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 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. My first job was in a university bookstore at age 17. I read widely in subjects like physics, cosmology, comparative religion, parapsychology, and psychology in addition to classic 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 as a 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 underclassmen in the university in the six-hour Putnam national math competition, but by age 19 I was becoming as restless as many of the characters in Herman Hesses's novels, which I was reading at that time. I felt an overpowering urge to do something creative and graduatlly began to shift my focus from math and science to the humanities. My inner unrest was matched by the outer unrest of the campus-wide Vietnam anti-war protests and riots. National guard troops and tear gas were a common sight. The physics building I worked in, 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. At some point during this turbulant period, there was an inner shift in how I viewed the world. Conscisiousness began to seem more important to me than the perceived material world 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 early 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 were becoming 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, and I 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 ongoing drive to express broad metaphysical ideas through my creative work led me to the idea of an online 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 thought of incorporating his work 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 the real work on my online states of consiousness project began. It will probably end up being a 20-year project with over 20,000 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 made a great deal of sense to me and are now part of my way of looking at creation. 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. There was even a glimpse of some kind of very large ongoing Lotus project I have been working on. One thing I gained from this experience was an understanding that in my deepest being, I am an artist. It took me a long time to accept that out here. My aptitude for math sidetracked me when I was young, but now I finally understand and accept that I am an artist, not a mathematician, even though I do love numbers as much as images, and even though my project is mathematically structured as a way of conveying meaning.

I have my doubts that many people will ever find their way to my massive 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, creative, beautiful, and profound to feel a sense of purpose in my life. I can not help but think of an incident at a boy scout camp during my youth. On the last day there were team competitions. For one test we were told a coin was in the leaves 200 feet in a given direction. Everyone in my team set off to find it. For my part, I paced off 150 feet in my own precise way, 60 2.5-foot paces, and when I stopped and looked down, the coin was sideways in the dirt between my feet. I stood there silently with the coin between my feet while everyone else continued searching in vain, paying no attention to me. I do not like to call attention to myself.