Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Deleted narrative on spirit

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Now, at age 40, and reflecting on my narrative reply to myself when I was 15, I guess I have reached some sort of conciliation with my inner adolescent. I'm very grateful for my life, and I have made some peace through this study for my experiences. 

We all will die, I will die, and although not morbidly obsessed by that fact I have a feeling that that is ok-and I am here to learn and express what I can as an artist, and as a person, in the contexts of multiverses-a partner, a son, a friend, a lover. Even hopefully one day a partner in a marriage under the auspice of man-made law. I believe that as spiritual people, Steve and I are already married in a kind of spiritual bond, you could say.

That offers up different types of law. One is man-made, one is spiritual law, and the other is moral law. I am reminded of a quote here by Einstein. That is, ‘The rational mind is a faithful servant, and the intuitive mind is a sacred gift. We have created a society, that honours the servant, and has forgotten the gift.’

I think of this in terms of my book, Ego & Soul. For without knowing it at the time, I was describing the corruptible, and the incorruptible. That is, the ego, and the essence, or spirit.
In this book, you can literally see the ego being corrupted, as the title suggests, i make myself naked, literally, and expose the sum of prejudices I have learned by that time. Yet as I explained in the foreword, that sometimes I felt my art was directed by The Great Spirit itself. 

Spirituality could in some ways reflect opposite themes for me. One is the mystery of life-the other are the certainties that I will, in my childlike way as I used to type on our play typewriter, 'go back to the place of origin'. I knew this and still feel I know this and I consider that the elements that make up a person manifest through different energies, from both far away and close places. By far away I mean we manifest partially, in an unseen manner, from the higher dimensions described in sharmanic knowledge where we have not had to suffer the burdens of a four dimensional experience. That of course, is being in a human body that has a spiritual intelligence attached to it. One might call it a cosmic ballet. In my version of spirituality, what I feel and have for a long time, albeit forgetting it in times of trauma, is that my childhood mantra will happen-that we will return to the place of origin.

The other thing about this, is remembering to ask this energy into your life. By this I'll give the following example. I have performed some meditative 'healings' with people which I don't care to go into detail about here, but when I ask the person 'When was the last time you asked your guides for help?', the answer is inevitably 'A long time ago'. As a spiritualist I am giving of the affirmation that if there were an MCG of people, passed ones, angels, and helpers that are available for service-and that all you have to do is ask of pure heart, that this can help. I indeed have to remind myself to ask for help, and sometimes fall into the role of the doubting Thomas.

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Meeting after seeing supervisors

In 2007 I had enough funds behind me to publish a book myself. It was entitled, ‘Strange Currencies of Ego & Soul’. I named this book with some awareness of what it meant, but upon further reflection I note that the Ego in the title is the more earth bound pragmatic sufferance of life, and the Soul is the prana breath, the spirit and channeling of something broader than, but also including myself and the broader universe.

Likewise Einstein once said ‘The rational mind is a faithful servant, and the intuitive mind is a sacred gift. We have created a society, that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.’ Somehow, this statement oversees the book ‘Ego & Soul’.

In my masters work, this resonant idea of opposites (the science and the art, the pragmatic and the esoteric), has evolved again. I am using Phi as a mathematical concept to construct something that has a quite spiritual meaning. The opposites are there, which is the mathematically pragmatic, and also the channeled energy of the description of love and sometimes its occasional casualties.

One of the earliest images I remember seeing of this art vs science was in Michelangelos drawings of say, a helicopter idea. A drawing in which a screw like mechanism is conceptually drawn to rise up into the sky. This is a great example of when science meets intuition. It also bears the question, where do ideas come from and where do they go?

Many a time I have lied awake at night and thought of either a guitar riff or a piece of art or idea and thought, ‘Yes, I’ll remember that tomorrow’. Unfortunately in most cases, unless you act on those ideas and record them in some type of form, they are forgotten. It is in the recording of ideas and perceptions that the essence of art is born that happens within a context of time and place.

Interestingly, all of my work for this masters study has been presented on a screen via electricity and pixels on a computer screen or an iPad. There is something fascinating about this and the relationship to a wide audience in that the information can be ‘reproduced’ or screened in multiple places many times over. It reminds me of Warhols Pop Art qualities, in that to be accessible and relevant, there has to be something exciting, sexy, and fresh about it, yet on the other hand that is the way in its pure reproductions that its banality is exposed.

Art and science I think have been seen as different genres in the past, but more regularly, art has been made out of data. (ref). In my artwork there is a huge spectrum of ideas ranging across 4 or 5 distinct projects.

  1. The universal Embrace interactive display,
  2. The narrative of the project acting cumulatively that includes a narrative to my inner adolescent,
  3. The children's book ‘Grogan the Monster, in ‘What do you Love’,
  4. The Free energy Love Machine, Mark I and II,
  5. The data of all the imagery I have amassed to enrich these projects.

These items are not visually similar, but have rhizomatic links between each other.

Cover a lifetime

Accept the inner child, heals the inner adolescent

Frees the mind to not judge own ideas

Works with art and science in a harmonious way

Is self actualising in terms of encapsulating the whole person

Eccentricity of ideas is celebrated and not denied

Singular paths diversions is the path.

Art class notes

The eccentric is a mysterious creature
Peculiar behaviour is its notable feature
Lost and alone in a world of conformity
Where oddness is seen as a dreadful deformity.
Yet, of all the creatures, the true non-conformist
Is often the brightest, the boldest and warmest.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Notes on technology and art / narrative

Art and Technology acts as a vehicle for my narrative of art, science, and experience.

The manifestation and technical manifestation of the interactive ‘Universal Embrace’.

Starting out:

The Universal Embrace started out on paper and in my mind-so it was hard to foresee where it may have ended up manifesting even though I had envisaged it being on a web page. During the learning of using different technologies, I had produced two Apple iBooks, ‘Recent Drawing, Towards A/r/tography’, and ‘Grogan the Grateful Monster’. The first focussed on the face that I would be utilising traditional drawing means in a digitised project, and the latter was really getting in touch with that inner child of mine. That inner child/adolescent was described and explored in the narrative reply I made to myself as a 15 year old that is included as part of the narrative research and discovery.

During the process of technical knowhow and web based manifestation, at one stage I decided to publish the entire project as an iBook and so went forth and bought an iPad and started to utilise the easy interface of interactivity to produce my book and project. This became problematic however, and I reverted all the information in that iBook back to the website of www.theuniversalembrace.com.

Originally in the outset my candidature proposal was written, with the aim of the project appearing online for a maximum audience. As I started to piece together the way in which I record and publish narrative though, it began to be clear to me that I did not have the  technical skills to put a complex HTML site together online.

The online project however, was shaping up. I had decided on www.blogger.com from google to be embedded in my web page for an ongoing narrative. This was quite easily designable to place into the template for my website www.theuniversalembrace.com that was put together under the auspice of www.wix.com. All of utilising these websites and companies had a learning curve that I would have to endure much like I did by publishing the apple iBooks. So, whilst creating my narrative, writing and making interactive artworks, I was also running a dual process of learning the technologies through which to express my ideas.

I had already had the building blocks of the project, indeed the candidature proposal was quite like a template to follow when designing and writing my work. I had my research question and statements of significance which have been outlined on the webpage itself to give it self awareness for the reader.

When I started to put together images and words on the website, I had anticipated that if I designed an interactive site, I could host it on one of my servers and place it within the website much like I had with my blog from www.blogger.com. However, there were other ways forwards, which ended up reverting back to the original plan of publishing the whole idea on the website www.theuniversalembrace.com.

During my journey doing my masters, I had published a book on the iTunes store, ‘Recent Drawing, Towards A/r/tography’, which had included within it some moving animated designs, and traditional art presented in a digital medium, much like the work I intended to do. This was a very interesting process, and although there was quite a lot of technical issues to go through, including getting my own iPad to test the book on, I persevered, and the book was published.

The software to put an iBook together for the iBook store is ‘iBooks Author’, and there is another program, ‘iTunes Producer’, that you need to use in order to finally publish your work to be considered for the Apple iBooks store. I had to learn as I went through the process.

The software is quite intuitive to use, and with an iPad, you can instantly see your work on how it will appear as an iBook on the iPad. It’s exciting to see words and images come to life on this contemporary new medium. So, why not consider putting a copy of ‘The Universal Embrace’, on it? It was an idea that I entertained for quite a while and transferred all of the website onto the iPad platform, only to revert back to the original idea of a web based design.

I considered the idea, and moved forward with the many technical issues that I was faced with. I had already put a copy of the Universal embrace online, so I would be repeating myself, that was problem number one. But there was another distinct advantage of doing this.

When I had put my visual candidature proposal together, I used Keynote, which is for presentations. Luckily for me I had become quite familiar with this software, and its potential for interactivity was there-I could easily design something with forwards and backwards buttons, or run a presentation and make a button to go anywhere on a document.

I had also started with the final design of the universal embrace. Like the proposal said, it was to occur on the template of a golden rectangle. So I had illustrated one for this purpose. Slowly, after a few weeks, I began to build a photoshop document in ‘layers’, items that I could turn off and on, to be guided through the complexities of the embrace whilst keeping it visually simple.

My problem was that somehow, I needed to animate the layers that I had saved in Photoshop. This is where keynote came to the rescue. I re-sized the photoshop file with the layers in it to fit an iPad dimension. Then, I placed all the slides into keynote whereby I could add sound, and an interactive forwards and backwards button that was simple and elegant in design. It was beginning to take form.

After putting together the information that I already had into iBooks Author, such as statement, candidature proposal, etc, I then had the option to design how this book would work. Without realising it, I had started to work on an anticipated version of the final presentation of the Universal Embrace! It was not online like I had earlier anticipated, (well, finished anyway), but it still had the means to be electronically distributed for a wide audience through the Apple platform. I was excited that the publishable iBook idea was a very contemporary way of presenting a Masters piece, and had support from supervisors Maureen and Neil that this would be acceptable to present. I felt like it was a very cutting edge way of presenting what used to be presented traditionally, and was extremely exited by this.

I looked at ways I could reference my literature review and other quotes and this was acceptable. I had divided up my iBook into sections, and it all seemed to flow very nicely. I had left space to fill in on the major distilled narratives of subjects like Phi, Spirit, and Society as relates to my work. Then, I was able to embed my Keynote presentation, an additional interactive design, into the iBook itself.

When I showed this to my supervisors, I was thrilled to find out that I might be submitting the idea much earlier than anticipated for marking and assessment, cutting my study time down by nearly two years! It was thrilling to think it was moving so fast, and now the challenge lay ahead to produce more of the writing and references that I would need to do to fill out the body of text to go with my overall interactive iBook.

In terms of the website, this could still exist, and I could easily animate a movie of the embrace with a link to the anticipated finished iBook, so this was not in vain. As it turned out however, the intentions of presenting my work on the iPad were in vain, because I had so many problems in transferring the file to my supervisors easily and even though it was an accepted form, there was not the time for my supervisors to thoroughly look  through my work I had done lest in our hourly fortnightly meetings.

Ultimately, I decided to present the whole idea online again which had wasted an incredible amount of time yet it did not take long to re-install the web page from the admin memory of wix.com and re-install and add to what I had already achieved to bring the website up to date with how much content and data I had produced.

It allowed me much experience though in iBooks Author and I can always make a version of the book later down the track if I want or need to.

Sub headings:

Art and Technology:
What was the process of ‘The Universal Embrace’ engaging art and technology?

Pop art and reproducibility:
Reproduction of a web site and copyrights.

Science and art:
Is ‘The Love Machine Mark I and Mark II’ art or science? Where does intuition lie in making this conceptual near perpetual animation? How does that relate to the lived experience and any neurosis that have been a constant? What has changed since you were younger and why was this?

Conceptual animations and narrative: see above

Arts based research and online technologies:
Describe some of the other arts based research and technologies you have discovered. How do they compare and contrast to yours in terms of narrative, methodology, conception and outcome?

Using interactivity and sound.