Norbert Strippel
'New3' by Bacchus Barua


I'm a Northern Hessian artist who has concerned himself with computer art for the last 15 years. The central element of my artwork is the illustration of mathematical algorithms, which create a field of tension between chaos, order and aesthetics. The essential trait is the artistic processing, with airbrush-techniques, of structures created on the computer. In this way a unique colouring and individual design becomes possible.

These original artworks and the information below are from my project about Goethean science called "The Power of Colour". The complete original information is of course in German, but I'll give you give some gist here about the exhibition, and am appending a brief English reading-list below the images.

The Project is my interpretation of the Goethean science, based on the approach of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, author of FAUST, who is most generally known for his poetry and literature around the world. In fact, Goethe himself saw his principle contributions to culture as being in the area of science. He authored many works on science, notably The Metamorphosis of Plants and his Theory of Color. Goethe stressed that one had to start with the actual phenomenon, and that it is impossible to divorce oneself from participation in nature, contrary to the method of contemporary science.

As a generalization, it could be said that he was one of the first holistic thinkers, in the modern sense, to emerge in western culture, and his contributions are variously acknowledged. Using his morphological technique, he proved that the intermaxillary bone, known to exist in animals, could also be found in the human skull. At the time, the supposed lack of this bone was considered to be a significant differentiator between man and animals: this at the time just prior to the development of evolutionary thinking along the lines of Darwin. He opposed with might and main the concept of Newton's own theory of color (specifically, the idea of white light being "comprised" of the different wavelengths of colored light), and although his approach is discredited in the context of Newtonian and Quantum physics, the approach and understanding his Theory provides remains of ongoing interest to both artists and some among the more thoughtful scientists. It begins with the classic Aristotlean notion of "cool" and "warm" colors (blues and reds); blues represent a lightening of black, reds a darkening of white.

His conception is expressed poetically in the words "colors are the deeds and sufferings of light." His idea of the "Urpflanze" or primal plant was the central theme of his Metamorphosis of Plants; he was a great opponent of the mere categorization of species after the manner of Linneaus, without understanding how the various forms and species developed as metamorphoses of each other. Simplistically stated, he saw all plant forms as transformations of the leaf. His method led him to what is sometimes rendered "the exact percipient fantasy", in other words, a direct perception of a supersensible reality from which a living thing derives its form.

Many of the approaches embodied in Goethe's scientific world-view are later found metamorphosed, or in spiritual science.

Enjoy it.


A Short English Language Reading List in Goethean Science:

  • Scientific Studies
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    translation by Douglas Miller
    1988 Suhrkamp Publishers New York
    The definitive translation of the bulk of Goethe's scientific works, including Farbenlehre (Theory of Color), Metamorphosis of Plants, Fortunate Encounter, The Experiment as Mediator between Object and Subject, and much much more.
  • Man or Matter
    Ernst Lehrs
    Third Edition 1985 Rudolf Steiner Press London
    Lehrs surveys the development of the contemporary consesus worldview of science and contrasts what he describes as the "onlooker consciousness" with the approach of Goethe, which stresses insight into how man can participate in the phenomenon. Lehrs develops, in the manner of Goethe, concepts of Levity, polar-Euclidean space, physical substances as part of "nature's alphabet," the "optics of the doer" and much more. A foundation work.
  • Goethean Science: A Reappraisal
    Amrine, Zucker, Wheeler, editors
    1987 D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrect
    A collection of academic papers in the history and philosophy of science. Includes essays by Douglas Miller, Art Zajonc, others.
  • Catching the Light
    Arthur Zajonc
    1993 Bantam Books New York
    A popular approach that focuses on the parallel development of man's understanding of light and the development of consciousness. More up-to-date than Lehrs in terms of the latest in contemporary physics, although not quite the literary work that Lehrs' is.
  • The Wholeness of Nature
    Henri Bortoft
    1996 Lindisfarne Press Hudson, New York
    A Physicist who trained with David Bohm sees Goethe's approach-his way of seeing-as the basis for an experience of the wholeness of nature. Perhaps the best introduction for those steeped in contemporary science.
  • Rudolf Steiner's Science Courses
    As part of his training of the first teachers of the Waldorf Schools, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of the three lecture cycles specifically on the sciences. They are of particular interest in that they show how his spiritual science, rooted in the Goethean approach, feeds back again into the study of Natural Science.
  • The Light Course
    (First Science Course)
    Rudolf Steiner
    1977 Goethean Science Foundation, Clent, England
    Rudolf Steiner, who edited the first comprehensive edition of Goethe's Scientific papers at the Goethe Archives in Weimar, gave three lecture cycles on scientific topics to a class of teachers at the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart. The 'Light Course' includes several optical experiments intended to demonstrate the Goethean understanding of color.
  • The Warmth Course
    (Second Science Course)
    Rudolf Steiner
    1988 Mercury Press Spring Valley, New York
    In this cycle Steiner develops his concept of heat as an entity distinct from simply a 'mode of motion' but rather the transition between the material and the etheric.
  • The Relationship of the Diverse Branches of Natural Science to Astronomy:
    (Third Science Course)
    Rudolf Steiner
    Translator Unknown
    Unpublished except as study notes, now partially available on-line here. This cycle explores the deep inter-relationships between the living cell, embryonic development, and the cosmos.

Some Exhibitions & Events of Norbert Strippel:

  • 1983 Pegasus, Bad Wildungen/Odershausen
  • 1986 Member of "Die Art-Genossen"
  • 1988 Symposium Waldecker Künstler
  • 1988 Pilgermission, Gießen
  • 1989 Hessentag, Frankenberg
  • 1991 Galerie Rath, Köln
  • 1991 "Kunst & Technik", MLP Marburg
  • 1992 Kunstkabinett, Baden-Baden
  • 1992 Stadthalle Leonberg
  • 1993 Kurmuseum Bad Wildungen
  • 1997 Sonderaustellung "KUR PUR" Bad Wildungen/Reinhardshausen
  • 1998 "shining radar" Kreissparkasse Waldeck-Frankenberg
  • 1999 "Roots", Bahnhof Gemünden
  • 1999 Galerie Kass, Innsbruck

Norbert Strippel
Zur Aulisburg 1
35114 Haina/Löhlbach