Posted by: Xhyra Graf | 28 June 2006

The Art and Consciousness Project


If we establish that what we mean by “art” includes the concept of being man-made and not simply art in nature [i.e. natural “beauty”] then it seems like a logical inconsistency to ignore what drives the artist in attempting to arrive at a definition of art.  Logically, if the artist is unimportant to the definition of art, then it must be possible for there to be art, including the concept of being man-made, in a world where no art-makers exist.  This is not only in exact opposition to defining “art” as man-made not natural, it’s just plain confusing. 

We are then made to realize that we have to deal with the phenomenon of the “art-maker.”  Now, some may be comfortable with the artist as medium idea – where the artist is probably completely unaware of what he/she is doing, possibly channelling some inclination that is brought about by a divine connection.  I am not.  The question for me then becomes “what [non-spooky thing] drives the art-maker to make art?” and the various permutations of this question draw me to the scrutiny of the process itself.

Inasmuch as I believe that art-making, as implied by the term itself, is intrinsically more about the process than the product, I have been searching for a method of delivery [a product, if you will] that mirrors that belief.  Don’t get me wrong I know that there are volumes dedicated to “art appreciation” and that if the art doesn’t get viewed it’s an exercise in solipsism.  However, the primary and intrinsic motivation for an artist simply cannot be the viewing public.  Art, in its making, is an individual endeavour.  Comments taken, yes, then incorporated into future work, yes.  But if we are to break down the essence of art [its intrinsic nature] it seems to me that can only be about the journey of the artist/art-maker through personal representations and expressions within the process of refining such.

I find these statements to be in direct correlation with issues in the study of consciousness… just replace each mention of art and art-maker with consciousness and consciousness-maker [i.e. the person it is something to be like].  In fact, there are many who believe that consciousness can occur in a world where no [human] consciousness-makers exist.  The off-product of this historically one-sided ‘third-person’ approach to investigation of intrinsically ‘first-person’ phenomena is that I [as someone searching for answers to personally relevant metaphysical and epistemological questions] have been unable to find satisfaction. 

This web project should mirror the process of ‘making’ as I attempt to clarify and refine my own representations, expressions and foundational beliefs.  In the end, these archives should stand as a multimedia mapping of the development of my mental representations concerning the intersections of art and consciousness.



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