Wednesday, December 7, 2011
(see here about this photograph)
I’m on the brain bandwagon, reading about consciousness and the brain, vision and the brain, the brain that changes itself. It’s a tremendous subject and I’m just at the very, very beginning.
What is consciousness, our sense of self, is something I’ve been interested in since I started studying Buddhism a bit some 10 years ago. For Buddhists, there is no self; and for many brain people, there is no self. There are experiences, we exist, but there’s no thing that you can point to and say, that is moi.
Once Robert Thurman recounted a story about a guy who attended a retreat about no self. At some point this guy didn’t know which person he was in the room. That freaks me out totally.
The more and more I read about it, we are just bits here, there. Seems like the brain makes the continuity, a narrative; it creates a self and what it goes through. I suppose we need that story in order to be able to function. I’m not sure why we need to function. Maybe there's stuff we simply have to go through; because of karma or agita, or something.
I don’t know why there has to be people who get bombed and people who don’t get bombed.
This is all interesting philosophically, but I’m wondering if it’s perhaps a way to approach art. I’m not sure how it could be. I haven’t figured that out because I’m in the middle of it. But I’ve made work that is responding to these philosophies and sciences somehow.
So far I have: legs in motion, legs in space, legs as form (that would be the three streams that make up how we see). I don’t know why legs, except they are limbs that carry us and that you sometimes feel and sometimes don’t. I spent many years not really feeling them. The problem with legs is that Guston painted legs. I’m concerned about the derivative-ness as usual. Then I have guardians/bodyguards (they would be my protectors, maybe my survival instinct). I also have some mirroring, which is how people connect. I love mirroring. I think I need more of that. We’ll see what comes out next.