Bob Hagan
Medium: Photography and Mixed Media

Studio Location:
300-302 7th St
Studio # 3rd Fl



Artist Bio:
I'm an accidental artist.
I once interviewed with the NSA (the National Security Agency) and was told before I could work for them I had to get "art of of my system". I knew right then that art had power, to define good and bad, in and out.

I worked as a family therapist and learned that what people just "knew to be true" about themselves and others was often problematic and that relabelling the truths could open new choices for them. My art looks at "memes," encoded ideas of what MUST be true and false, and tries to reframe them in ways similar to what I did in my therapy work.

Artist Statement:
Well. that's an odd combination of images. The top image, "Universe: Evolution in Action" addresses many BIG memes;
Once we evolve to consciousness, (Eve and the complexity simulation, "Game of Life) we can disagree with anyone/everyone.
Hobbes (central figure) terms this "the war of all against all", and uses it to defend the divine right of kings. God ordains a ruler to force cooperation. He also coins the term "social contract" which is the basis for modern democracy. However social-Darwinians use evolutionary theory to argue for "survival of the fittest" Everyone else must follow the leader. - ie totalitarianism.

Is there any evolutionary process to counteract this? It turns out cooperation, as well a competition evolves and has survival value as demonstrated in the "prisoner's dilemma".(the fourth panel) In ongoing interactions, "tit-for-tat" (i.e. cooperate first but match the previous move of other players) outperforms all other strategies. Grudgers - non-cooperators - lose in the end. This is oversimplified, because cooperation is "clumpy" What group cooperates best? (Plus there is the danger of extinction caused by runaway escalation.)

We will have to see how this orks outm but this is my framework for hope that we can all get along.

The middle two? That's evolution in action: SLIME, climbing out of the ocean.
The last two? Much of my work is "jokey", satirical, and in your face, but also evolution in action..

All images and text copyright Bob Hagan