared to music or books or films).

I think if you can wait a few million years, really anything is possible.