Collector’s Edition Artist Book Published by Ugly Duckling Presse Brooklyn, NY 2010
In The Theory of Everything, Abridged, artist Ben Luzzatto puts to work a combination of text, image, and the documentation of his site-specific performance experiments in the service of his hypothesis that any reconciliation of quantum theory with general relativity will ultimately have more to do with the language we are using to describe the universe than with the discovery of any extra-dimensional physical reality. Each of the three sections of this book examines a different aspect of the same base assumption—that we are both a part of the world and separate from it at the same time. Convincing fictions feel as if they are discoveries, as if they are somehow “already there;” the same should be true of any description of reality worth noting.
The Theory of Everything, Abridged has that “discovered” quality to it. It also has a hole carved out of its center.
Ben Luzzatto’s The Theory of Everything, Abridged is one of those rare artifacts that transfers its own actual magic —and it is real magic— until the possessed begins to lift a bit toward the sky.”
Attempting to replicate a cloud in all four dimensions, simulating the fall of a leaf from a branch, altering the color of an object while retaining its identity are all examples of Ben Luzzatto’s unconventional art practice. While achieving these goals may be futile, attempting to attain them is opportune because it articulates a profound challenge confronting humans in the 21st century. His work sheds the vestiges of a culture founded on egocentricity and individuality. It contributes to the redefining of ‘self’ according to contemporary ecological mandates based upon relationships, connections, and dependencies. Luzzatto contributes to the evolution of a new era by dramatizing the integration of each person with larger human and non-human environments.”