vangel naumovski

︎Artist, Painting, Surreal
︎ Ventral Is Golden

“We have now become aware of the possibility of arranging the entire human environment as a work of art, as a teaching machine designed to maximize perception and to make everyday learning a process of discovery.” - Marshall McLuhan.

Vangel Naumovski was born in the Macedonian city of Ohrid (formerly part of Yugoslavia). After a short spell in the army, he enrolled in art school in Skopje in 1946 for one year, after which he spent the next thirteen years working as a carpenter. During this time, Naumovski's output was initially considered part of the mythic folk tradition, which led to his work being associated with the ‘Naive Art’ movement.

In the early 60s he began painting in a biomorphic surrealist style, where he merged figurative elements within undulating floral abstractions. Salvador Dali once remarked that Naumovski's "work is close to my own... he has some items that may be considered scientific. Also interesting is the biological side of his painting."

Although presumably a tongue-in-cheek remark from Dali, he nevertheless touched upon the biotic underpinnings of Naumovski’s forms that could quite easily find themselves aligned with some Futurist thoughts of biology as a software process that identify our bodies as being made up of trillions of cells, each governed by mechanisms which evolved in very different techno-cultural environments. Or likewise alongside Archeo-Futurists such as Marshall McLuhan, who described the literary work of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake as “cave drawings of the entire history of the human mind, in terms of its basic gestures and postures during all phases of human culture and technology.”

Naumovski’s images are fluid mosaics of interdimensional resonance, full bodied philosophical cross-pollinations that elicit audio-tactility in the mind-made body of a total field of feeling. They speak to the wake and the waking, emebdded in a hyperfuture that we can look back upon. The mythic historical cycle of tribal institutions return in the electric age as in Naumovski’s painting, but if again, then let’s make their return ‘awake’ or ‘a wake’ or both.

Naumovski's artworks arguably do not represent the phantasmagoria of an individualistic mind, but the details of psychic pastel blueprints that will aid the psychological transition into rediscovering the potential of an ancient philosophical and spiritual terrain from where we have since been led astray.
In the context of a modern reality with relatively less material yearnings than previous decades and a stronger sense of being driven by more abstract aspirations that move us from within, being able to locate their historical and ecological form will become increasingly important if society is to move into a more harmonious relationship with the earth.

Taking into consideration historical paradigm shifts, such as Giordano Bruno's radical notion that the universe appeared infinite when he looked up towards the stars, Copernicus' discovery that the Sun and not the Earth was at the centre of the solar system (Heliocentrism), the daoist alchemical notions of cultivating and conserving inner energy (Neidan), to the western discovery of ‘linear perspective’ in the early 15th centruy (Filippo Brunelleschi), we can begin to understand that reality has in fact always been augmented with concepts and techne relating to the perception of space and time and how to utilise the mass of swirling energies that accumulate there. This leads to the question of whether the physical world has always remained the same, as within a framework of universal constants who’s framework defines certain phenomena impossible, or that the constants of the physical world are in fact inconsistent and change throughout space and time, rendering certain phenomena possible during specific historical eras.

"This is melting-together of technology, this globalization of culture, this creation of an electromagnetic sea of information - these are phenomena that only happen in the terminal moments of the planetary breakthrough." - Terence McKenna

McLuhan’s sensibilities regarding culture can be mostly contained in the idea that it is shaped by the kinds of media we use. For at least five hundered years during the acclimatisation towards the printing press, society underwent a migration toward centrality, with concepts of ‘the public’ and ‘the people’ being centrally defined by notions of governance and morality. For only the last fifty years, the acclimatisation of the mind towards electricty has shifted our sense ratios back into a more tribalised and fragmentary mental environment at a much faster pace (what McLuhan called the ‘illumiated manuscript’), where meaning is not ‘read’ but instead ‘looked at’.
In this sense our tools for generating meaning are not only tools but also environments. These tools can be traced to the unconscious assumptions of print and the linearity of typography. It is another way of saying that what fractal mathematics has done for the electric age, linear perspective did for the European Renaissance. Humanity suffered a fall from the book, from reading, and found redemption through the content of a narrative, unfixed by terrestrial time. This is the environment that we are inheriting.

McLuhan goes onto point out that without any knowledge of why so called primitive man painted two dimensionally and literate man tends towards painting in perspective, we can never know why man ceased to be primitive and in what sense-ratios the primitive mind is limited, or in what sense-ratios the primitive mind is exalted, having by definition no fixed perspective.

With titles such as ‘Black Cradle of Bright Life’, ‘Galaxy from the Otherside of the Sun’, ‘Atlantis’, ‘Cosmic Cathedral’ and ‘Prohibited Thoughts’, it is clear that Naumovski was occupied with the pre-historical mind, the spiritual experience of the collective and the assumptions that certain epistemological processes make about the physical and non-physical worlds.

All are unconcious motives in the evolution of our species, our yearning to understand the worlds that we create and to fully integrate what lies beyond their technological boundaries.

“He sights for such self awareness and correction of cultural bias in his ‘coll-idea-scope’. This term indicates the interplay in colloidal mixture of all components of human technology as they extend our senses and shift their ratios in the social kaleidoscope of cultural clash.” - Marshall McLuhan.

What will be the new sense-ratios of the human mind once the printed universe that we once moved within has fully disintegrated? What will be put in place of the eco-historical narrative?

Further Reading ︎
Surrealism, Bio
Riding Range with Terence McKenna, lecture
Ray Kurzweil predictions
The Medium is the Message, website 

Theodore Roszak on Ecological Consciousness