Lizzie Simon The Art of Obsession Wall Street Journal Section A24 March 19th, 2012

The habits of obsessives are more likely to be pathologized than associated with the divine--but this won't be the case in the group show opening Wednesday at Brooklyn's BRIC Rotunda gallery, "Mystics: A Blessed Rage for Order."

We asked one of the show's eight participating artists, 42-year-old-Flatiron resident Jesse Pasca, to assemble some numbers related to his ritualistic and meticulous practice, and wondered if the word "obsessive" had changed for him by the time he'd written it 4,356 times. 

"It's one word that doesn't change for me," he said, "as the obsessive just reveals the process as important."

For another of his works, "My Heart as a Stock Market," the process involved listing 100 emotions and charting his esperience of them for more than a month. 

"I've always loved statistics and markets," he said. "I wondered what I'd learn about myself, and I wondered what it would be like if we all had our own 'hearts' charted."

While creating the piece, "Moore's Law," Mr. Pasca listened to the album "The Boxer," by Brooklyn band the National, for more than 65 hours, and called the album, "the perfect personal soundtrack to inner space."

"When I work, I experience my inner sounds as physical form," he said. "Somehow the baritone vocals and the easy sounds seem to mirror this."

Is he someone who is obsessive across the board, or only in his work?

"I am often drawn to extremes," Mr. Pasca said. "I consider myself thorough and possibly intense, but would not--outside of this particular idiom of work--classify myself as obsessive."