Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sketchbook 1.4





The problem that I am faced with at the moment is that of trying to articulate the process of automatic drawing. I'm not sure, with the introspective thinking that this requires, that there is any validity in the search, or rather, that the search does not merely perpetuate itself and culminate in a mess of scratchy, indesciperable gibberish. I will say, however, that there are some signs in my work that I am making progress towards my goals, and these may become apparent later.
I've tried to set out several basic principles for understanding the process of automatic drawing, and channeled drawing, with the emphasis on automatic art for the time being.

The first idea is that of something I call the "vocabularizing reflex". Its identical to the concept of paranoic-vision, but stresses the idea that the human mind literally repells the uncategorizable, even to the point of inventing new concepts when confronted with the ineffable. It also places emphasis on the idea that the mind seems to automatically and perpetually heirarchize whatever visual impulses it bumps against.
An example of this is the idea of a person who walks into a cafe, sees an image of a horse in a field (really a series of paint blotches), recognizes it as an image of a horse in a field and remembers it later as such, and refers to it in later conversations as such.
Another example is that of a sequence:
"
--------
1111111
1111111
--------

square

word

vocabularizing reflex "

Pardon my ASCII.
The idea is that the concept is derivable from the automatic process, and perhaps this is why the process is considered automatic in the first place.

This gives rise to another idea, and that is of analytical unattainability. The point of this is just that labelling labels eventually ends either in loops of thinking, or perhaps just Zenos paradox. The ultimate problem with thinking that mirrors the above example is that it ultimately becomes uniform, and ultimately refers to nothing very substantial. It requires reality to disembark from, but winds up falling in spirals to nowhere. Nonetheless, I want to maintain that some form of this type of thinking is crucial to all kinds of art and maybe just about everything else.

This type of thinking, if activated during the process of drawing, becomes flow.
But, flow for the sake of flow tends to result in an endless parade of abstract images, or, as I have encountered a couple of times in my life previously, a serious of similar, and stereotyped images.
Artists who are aware of flow as they are working need to understand that it is merely a means to an end, and not uniquely the goal and destination of art.

To get enough into flow seems to be similar to entering a state of trance. This can be done simply by adopting a drawing method that avoids serious preplanning.
I begin by drawing a series of uniform marks. Over time, the marks seem to take on a life of their own, and a definite direction. Sometimes impulses and a strong feeling of direction to the work arise.
This is art for marks sake, however. There really is nothing beyond that in it. And it hasn't led to channeling or anything more complex for me thus far.

The above drawings follow along these guidelines very closely, with the additional belief, perhaps influencing them, that the emotional state, and the types of mark-shapes that began the drawing, that led to a trance, changed the nature of what was in them.
I actively tried to impose content on them, even to the point of disrupting flow. The very top one was begun out of flow, and I entered into it a bit towards the end.

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