Field PresentationPosted: December 8, 2015
Today was my final day of what has been ‘Art and the Conscious Mind’, this term’s little project at uni, and to end the term we all had to give a five minute presentation on what we have taken from the course. Today has been weird overall, I have a sore throat and was feeling quite hazy on my way to the room. I spent the time waiting for my time to present feeling something I hadn’t felt for a long time, and did not miss; that sickly anxious feeling that screams at you to get out of the room as fast as possible. I spent the whole time re-writing my notes, thinking up ways of escaping the situation, putting my notes in my bag, changing my mind and getting them out again, just to do the whole thing in the end.
Like the shy little girl I used to be, I panicked and asked to present my blog and speech at the end, when everyone had left, and I still feel bad about it now (I am so past that stage of my life, anxiety shouldn’t be allowed to affect me any more, and yet.) but at least it is done and out of the way now, and I don’t think I did too badly. The only thing wrong is that I didn’t get to read word for word as I thought it would be better to wing it; it was more flowing and interactive than if I’d stood there shuffling around reading off a sheet of scribbled on notebook paper.
It is not supposed to be an essay or a reflection on the course as a whole, which is why there are very few examples of artists’ or philosophers’ work, it is meant to be a brief overview of what I have found interesting over the last five weeks and how the information links with graphic design in general and also helped with my own work. Here’s what I wrote:
I strongly believe in non-absolution: the idea that humans are complacent in how much of an impact we have and how knowledgeable we are of the universe and our surroundings, as well as ourselves and the link between the two. There is a vast amount of truth we are simply unable to perceive. Yet. In this way our mental capacity is extremely limited.
Saying that, it is essential to our progress that we keep pushing these limitations and learn more and more, which is why I took the subject of Art and the Conscious Mind.
I found the lecture on hallucinations and UFOs with James Green interesting as these concepts are perfect examples of what we are yet to have a full grasp of. As well as this, the open mindedness it takes to uncover the secrets of our own minds and environment is what helps to push the boundaries of art and design as well as our knowledge of the universe.
I think that for fine artists and illustrators in particular the question of relating the conscious mind to practice is an easy one. From my knowledge a lot of the work they create comes entirely from their own consciousness, their active and subconscious decisions and pure creative flow.
Designers have the more difficult task of delving into the mind and ideas of the client, a whole other being. The purpose of design is to relate to and stimulate the senses and minds of the audience; it must cause a reaction, whether that is to invest in a product or service or to obtain a new outlook or knowledge of something. It is there to grab the conscious attention and to influence or manipulate the unconscious mind of the audience.
I think the main lectures I benefited from were those of boundaries, meditation and creative flow. Meditation and mindfulness because it is something I have previous experience with and I have a strong belief in especially in regards to my own design work. It is important to be mentally in the present and aware of yourself and your situation and intentions, when it comes to functioning generally as well as in the field or practice of art and design.
When we began the lectures I had the belief that boundaries were strictly the physical ones of the object or person, however after listening to the lecturer explain his point of view and the ideas of philosophers convinced me otherwise. Using the example of people, we exist far beyond our own skin; we are not separate from the universe, we are part of it. In the physical sense we are our skin, muscles, bones, blood and senses, although we may not be aware of all of it. We are the food we put in our bodies, the places we inhabit, the lipstick stains on glasses and the notes we leave on the fridge at home, as well as the clothes we choose to wear and the communities we form with other people.
In a less physical sense we exist in the music we listen to, our morals and decisions, our interactions and exchanges of energy. People create society and a network of mind and energy, unity. It is impossible to be entirely secluded from the world when we all exist in so many things outside of our skin.
When creating design what we are really doing is taking our experiences, our talents and ideas, ourselves, and projecting them onto paper, onto computers, and out into the world. The art we make is a part of ourselves, extending our boundaries, and in design the boundaries of the client and the audience that interacts with it.