Archive for month: April, 2016

Implicit Knowledge

“…perceptual art may be interpreted as the engagement of multi-sensory experiential stimuli combined with the multiplicity of interpretive meanings on the part of an observer….” [1]

I see art as an exploration in the fields of psychology, philosophy, including, but not limited to, optical truth; our visual perception of a work of art.

Furthermore, in my opinion, the constructivist applications whereby social values within any given zeitgeist are considered should not be ignored.

Why not use the language of ‘form’ to express something meaningful?

Donald Judd stated that: “A work of art needs only to be interesting”.

He believed that the object as a whole, the way it occupies space is what makes it interesting because in its pure form it is “intense, clear and [has] power.” [2].

As a conceptualist it is difficult for me to adjudicate such strength to his ‘specific objects’.

For Blake, whose artistic origins are firmly rooted in traditional formalism, the problem poses itself exponentially.

Judd’s work denies the complexity present in formalism; his complexity is defined differently than ours.

Still, a great deal of complexity can occur above and beyond formalism and getting trapped within definitions and interpretations would be counter-productive to the creation of art.

“Ernst Gombrich discussed perceptualism in terms of universal perceptual and psychological responses that govern the reception of images across time and differences in culture.”

Jack Chambers instead, termed it ‘Perceptual Realism’ stating that any form of visual art is “a profound reflection of primary sensory experience, not simply a reproduction of it.” [3]

So what is this thing we do?

Where do we, as artists, belong?

Is there a place where perception, emotion, behaviour, relationships, symbols, dreams, psychological resilience and the unconscious mind can be expressed in bronze?

How do the Angels of the Spirit Collection reach the observer?

Can they trigger introspection through the unconscious mind?

Will there ever be empirical evidence as to the efficacy of subliminal perception?

Creation is perhaps the unconscious in action, a place where forgotten memories and automatic thoughts and behaviours become the locus of implicit knowledge. [4]

By Boky & Blake

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perceptual_art
  2. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Donald_Judd
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perceptual_art
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscious_mind
  5. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01688639008400962

“…implicit knowledge : knowledge that is expressed in task performance unintentionally and with little phenomenal awareness….” [5]

Everybody Hurts

Is art an equalizer for human suffering? In the words of REM’s Michael Stipe “Everybody hurts” not only artists.

The difference is that we can use the hurt to connect to the outer world.

How many of you didn’t instantly love that song? And why?

Because at one point in our lives, we have been there, we can relate so much that it becomes our story.

Often inspiration comes from a dark place, a dark and beautiful place where the silence of a million voices tells a story to those who have been there before.

I suppose that is the unifying factor, the fact of having been there at some point in order to understand, in order to hear.

While the pessimist uses his negative outlook to remain motionless and do nothing because after all, things are the way they are; the optimist does the same because he believes that everything will be alright purely due to his belief that it will be.

The artist takes the tears and rather than whine endlessly in some melodramatic stupor, allows them to flow, in whatever the medium may be, like silence from the stone.

This silence is then translated by who sees and understands.

Works of art are like encrypted messages to the world outside our secret garden.

They tell many stories of laughter and of despair and despondency.

What is important is the attempt at communicating.

We create to communicate, to heal, to find comfort in your eyes.

Perhaps we seek other things, like acceptance, yet what matters, is the act of taking action, rather than hiding behind one dogma or another, and using this to remain paralyzed.

Our lives, our stories, triggered by life itself can leave something behind.

Like a philosopher’s written words, a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, a song or a poem; all these things can help us heal, not only in the moment, but for epochs to come.

Why else do we still get lost deciphering Rodin and Camille Claudel’s world and work?

Because it is real, because it is life and they had the courage to create despite the pain.

By Boky & Blake

Solitude and Stillness

Solitude is essential to creation, to exalting the genius; to digging deep within ourselves and finding the light that guides our work.

Being alone with our thoughts is essential, yet aloneness and loneliness are two completely different beasts.

Loneliness can kill, while aloneness leads to the opposite.

Often society has a difficult time with the idea that being alone is not always a bad thing.

The pre-conceived notion is that if one is alone, one must be sad and that simply isn’t true!

Meditation, for example, leads us to that place of peace, of stillness where ideas can proliferate, and result in an explosion of possibilities.

Creating that uncontrollable urge to get to the studio and down to work, and here again, words are not required, as we know, in our silence, what to do.

As with love, creating is like a dance filled with mystery and wonder.

This is our world.

Of course there are other personality types who require more contact, and thrive on social networks, in order to replenish their energy.

While it is hard for us to understand this fully, we don’t condemn it.

To each their own.

People are often hostile or afraid of anything that is out of their comfort zone.

It’s the old paradigm of confusion leading to fear leading to contempt.

There is so much insecurity in our society today. We are fragile beings.

Often we simply cannot bear to spend a moment alone with ourselves, with our thoughts, in our world.

Could it be that we suffer from low self-esteem and therefore cannot face to be alone?

Why must we let our ghosts win?

Perhaps if we befriended them we might overcome some of our suffering.

Is it that our society fears solitude and projects those fears onto others?

Solitude is not a mere eccentricity to be criticised and chastised; it is an art form.

The introvert in his struggle to create is better versed in stillness.

Sometimes I wonder though, if he isn’t simply more jaded, knowing full well that the extrovert’s obsessive accumulation of social networking isn’t really a viable insurance policy at all.

Is this ‘fear’ speaking?

Ultimately, we could not be the artists that we are if we limited our existence to the voices that carry and nurture fear, because solitude, silence and stillness carry much deeper meaning and for this we are eternally grateful.

By Boky & Blake

Make the Unconscious Conscious

We had an interesting conversation yesterday regarding our blogs and writing and I couldn’t help but think of Virginia Woolf and her ideas on journaling as being “a way to ‘loosen one’s ligaments’ for formal writing.”

In her view journaling “grants us unfiltered access to the rough gems of our own minds, ordinarily dismissed by the self-censorship of ‘formal’ writing. “ [1]

Maria Popova says journaling teaches us “how to be present with our own selves, bear witness to our experience, and fully inhabit our inner selves.”

In her piece on the creative benefits of keeping a diary she mentions Anaïs Nin, who was a fervent diarist.

Nin believed that the practice of writing a journal was a doorway to writing that comes alive; fervent, spontaneous and natural writing.

This comes about through the freedom of writing about those things that genuinely interest us in that moment.

Thanks to the fact that the self-editor, who is normally there during any formal writing sessions, has been temporarily put on mute, countless images can grab us and find place on that page.

The possibility of following one’s mood, the use of free association or simply impulsively following an idea into the rabbit hole can give rise to an altogether unique and original style of writing that jumps off the page and into our lives.

Journaling was Nin’s “way of learning to translate the inner into the outer, the subjective into the universal” [2]

I suppose what prompted this blog was the idea that our work is exactly about that.

Through the sculpture we seek to ‘translate the inner into the outer’, because as it turns out, the subjective isn’t the enemy.

We are the subjective and it matters a great deal, especially these days where self-esteem seems to be under siege by society.

The Spirit collection is about understanding our inner worlds better.

The structure of each of the bronzes is different, as we are, and those differences should be celebrated.

Our blogs and our sculpture serve to document our subjective, to shed light on our mental, spiritual and creative worlds and in doing so, hopefully invite the viewer to look inside.

These sculptures are about inner beauty and inner strength.

“…sometimes in a man or a woman awareness takes place — not very often and always inexplainable. There are no words for it because there is no one ever to tell. This is a secret not kept a secret, but locked in wordlessness. The craft or art of writing is the clumsy attempt to find symbols for the wordlessness. In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable. And sometimes if he is very fortunate and if the time is right, a very little of what he is trying to do trickles through — not ever much.” [3] Steinbeck

In the end, whether it’s by using bronze, clay, film or words, it’s about an attempt at making the unconscious conscious, as Jung said, lest we call it fate.

By Boky & Blake

  1. · https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/04/famous-writers-on-keeping-a-diary/
  2. · https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/04/famous-writers-on-keeping-a-diary/
  3. · https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/04/01/john-steinbeck-east-of-eden-journal-letters/?mc_cid=eef0166e83&mc_eid=7287d9a6bb

 

Augmented Reality

Will augmented reality take hold?

As digital technology develops, our ability to interact as normal human beings seems to be decreasing.

The picture of the modern family depicts everyone on their own device “connecting” or creating with the help of our favourite little rectangular box.

Are we not simply living vicariously through the images of ‘the perfect life’ that our friends are posting?

Even writing a symphony is now possible without the actual piano.

Building a sculpture using 3D technology is also done while sitting across from a screen.

For us it’s the polygon adventure, pushing the dreams of an artist into the 21st century.

Where will it land us?

Nobody knows, still the expedition moves forward in the search of expression and greater meaning.

There must be a better way, away from the rectangular box, a healthier way for technology to move us forward as a civilization, as a culture.

Digital technology should act as an extension of our bodies, not as a wall that blocks all real communication between us.

If our eyes don’t meet, are we really connecting?

Am I listening to you? Am I here for you?

Will we remember the meaning of the word ‘empathy’?

How can we use technology in a more natural way?

How can we reach out to each other?

How can neuroscience cooperate in this endeavour?

Neuroscientist, Meron Gribetz, introduces us to his Media 2, a set of glasses that project holograms of whatever we want.

He calls it augmented reality and has been working towards extending our bodies, our senses even, through the use of digital technology. [1]

This means bringing real life into the machine and essentially extending our human experience through the use of this technology.

Gribetz uses neuroscience to guide the designs. “…the principle we all revolve around is what’s called the ‘Neural Path of Least Resistance.’”

The pillars of their design guidelines are:

1) the operating system is our brain, therefore a zero learning curve;

2) the ‘touch to see’ interface, which uses our proprioception (sense of our body parts in space), and finally;

3) activating our mirror-neuron subsystem which “suggests that we can connect with each other and with our work much better if we can see each other’s faces and hands in 3D.” [2]

This allows for the sharing, the experiencing things together within the projected hologram.

Interaction is possible, such as touching and moving things in real time, and eye contact exists allowing for the possibility of being connected, in the moment.

Think of the possibilities!

Phones would become a thing of the past.

As technology advances and pushes us forward, let’s reach further but let’s not forget the value of our reality, the one that augmented reality would like to emulate.

A book is still a book, and a hug is still a hug and nothing will ever feel better than that.

By Boky & Blake

 

1.https://www.ted.com/talks/meron_gribetz_a_glimpse_of_the_future_through_an_augmented_reality_headset/transcript?language=en#t-134960

2.https://www.ted.com/talks/meron_gribetz_a_glimpse_of_the_future_through_an_augmented_reality_headset/transcript?language=en#t-134960

 

© Copyright 2017 Blake Ward. | Atelier Blake, 5 rue des Violettes, Monte-Carlo, Monaco 98000
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