The transmission of information from one consciousness to another through the use of abstract symbols is near magical. Every other force in the universe has a balance to maintain (Newton’s laws with action/reaction etc.), but language… just think of the damage the wrong words can inflict, or the joy to be had (and multiplied) in the act of shared music or book recommendations. Everything from the movement of entire cultures to whether an individual’s day is bright or gloomy; communication, the sentient transmission of information from mind(s) to mind(s) is our greatest gift. It’s power underestimated because of its ubiquity.
I explore language and symbols deliberately in my work as a way to analyze it. Creating new forms of communication or examining old ones (or ones that I don’t understand but can still marvel at its power – like highly advanced mathematics) in different ways as a method of finding out what is shared between them. Is there a way to look at these tongues that could hint at an underlying power that exists outside of a person’s mind? What are their roles with respect to will, motivation, freedom, knowledge, and communication itself?
Another area under exploration is related to the cacophony of symbols we find ourselves surrounded with every day, how that influences our thoughts, and in what way does that reflect our thoughts now. At no stage in human history have our minds been bathed in such vibrant and continuous noise. From the moment we leave our beds in the morning our constant contemplations are interrupted by constant message checking, advertisements, distractions, and interactions.
It’s hard to say whether this is a good or a bad thing (as that usually only becomes clear decades after these transitions become cemented) but it will likely be another version of the “Axemaker’s Gift” in that a great deal of good is resulting from this continuous connection, but as always it comes with a price.
I have a theory that we’re in the embryonic stages of uniting all of our minds in some fashion. Not in a “Borg” sort of way where everything is subservient to the hive, but in a continual awareness of other minds. It’s a bit exciting really thinking about the possibilities that incorporating electronics and AI will have for our species. Being aware of other minds/thoughts will be difficult of course, and a long way off, and it’s good we’re testing the waters in some emotionally charged areas through social media (where it’s still not really “connected” to us). That is, we’re not really emotionally ready to know what other people are thinking because honesty is a difficult topic for us.
So these chaotic works tend to be highly complicated stream of consciousness projects where I incorporate the written word (sometimes in recognizable language but not recognizable content), complex mathematics, simplified drawings & highly simplified works. The fuzziness of thought at passing recognition of a symbol contrasted with the sharp and focused vision of an important idea hitting the viewer over time… a way to visualize this.
Sometimes there’s a coherence in the sense that a running or connected theme is being re-visited. These thought-scapes I suppose could be described as a self-portrait of sorts, as you’re seeing the images as they flit through my brain over a period of time.