The past few weeks have been spent trying to ‘find enlightenment’ and come up with some creative and original ideas to develop this project further. The focus of this thinking has been on finding a way to make the sculptural forms themselves more meaningful. Following a meeting with my tutor to discuss possible directions, the beginnings of a concept began to emerge which will be explored in the coming week before solidifying the idea and putting it into production.
The work is to be presented at a triptych of three sculptural forms, each with a projection mapped component. I want to have the forms in different poses: lying, sitting, and standing, representing the three parts of the psyche suggested in Freud’s structural model. As with the psyche, these three parts work together to form a singular whole, in the work the forms and their glitches will be interrelated contributing to a singular entity representing the mind.
The analogy also fits in line with ideas from cognitive psychology and viewing the individual as a process of information, much like a computer. The environment provides data which is transformed by the senses. This information is then processed and can be stored, retrieved, and transformed using ‘mental programs’ which results in a behavioural response. In general we selectively attend to a singular activity, and ignore other stimulation. This is because humans have a limited processing capability. So what would happen if we were to overload this processing capability? Would it result in a glitch like in a computer?
Currently my challenge is integrating these ideas with digital media, and in particular how glitch art would fit into this model and compliment the chosen poses for the forms. Here’s a short summary of my current thinking and understanding:
The id operates with the unconscious part of the mind. It is primitive, instinctual, illogical and irrational. It operates on the pleasure principle that every impulse should be satisfied immediately and does not change over time or with experience.
To me the lying pose is the most suggestive of this. It implies sleeping or dreaming, when the unconscious mind is able to operate (mostly) free from external stimuli. Sleep is a basic, primal instinct and is unavoidable. Digitally I am imagining something fast paced to be projected, symbolising the impulsive and illogical side of the mind. How would glitches operate here? Would there even be glitches? Perhaps when basic instincts conflict, this could be a glitch. Such as when you’re drifting off to sleep then you’re sudden twitched awake as the brain panics for some reason (I have no idea why this happens…).
The ego is the part of the id which has been modified and influenced by the external world. It mediates between the unrealistic and irrational id and the external real world. It is integral to decision making and finds realistic ways to satisfy the demands of the id. The ego is rational, realistic and orientated towards problem solving by testing reality to find solutions - enabling people to demonstrate self-control and tame the id. However it has no concept of right or wrong, it only aims to gain pleasure without causing harm to the self.
This one is more difficult to pin a pose on. On the one hand it fits well with sitting, as it is the logical intermediary step between lying and standing. But equally it could be standing as that pose is implicit of action, or going somewhere, which fits with the drive of the ego as it seeks to pleasure and fulfil the id’s wishes.
Lastly there is the superego which incorporates the values and morals of society learned from others. It controls the id’s impulses which are forbidden by culture and society and persuades the ego towards more moralistic goals rather than simple realistic ones. The superego consists of the conscience and the ideal self. The ideal self is an imaginary picture of how one ought to be such as career aspirations, how to treat others and how to behave properly as a member of society. Falling short of the ideal self results in guilt, whereas behaving in line with it or social norms is rewarded.
This one I am also finding difficult to associate with a pose. Initially I thought it could be standing, as standing is the pose in which we often interact with society and our environment. Standing can be quite confident and it had a sense of ‘presence’ to it as if this standing figure IS the ideal self, standing tall and proud - what one should aspire to be. But I also think it fits with sitting. As it is a slightly less active pose than standing, it is suggestive of stopping and taking a moment to think. It could be analogous to the mind pondering the moral implications of an action desired by the id. However in this case, sitting doesn’t suggest the power that the superego has to control both the ego and the id which standing does as an authoritarian pose.