Implicit Knowledge

Photo of a one-quarter life-size partial female figure in bronze with an exposed interior structure by Blake Ward Blake Sculpture

“…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]

Written by Boky Hackel






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