David Camp Bio

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David Camp Bio Page

David Allen Camp, pictures

I was born in 1950 in Madison, Wisconsin, a beautiful upper Midwest university town where I lived until 2012. In grade school I showed an extremely strong aptitude for both math and art. One of my favorite activities was inventing complex, probability-based games drawing on an understanding of probaility that was ten years ahead of my age. As a teenager, I thought I would either be a mathematician or theoretical physicist, because I loved math and physics, or a Christian missionary, because I also took my religion very seriously. I started working in a university bookstore when I was 17. I read widely in subjects like physics, cosmology, comparative religion, parapsychology, and psychology in addition to classical literature and science fiction. I did so well in high school math competitions that I was elected a member of the Mathematical Association of America during my senior in high school.

I enrolled in the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1968 intending to major in math or physics. As a freshman, I placed among the top six undergraduates in the university in a six-hour Putnam national math competition, but by age 19 I was becoming restless like many of the characters in Herman Hesses's novels, which I was reading at that time. I felt a growing urge to do something creative and gradually began to shift my focus from math and science to the humanities. My inner unrest mirrored by the outer unrest of the campus-wide Vietnam anti-war protests and riots on campus. National guard troops and tear gas were a common sight. The physics building where I worked measuring the curvature of bubble chamber particle tracks was bombed in 1970 because it also housed an army math research center. Because of my job, one thing that occurred to me was that Soul, like elementary particles, can only be seen indirectly by the tracks its passing leaves behind. Look at what a person did during their life, their tracks, to get a glimpse of their Soul. At some point during this turbulant period my world view shifted. Conscisiousness began to seem more important to me than the perceived "material" world of energy around me. I began to perceive God as That which is conscious. All else is states of consciousness. I often cut class to sit on a rock on the shore of Lake Mendota and meditate on the illusory vibrational nature of what I was seeing.

By my early 20's, I had chosen writing as my primary creative field because I thought metaphysical novels would be the best way to convey complex ideas. I spent many years working on a serious novel, while continuing to take university classes and exploring various art media and simple music composition. At one point I had the idea of four novels in four parts, constructed with 20 possible paths from the first part of the first book to the fourth part of the fourth book. I supported myself from my late 20's until retirement by working in the university's library system. The main library where I spent most of my time has thirteen floors and several million books. After many drafts, I set aside my serious writing and, after a break where I studied oil painting for several years, I began work on a metaphysical fantasy novel I called The Inferno because of the intensity of life in the physical realm. It was a fantasy work because it was set on another world, and the main character was a young shaman. I worked on The Inferno between 1990 and 1998. The handful of people who read it were highly impressed, but because it was too short for the fantasy market, because the market is geared strongly towards writers with future market value, and because my attention was shifting to 3D art by the late 90's, I never tried to publish The Inferno.

After spending my formative years focusing on math and science and the first half of my adult life focusing on writing, I shifted my attention to computer art in the late 90's. I quickly gravitated to the 3D art programs that become available around that time because my mathematical aptitude made them easy for me to work in, I loved their ability to quickly change the color scheme of a scene. I also loved the look of realisically shaded 3D objects. That was something I had tried to master in the oil painting I did in my late 30's. My drive to express broad metaphysical ideas through my creative work led to the idea of a web art project representing planes, or states of consciousness. In the year 2000 I began to experience a great deal of synchronicity relating to Dante and his work, so I decided to incorporate his themes into my project, but I also wanted something broader, something that would reflect my own understanding of creation. By mid-2001 I was working with ideas for a "planes" project. Then 9-11 happened, and my project quickly came into focus. It will probably end up being a 20-year project with over 26,000 pieces. The internet is accessible worldwide, and images are a more universal language than any specific written language.

Sometime around 2006 or 2007 I came across Michael Newton's books on life between lives, based on thousands of deep between lives hypnotic regressions compiled over several decades. These books struck a chord with me and are now part of my way of looking at myself and others. I had a regression of my own, and one thing that surprised me was that I did not see my primary Soul group, like I was expecting. Instead, the first thing I saw on the other side from a "time" between lives was being part of a small art study group. Specifically, I was creating amorphic sculptures in an outdoor setting, not unlike some of the forms I have been incorporating into my 3D art. I also saw myself infusing some kind of primal energy or life force into some of my sculptures, like a ball of pure glowing energy. I also had a vision of some kind of very large ongoing Lotus project I have been working on. Maybe my web art project is part of it. One thing I gained from this experience was an understanding that even though I liked math and science, at my core I am an artist. It took me a long time to come to grips with that in this life.

I am beginning to think that only a handful people will ever find their way to my metaphysically structured web art project, but I still feel compelled to finish it. My nature is such that I need to be working on something large, complex and profound to feel a sense of purpose in my life. It has to be perfect. I can not help but think of an incident at boy scout camp during my youth. On the last full day there were team competitions. For one test we were told a coin was hidden in the leaves 150 feet in a given direction. Everyone set off to find it with measured strides. For my part, I paced off the 150 feet in my own precise way, 60 paces, two-and-a-half feet each, and when I stopped and looked down, the coin was sideways in the leaves between my feet. I stood there silently with the coin between my feet while everyone else wandered about paying no attention to me. I have never liked calling attention to myself.