Black Lining

I’ve been collaborating remotely with Black Lining; a team of designers who work with wood and laser-cutting. The team focuses on artworks generated by Tattoo Artists, giving the work a new medium to explore.


We agreed on furthering this one, as it seamlessly fit the technical criteria of production (connected lines). I’m very excited about how the prototype turned out. The team is hoping to release these in the next few months! I’m still under the process of experimenting with transforming my drawings into other mediums ~ I’m hoping this experience may provide some insight into different modalities of such translations.

A Strong Shift in Perspective.

I’ve come to realize that my development as an artist through this course, was both a catalyst, and sibling to my development as a tattoo artist. I still recall a prominent Skype conversation initiated by Jonathan - What is digital art? Is that an appropriate term to use in describing what we, as a collective in the course, do?  My connection to the digital has always been the most promising form of self-expression; whether remaining digital or further translating into a different materiality. 

My own traumas have made it harder to communicate the self with my environment through speech or text. It has become vital for my existence, to be able to communicate the self through other means. In the process of making, somehow, that communication is achieved, whether it gets seen by anyone or not. 

Becoming a tattoo artist has been the most challenging journey i’ve ever chosen - but the most beautiful one too. I’ve found a way of communication that I can practice in the form of a collaboration. Profoundly, it achieves for myself, the highest dose of self-development ~ a much needed one for a mind like my own. 

The sphere connects a greater journey, one I haven’t been able to discover as of yet. Perhaps it shall be a placeholder until it finds its moment in future realization. What I do know, however, is that tattooing has helped me discover more about it, and in this direction, i hope, i’ll be closer to understanding it. 

I’ve decided to redirect my research, a more focused approach into my current journey. The working title; “Tattooing as a Collaborative Act of Self-Development”. 

Tattoo Booking Challenges

A few challenges I faced this month:

A client asked me to touch-up another artists work. Is that considered disrespectful to the artist? Does the intention of ‘fixing’ alleviate thoughts around vandalism? I decided to not follow through with booking the appointment. I may need to think of this further ~ 

A client asked me to tattoo a flash piece in an area where i thought it would not work. I struggled with this before and ended up tattooing the design anyways - the experience was very different/difficult, it took longer, it felt like endless labour. Trust your guts? Should this discomfort suggest not following through with requests as such in the future? 


I have most recently decided to take a few extra steps forward with tattooing. For the past year, I had been looking for apprenticeship opportunities all over the city - but none of them seemed to fall through. So I decided to teach myself. I purchased a rotary machine two months ago, and decided to tattoo myself to get a hang of things. After a really strange experience tattooing my own knee, I decided to give it a go on someone else. I had done a variety of research around maintaining a proper hygienic standard with the tools and space - I was ready. My drawings seemed to grab the attention of a few friends, and with that came an evolution of my own style - a more refined one, a visual language that works better in the form of a tattoo. I opened up an Instagram account, and started to exhibit my drawings and tattoos. 

It seems as though my work, as fragmented as it is in medium, chronology, and context, seems to always want to tell a story. As if each piece somehow pinpoints a moment in time in this little reality.  The sphere as a placeholder? A reminder that we are back in that reality?

With time, finding ways to remind myself of how to acquire tranquility  within a traumatized mind has become a passionate pursue of mine. The tattoos on my own body have symbolized those reminders, images that eventually translate into states - building somewhat of a relationship with these images on my body can be described as therapeutic. 

The sphere is that reminder in my works - a reminder to enter a mindset, a journey in an attempt to grasp the nature of Empathy. 

Can that process of migration into that realm, to recognize a symbol and  allow it to guide you through an inconsistent narrative, be in itself a practice of Empathy? 

Mid-Point Review (Comments)

“How do you envisage developing this narrative of reflection, what form might it take, what might it sweep with it? … The sphere is a place holder...” - Alexis

“ I felt that the chain of events in your narrative was somehow predictable and relatively logical. I would have liked to be more challenged as a viewer by your acknowledgement of the existence of a broad range of contradictory contextual perspectives.” - Pav

“I'd love to hear more about your train of thoughts behind of this sequence and how you put it together.” - Aristotle

“In some ways I feel a sense of separateness yet togetherness – loss yet comfort and sometimes anxiety yet a feeling of calm.” - Michelle

“When I first watched it, I struggled to understand what it is about, on the second watch I got much more from it. Are these meant to be separate works?” - Kelda

“Also like a dream I am struggling to remember specific parts of it” - Arthur

“Because I find how to know yourself is a crucial subject matter in your works, and a social account sometimes is way that people defines themselves nowadays. 'Mental landscape’, which refers to landscape as idea and concept, may also give you some inspiration.”- AxAsh

“I just always have to think of William Kentridge when I see your work.” - Friederike

“A snippet i remember from the 360 workshop is that when we are viewing 360video we are essentially trapped in a sphere. Im really curious to see how the format of the work unfolds moving forward towards presentation/exhibition.” - Matt

“have seen your individual works in blog before. I thought it’s cool but didn’t understand the meaning behind it. It’s very surprised that you put them together and it works. This narrative seems new and interesting but I think the visual parts are a little bit mess. The black and white part and 3D animations doesn’t seems match very well.” - Taiyo


A Pause

I’ve been struggling to write these days. I’ve been in a state of making - reflecting ideas outwards and executing them immediately. I’ve acquired some sort of pace, a routine of some sort. It seems as though this method has prioritized my making process, but has put the reflection process on pause. I’ve decided to make an effort to start writing more frequently - no matter how informal/disorganized it may be. I should start seeing the blog as having the ability to act as a time capsule - revisiting ideas, my own history, opinion, research, work. 

I recorded a two-track EP with my band Laura K Prophet. 

I have never been able to dive this deeply into music before, to be able to learn the intricate engineering behind it all. We spent two days at Monarch Studios - the first day was dedicated to making sure all the instruments are recorded properly (bed tracks)- with their sounds perfected either through re-amping or other analogue techniques. The next day was dedicated to vocals and other textures. I spent the entire morning laying out vocals and layers, experimenting with different microphones (The C12 Vintage was my favourite) and the possibilities of vocal layering and delay. I was able to witness the way space is engineered through analogue methods. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by individuals who managed to work with my visual-thinking. I was able to communicate my suggestions through images, and the engineer was able to understand and further translate that idea into sound. 

This render was inspired by a conversation I had with the engineer about how I wanted my vocals to sound in relationship to the synthesizer near the end of one of our tracks. I was trying to describe the vocals falling in slow motion from above - plush but elastic, adaptable and moldable, but always managing to retain itself. The Synthesizer a fast growing tree, sharper branches, echoic, reflective. I wanted them to collide, but not destroy one another - somewhat of a balanced coexistence of sharp and smooth.

I’ve been tattooing more frequently. 

I’ve grown accustomed to the tattoo machine, its vibrations, voltage settings, needle size, ink densities, skin varieties. I’ve been noticing a sizeable amount of improvement after every tattoo - this is building my confidence with the tool, making me eager to experiment and further my learnings within this practice.

It seems as though this program (MFA) has facilitated the ways in which other endeavours of art-making are interconnected. I’ve come to develop a clearer visual language, furthering my understanding of the screen and its capabilities. Tattooing is elaborating the two-dimensional, the plane. Music is contributing largely to my conceptual framework of space, and my digital fine art is becoming a language in which I communicate these ideas. In connecting these ideas, translating, bridging. In doing so I have come closer to an awareness of what a “digital artist” (for the lack of a better term) is suggestive of. 

Discovering the framework of Empathy has been a starting point that I’ve managed to remain consistent with. So far I’ve come to a moment of reflection, in which I need to contemplate the following ideas:

Can Empathy be achieved as a consistent state of being or a state that fluctuates based on exposures to instinct and survival mechanisms? Or neither? 

How do/ do Empathy and the Sphere (further research/exploration needed) connect?

Can material (texture), represented in digital form (renderings), achieve an added awareness to space and environment to the visual language of the screen?

Can expanding quality and scale of renderings, projecting them in large spaces, immerse the viewer into its world more effectively? 

What would 3D renderings feel like as large-scale prints exhibited in vast empty spaces with sculptural objects (connecting to elements within the render) surrounding the area?

What does it mean to be an artist? To me? 

Mid-Point Review (Video Presentation)

The canvas was always black. 

You know when your mom tells you to close your eyes and imagine something,

like a peaceful dream, most lifelike with water, a boat- 

A reflection, the sky, space,

States, shapes, desires.

Thoughts that stick, 

or that erode what already existed. 

That the world is only larger with bridges and bonds,

Sharing the tools we use. 

The ways we choose. 

That fear is like an old friend.

A simulation of Then. 

Then, reconsidered. 

I assume the role of-

I’m not sure. 

Are you?

Who are you?

If not an absolute

Then a collection of a few?


Do you see?


What do you make of me?

But we can’t fully understand. 

Therefore we can’t define.

What float and hovers

Invisible, yet always divine.


“We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.” ― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


But nobody told you
What nobody told you


I’ve decided to open up a separate section on my page for my sketchbook (digital drawings). Drawing is a form of brainstorming for me - especially in this form/style/language. It’s a vulnerability, a skeleton, a foundation of a future idea - or perhaps, quite often, a translation of thought that may just exist as is.

Words to ponder on: 

Mark-making, translation, tool.

The Spider

Untitled Project 2 1.2019-02-01 04_44_48.gif

Spiders are genetically programmed to generate a symmetric algorithm of web - a map they are born with. I adopted the term ‘spider’ around two years ago - my brother and I were both attempting to reconcile with a loss of a loved one, an internal conflict of morale, an existential crisis that left us both in an agoraphobic state; unable to trust the innenwelt, unable to trust the umwelt. My brother and I have had a long history of trauma, symptoms of emotional flashbacks seemed to take a toll on the ways in which we processed novel traumas, unable to disconnect the web of our present from that of our past. It’s like watching a jump scare scene from a horror film on repeat, panicking, trying to find the remote to shut off the screen - but you realize you’re tied to your chair, unable to leave or move until the film decides to end at its own accord. We talked about this process, the inability to ‘control’ - how it frustrated it us, if we could find a way around it. That part we weren’t able to control was eventually named ‘The Spider’. A part of our mind that breathes for us, knows what to do when we sleep, knows what dreams to engage us in, to spark our interest. Albeit, as separate as it may seem, The Spider is still part of us. A mixture of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS), the Subconscious and unconscious. The Spider takes care of everything that is not in our immediate attention, even thoughts we shove aside as we try to just engage in the everyday. As much as we’d like to believe that the spider and its daily ‘tasks’ are inaccessible, they aren’t. There exists a consciousness beyond the conscious, most commonly referred to as the meta-conscious - a level of thought that can contemplate the state of being conscious. As practice, my brother and I attempted to engage with that state of meta-consciousness, observing The Spider and its decisions - eventually redirecting it in healthier ways. Meta-consciousness is like a lens, a camera - a wide focused view on the body, mind, environment, and space. To be meta-conscious is to become a flaneur on the streets of your mind, watching thoughts swoosh by - traffic can be exhausting sometimes. A form of astral projection happening within the innenwelt, a meta-projection (so many metas, I know). A flaneur on busy city streets gazes at shadow, symmetry, and composition, contemplating the connections, the histories and reasonings, fragments of a greater puzzle. A meta-projection is just that, except instead of a city, it’s you. I’d like to take a closer look at The Spider, from a meta-conscious level, contemplating its activity.

Evaluating elements (symbols-signs-significations-language) in a virtual portrait of The Spider - through a meta-consciousness lens. 

Body    Gender & Interpellation, Mind & Matter, Senses & Auras, Skin & Gravity.


Gender & Interpellation, Mind & Matter, Senses & Auras, Skin & Gravity.

Space    Tangible & Intangible , Location & distortion, Innenwelt & Umwelt, Adaptations & Transitions.


Tangible & Intangible , Location & distortion, Innenwelt & Umwelt, Adaptations & Transitions.

Sphere    Identity & reality, Perception & Difference, Views & Beliefs, Histories & Drives.


Identity & reality, Perception & Difference, Views & Beliefs, Histories & Drives.

Environment    Socius & Culture, History & Paradigm, Public & Private, Family & Tradition.


Socius & Culture, History & Paradigm, Public & Private, Family & Tradition.

Musicians & Chemists

I’ve been contemplating the presence of music in our lives - what does “music” even mean? I sat down with my band members, and we decided to have an open conversation about the way that we perceive music. For some reason, the conversation started off with how each of us came to understand the impact of music, and the ways in which it has informed the way we perceive it now. I was taught how to play the piano in a conservatory, my hands would get slapped every time i got a note wrong - I was taught to read notes like a robot, and if I ever glitched-out, I would get slightly punished for it. I decided to end my time learning there, it felt like the opposite of what music meant for me. During the Lebanese war in 2006 was when i first came to understand the impact of the piano. Bombs would fall from fighter planes almost algorithmically, the echos were bone-jolting. I sat on the piano one afternoon, and played to the sound of the harsh echos. As i played, I started to understand the algorithm of the bombings, the strategy of the combat, which calmed me down - I was able to discover how manufacturing sound helped me re-examine a situation and perceive it a little differently, a little lighter.  I also came to understand my voice during the war. I would sing as I played the piano, and adding that layer of sound seemed to strengthen my re-examining of the situation, it helped me come into terms with what was actually going on, it helped me discover an empathic connection to the chaotic outside. 

We discussed the impact of music, how it brings people closer together, builds a community. But we went even deeper, discovering that music can have the power to manufacture a shift of perception - to be able to step out of our mental space and rediscover another one, a new one - empathy? This got me thinking about Art, and how this concept is also apparent in the gallery space. But why is music something separate to this? Isn’t it the same? Why don’t we see music more often in the gallery space? 

A musician is like a chemist - manufacturing a track is like manufacturing a drug. The only difference is that one works with sound, the other works with substance. Is sound a substance? 

I’ve come to appreciate my identity as an audio-visual artist, the importance of visualization. Sound inspires image, image inspires sound - it’s the way my mind functions. It seems as though i’ve been steering away from combining the two - keeping them in a separate space so that they can be understood on different levels. But why should I do that? Why not allow myself the opportunity to expose that visualization - that all-encompassing combination of sound and image. 

‘Believe in existence spent
To separate us from them
To know that your blood runs thin
Is to live with the truth within’

The Shell

Alessandro Keegan

gouache over walnut ink on paper

The shell, to Bachelard, is so much more than the exoskeleton of a mollusk; it is a home, skin, and an enclosed space where we hold the most precious energies of them all – ourselves. The shell is an analogy of the body, simultaneously, it is also an analogy of where we rest our bodies. Bachelard states that shells “are privileged forms that are more intelligible for the eye, even though more mysterious for the mind, than all the others we see indistinctly” (105); perhaps upon repeated exposure to our species on a daily basis, we find sanctuary and comfort in the image of a human, however, what lies beyond the human, within the shell, is always a mystery when facing a stranger. It seemed most prominent that Bachelard is referring to the soul, a portion of it “remain[ing] imprisoned […] not always tak[ing] a designated form” (108). Through imagination and meditation, he believes, a part of our soul is immersed into the world, for a brief second, until logic captures it back into our geometric shape; like a snail, we leave our shell to bask in immensity, but we always retreat back inside as a result of “fear” (110). In duality, nonetheless, the shell itself can also depict our homes, a shell, encasing a shell, incasing us. A home is something we carry, unlike a mollusk, on a metaphysical level – home is where we feel safe, where we settle, and that can change often enough for us to realize that it never generates out of materiality.

As cliché as it sounds, I had decided to read shells by the shore, assuming I would find inspiration in the aesthetics of the surrounding shells. Half-way through, I had decided to retreat home; I realized that my understanding of the text had been evolving from one of biocentricity to one of anthropocentricity, and the need to retract back into my shell was paramount. I sat on a cushion alongside shelves that displayed my mineral and rock collection; Bachelard spoke about ammonite, one of my favorite fossils, I used it as a bookmark.  Gazing through its peculiar shape was a gateway into understanding the dimension of the text, in its polychromatic form and symbolism of home, I was able to appreciate Bachelard’s homage to the body. I live in a newer apartment building, constructed in 2015, the walls have no stories, I am its first inhabitant – a blank slate to paint my own history into. A history I’ve carried along with me since I was younger; a shell. 

I was reminded of Alessandro Keegan’s piece Sanctuary (2017), to me, a vibrant illustration of emergence. “There is a sign of violence in all these figures in which an over-excited creature emerges from a lifeless shell” (Bachelard 111); this piece depicts just that. Foreign shapes and extraterritorial material dominate the composition, emerging from a seed-like vessel, a shell of some sort. What brings about aspects of violence is the background; muddy and assertive, convincing the audience that, behind its innocuous colors, there’s a danger to it. 

Anthropocentricity (Anthropocentrism):

“Regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence, especially as opposed to God or animals” (Oxford Dictionaries). 

Biocentricity (Biocentrism):

“The view or belief that the rights and needs of humans are not more important than those of other living things” (Oxford Dictionaries).


"Anthropocentrism." Oxford Dictionaries. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2017. 

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon, 1994. PDF.

"Biocentrism." Oxford Dictionaries. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2017. 

Knowledge & Understanding

The definitions of ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ are problematic. According to my perspective, knowledge and understanding complement each other. In order to understand something, you must acquire a certain amount of information; claiming to know something implies that there is understanding. However, to understand something is very uncertain, it depends on the reliability of knowledge on which the understanding is based. For example, if we claim to know a language, we must understand that language. “Only seeing patterns can give us knowledge, only seeing particular examples can give us understanding”; this quote implies that knowledge and understanding are to some extent, interdependent. If knowledge is gained through patterns, which are shapes, figures, or elements, then understanding must be achieved by processing knowledge through reason, language, and intuition. For real understanding to take place examples themselves are not enough nor are the patterns on which the original knowledge is based. We should be acquainted with specific examples, but we also need to understand the concepts on which the knowledge is based. Through art, and math, it can be seen that patterns and examples are indeed important for knowledge and understanding, but only seeing general patterns and particular examples alone will not give real understanding, that comes with reason, intuition as well as sense perception. 

When we claim to know a person, is this knowledge dependent on the pattern of, for example, his or her face? Knowledge of a person requires more than this mere recognition, but the pattern is a starting point. Intuition has a role in moving from recognition to knowledge and eventually to understanding. The human face is made up of patterns of features, which even newborn babies can intuitively recognize. Studies have been carried out to determine the recognition by newborn babies of their mothers' faces. In a 2001 experiment carried out by I.W.R Bushnell, it was found that newborns rapidly “process sufficient information about their mother’s face ... to allow effective recognition memory.” (Bushnell 2001). This suggests that the ability to recognize patterns is innate, but does this mean the infant knows and understands that this person is his or her mother? In this case the baby does seem to have knowledge that that set of patterns belongs to a source of food, comfort and affection so to an extent knowledge has been gained through patterns. Understanding, also, has been gained though the baby experiencing examples of comforting behavior and food supplies. However, the baby can only know this person is his or her mother later through reason, experience and intuition. As human beings, we tend to identify with faces. It has been shown that individuals feel secure when they are in contact with other human faces. Faces consist of a specific pattern; the brow, the eyes, the nose in the middle, and the lips. However, we may know that the pattern is a face, but that alone does not give knowledge of the person; it may lead to recognition; we can know what our friend looks like through sense perception but real understanding of who our friend is, needs reason, intuition and experience. 

Art can be defined as the expression of human creativity. According to Picasso “Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?”. Art is an area of knowledge, often associated with patterns of shapes, colors and motifs. Knowledge of art can be gained through recognizing patterns especially in work by artists who have used intuition in their oeuvres. In Picasso’s artwork for example, the artist uses the aesthetic techniques of cubism to distort images, and figures. For example, in the artwork The Weeping Woman, Picasso depicts a woman crying. When we look at the artwork, we are able to discern something of a pattern of a face, despite the fact that it does not conform to the usual pattern, we know there is a face there. The distortion does not render the face unrecognizable, its skewed proportions and ambiguous perspective makes it looks rather odd, but we do see the pattern, and therefore we are not disturbed by the image. In fact, it is the distortion of the accepted pattern that provides an insight, giving us a more profound understanding of the human face itself. Our knowledge and understanding of the face have been enriched by the deformation of the familiar pattern. 

Poetry is another manifestation of human creativity – patterns of words are put together to convey meaning. One approach to poetry is to identify the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in each line and to identify the meter – is it an iambic pentameter or perhaps tetrameter? Is it a trochee or a spondee? While such scansion can be a useful tool in order to know the poem, it is not enough for real understanding. An example is the poem, “The Canonization” by John Donne. The poem is written in the pattern of iambic pentameter and iambic tetrameter with a repeated pattern of rhymes, A B B A C C C A A. Working out this pattern is useful, in one way we can claim to know the poem. However, with reason and intuition we realize that the rhyme scheme echoes the beating of a heart or maybe the sound of funeral drums thus is understanding achieved and we know the true meaning of the poem. In fact, "The Canonization" is a complex analysis of the nature of human love – is love purely physical, is it Petrarchan, erotic, or metaphysical? Understanding of this does not come from the visual pattern of the syllables; real knowledge and understanding comes from reason, intuition and experience. 

Math is an area of knowledge to which patterns are intrinsic and yet knowledge of math requires more than simply looking at patterns and understanding requires more than working some examples. Fractals are an example of apparently simple patterns but understanding of the math behind the patterns takes much more. The mathematician Cantor, working during the 1800s on set theory, was so astounded by his discoveries that he wrote, “I see but I don’t believe it” (Cantor 12). Perhaps he perceived patterns in numbers but did not understand the significance of what he saw. He showed that the set of integers has an equal number of members as the set of even numbers, cubes, squares and roots. Further, he suggested that the number of points on a line segment equals to the number of points on an infinite line. In this, Cantor was exploring the concept of infinity – previously a taboo. Many condemned Cantor for challenging the previous convention of patterns of numbers. From Cantor’s ground-breaking work on transfinite sets, the Swedish mathematician Koch developed the idea of fractals – a pattern repeating itself to infinity. Ironically, this turns the prescribed title around; knowledge has given insight into patterns and the patterns help understanding of the nature of infinity. In his fascinating research, Ron Eglash explores the patterns of fractals in African culture. He demonstrates the relevance of fractals, patterns, in African architecture, design, and even in the layout of traditional villages. Palaces in Africa consciously have been built in the form of fractals, spirals or rectangles reflecting the social hierarchy. Here, in this situation, it appears that understanding the patterns leads to a better, more in-depth, knowledge and understanding of the society in which the patterns are found. How was it that these fractals were developed before the algorithms, the mathematics itself was discovered? In this case, the patterns appeared intuitively before the knowledge and understanding but the patterns did lead to that knowledge. According to Eglash, many of the African fractals are based on random number generators. Fractals are found in nature, in architecture, even in the replication of the AIDs virus. Fractals are even found in our vegetables. Brassica oleracea, or broccoli is made up in the form of fractals – repeating patterns of shapes. And yet, we can only know what broccoli really is by tasting it. If knowledge were limited to the simple patterns, then we would not understand anything. 

As humans in constant search for understanding and certainty we must be ready to see patterns, to look for examples, but we must also be aware that neither patterns nor examples alone are sufficient. In Art, real understanding can begin with identifying patterns and seeing examples, but reason and intuition arealso imperative; Picasso’s paintings and Donne’s poems reach beyond the patterns and lead us to a more intuitive understanding of what it is to be human. Similarly, in math, a subject frequently associated with patterns and examples, if our knowledge simply stays on the level of those patterns, we will not reach understanding. 

Natural Broccoli Fractal

Brassica oleracea

The Weeping Woman (1937)


Oil paint


Bushnell, I.W.R. Mother’s Face Recognition in Newborn Infants: Learning and Memory. Diss. University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK, 2001. N.p.: John Wiley & Sons, 2001. Print.

A Fragmented Body

Lost in the words of others, I am not that ‘man’ in the mirror; he is but a fragmented body with jutting shards that have been acknowledged ferociously by those around him – a glitched figure, some would say. It’s hard to get away from him, he’s everywhere; whether through the reflective window of a coffee shop, or in the forefront of the washroom, he’s always there, and I’m forced to face him. But what if I never had to? In my ideal realm, where reflective frames are absent, imagination takes the wheel on a journey of self-discovery.

The mirror, to some, is an essential part of human development; the Mirror-stage, for instance, “a particular case of the function of the imago, which is to establish a relation between the organism and its reality – or as they say, between the innenwelt [inside word] and the Umwelt [the outside world]” (Lacan 4), seems evidently essential in the understanding of the self. But what happens if that connection is not established? What if the organism’s self is but a manifestation imposed upon it by its surrounding world – a victim of fabricated images? According to Magnolia Pauker, if the mirror-stage is unsuccessful, “you’re fucked” (Who are I? The Uses of Psychoanalysis); and in all my ‘fucked-ness’ emerges a disjointed self, in an attempt to destroy the mirror.

Empathy, “the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” (“Empathy”), occurs in the disabling of one’s own mirror; in the power of overcoming one’s own reflection, transpires a transcendent connection between one’s self and another. Absorption occurs, through imaginative thinking, as the self is situated in the mirror of the other. In Daehyun Kim’s drawing Sharing Face with Me in The Shadow (2015), empathy is illustrated as two subjects sharing a shadow in hopes of reconciliation; a galactic veil is transferred from one figure to the other. The notion of acceptance seems evident in the subject’s willingness to share a mirror, a reflection of an inner reflection; the gestures of the hands demonstrate an act of giving – an offering of the self, to one, and an offering of the suffering self, to another.

Empathy, therefore, becomes a tool of deconstruction, a temporary elimination of the mirror, an entry into love.

Sharing Face with Me in The Shadow   (2015)  Ink on Korean Paper 26 x 69 cm   Daehyun Kim

Sharing Face with Me in The Shadow (2015)

Ink on Korean Paper
26 x 69 cm

Daehyun Kim

I can’t see past your kind mask’


“Empathy”. Random House Dictionary, Random House, 2016., Accessed: 09 October 2018.

Lacan, Jacques. “The mirror stage as a formative of the function of the I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience” (1949), In Écrit: A Selection, trans. Alan Sheridan. NY, W.W. Norton, 1982. 1-7. Rpt. In SOCS 201: Introduction to Cultural Theory Coursepack.Ed. Magnolia Pauker. Vancouver: Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 2016. Print.

Pauker, Magnolia. “Who are I? The Uses of Psychoanalysis”, Lecture. Social Science 201: Introduction to Cultural Theory. Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. Vancouver. 4 Oct. 2016.

A starting point

Untitled Render   (2018)

Untitled Render (2018)

To what extent can art, through technology, attempt to bridge the gap between the conscious and subconscious mind; Exposing our histories and drives to better understand the self and its communal existence? 

Can art be used as a tool to facilitate the reconciliation of trauma and the understanding of the self; can the making or witnessing of art play a role in healing wounds within ourselves or wounds within others?

Can art play a role in exposing the flaws of ‘neuro-typical’ ideologies (Binary systems) as a way to strengthen the understanding and acceptance of difference?

What is empathy?