Friday, August 6, 2010

Silentparrot..late night phenomenology

Writing about phenomenology can be like reviewing a film where the final scene is continually changing...just when you thought you got it the first time suddenly you discover a particular nuance that throws light into a deep corner and you discover something that is capable of leaving you sitting in an empty cinema wanting to rewind to the ending to make certain that it all was what it was you got..but it's already too late.. a new ending is already beginning...and perhaps that is what will either leave you wanting more or see you walking out on phenomenology...I stumbled on it through an experience that has never changed since I was a seven year old child..browsing through the shelves of a library...I was really looking for threads of existential writings to tie in with a series of etchings of a black umbrella I had made at the very beginning of my MVA studies.. and naturally came across phenomenology...without boring you with a history lesson...essentially phenomenology is divided into two streams of consciousness..transcendental and existential...the founder of 20th.C phenomenology was Edmund Husserl...his fundamental concepts were conceived in the first decade of the 20th.C and basically he spent the rest of his life modifying these initial ideas...his main concept was in providing a method for individuals to investigate their personal every day encounters to arrive at a point of acquiring the essences of meaning and understanding to life experiences...this process is known as the 'reduction method'..or helps to use a prop at this stage..lets stay with the black umbrella..the reduction method requires me to sit in my studio with my black umbrella and simply begin by describing exactly what it is I see..but before I do that I must first suspend any preconceived notions or associations I may already possess towards this must be viewed as an object that is suspended from all social, cultural, scientific, religious, or personal associations..devoid of any we begin with objective descriptions...remembering that this object can be viewed from more than one side and within a multitude of the idea is to reach a point where you have exhausted your descriptions..(or your-self) my case these descriptions were completed through hand written text in the form of diary entries, drawings and etchings ...the next step within the reduction method allows for the intervention of more subjective associations...this is where the individuals own powers of perception, imaginative variations, memories and all free associations can be brought into the case of my umbrella these subjective  variations were introduced through a series of collage and assemblage pieces using objects and surfaces that I had collected on specific journeys with my umbrella...the completion of the method is conceived through a bringing together of all objective and subjective descriptions ...there are many more intimations to be explored but what one is hoping to arrive at is a moment of discovering the essence of my experience of this object...and ultimately that essence can only be discovered by me..for Husserl this investigation was capable of reaching a point of transcendence and moving into pure consciousness...this is where we lose a few viewers'....but this brings us to the existential shift.... the existentialists liked the fact that Husserl pushed aside the scientists or at least  made them sit in the corner...Husserl had given them a rigorous formula for investigating experience...they were quite happy to show the scientists the door claiming that all authentic reasoning comes from the individual..what they rejected from Husserl was his final detachment from every day things..yes he had brought us back to objects but attempted to dissolve our experience of them into the realms of a transcendental mind...the existentialists believed that the essence of existence could only be disclosed through our experience of every day objects within our lived environment..they provided the catalyst for understanding ourselves...enough for one late night.sp. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, I enjoyed reading it!

    Beautiful blog too,