(continued from above)
I have always been interested in how the physical world comes to be here; how it originated, how it maintains itself and what is its relationship to consciousness. Specifically, I am interested in experimenting with the perception of surfaces as a gateway into this domain.
During my student years in sculpture the intention was to assemble works from completely imagined materials. These were generated through processes that alluded to substantiation through the optical presence of their surfaces and synthesised through the inversion of their primary and secondary qualities. Form did not necessarily follow function but could usurp attempts at structural analysis through (for instance) the logic of dreams.
Today, it is fair to say that this functional inversion has been translated into an attraction for concepts that are contrarian, non-conformist or against the mainstream. Over the years I have gained a great deal from researching alternative, lost or unfashionable scientific theories, especially in the realm of astronomy. This has proved a fascinating journey and a revelation in terms of the imaginative possibilities it opens up. The series of artworks associated with this thread come within the remit of 'Cosmological Conceits', the humour of which attempts to describe the cosmic and sublime in terms of assemblages of the commonplace.
I am fascinated by this novel perception of the everyday. The world is a very strange place to be, the realisation of which can strike at the unlikeliest of moments. It is only by the application of tenuous mythologies that this perception of reality is kept in place. My experience is that these meta-narratives undergo inversion with alarming regularity. I hope to interest my audiences in accompanying me on this journey; a dérive through strange and unfamiliar perceptual landscapes.
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And what of this perception? According to the theory of Julian Jaynes* the mind operates by the hallucinogenic transfer of temporal lobe metaphorical traffic. This both generates and evolves consciousness in an historic movement away from bicameral modes of thought. My artistic practice, in this context, can be seen to act both as a monitoring of this traffic and as a synthesis of new metaphorical and narrative content.
Regarding my artworks on astronomy; I am researching how the comprehension and optical presence of the night sky has been (and can be) alluded to. In essence the works function as star maps. However, these are maps that navigate the conceptual landscape of contemporary cosmology. In particular, those skyscapes marked as 'terra incognita' or even 'terra prohibetur'. Informing and inspiring these are (for instance) the forgotten physics of Walter Ritz' Light Ballistic Theory (1912), Miles Mathis' 'Un-Unified Field', the pluralities of Pierre Borel (1657), the plasma morphologies of the Electric Universe and the biological interpretations of Panspermia theory.
Sometimes these researches engage in a conversation with the 'real' world in the form of 'Discursive' projects and websites. My identity as an artist is temporarily metamorphosed into that of an astronomer, an archaeologist, a medical practitioner, musician, etc. so as to better understand those dialogues. Understandings from these processes feed back into the generality of my art practice and inform a continually evolving narrative.
*Julian Jaynes : 'The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind'
Paul Malone 2013