On Art

Of All the City Blocks, by CJ Dates

Musician, artist, and seminarian CJ Dates is known for layering art over obsolete media (VHS cassette tapes, old maps, comic books, magazines). He explores the tension between a narrative that “devalues or flattens the human form” and a theology that “raises it to the media of the divine.” Focused on individuals as imago Dei, he reflects on that which is framed in time but shaped by what is timeless. Some of his works come with epigraphs or scripts that show the theological underpinnings of the artwork, such as this adapted quote from Augustine: “Humans go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”