Moving, vibrating in a harmonious rhythm with our surroundings is the natural way. But sometimes we can get stuck in a particular state of mind like an eddy reversing flow against a river’s dominant current.
My art classes are courses in creativity. This is the same as saying that I teach people how to interrupt the blockages that have developed over the years of living inside their heads in so-called “civilized society”.
While the overarching subject is aesthetics, source materials include information on perceptual illusion, right-brain/left-brain integration, conceptual art, subliminal persuasion, media manipulation, hypnosis, NLP, meditation, quantum physics, and neurofeedback. Each of these fields of research provide insights that are helpful in interrupting ways the mind gets stuck in reified perceptual, emotional, symbolic, and cognitive states.
Perceptual illusions reveal the very real ways that the world of our senses is a place where misinterpretation is rampant. We can easily be made to see continuity of movement, for example, where there is in reality only a staccato series of still images. Modes of thinking which involve left-brain dominance are so heavily rewarded in our culture (as opposed to right-brain modes) that we are conditioned to respond in a predictably materialistic and quantitative manner, even when dealing with our emotional experience. As the most powerful and influential tool ever devised by man, the mass media educates our children, defines us as consumers, and creates virtual environments for us to inhabit. We dwell in illusory media-induced perceptual states even when looking into the mirror. Our self images have been progressively chipped away and honed into simulacra of dissatisfaction by the tens of thousands of hours of commercial ads we process each year of our lives.
Once the mind is stuck in a repetitive mode of operation, it has effectively entered a state of trance. As a result of being influenced by our hyper-ritualized mechanical/cybernetic environment, we find ourselves entering into hypnotic states on a more or less perpetual basis. Addressing and interrupting these various states of trance can initiate a process of triggering the capacity for novel perception, thought, and experience, which is the hallmark of creativity and creative evolution.
To develop one’s capacity to perceive, think, and act aesthetically brings one to the very leading edge of the creation of the universe. It is the place where the still-warm embers of the big-bang itself are moving in sync with the rhythms of eternity and evolving continuously into infinite patterns of new form and content. Each instant the world is created anew as are we within it.
Image: “Mental Block 001,” by Tullio DeSantis, digital image, 2010.