The year 1969 saw both the first moon landing, as well as the recording of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth studio album, Cosmo’s Factory. Opinions vary as to which was the greater accomplishment. The American space program, testing the limits of scientific ingenuity, extended humanity’s stride to place a footprint in lunar dust. Likewise, CCR stretched traditional American roots music to way-out places, expanding the agency of the vernacular building blocks of blues, rockabilly and soul without the over-cookedness of many of their musical peers’ psychedelic exploration.
When addressing something as large as the cosmos, people tend to get overwhelmed and overdo it. After all, if William Blake saw the universe in a grain of sand, how can one not get buried by the Size of the World? Dating back to Democritus, one strategy for coping with the size of the Machine is to isolate its parts: regardless of how vast the universe is, it is made out of the same elements. The same atoms, the same dirt. The Microcosmic’s and Macrocosmic’s intangible indefiniteness is accompanied by the counterpoint of their structural mundane-ness.
The exhibition Cosmos Factory brings together seven emerging artists from Los Angeles and the Bay Area who unite the cosmic and the mundane in their work. Utilizing wit, intelligence, and craft, they investigate the complexity and beauty of the physical world, as well as our simultaneously thrilling and limited apprehension of it. Through painting, photography, and sculpture, the artists in Cosmos Factory have stretched the traditional building blocks of abstract reasoning to create ineffable, contemporary fables about the construction of the world, and have done so with both great ingenuity and grit.