Archive for category: Art and Science

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]

Interfaith Reflections

Without getting lost in the concepts of political secularism, I think it is important to acknowledge the level of incomprehension present in our world today.

Call it sectarian violence or religious terrorism, it has and is changing the way we live our lives.

This last week with the terror inflicted upon us all, a sobering Read more

Perfect Solitude

What is wrong with solitude and why is everybody these days so afraid of it?

It seems as though technology is leading us away from ourselves and others.

“We share therefore we are.”[1]

According to Sherry Turkle we use social networks because it gives us the guarantee that Read more

Nietzsches Madman

The idea that was launched by Nietzsche’s madman in 1882 that God is dead [1] is clearly a paradox, since if he has died then he must have been alive at some point.

Of course this makes no sense as God is supposed to be eternal.

 

What the madman was referring to is the death of a shared belief.

Nineteenth century Europe had reached a point with science and philosophy where God simply wasn’t at the center of everything anymore, man was.

Man filled the void that was left behind.

Man turned to nature through science and in doing so killed God.

 

The difficulty that religion and mysticism has is that the focus is on eternity and this afterlife can be seen as a denial of life itself.

As life occurs now, in this moment, not in some imagined future paradise.

 

Nietzsche was also making a statement about intolerance and the lack of ambition to do anything other than to live in mediocrity and conformity.

To him this meant existing within a ‘slave mentality’ that is led by fear and superstition.

The only way out was for man to kill God, only then can man live.

 

The freed man becomes an ‘Übermensch’ (literally translated is ‘Overman’ but is often mistranslated as ‘Superman’).

Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s spokesman who encourages the Übermensch to overcome obstacles and fear with will and courage.

His ‘will to power’ refers to ‘fearlessness’ with true power being self-harmony, self-control and self-realization. [2]

 

While we are trained from birth to live in accordance to the ‘slave mentality’, many of us escape.

If we become creators we can give our world meaning according to our own rules.

Those who have reached the status of Übermensch, are those ready and willing to serve at the same time that they are ready and able to lead. [3]

 

By channeling will and controlling passion we can create something greater than ourselves.

Nietzsche’s madman was mirroring a new world.

Zarathustra speaks to those who find the courage to listen.

Only then is the creator truly unleashed, by his own will to rise above and express his own truth; free to depict his own world without fear.

My path from classical figurative sculpture to my present work, the Spirit Collection, is telling in many ways.

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882), section 125.
  2. Michael Macrone, Eureka!, Cader company, Inc. 1994.
  3. Friedrich Nietzsche, “Zarathustra’s Prologue”, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883).

By Blake & Boky

The Universe Leading

Where do artists find their art?
Is the universe leading us or might we, as mere mortal beings, humbly have something to do with it?
Passion must be involved, as well as our obstinacy to continue when all seems lost.
I believe that while our creativity can come from many different sources one of the most important among these is experience and observation of the world we live in.
If we observe our lives and are aware of our feelings and emotions we find myriad of choices.
The stories we have lived and starred in teach us and through careful observation we will understand things that might have escaped us before.

When I am working I often wonder how much is an accident and how much is choice.
For instance, when I am doing what I call “reverse engineering” where I remove some of the wax layers of the sculpture I am working on, I am engaging in a huge leap of faith that requires me to let go.
Chance and happenstance is now controlling the process.
Is that me or is it the universe creating?
Undeniably, the result could never have come about without letting go of that control, at whatever risk!

Who was it that said that the most talented people are those most aware of their deficiencies and the most willing to overcome them?
Sometimes it takes accepting that which we can’t do.
Richard Serra is a great example of this. [1]
After finishing grad school in Florence he went to view Velázquez’ Las Meninas at the Prado in Madrid.
Serra’s life changed that day.
Convinced he was no Velázquez he went back to Florence and threw all his paintings, easel and paint into the river.
He faced, admitted and even embraced a reality that was nothing less than horrible!

Yet, it was what happened next that matters.
He began an exploration using a list of verbs: to hold, to fold….etc and actually did these things to many different types of materials.
When he got to: ‘To Lift’ (now at MOMA) he did this to a large piece of rubber and this was the start of the rest of his life as an artist.
Serra had found his voice.
With his monumental pieces he has done what he realized he could not do with painting and in embracing that reality his genius had a chance.
Standing between what we dream of and what we hoped for is hard.
Yet, if we can somehow embrace that place and call it home, we may find that sometimes things brake for a reason and we might be surprised with what happens next.

The stories of our lives, experience, limitations and losses, in essence, the challenges of life will mysteriously change our lives.
It is just like with my reverse engineering, if we are listening creativity can get the chance to resound far beyond our dreams.

By Boky and Blake

 

[1] https://www.ted.com/talks/julie_burstein_4_lessons_in_creativity#t-1016885

All Things Integral

Or Another sleepless night!

At about four thirty in the morning I found myself thinking of ways that the web connects ideas, about “Cultural Creatives” and imagining how expressions of “Integral Art” might look in 3D Read more

Your future is yours

We are stronger than we believe….

As I was working on the inner structure of a new Angel (who is quite temperamental, I might add), I was reflecting on the complexity of our inner world and my attempt to represent this.

The force behind our various emotions was the idea that I wanted to convey, and I began Read more

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