The void as seen at the end of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Oddyssey’
Untitled Ink Drawing, by Jiro Yoshihara
Experiment in formlessness within a void
‘Art & the Conscious Mind’ was the more interesting of the two topics for me, personally, as it allowed me to discover a new method of conceptual thinking that pushed through an entirely new project focusing on nothingness. As you can imagine, nothing is a very hard thing to make corporeal, and many artists through time have tried to manifest it in artwork. Strangely, the end of ‘A&CM’ did not involve a singular body of work being made, nor did Robert Pepperel, our lecturer, ask for one. Instead, he merely asked for a presentation depicting which areas we have found interesting, and where it has influenced our work, if at all. Please find attached my presentation on ‘Beyond our understanding’, as well as a series of images that have inspired me, and have been taken by me of my own work.The module was long and arduous at times, the lectures being full blown tirades on the very nature of psychology, physics, art and everything in between; but my understanding of the world has certainly flourished because of these lectures.
My main interest within the module; that of the void, began when we discussed artist’s representation of ‘the void’; a seemingly empty space, in which anti matter, or even nothing, is abound. This space is ‘beyond our comprehension’, as our brain is not able to even comprehend it, much like the sentience that we hold within ourselves; another concept that baffles scientists. I began to research the idea of nothingness, as well as concepts related to this; such as black holes and the eventual death of the universe, which began to make me feel anxious. As My research delved deeper and deeper into the immense universe and it’s lack of knowledge for our puny, pitiful actions on our small blue speck, I began to become almost depressed; the desire to attempt to understand the universe, and the immense gravity of our situation in comparison to great cosmic giants that could easily wipe out our planet in the blink of an eye, almost drove me over the edge of sanity. However, I was able to stop myself, and remove myself from the equation before it got too much. Prompting me to stop the work I was crafting for the module, in order to aid my mental well-being.
The main benefits of the module were that my philosophical and scientific understanding of the world were granted a definite boost, not only through the gaining of knowledge, but allowed me to partake in debates that I would not normally, as well as boosting my debating skills. A the same time as working on field, I was also looking at very nihilistic concepts within my own subject work; The story of Icarus, the decline of hope in relation to the decline of religion, the increasing knowledge and interest in the cosmos beyond our planet, as well as works focusing on the afterlife (nothingness, relating heavily to our ideas the void). therefore, I think I chose correctly on which field modules to take on.