[-empyre-] open imaging

Paul Woodrow ebp at shaw.ca
Mon Sep 15 12:16:34 EST 2008

Hello once again!
In answer to Lucite’s question
'I'd like to know more how as artists you get inspired more or less by  
forms of imaging. How it informs you creativity in details.'

I have been following the discussion about science and math and more  
recently the notion of metaphor. I find Lucette’s question somewhat  
intriguing in that in an odd way it seems to suggest that inspiration  
can spring from ‘forms of imaging”
One way of looking at this is that it suggests that artistic activity  
stems from a technical basis …I can see this . but for me I seem to  
want to respond in a different way.. The reason that I like to work  
with artistic problems is that they are complex-in that they touch on  
many discourses, which can involve for math, science, biology,  
literature, and questions of sexuality ..the list goes on.  I am  
pretty sure that one can make similar claims for other disciplines .I  
am intrigued by however by some other issues which are to do with  
perception and the body Remembering and thinking about some of the  
experiences that I have had with art works, whether visual, written  
musical, or bodily performances I can say that there are some specific  
ideas which I value over others. I am not going to call these ideas  
basic, they are in fact forms of experience. One of the things that I  
value about art is its ability to be transported, this occurs very  
easily in music that feeling that you are somewhere else or that you  
are someone else its as if you body has been occupied by a forces or  
forces. You could say that I was possessed .I recently had this  
experience when listening to the singer from India Shankar; I felt  
that his voice had entered my body so when I left the concert I was  
aware that a now possessed a different body.  Another version of this  
occurred and does occur when I am participating in a virtual reality  
experience where I begin to feel influenced by phenomena that do not  
exist except in my mind – although at another level I feel that my  
body has become lighter- further I really enjoy the feeling as well as  
the idea that I can be effected by things immaterial. This of course  
happens when we reading books, when the words create imaginary worlds  
and strange feelings. The last area that interests me is the notion of  
material hallucination, which I feel occurs in many different forms.  
For example looking at a painting close up, being aware of its  
physicality then observing the work a distant one sees an image. It is  
as if the relation between the material and the image is one of  
hallucination. Matter has produced a ghost. We have talked briefly  
about these phenomena in our work,  “Ghost in the Machine”
So maybe as an answer to Lucette’s question- what drives my interest  
are the desire to produce work, which is less, and less material but  
still works in the visual or sonic modes of fabrication.
I am not sure how much detail you want or if I have in fact responded  
to your question in the manner that you desire?

On 14-Sep-08, at 2:29 AM, Michele Barker wrote:

> hi Everyone
> just a response to what Lucette said:
>> I'd like to know more how as artists you get inspired more or less  
>> by certain
>> forms of imaging. How it informs you creativity in details.
> This is a good question, and whilst I'll answer for myself, I would  
> be curious about what the others (Paul, Alan, Trish, Tina) think.
> For me, working with the 'images of science' has always held great  
> appeal - conceptually and aesthetically (if they can be separated).  
> But it can be didactic in the sense that, in more recent times, the  
> visual outcomes associated with, for example, an MRI image of a  
> brain, have a strong 'popular' association that often leaves me  
> wondering when I see an image in an artistic context - so what?  
> Earlier works, like Justine Cooper's RAPT, http:// 
> justinecooper.com/, whilst employing a full body MRI scan, resolves  
> itself because, I think, the tactility of the work as an  
> installation, and the rupture this creates in attempting to get a  
> sense of any kind of wholeness within the work is not possible. It  
> challenges us in that we are forced to move around the space and in  
> doing so, the visual reading of the body in its entirity is  
> constantly fragmented.
> So, for me, and the the collaborative work I do with Anna Munster,  
> its about responding to the processes - and often the problems of  
> the outcomes - that becomes interesting. Lucette, you mentioned in a  
> previous post, which Anna picked up on, about the difference between  
> cognitive functioning the data represented in an MRI. It was  
> precisely this potentially fraught 'relationship' that prompted Anna  
> and myself to begin investigating how imaging technologies interpret  
> the neurologically damaged body. You make the point:
>> But careful approach reveals
>> complex questions about the interactions of environment and brain  
>> development
>> rather than clear cut differences. There has been many studies and  
>> it is growing.
> This certainly resonates with our work - for us, the imaging  
> technology is just a starting point for how to engage with, and  
> respond to, some of the problems we see. Increasingly we are  
> exploring a more embodied approach to how these processes can  
> inform, for example, perception, if neurological damage has  
> occurred. The challenge them becomes one of how to create a work  
> that challenges perception - by using perception. Arguably, and I  
> believe it is something that John would have researched, is what  
> artists constantly do in many ways. So, I guess what I'm saying is,  
> whilst our work is informed by the imaging devises of the  
> neurosciences, the works we make are increasingly removed –  
> aesthetically – from the visuals themselves.
> It also makes me think of Brian's observation:
>> Creating the open-ended universe world is a challenge on every  
>> level, scientific, philosophical, artistic...
> I think there is resonance here in terms of Lucette's point about  
> only now looking at - neurologically - the relationship between  
> environment and the brain.
> PS: And I feel I should clarify, that whilst i completely agree, it  
> was Alan who made the point about metaphors in the first instance.
> - Michele
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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