Short Biography

I was born many years ago to a semi-Bohemian family. My Grandfather (from my Mother's side) was an artist and an Opera singer. He brought up a family of thirteen children by mostly relying on his artistic skills to provide him with the means for survival. It was a remarkable feat by any standards.

My Grandfather from my Father's side was a farmer. I have inherited the love for art and the love for music from my Bohemian Grandfather, while I've also retained the love of nature and of simple life from my family from my Father's side, that lives on the farm, surrounded by nature.

Ever since I can remember, I have been strongly attracted to drawing and painting. In my early youth (when I was around fourteen years old) I made a decision to become an artist. I didn't have the means to enroll in a regular art education program (couldn't study at the Academy), so I've decided to proceed anyway, and to try and train myself. Thanks to the talent I've inherited from my ancestors, this self-education went quite smoothly, and in a remarkably short period I was able to achieve certain level of artistic proficiency.

I have started by studying the old Masters (Rembrandt, Rubens, Velasquez, Da Vinci, etc.) Once I was able to approximate their ways of rendering objects using the appropriate medium (usually a canvas and oil paints), I moved on to the more recent schools of European easel painting. First, I've spent some time being under the spell by the Impressionists, but I quickly moved on to studying the Masters who had to express something deeper than the mere interplay between the sunlight and the shades. Thus, I've focused on studying the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Sezanne, Pablo Picasso and so on.

Finally, it had to happen: I had to undergo the fascination with the modern Western art. All those unexpected and refreshingly original ideas as exhibited by many of the twentieth century artists appeared to be simply irresistible to my eyes.

Several years later, after I've satisfied my initial desire to create art, I've got involved in learning music. My first cravings for making music were materialized when I heard the phenomenal guitarist John McLaughlin who was at that time leading a revolutionary Mahavishnu Orchestra. His passionate display of an amazing level of virtuosity that enabled him to climb the highest vistas of musical achievements have inspired me to take up learning the guitar.

Mastering such a complex instrument as guitar is turned out to be a life-long project (especially for a person like myself, who is not very musically talented). Meanwhile, I got engaged in various other activities:

I have enrolled in the University and decided to study natural sciences, in particular Biology. After six years of studying, I've decided to specialize in Ecology and to devote most of my time to studying the complex systems. At the same time, I have developed an interest in  Philosophy of Science and in Linguistics. When, a bit later, I also got involved in reading about the Eastern philosophies (especially studying Buddhism and Taoism), I've realized that it would be nice to learn Sanskrit, which is an ancient language of the East (similar to what the Latin is to our civilization in the West).

The technological revolution in the mid-eighties, which brought personal computers (PCs) into many homes, have influenced me profoundly. After acquiring one of those early pioneering gadgets (one of the first mass produced personal computers), a very important book has, as if by coincidence, crossed my desk -- "Godel, Escher, Bach -- The Eternal Golden Braid", by Douglas Hofstadter. This amazing book made a big influence on me, and opened many doors to my development.

One of the areas I got involved in under the direct influence of this book was computer programming. The whole book is actually loosely organized over the central theme: "can machines be made to actually think?" This is a fascinating subject to which still there isn't a definitive answer. Today, I must say that I am more skeptical of the possibility of Artificial intelligence than I was fifteen years ago.

In any situation where there is an intense learning process unfolding, there comes a time when the assimilated body of knowledge must be tested in real life situations. My seemingly disparate studies of scientific research methodologies, software development, philosophy, art, music, and eastern spiritual disciplines have finally converged to form a particular lifestyle that I must put to test every day for the rest of my life. The important portion of this cultivation of lifestyle is, of course, morality. Then, the tests point back to the ways of correcting my understanding. I go back to my study room. The newly assimilated material must again be put to test. And so on. This path is endless.

See you on one of the crossroads!

Alex Bunard

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