epicenter of metaverse painting

metaverse (III)

the beginning and the end

Short preliminary remark

If I just started with my thoughts, there would be a certain danger of someone shouting: “Hey, that’s not scientific!” Two preliminary remarks are therefore permitted.

All our thinking is based on previously thought and mostly we deal with premises. Such as A $100 bill has a material value of c. 50 cents. However, you and I, John and Mary, and the tax collector have worked out that this bill has a purchasing power of $100 and so we have a great model. If we can no longer agree on this, our system will collapse. It is, therefore, like many others, a systemically important premise to say so. [1]
Science, above all physics, explains our universe to us with the big bang and the infinite expansion that followed. To take corrective action again: limited infinity. Physics and its sister mathematics can only work with defined premises.

As we now know, quantum physics has proved many aspects that were previously considered unscientific, most notably Buddhist/Zen Buddhist and Daoist ideas. I emphasize this because it is these areas that shape my understanding of being. In particular, of course, the intellectual superstructure of my metaverse. [2]

my model

The explanations of physics have always been unsatisfactory for me. [3] Did it all start with the Big Bang? But what was before that? I am serious. Expansion into (limited!) infinity? What’s behind it? Just to touch on 2 questions.
Saying this I have to make some limitations for my project first. The epicenter of the beginning of everything would have to be set before the Big Bang, but let’s content ourselves for the time being with this part of the emergence, which was initially characterized by chaos. My second example today then shows the provisional peripheral area of ​​the metaverse.

myths about the origin of the world

I did a few works on that and chose this one to show. According to various myths of Western and especially Far Eastern mythology, the universe was created by a dragon. ( some good thoughts @ Reddit ).
My first picture now deals with this dragon/chaos concept. You can perhaps object: “Ok, I see the chaos, but where is the dragon?” As already mentioned, I am less and less concerned with representing concrete objects but more with principles, and thoughts, briefly playing with the philosophical part of being. (With a bit of imagination, the head of the dragon can be seen at the top left, below the elongated body and its wings. But it’s all about the dragon “feeling” and most of it the point where chaos and creator are still largely one).

the dragon as creator of metaverse painting


painting# 2

The 2nd work deals with the other end of the spectrum, both spatially and philosophically – a very difficult task. I titled it: “A couple of miles before the end of time“. Until then I can go (for now).
I like the idea, the title, and the resulting questions. Does the metaverse come to an end with the end of time? Or is there something greater than what can be measured with chronometers? If matter no longer exists, can there still be time, or is time a property that can only exist in connection with matter? Timekeeping is another chapter and the comparison with the $100 bill comes to mind. [4]

end of metaverse painting

At first, I was tempted to paint a more diffuse picture, a blurry galaxy, but upon further reflection came to this solution.
So this is the area where physics (measurable/quantifiable) and philosophy (metaphysics) meet.
Why did I choose this type of representation? The far biggest part of the picture is emptiness. With this representation, there is nothing more concrete to cling to (in the Buddhist sense of detachment). What remains is a force field that acts inward but at the same time points far into the distance (yin::yang).

painting# 3

We are still in the vast area of the epicenter, but already a few light years further in time and space 😊. The chaos is beginning to be organized, and material and light are beginning to separate and demarcate, allowing a glimpse into the distance. The spherical is born.

epicenter of metaverse painting

A painter who influenced me greatly in my early days was Oskar Kokoschka, a great artist, and teacher. (He was born just 15km from the town where I grew up). One of his most remarkable sentences is: “The most difficult thing in painting is omitting“.
Years later I turned to Chinese painting, in which omission also plays a major role, I have thought a lot about this sentence for many years. [5] And thinking one step further, the question is in the room for me: How much more has to remain in a painting so that it is still art?
I have already presented some of these works before, such as these two. The one on the right consists of exactly 2 lines – and yet it “tells a story”. (Try to tell a story with 2 strokes).

artwork by friedrich zettl composition red blackgestural abstraction basic conversation

For me personally, the bar is set at this point: tells a story – tells no story.
Until these questions above are resolved, I maintain the working hypothesis that these last miles before the end of time are the meeting place of physics and philosophy.


[1]  In the discussion about cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, the aspect of energy consumption has been taking up a lot of space for some time. Many of us would be surprised if they knew how much energy resources are consumed with our FIAT money management.

[2] Of course, I would never presume to question science, especially since I enjoyed a scientific education. I’m not an esoteric either – and I’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 3 times 🙂

[3] One of the many good articles on the subject of quantum physics/Buddhist concepts is THIS because it’s also easier to understand.

[4] One of our paradoxes: there is a plethora of fake money in our circulation. A fake banknote has the same purchasing power as a real one. A very insightful article on this HERE

[5] Some of the posts in which I deal with these aspects in more detail can be found at: art theory

More of this: metaverse. metaverse V, metaverse IV, metaverse II



25 responses to “metaverse (III)”

  1. wolkenbeobachterin avatar

    i really like your drawings, the colours and energy. powerful, energetic. looks as if you gave some of your playful energy to the canvas.
    may i ask where you got the (red) stamp from? that one “to sign” your drawing. because i am looking for one for my drawings too, but could not find it anywhere.
    have a great sunday.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you for your friendly words! As for the seals: I’ve certainly owned over 1000 over the years :). The majority is now in a museum, I only have 70-80 myself. I’ve also cut many myself and was quite good at it once. Some time ago I saw that you can have seals carved as you wish in China (alibaba shop?) It’s not expensive either. I’ll see if I can still find the link. Seals are a fine thing for painters: if you have not managed to balance well with the brush, you can help with the seals 🙂

      1. wolkenbeobachterin avatar

        oh thank you for looking for the link. that’ll be great to order it there. i see the seals as the last finish for my ink-drawings. have a great weekend! best regards from berlin.

      2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        Ich habe mir Ihre Arbeiten angesehen, ja, 1-2 Siegel koennen die Arbeiten sicher bereichern.
        Es war nicht alibaba sondern taobao. Habe Sie schon Mal auf fleabay nachgesehen? (Engl. Version “chinese seal carving”). Da werden viele Siegel unterschiedlicher Art angeboten. Allerdings sind fast alle neueren Datums, aber das sollte ja kein Problem darstellen.
        Schoene Gruesse aus Wien!

      3. wolkenbeobachterin avatar

        ah, aus wien! vor ein paar jahren besuchte ich wien und es hat mir sehr gefallen. ich wußte nicht, von wo du/sie schreiben, da das posting in englischer sprache verfasst ist.
        vielen dank für die infos bezüglich der firmen. ich kenne keine der erwähnten seiten, werde aber mal schauen, ob ich fündig werde.
        danke fürs besuchen meiner seite auch.
        schöne grüße zurück!

      4. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        Als ich das letzte Mal in Ihrer schoenen Stadt Berlin war, war Checkpoint Charly noch in Amt und Wuerden 🙂

      5. wolkenbeobachterin avatar

        das ist schon ein paar tage her. 🙂

  2. swabby429 avatar

    I’m glad you pointed out the dragon’s head. Seeing it, gave me clues to understanding the remainder of your illustrated essay.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you! I will continue with that in my following posts, hoping some points become clearer by and by. The play with thoughts and the playing with brushes idealistically would become one at some point – idealistically 😄

      1. swabby429 avatar

        Sometimes just a gentle nudge helps us.


    Interesting. I can feel my brain stretching in five different directions. My biggest takeaway from this post is that one sentence “The most difficult thing in painting is omitting“, and I love the two stroke painting!

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Surely you know the term Enso. As a painter, you only have one line of your own to tell the world how far you have come in your thinking, experience… That’s quite a tedious task and exercise.

  4. chris ludke avatar

    I’m a big fan of your paintings! I never studied the theories you have in mind but these kind of give me an idea and if you show them without the text people will still pick up the vibe.
    Did you ever hear the theory that our Big Bang universe started when another universe got sucked into a black hole and popped up on this side?

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you for your kind words! No, I’ve never heard of this theory! Don’t tell me about it or I’ll start a new series right away. 🙂

      But seriously, and this is primarily aimed at you, because we have already started talking about this topic before: I think that for you as a painter there will be a few things in the coming postings. The matter is more difficult for Westerners, but I will try to close this gap a bit in my next posting with some comparisons.

      1. chris ludke avatar

        OH! Great! Thanks! I’m looking forward to it!

  5. annieasksyou avatar

    This is all so interesting! I appreciate your explanations of the thinking and theory behind your work—and the works stimulate my imagination. So glad you found my blog, so that I can enjoy and learn from yours!

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thanks! I’m very happy to hear that and hope to show more that you enjoy. I thought long and hard about whether I should also write something about it, because a lot of things may sound very confusing.

  6. florentboucharel avatar

    As always, very interesting. Physics is a limited field with no grasp on ultimate questions. The two questions you are asking are basically Kantian so-called antinomies. The Big Bang is no answer to an ultimate question, only a working hypothesis inside the limited field of physics; of course it makes no sense, outside this limited field, to talk of an absolute beginning of the totality of things, that is, of “the world,” by physical ways. The expansion we observe may have been started by an initial explosion but that still could not be an absolute start of the cosmos as in the very terms of physics we cannot think of something entirely new in nature (“nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”), so we are touching here an intrinsic contradiction of physics. On the one hand physics is limited to natural phenomena and its axiom is “nothing is lost etc”, on the other hand it claims to be able to deal also with the totality of natural phenomena of which we have no experience whatsoever and when it talks of a big bang, this might be a valid explanation for a natural phenomenon such as the formation of a local region of the totality but can never claim to satisfy the mind as far as the totality of things are concerned because it violates the very postulates it is based upon whenever it claims to deal with the totality of things rather than with- particular things themselves, their totality being no object of our experience (the world remains a guiding idea). Physics cannot prove or disprove metaphysics. The only claim scientism can make in this regard is that there is no metaphysics to start with. Now, as far as quantum physics is concerned, it must be stressed that the so-called “Copenhagen consensus,” according to which uncertainty or indetermination (from Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty or indetermination) is in the nature itself rather than in the scientific apprehension of it smacks of pure ideology: physicists claim nature is indeterminate in order to salvage science as a relevant instrument of knowledge. In other words “it’s not science’s fault but nature’s”…

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you very, very much for taking the time and trouble to reply in such detail and so precisely! As far as I can see, our views on this are basically the same. Unfortunately, I’m not a physicist (my son is) and I’m not as familiar with western philosophy as you are. My starting point is (Asian) art with its philosophical superstructure. I’m always amazed at how similar quantum physics and Zen Buddhism are. Of course, my short contributions are not scientific work, but should help to reflect on my way of painting. I also have to consider that there is a big difference in knowledge among readers and I’m not getting too academic. This medium is not suitable for this.

      1. florentboucharel avatar

        Thank you. Yes, I think our views converge. I would like to add one thing for the sake of precision: the axiom I talked of (“nothing is lost etc”) comes from chemistry (Lavoisier) rather than physics proper, yet for some reason we talk of “astrophysics” rather than “astrochemistry,” which it is at this stage, and that’s the reason why I put it under the physics label, that is, in fact, hard science.

      2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        Thanks again! I did not want to touch chemistry due to lack in appropriate knowledge but yes, astrochemistry sounds good. So much yet to learn for me 😄

  7. rabirius avatar

    I especially like the more minimalist works. It focuses the imagination.
    But the others are great too.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you! I did more of those paintings and some I will introduce in my next postings. For now I am chosing those images which fit best to the text which might be hard to understand sometimes.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you very much!

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