Spheres

RS Abstract

Spheres, an Allusion to Empathy: A Semiotic Examination of the Sphere-Body Interaction.

This paper examines the concept of Empathy through a semiotic analysis of spheres. Observing the visual evolution of halo motifs in Christian Art and its gradual decline with the growth of naturalism in the 15th Century, sets a focus and starting point in investigating the sphere in covert or overt contact with the body. Contemporary ‘Digital Fine Art’ seems to resuscitate this sphere-body connection, particularly alongside the development of visual-simulation software. At its current capacity, the ability to simulate in four dimensions, with the use of 360 and Virtual-Reality practices, reveals an enhanced understanding of applying perspective into creative practice. In order to clarify this reformation, I will examine two-dimensional contemporary works that encompass sphere-body interaction(s), on and off screen. Terms such as material and mark-making shall be examined alongside this investigation, introducing a way of alluding to Empathy through visual language; a placeholder in representing the ways in which we connect to the Innenwelt and Umwelt. This paper intends to demonstrate the seemingly fragmented definition(s) of Empathy, and a proposed method of visually referencing it for further communication, study and decryption. 

Tutorial (3)

public.jpeg

Jonathan Kearney - June 18th - 9:30am - Skype

I’m anxious to post on the blog, there’s so much I want to say, but i’m finding it strange to formally put things into words. Jonathan & I contemplated the blog as a time capsule ~ speaking to myself in the future. 

My work currently jumps from medium to medium, tool to tool, but the same narrative wants to get told. Jonathan suggested thinking about how these mediums could visually come together ~ embracing the fragmentation?

Some things in progress; 

family interview questions, further research into the the theoretical mathematics of spheres (use C4D sphere object properties to experiment/simulate/tweak? the theories). 

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? 

Home

“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

Lord-Huron.jpg

But nobody told you
What nobody told you

Sketchbook

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.

Miles Johnston

Thoughts

  • Sensationalizes the psychosomatic 

  • Visualizations of mind-body interaction and neurogenesis  

  • Tranquil states - still life - freezes movement. 

  • Fluidity, morphology.

  • Tackles subjects such as melancholy, desire, fear and isolation. 

  • Soft aesthetics and choice of perspective generates an intimate proximity. 

  • Sympathy.

  • The visual language carries the subject as neither a protagonist nor antagonist. Rather, the subject seems to exist beyond the scope of narrative - a cognitive portrait perhaps?

  • Reconnecting to the sphere through prayer


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.

Body

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


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

Space

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


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

Sphere

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


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

Environment

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





Empathy in Spheres

222.jpg

“There is not a single definition of empathy. The explanandum being heterogeneous, we cannot expect to discover a common mechanism explaining it. What is meant by empathy depends on the basic scientific/clinical/philosophical question. Within the neurosciences, empathy is shifting from a simple automatic bottom- up process to a more complex phenomenon in which different mechanisms (either bottom-up and top-down processing) are involved”. (Massimiliano 11)



Sources:

Aragona, Massimiliano. “The Many Faces of Empathy, between Phenomenology and Neuroscience.” Academia.edu - Share Research, 2013, www.academia.edu/5590572/The_many_faces_of_empathy_between_phenomenology_and_neuroscience.