For some time I have been interested in alchemy as a source of creative inspiration and as an ongoing self-reflective process.
After Jung, the gold is within and alchemical processes act upon the world of things and on the more subtle etheric notions within. Processes such as distillation, calcination, dissolution, conjunction and fermentation – described in The Seven Stages of Alchemical Transformation
In 2003 I wrote the paper: Alchemy, mimetics, immersion and consciousness, which was published at MelbourneDAC, the 5th International Digital Arts and Culture Conference, 2003.
“In this paper I discuss a number of ideas on the representation and perception of space, time and energy and how these ideas have been inspirational in creating experiential art works. Areas I have explored include the concept of a fourth dimension, alchemy, mimetics, immersion, artificial-life and ideas about the nature of consciousness. I carry out these explorations through “art as a mode of enquiry”, producing experiential artworks rather than written theory. This paper summarises a number of ideas I have found useful and inspiring in creating artworks that explore the perception and experience of space, time and consciousness.”
19 years later, in 2022 the processes of creation and reflection continue. Notions of Dynamic Form and the Fourth Dimension are imbued in my practice, permeating the work I make.
Today two visitors to my exhibition at #OpenStudiosCornwall2022 pointed out the importance of the timelapse video, that it revealed the unseen and the hidden processes behind two of the works, V1 Reaction and V3 Reaction. This additional knowledge enhanced their appreciation of the work, apparently unmoving and unchanging in the present.
It is not the immediately perceived that is important, but instead it is the mainly invisible time based processes of change and emergence that can only be perceived through the device of memory.
“Our understanding of space-time is shaped by our everyday perceptual mechanisms. Time is perplexing, it is seemingly artiicial and malleable. Hypnosis, meditation, mind-altering substances, mental illness and accidental head injuries reveal how our perception of time may be altered.” (see paper above)
Imagine that we might be able to look at the world where space-time might be altered, slowed down, speeded up, reversed or extrapolated into possible futures.
In my previous post this idea is at the heart of the formation of a new work, one that enables a distant viewer to look at the art work in the present, or wind it back, slow it down, speed it up, look at it moving forwards or backwards in time, or in the current moment, the present, at the very edge of the unfolding of time.