Scroll down to discover discrete meaning and histories of imagery laced throughout Dina Fisher's Toolbox LA murals.
Imagery Legend - 15'x9' Mural
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, articulated as an equation. Fundamental to quantum theory, the principle states it is impossible to know simultaneously the exact position and momentum of a particle. It makes clear there is a fundamental limit on what can be known about a particle at any given moment.
Jellyfish and other sea life once teamed throughout the greater region, when modern-day Chatsworth was submerged beneath ancient ocean waters. Sea life fossils occur throughout sandstone outcroppings in the nearby Simi Hills, dating as far back as 60 million years to the Cretaceous Period. source
Masterwork engraving by Hendrick Goltzius from the 16th century: Icarus, from The Four Disgracers series.
"What immortal hand or eye. Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?" The last line of William Blake's best-known poem, "The Tyger", questions the awesome and fearsome nature of a being capable of creating the natural world. Here, the line acts as a mirror to question human nature, as we ourselves begin creating new forms of life and consciousness via technology (artificial intelligence, genetics, etc).
Dopamine molecule, a driving force in creativity and human evolution.
Feynman diagram regarding neutrino.
Imaginary chimera-like creature, merging humanity with mountain lion and sea life. The creature's physical symmetry echoes "thy fearful symmetry" from Blake's nearby quote. Human hands -- a locus and conduit for creativity -- double as wings, giving our strange creature the power of flight, insinuating imagination as central force in materializing reality.
The chimera's three eyes symbolize ineffable multi-directional consciousness at the seat of universal creative agency, a salute to David Bohm's implicate order.
Blooms from Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii), an extremely powerful psychoactive plant indigenous to Chatsworth and other parts of the world. Used in ceremony by local tribes past and present, and by other practitioners. Enormous datura mounds proliferate across Chatsworth's wild fields and vacant lots.
Pentagonal icositetrahedron, a 24-sided Catalan solid occurring in some crystals, including cuprite.
Saturn V rocket, used to boost the Apollo 11 mission out of low-earth orbit, delivering humans to the moon for the first time. The rocket's second and third stage engines (the J-2 liquid oxygen/hydrogen engine) were designed and tested by Rocketdyne atop the Santa Susana Mountains overlooking Chatsworth. Tremendous sonic booms reverberated across the San Fernando Valley during testing. The rocket test stands remain to this day at the now defunct site, Santa Susana Field Labs.
Maps of three separate radio galaxies are used in the mural to mimic rocket exhaust.
Swallows zoom like agile fighter pilots up the contours of 100-foot sandstone cliffs in the Simi Hills overlooking Chatsworth. I often hear them swoosh by, several feet from my head, during closed-eye meditation. Their crisp chirps echo across the cliffs in bursts, used like radar for precision high-speed navigation.
Ouroboros, ancient symbol for eternal unity of all things. The snake's tale is in its mouth, symbolizing cycle, fertility, wholeness.
San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi), mescaline-bearing plant, one of the most important ceremonial plants used by local tribes and shamans. The most common ornamental cactus in Los Angeles, San Pedro proliferates across the Chatsworth landscape, sometimes in enormous 15'-wide clusters. The mural shows the cactus in full bloom, with a superimposed human eye symbolizing consciousness.
No mural site-specific to Chatsworth could be complete without referencing coyotes, shown here as 3D models, a nod to Toolbox LA's tech-hub positioning.
Tubular string-theory model compared to analogous Feynman diagram, nicely mimicking the shape of fallopian tubes.
Shells, a reference to ocean waters that formerly covered Toolbox LA's greater region.
Conceptual model of a networked universe, as visualized by Stephen Wolfram, an eminent mathematician, computer scientist and theoretical physicist.
Two tracings of centuries-old rock art located in Simi Hills above Toolbox LA. These tracings are excerpted from larger rock-art panels at Burro Flats Painted Cave, an important Chumash (and perhaps Gabrielino) Native American pictograph site. The site is located at Santa Susana Field Labs, very near NASA's rocket-engine test stands.
Imagery Legend - 6'x7' Mural
Flowers from the indigenous Yucca plant, used extensively by indigenous tribes. The seeds, blooms, young shoots, flowers and roots are edible by humans, and the plant is an important food source for wildlife. Its spear-like leaves provide excellent fiber for rope-making, and juices from the crushed plant foam into natural soap.
Flowers from the indigenous Yerba Santa plant. The plant's leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat asthma and urinary-tract infections. Local tribes including the Chumash use(d) it as a poultice to treat wounds. Its leaves are also burned in smudge sticks to purify spaces.
Leaves from the region’s ever-present oak trees, vast forests of which once spanned across the San Fernando Valley. Remnant groves with trees several-hundred years old, survive today near Toolbox LA.
Seed pods from Wild Black Sage (Salvia mellifera). The seeds were a major food source for Native American tribes in the region, and the plant was used medicinally. The plant is prized by beekeepers as an excellent food source in flavorful honey production. Expansive fields of this sage pepper wild spaces ringing the San Fernando Valley.
California Poppy blooms, iconic state flower of California. Parts of the plant that grow above ground are used medicinally and have slight sedative effects on humans.