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Drew Burrett Fine ART Year3

THE ARTIST, THE VIEWER AND ME The complexities of experience Extended Essay 10,000 words


Drew Burrett

BA3a

15/03/2016

The Artist, The Viewer and Me The complexities of experience Abstract The complexities of Experience, The Artist the Viewer and Me explores a range of Psychological, Social and Philosophical ideas centred on the highly complex notion of experience, perception and interaction, looking at, as the title suggests, the Artists’ perspective, the viewers’ and mine. Questioning how each position changes our experience of how we perceive a piece of artwork. Through looking at how experience is different for every individual we can consider all factors that may take effect, such as past and present influences of the subject (Viewer), and the object itself. The report focuses on four artists as examples of how experience can be used to effect and how the Artist uses space as a tool to create multiple and very different forms of experience. But the viewer (subject) and the artwork (Object) are not the only factors that can shape and form an experience. The gallery, museum or institution plays its role, opening artwork to the masses, creating a whole new experience. This section explores the factors that a museum must consider for us to be able to interact with art, considering direction and flow of a space in which art inhabits. Through analysis we can begin to place experience into four distinct stages, (Arrival, Observe, Interact, and Evaluate). As an example of how a space can be used to create distinct experiences using the principles we have explored, we go on to look at the Blue Pavilion by Pezo Van Ellrichsausen, which was installed at the Royal Academy back in 2011. The work created three distinct experiences that shaped and was influenced by the space it inhabited. The final chapter ends with the exploration of the gaze, looking at the complexities of observation (observe) and the many artistic arguments that have arose over the nature of looking and the role it should play in a contemporary, modern fine art society. Is the Gaze tainted, is the act of looking no longer enough to sustain an experience at its greatest strength? This essay explores not only thought ideas but new concepts to make sense of the complex world in which experience is set. 2


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The Artist, the Viewer and Me The complexities of experience

Drew Burrett 03/02/2016 Rhythm a factor that effects how we experience space and language

Contents 1. The Definition of Experience 2. The Artist, how do they define a space?

Page 6 -13 Page 14

1. Richard Serra 2. Richard Deacon 3. Anish Kapoor 4. Carsten Holler 5. Conclusion 3. The Viewer, how can we generate experience?

Page 15-16 Page 17-18 Page 19-21 Page 22-23 Page 24 Page 25-28

1.The Modern Museum and Gallery environment 2. Pezo Van Ellrichsausen

Page 29-30

3.Conclusion

Page 31-32 Page 33

4. How Do we see, The Development of the Gaze

Page 34-39

5. Glossary

Page 41-42

6. Bibliography

Page 43-46 3


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The Artist, The Viewer and Me The complexities of experience Figures List

1. Stimulus and stimulated -Chapter 1 The definitions of experience 2. External and Internal Senses- Chapter 1 The definitions of experience 3. Richard Wilsons “20:50”- Chapter 1 The definitions of experience 4. A Diagram of Experience- Chapter 1 The definitions of experience 5. Richard Serra “Strike”- Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? 6. Richard Deacon. “what could make me feel this way”Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? 7. Anish Kapoor “Marysas”- Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? 8. Carsten Holler “Test Site”- Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? 9. 4 stages of experience- Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience? 10. Attention and Inattention- Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience? 11. Tate Sensorium exhibition- Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience 12. Tate Modern- Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience/The Modern Museum and Gallery environment 13. Pezo Van Ellrichsausen – Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience/Pez Van Ellrichsausen 14. Benedict Drew- Chapter 4 How Do we see, The Development of the Gaze

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Introduction “The complexities of experience” aims to classify and comprehend the importance of experience in terms of how we view, interact with art and the world around us. It is an entirely subconscious notion that an artist should be fully aware of, however does the onlooker even give a slightest glance at the intentions of the artists and do we see beyond the facade of its material structure to its full relationship within a space? This report aims to look at just that in critical and experimental manner. Through observing and exploring psychological principles around the ideas of how we engage physically with a work we will begin to develop a strong sense of how space, light, position, direction and flow of a gallery or institution can react with how and what sensations we use to be fully engaged with an artistic practice. Through the exploration of psychological principles around Observation and the senses being a key factor of the creation of experience, we can delve deep into understanding what factors affect how we see as individuals and what we need to have in an artistic work to create a strong sense of Interaction. Through understanding these principles, we can begin to look at artists in Chapter 2, whose practices use the concept of experience to their advantage, looking at how they tackle space, and the audience. These artists are Richard Deacon, Richard Serra, Anish Kapoor and Carsten Holler. They all have different ways of tackling space, it’s these differences that shape each and every experience that their work creates for the Artist, the Viewer and me to explore. But what makes these works effective in terms of how they generate experience. It’s not just the object alone, but the museum or gallery that it is situated in. This leads on to Chapter 3, exploring the complexities and job of the modern museum to create a space that encourages viewers to observe, to interact with art in a new light focusing primarily on the Tate Modern. Using our knowledge of experience, we can begin to question how and what senses we use to observe. In Chapter 4 we begin to look at this focusing heavily on the concept of the “gaze”. Is it enough to sustain a full experience primarily on its own, or do we need the help of all the senses to generate an experience to its full effect? Understanding experience is a difficult concept, as every individual has a different way of looking, but hopefully through critical research we can begin to grasp its notions in a clear sense to understand the way we see. 5


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Chapter 1 The Definition of experience Experience Oxford Definition: “an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone”.

Drew Burrett 03/02/2016 Rhythm a factor that effects how we experience space and language

“The visitor has a preconceived idea of what s/he desires from the experience based on considerations such as need in terms of prior knowledge available time and company”. (John Dewey.1970:86). Before we can focus on the aspects of experience and how that is effected and or seen differently from the artist the viewer and me, we must understand and delve into the meaning of experience and its definition. Experience is an occurrence or a sensation derived from an act or relationship that forms between the viewer, the artist or me that has a long-lasting impact on their lives and or attitudes towards a space or environment. Experience is generated through a set of psychological principles that are created by the brain, that increase our interests and ideas, that generate a specific emotional response or reaction. It’s often explored through using the term “sensation”. Sensation is a complex notion and is seen as the key factor which effects experience. We must grasp this before we can fully understand experience. We use our 6


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senses to guide us through life, sometimes they can signal acts of danger or fear and other times shear sensory bliss. However, for all the good things they do us, our senses never get the credit. Human nature holds fast to the belief that the joys of life are out there, we rarely recognise that without our taste buds, we couldn’t appreciate a good meal, without our hearing we couldn’t hear our baby’s first cries, without sight we cannot enjoy the pleasure of the gaze. Your perception of sensation is even more complicated than you could possible imagine. You may smell the same perfume as another for example, but perceive it differently depending upon the circumstances in which you are situated in. It’s this unique ability that experience has to humanity that makes its complexities to how and what effects how we see so interesting, however why does each brain act differently? Richard M Restak a psychologist writes in his book titled the "The big Question explores the notion of how, “Each brain plays a different trick depending on the psychological makeup of the observer”. (Restak. 2012:186-189). Through interacting with everyday life, you become attuned to responding to a set of sensations that our individual to us all depending on our psychological makeup, but it’s not just down to the sensation and the natural makeup of each onlooker that participates in social life, experience can be through a balance of many factors that affect how we see and interact with the world around us. The eye is drawn to many different aspects of line, tone, shape, contrast and texture just to name a few. “space value is affected by a hundred considerations such as light, shadow, colour and vertical and horizontal emphasis”. (Levi.1998: 4). The brain relies on both primary responses to an environment we interact with alongside of past expectations and experiences to generate a sense of space and recognition to the perception of a specific object or composition of form. It’s this ability that humanity possess to dive into their past experiences that can change the way we perceive a layout, and an object within a space. It makes and enables the human brain to be entirely individual within its own response to a spaces stimulus. Life is a stimulating experience in its own right. What stimulates our sensations at any given moment depends upon the part of the body we are using to interact with an object, space, form or living organism. For example: 7


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Figure 1: Stimulus and stimulated Sense

What stimulates us

What gets stimulated

Hearing

stimulates sound waves

pressure sensitive hair cells in inner ear.

Vision

light waves

light sensitive rods and cones in retina of eye.

Touch

pressure on skin

sensitive end of touch neurons in skin

stimuli harmful

sensitive ends of pain neurons in skin and other tissue

Taste

molecules dissolved in liquid

taste cells in taste buds on the tongue

Smell

molecules dissolved in fluid

Sensitive ends of olfactory neurons in the mucous membranes.

Pain

Joni.E Johnston, PSYD, Psychology, Fourth Edition, The Complete idiots guide to Psychology, Alpha Usa Page 83

“Senses are nothing without perception, senses are a tool to perceive an object.�. (Hamlyn.1961:125-137). But are vital for an active experience to form and take place. Without our senses and sensations experience cannot form. We need perception to make sense of the information we have gathered to translate it into something that we can understand through a complex system of past and present notions. Although we see experiences as a truly personal contribution there is a constitution which is common to all normal individuals. “they have the same hands, organs dimensions, senses affections passions; they have and are fed the same foods, hurt by the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same remedies, warmed and cooled by 8


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the same variations in climate”. (John Dewey.1970:256). Experience is a matter of interaction of organisms with its environment, an environment that is human as well as physical that includes materials of tradition and local surroundings. Experience constitutes both “subject” and “object” considering not just the Mental state of the viewer(subject), but also the (object) in which they interact with. Phenomenology, an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience explores this notion by splitting the senses into two distinct divisions, internal and external. All our external senses form part of a single perceptual system that effects the way we see and perceive the experiences that we engage with when we interact. Figure 2

External senses= Smell, Touch, Hearing, Taste and Vision Internal Senses =Memory, Imagination, Estimation and Common sense Sokolowski, R. (2008) Phenomenology of the human person. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Through development of our social selves and through the combination of both experiences and interactions within an aging life the subject becomes more attuned to understanding and seeing a work in more depth than just the outer surface of the mere object. A child depicts an object, but a mature painter depicts both the object and the way it looks from “Here”. (Sokolowski, R. 2008:202.

Having an understanding of what the “object” is, is a vital part of viewing artwork. To first be able to gain perception of something we must through socialization or teaching grasp what that “object” is. Then we the “subject” can have a non-biased opinion upon that “object”, that has been carefully considered using external and internal senses, past and present knowledge to make a “judgment” on such work. 9


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Figure 3

Richard Wilsons, “20:50”,1987, Saatchi gallery London

For example, Richard Wilson’s,”20:50”, created in 1987, but installed as part of the permanent collection at the Saatchi Gallery London. The experience perceived by another may be completely different depending upon the previous experiences or associations one might have with this material in this particular piece. I choose to use Richard Wilsons, “20:50” because of its sheer volume, smell and depth of the structure used. To a guest with no pre-conceptions or previous experiences with the material involved (in a subjective note) might be amazed by its sheer depth and reflective qualities, almost finding it remotely beautiful in its own way. Some guests may love the smell it produces; others maybe not so inclined to inhale around its presents. However, an observer who may have had a previous experience of oil that might not have been in a positive manner or have had a daunting near drowning experience for example in the past, may find the work almost acting as a void that would suck you in, taking away its reflective qualities and becoming possibly someone’s worst nightmare. I’m Just trying to make clear how an object can shift and change become more complex and un-evolved. By the way we perceive it as human beings we 10


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act upon the experiences that we have collected from the past and its these perceptions that shape experiences for the future. Oil as a material has a lot of environmental and political connotations that can make peoples sensations towards it a negative one. Changing how they perceive the work its self. The senses we use to “observe”,(observation) to “interact”(Interact) all add to the experiences we gain from that given piece. The more senses used in theory the more we will gain from the ideas of looking. The texture and smell of the material has a major impact on our perceptions. It’s a bit like marmite, a smell or colour you either love or hate. My perceptions sway more to the love of the materials reflective qualities and its angles that create a distinct viewing point. The way it forms to the space and becomes a never-ending void of natural matter. However, is our perceptions important to the way the work is viewed and how much of a part does the artist play in the experiences generated in the work. Does the artist contribute and is it intentional? Roland Barthes Death of the author writes strongly within this field about the idea and concept of authorship, and how we as the public see the Author as an obvious figure within art, but is something so complex really that simple. It brings out this question is art “original” or a set of concepts, ideologies and social studies, that aims not to create something new but to borrow ideas, and behaviors, actions, objects that are familiar to us all and create something new. I don’t want to delve deep into the argument of who is the author, but more to state that experiences work because of the previous knowledge of the “object” in which the “subject”, has that enables quite possibly for an experience to take place. Just maybe its arts abilities to “observe”, “Interact” within everyday objects both found and or created in response to another “object”, that is key. Quite possibly for humans to react to something they must first need authorship to be questioned. Art and experience fall hand in hand. It’s the sole duty of the artist to play with the structures of our societies likes and dislikes to advantage to create works that you may argue impact a viewer or become impactful, because of the viewer’s contribution. It’s this relationship between the senses we use to engage and interact with a work that interests me on a personal note. For an audience to be able to experience a work of art I 11


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feel it is important to first understand why the Artist has chosen to make it, how and what does the artist feel about the work? why has the Artist chosen to show the work in this particular or specific manner? These are all important questions because although we may perceive the work in a specific way, the Artist’s perceptions or reasons for doing so may be completely different, personal or emotional. For a work to truly express itself, what does an artist need to do? In a book named “Art as experience by John Dewey” it explores the notion that art work must first be explored by the one who created it, who developed its concept and its visual stimulus. He believes for the audience to engage the artist must first ‘live with it”, “breath with it” and “walk around it”. If we use all our senses as artists to our advantage “art can become a new joy to the blind while for the clear sighted it is the most thoroughly three-dimensional study”. (Neagu 1963:380-384). As Barbara Hepworth, famously states “when observing a sculpture, (Present) you must walk around it (Observation) , touch it, feel it, (Interaction)before even beginning to understand it (Evaluation). For an experience to take place you must combine the senses to explore each notion to its fullest degree. My own practice delves into how objects when combined create generate a specific sensation or set of ideologies, that impact how you feel. I play with speed, light and colour to force you to look more intently. I create glimpses of imagery that you must catch at an instant leaving you hopefully bemused. Speed is the only true measure. Playing with how quickly the eyes can capture and process information is an important aspect of my practice. Through playing with speed, I can experiment to see how much of an experience one can gain from observing and how that may affect the way the work is absorbed by the viewer. (Carritt.1962;32-33), (Hamlyn.1961:126), (Dewey.1970;255-282), (Johnston. 2009:83), ( Sokolowski. 2008; 199-212),( Flew .1971: 56-57)

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Figure 4 Making sense of Experience: (Source Created By Drew Burrett

Can only be generated through some form of interaction.

A sensation is a feeling or an emotion triggered by an act of experience.

Sensation

Senses Experience is triggered by

The creation of the social self through

The psychological makeup of the observer

Object subject

Individual

Item it interacts with

Present

Past

Light, Contrast

Memory, action

Angle, Position

Stories passed down through generations

Distance, Layout Reflection, Refraction Height, Balance

Norms, values, beliefs

Socialisation

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Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space?

Introduction

For years’ artists and historians alike have been trying to delve deeper into the understanding of how and in which ways a space can become more defined. Is it by the sheer size of the object within a space? Is it the psychological and semiology of colour? Or is it down to the texture of the material and its relationship to the materials that surround it. There are many aspects of space that needs to be considered when looking at how a work impacts, responds and reacts to the space it situates. But most importantly how we the artist, the viewer and me see that work within the space. The complexities of perception constantly change, shape and morph the individual experiences that we as individuals face every day. “We do not define space; space defines what we put there”. (Wilson 2014:5). Space exists without our touch, what and how we decide to contribute to spaces we inhabit is all effected by the same factors that affect experience. Through the “Past” and the “Present”. Spaces are defined by its neighbours created before him, by the sheer size of its floors. The spaces between each window frame to the height of every ceiling. They need to be considered, balanced before any form of interaction can take place. Artists for centuries, however most prominently during the modern and contemporary era have been pushing space to its limits testing its ability, its fragility and instability to question how we personally feel about the space we inhabit and how they affect our everyday sense of experience. I’ve decided to focus on a specific set of works that I feel on a personal and reflective not deeply show there aims in terms of how they wish to impact a space and environment. How an object, painting or installation can capture, close in upon a viewer, make them feel uncomfortable, scared or distraught. To generate a sense of experience by the careful considered placement of objects. 14


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Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? Richard Serra Richard Serra captivates the space and its viewers in a very interesting manner. His use of simple geometric sculptures that engulf the space, in which become part of the gallery architecture, controlling how we encompass the work. For example, a piece called “Strike” created and installed at the Lo Giudice Gallery in New York in 1972. Figure 5

Richard Serra. Strike 1972. Lo Guidice Gallery New York

This piece was aimed at creating a sculpture in a new light where the mechanics and theory of how we interact with the piece becomes the work itself. The sculptures only acts as a form to create interaction, to define the space which generates some form of sensation which intern creates some form or aspect of experience amongst the viewer. It’s the job of the artist to create this interaction. To see the experience before it presents itself to the wider world in a public, museum or gallery setting. A text from the museum of Modern Art New York describes Strike as a “single plank of hot rolled steel, one-inch-thick, eight feet high, and 15


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twenty-four feet long and weighing nearly three tones”.(E. Krauss.1986:44-46). With this information, it gives us a sense of how this large, metal sharp, near to collapsed work encompasses the grandeur of its space in where it is situated. It is clear that the contextual aspect to Serra’s work is important. Within a series of interviews in the book titled “weight and measure” he describes how the work is created to be at balance with its surroundings to create ultimate effect”. Serra describes the space as “meandering, expanding, closing, compressing, elongating and separating”. Strike like all his works aims to be a blank canvas where as he describes the “viewers cannot become attached and place a metaphoric or imaginative reading to the work”. (Serra.1992: 23). Strike strongly relates to my own personal practice and research because Serra calculates almost like a mathematician where he weighs all the possible factors that might change the diversity of the piece. for example, the colour, the shape and the space it encompasses. For me Serra’s work gives a sense of condition being a key factor to the possibility of its failure. The way it elongates from the wall creating divide, a block and a sense of direction in which the viewer can’t avoid or engage with. It creates a sense of isolation or collapse. Leaving you in a constant sense of unease. Strike is a simple but clever exploration of space that shows just how much of an impact an “object” can have on the “subject’ that interacts with it. Richard Serra’s practice explores the truth about space, that “we don’t define space, but space defines what we put there”. (Wilson. 2014:11-12). It’s our needs, our desires, our wants for open space that shapes what we build within an already existing space. Serra takes this knowledge and places works into the space that prevents these key factors of human existence form taking place, shaping an environment that can make you feel an array of different sensations and experiences. Strike prevents the audience from going through, instead forcing them to go around, shaping how they (observe) the work in all its diverse angles. Its material can have an effect on the (past) notions of the audience, shaping how they see strike for better or for worse.

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Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? Richard Deacon Figure 6

Richard Deacon. “what could make me feel this way”. 1993. Bentwood with glue, screws, Cable ties. 286x50x483cm. Collection, Sprengel Museum Hannover.

“There it is pushing into the room a monster of nearly three metres in height, a hybrid art breeding between turbine aggregate, a colony of tubular worms and a giant wicker arm chair,” (Hohmeyer.1993:272). This Quote describing a piece of work by Richard Deacon called “What could make me feel this way”, captures the very essences of my discussion, it describes the critique feeling towards how the object impacts the space and how material can change and encompass the perspective of the work. In his Tate shots interview for the Tate Modern. 06/02/2014. he discusses his use of material and how he uses this to inform the space 17


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to fabricate a specific mood. “the Wood absorbs light, curved wood is alive whereas as straight is dead, its these combinations that interest me. The way I use wood is close to the tree itself”. (Tate shots. Deacon: online 06/02/2014). Richard Deacon certainly works differently to Richard Serra; however, their principles are the same. They both tackle space, and how to fill it. They are both on a large scale. You want to go up to the Deacon and run from the Serra. Why is this? We must go back to the concepts discussed in the first chapter to understand their differences. As we know there are many factors that affect how we feel about an artwork. Peoples connotations or previous (Past) knowledge of the “object” used by the artist will affect our feelings towards it. Richard Deacons work, “what could make me feel this way”, Is made of an organic material, that flows and curves in a delicate manner, that contains positioned holes that enable you to look through enabling light to travel to the other side. Whereas Serra’s Piece “Strike”. Is a solid piece of steel, a man-made material that is definite in its place, that appears solid and un-penetrable? One generating space the other depleting it. The way you walk around Richard Deacons piece of work enables you to grasp the energy in which has been put into its creation. You feel it’s alive. Through experiencing this work for myself at the Tate Britain in March of 2014 its grandeur became clear. The shadows and the complex curves made miraculously out of shards of what appeared to be plywood. The way that it twists, moves, flows through the space, enabling you to look amongst it. You can walk around it; Unlike Serra’s work you don’t feel trapped or gain the sense of being crushed by the space. Although it is a heavy piece of sculpture it doesn’t give of that effect when observing, it appears light and easily moveable. Almost floating in the space. Whereas Serra’s practice is definite in one place. When I talk about energy I mean the sense of perpetual motion that this particular piece contains, it appears to be rolling, moving in a constant looped cycle. Shifting constantly from one space to another. Experience Is complex as we know, but it’s nice to see two different artists that tackle space, but aim for different reactions from the viewer. One creating Bliss and the other Constant Fear of the Unknown. 18


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Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? Anish Kapoor Figure 7

Anish Kapoor. Marsyas 2002. Installation at Tate Modern

Anish Kapoor’s, “Marysas” at the Tate Modern in Britain, London is a great example to express the ideas of how an experience is effected by the space it inhabits. Looking at how the artist and the viewer and me develops or becomes a part of the works aims and intentions. Anish Kapoor has undertaken the third in the Unilever series of commissions for the Turbine Hall. He is renowned for his colourful enigmatic sculptures that result in a versatile often pigment orientated works that are site specific, considered and approached with care and consideration. Marysas comprises of three steel rings joined together by a single span of red PVC membrane. The circular, thirty-metre-long forms creates three distinct elements that span the entirety of the turbine hall, expanding and contracting on either end creating a focal point in the centre of the first-floor platform. Intern generating a void in which the viewer can engage in a completely new manner. 19


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“There are four discreet forms that are linked by the bridges (Present), it’s that moment from going to a flat/horizontal, to the vertical again, as you walk through it one has to configure a mental picture”. (Kapoor. 2003: DVD Illuminations). An essay written by Balmond in the book Named Marysas describes the sculpture in a poetic manner, exploring how the piece “takes shape and turns and climbs into space, narrowing only to expand again and widen”. (Balmond.2002:66-69). The forms invoke actions of arch, wall, slabs even that of columns and massive beams, The archetypes of structure itself. He describes this as being “imperative to span leap the void, resist the elements and come down to earth. The form is always moving from positive to negative. It’s always revealing itself, but then always masking itself. Every aspect of Marysas has been completely considered. How it will generate and effect the museum and gallery setting it inhabits. Such a large elongated space such as this is a difficult challenge to comprehend. It was a problem space that Anish Kapoor had to tackle, it was a new learning curve. Anish Kapoor expresses the difficulty when “we as artist have to conduct our education in public”. (Kapoor. 2003: DVD Illuminations). Through making work in a public domain he believes that the work becomes open to interpretation by the viewer. When tackling the problem of the space he was faced with he relied purely on instinct to help him believe that it will all come together. But this sculpture unlike that of a building is open to exposure from every angle, every position can be scrutinized, viewed and perceived differently. “But in Buildings structure usually is buried beneath bricks and mortar often behaves secretly, unseen but stable in its place”: (Balmond.2002: 66-69) This quote by Cecil Balmond, just explains how much of an artistic but also architectural feet the work is. Marsyas, almost becomes Part of the architecture of the building, but exposed, not hidden beneath the foundations or the Plaster walls that surround it, but open for us to experience its delicate nature, its stretched form and its constant changes in light. Anish Kapoor has a desire to play with what architectural practice has to offer, but stems from his interest in its more expressive potential. In the book Marysas it states that “he is willing to 20


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borrow processes from architecture and engineering, but skeptical about the extent to which those languages are capable of conveying meaning, if not symbolic meaning. (Balmond.2002:14-15) He sees form as having a metaphysical memory, “one never thinks about space seriously, until one is faced with the problem of it and its quite a problem, whilst it has vast length it also has great verticality”. (Kapoor. 2003: DVD) I. It required a constant change in approach and multiple plans, Marquette’s and models where produced before the end product was finally decided upon. Anish Kapoor considered every aspect not just practically in terms of availability, time and money. However also in terms of how the space would develop, change, to create that interaction that is physical yet mental for the viewer and me to comprehend. To create a work that tackled the “subject” which in this example was the space and placed an “object” within it, which draws your attention towards it creating an experience that is purely focused primarily on the architectural feet of the building in which the work situates. It creates an experience that is not just physical but mental as well. When I visited Marysas in 2002 when I was a very young boy in deed the sensations it created made me realise the vast length and versatility of the turbine hall. It made me aware of its grand height and new attention to its past history and architectural details. The span of the PVC material was daunting to me and its red colour made me feel quite un-comfortable and in a state of constant unease. The ring like protrusions became a void of distorted light that created a sense of travel, a sense of movement from one end of the hall to another. Depending upon where you viewed the work, it changed your view upon it completely. The experience I gathered from this work has stayed with me and considering that I was eight at the time of its creation it has held a long-lasting impact upon my practice as an artist today. It has made me aware of the complexities of space, and how hard space is to tackle, to comprehend, but when space is considered and filled, that changes, evolves and develops the longer you (observe) the greater the experience. Anish Kapoor’s dedication to get these factors right, lead to the creation of an interesting exploration of space to take place. 21


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Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space? Carsten Holler Figure 8

Carsten Holler. Test Site Unilever Series. Tate Modern.

Carsten Holler works very differently to Anish Kapoor, His work for the Unilever series, “Test Site” is a more direct approach to experience, not just through the scale and grandeur of the space, but because he’s inviting guests to interact to travel from one level to another via a large, solid steel slide structure. In order to approach Carsten Hollers, “Test Site”, you must not see the object as an Object but as a platform of interaction. Test Site contains five spiralling, tubular slides that run from the upper levels on the gallery to the ground floor. Holler obtained a doctorate in Biology before he became an artist. His practice focuses heavily on Social Interaction and often creating installations to test scientific principles, constantly 22


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questioning altered states of perception and reality. An essay by Mark Windsor describes Test site as “ambivalently poised between the enjoyable and the un-nerving”. (Windsor. 2011: 06/12/2016). Hollers works are created to be playful to create a subversive experience that can often appear sinister at first glance. It’s almost as if Carsten is playing with the effects of social order and behavior encouraging people to interact to let go of social constraints and to be (playful) and to submerge into the slides to get to the bottom. Holler engages a utopian principle in his practice where spaces and social order is suspended and where people relate to each other openly and freely. This work generates a direct experience and links with the chapter of focus later on in the text around how to create experience in the gallery. The experience is the art. The act of taking part, or loosing social control, interacting with an everyday inanimate object and just having fun. It couldn’t be a more direct view of experience. Experience is often passive but this form is very much conscious. In the essay written by Mark Windsor, he discusses how Hollers work “Test Site” has a transformative effect on one’s own behavior offered by sliding, that will subtly alter our outlook and provide an adhered perspective through the exhilarating and joyful experience it offers. (Windsor. 2011: 06/12/2016). Unlike “Marsyas” By Anish Kapoor, you can physical touch and experience “Test site”. You cannot physically touch Marsyas because of its sheer size. One being purely a mental experience and the other being a mixture of both. One where interaction(interact) takes place Quite possible you could argue that “Test site” was more successful because of this. Anish Kapoor wanted to tackle the sheer size of the turbine hall, considering how it would utilize the space to its extreme, whereas Carsten only used a small portion of the halls capacity. Two very different ways of utilizing space, forcing you to look up into, what appears to be infinite red pvc material and the other forcing you to look down as you slide from one floor to another. Maybe its these differences that change the way we interact. Does it matter that we couldn’t touch Anish Kapoor’s “Marsyas”?, would it change the way we perceive it if we could? How does interacting with Carsten’s Test site through touch helps us to generate a wider experience of the work. Only through understanding the senses can we grasp this question in all its integrity. 23


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Chapter 2 The Artist, how do they define a space?

Conclusion Throughout this section of the essay we have explored four examples of contemporary art works that have a relevant and different impacts upon the viewer, focusing on works of a variety of scales and materiality. Each artist explores space, but all in very different and unique ways, some creating work that seems organic in nature and others more architectural, structural and man-made. But under all these differences they all tackle the same fundamental principle “how do we generate an experience”. Each artist using their Past knowledge and experiences shape sensations for the viewers to interpret, interact and engage with in their own unique way. Serra and Richard Deacons work explores polar opposites of experience, one making you want to stay and observe its beauty and the other run away from its definite, defined statement of a space. However, we also looked at how artists Anish Kapoor and Carsten Holler changed, and used the architecture of the existing space to create work that generates distinct, recognisable areas of experiences, Carsten Holler focusing primarily on the social aspects of how an experience can shape social interaction. Each and every artist uses their knowledge of space and the environment that the work will be situated in to capture the audience’s (attention). In the next chapter “The Viewer and how we generate experience”, we will delve in deeper to how the museum and gallery staff and curators have to consider the space in which work is situated, to create the ultimate experience. The position and scale of the work situated is a vital factor in all four of the artists practice, they all worked on a grand scale, a scale that made you look up or down, that questioned reality and the boundaries of space. Everything generating a unique way of looking, of observing. Maybe the way each artist creates work is their own experiences being produced into an “object”, something tangible, that can be seen and criticised. Placing their lives not directly in view, but through the subtle differences in their practice. 24


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Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience?

Introduction

The Object and Subject within experience are the two main factors that shift, change and influence how we (interact) with an artwork within and out of a gallery setting. The gallery space enables more control over the aspects that generate an experience and can prevent distractions that arise from specific aspects of an urban or outside environment. The gallery enables the artist to re-position and play with angle, contrast to other works, space and balance to make each individual element of the work function in tandem. The viewer, in theory, can become more in tuned with the work building a greater sensation and response to the works within that space. My own personal practice looks into this concept and is the structure and basis for the formation of my own sculptural works. Looking at objects and linear structures that are site installed and considered in a new perspective for the work to be viewed, hopefully generating an entirely new way to visualise and interact with the forms which are so familiar, but in a new light. One slight change can cause a catastrophic difference to how a work is experienced within a gallery or museum setting. The way the signs are laid out can shift people’s interests, clear directions and a swift flow through each atrium within the space helps the viewer to move through the space contentedly, enabling a greater experience instantaneously. Every detail must be considered. The success of a museum layout and grand architectural buildings are down to its design and how and in which way the viewer binds and generates some form of interaction for that space. Architecture is key to a galleries success and the initial sensation of observing the outside of a museum and or gallery is the first sensation that sparks the beginning of a new experience to form.

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Subjectively I see experience within my own practice in four distinct stages. This helps me to develop work that responds and comments to the space, constantly changing and shifting the work. The four stages are: Figure 9 How I see and Understand Experience: Stage 1

Arrive

Stage 2

Observe

Stage 3

Interact

Stage 4

Evaluate

Initial view/ flashback form past experience. Instantly subjective Look / view the work- brain begins to calculate all the information observed (senses) Walk around it, / get up close to it. Interact more intently with the works you engage with. Consider all aspects/evaluate all information /come to a conclusion on the experience formed through physical and mental feelings towards that specific work viewed.

“4 stages of experience” source created by Drew Burrett

I feel that each of us subconsciously come to this understanding mentally, to calculate an experience. Not just towards art but to all aspects of entertainment and the arts from film to music even Theme Parks. They all tackle this notion and in all the same ways? It is vitally important to observe and evaluate every last detail of your experience to fully grasp the sensations of looking and being part of a work of art or surrounding. Observation enables us to obtain, look and calculate what we are looking at. It’s only when we go away into a new environment that we begin to question what we have seen. Observation only gives you the information to make those calculations alongside of prior knowledge, past and present situations using all the senses to obtain as much data as possible. It’s when we sit back and evaluate you could argue where the experience exchanges from the present to the past effecting future decisions and or views upon other works or surroundings you may encounter. However, for the four stages of experience to function the viewer must first be attentive. The most important factor for an art establishment or gallery for that matter to grasp is the ideas surrounding “attention and inattention”. Sensations cannot be observed and transformed into an experience without attention. Sir William Hamilton in the book sensation and 26


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perception states that “without attention a sensation will pass through the mind instantaneously and unobserved”. (Hamlyn.1961:126).For example, if we fail to note sensations accompanying perception of colour for example, this would be due to inattention. Attention Inattention

Notice taken of someone or something; lack of attention; distraction.

Figure 10 Created by Drew Burrett

Often sensations and experiences can be passive without our knowing. We are completely un-aware of perception as it translates sensations into an active experience, interrupted by the brain using past experiences, the subject and object as a physical starting point. For the gallery and museum this must be there main goal to generate attention. For the Artist, the viewer and me to understand a work, my own or another’s for example we must have full “attention” to the perceptions and the connotations of our surroundings. Galleries and museums all aim to bring attention to each individual work through many artistic principles of placement, spacing, height, scale just to name a few.

Figure 11. Tate Sensorium exhibition. Richard Hamilton. Interior 2 1964. 26th August – 4th October 2015 Tate Britain.

The Tate sensorium exhibition was one said example of where the museum and gallery setting was changed to experiment with how sound, smell and touch can change the way we perceive a piece of art work. To create, not new work, but a new way of looking, becoming almost 27


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overwhelmingly visual. As we already know people are not, the brain understands the world by combining what it receives from all five senses. How does “smell, touch, sound, and taste “change the way we perceive art. Tate sensorium tackles these questions directly. The exhibition focused on four paintings in Particular. Works by John Latham, Richard Hamilton, Francis Bacon and David Bomberg. One work of interest to me personally was the work by Richard Hamilton, Interior 2. The painting almost came alive; I was transported into its creation. The use of smell stimuli created a sense of a “mid-century home”. During the time the impact of big brands had a major play within the everyday world of the home environment in this example “pledge polish” was used. (Unknown. 2015: Tate Sensorium. 09/03/2016). The central character a female figure was bought to life with the scent of 50s “vintage hairspray” and a glue solvent which leaves hints to Hamilton’s collage process. Sounds where added to the space to enhance the senses even further projecting audio paint being applied and paper being rustled and screwed up. The sounds where artificial however, created by the Tate Sensorium to mimic what it may have been like? How does mimicking the sounds change the way the work is experienced in compared to the actual creation of the artwork. Why did they choose to focus primarily on the creation of the artwork instead of the subject within it? Maybe Tate sensorium wanted to get across the experience that the artists faced when creating the work, generating the sense of how they felt at that moment of its creation. Sensorium drew your (attention) to the work in a new light sparking a different way of seeing through pure interaction of the senses. It tried to stimulate each and every aspect of your imagination giving the brain as much information as possible to make sense of what it would have been like to create the work, in the artist’s perspective. In Chapter 4 “How do we see the development of the gaze”, I delve deeper into this notion of using all the senses to effect. But its only through our ability to (observe), to interact, that we can gain an experience and evaluate our understanding of what see and how feel about a piece of work in general. (Hamilyn.1961:126) (Breman.1996:63-68) (Bowie.2003:183-209)

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Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience? The Modern Museum and Gallery environment

What is the aim of the modern museum and gallery environment, what do we know? Do they encourage a range of audiences to delve into the world of art more intently? The modern museum is a contemporary concept that all who seek art should have the ability to engage with it, to understand it and be a part of it. “The museum allows the public to enter the stage and find themselves inside the spectacle�. (Groys. 2013:10/11/2016). The world of the museum layout has changed throughout time and its wider audience has become much more open to exploration. It’s the museum that enables us to experience art in a certain way, to engage with visual culture in a manner of different disciplines. As we have explored the layout and direction within a museum is important to the way we perceive and explore the art world to gain that experience needed for some form of sensation to take place, using our senses. However, even the initial view of the gallery from the outside (arrive) has an impact on the way we view the work (inside). The gallery has a hard job of attracting visitors, not just by its collections alone, but through the architecture that it is situated within. Figure 12 Tate Modern. London. renovated 1994.

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The Tate Modern was one said example of a museum that changed the way we see and perceive art. The Tate gallery was built, renovated in 1994 by architect Jacques Herzog and Piere de Meuron. During the early years, the Tate developed its own identity as distinct from the national gallery by concentrating simultaneously on Modern art from all aspects of art culture. Serotas Vision was to separate the two making the original site of Tate the traditional British Museum and to establish a new building that would concentrate on Modern art in all its forms. To show modern art, means they needed a modern building, a piece of architecture that would play a major part in an experience of a gallery space. What form should the new building take. An extension, an entirely new building or a conversion of an already existing building. The decision was made based on the architectural museums of the past two decades. “it touches on the shifting balance of power between architect and curator”. (Sachs.2000:184). The Tate modern could help not only achieve art experience to the masses but also to “shape the identity of entire cities. However, are such places necessarily, good for showing art, not all artists agree. Such an architectural feature some would argue distracts you away from the work, becoming a piece of art in its own right. Before you walk into a space and begin to view the work you first need to be inspired to (arrive), to walk in. That is the aim of the gallery to start of that initial enticement, to pull you in, to experience the work in all its glory. You could argue that this would have the opposite effect and distract you from the work, but does it encourage a wider audience, making art accessible to masses for all those that wish to observe art. The gallery or museum’s appearance on the outside makes it part of social culture. The architecture becomes an aspect of day to day life, making the experience of the work inside possibly more enticing. But what part does the architecture play in creating distinct experiences, is it merely down to its layout or is the structure of each staircase and corridor, every column and beam part of its ever-growing changes in how we walk through a space. Does modern architecture attempt to create multiple experiences for the masses? Or one experience alone. (Sachs.2000:184) (Groys.2013:10/11/2016)

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Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience? Pezo Van Ellrichsausen Figure 13

Architect duo Pezo van Ellrichsausen work “The Blue Pavilion” at the RA exhibition London called “Sensing Spaces “in 2014, explored space entirely playing with how the work can become enhanced by the sheer space of the decorated vaulted ceiling and the oak wooden floors that surround the gallery space. The aim was to transform the gallery environment. Pezo and Ellrichsausen State “from the beginning we were fascinated by the size and proportions of the galleries. As a temporary installation within the historical space of the institution our project focuses on framing the most permanent yet inaccessible architectural detail the decorated vaulted ceiling”. (Pezo Van Ellrichsausen.2014:1617.) The piece is simple in design with no aim to pursuit a fashionable invention choosing instead to take inspiration from what they refer to as 31


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the ordinary and the familiar. The structures geometric form and circular almost roman pillars in design create a simple structure that defines the space with a sharp outward pointing angle balanced by its three cylindrical pilots. The work appears both sculptural and practical taking up half the gallery space. It’s not its sheer size that is relevant to my discussions within this essay it’s the works attempts to create a different experience. The further your walk towards it and discover its further hidden opportunities the more senses and movements of the body need to take place to achieve the full interaction with the work. “The Blue Pavilion” provides three distinct experiences for the visitors, “the first is shared, below the platform where people can collectively meet”, discover and move around the work. “The second is an individual and sensual experience, when ascending or descending the ramp or stairwells, which expand the viewer’s perception of distance and time”. The third and final is an intimate surprise. When elevated above the gallery platform, a new relationship starts to form. The relationship between visitor and the ceiling panels. You become more closely entwined with their beauty, getting a better glimpse at their construction. This ability to grasp many different perspectives become an interesting aspect to the idea of experience. Multiple experiences create an even wider range of possibilities for the viewer to relate to and engage with. Would the work have a purpose if we did not engage with it? Experience is key to maintaining a sense of satisfaction within one’s life and it’s the role of the senses to generate this experience for you. Having work that has multiple experiences will also open it up to a wider range of spectators. We as human beings are all different and as mentioned earlier on in the chapter,” The definition of experience”, each brain plays a different trick depending on the psychological make-up of the observer”. (M Restak .2012:186-189). Pezo van Ellrichsausen work as we know has three potential points of interest for the viewer to be captivated by, tailoring to a higher percentage of the population. Three distinct opportunities to experience the work as a whole.

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Chapter 3 The Viewer, how can we generate experience? Conclusion We have explored every aspect of experience and how the gallery and museum institution has an impact on the way we view and perceive art. Experience as we know is a matter of the interaction of organisms with its environment and environment that is “human” as well as “physical”, that includes the “material of tradition” and “institutions” as well as “local surroundings”. (Dewey .1970:255-282). How each and every detail to a space must be considered to generate an effective and accurate sensation for the audience to engage. One small minute change in a space can shape a whole new experience for the viewer. Either having a negative impact on the experience or a positive one. We looked at the importance of the museum, from the inside out, looking at how both the layout and flow of the gallery changes the way we perceive and are directed to the work. But also, the role architecture plays in today’s society, as a way to encourage to draw attention to art and how that may have a positive or negative impact on the way the work inside is viewed. What does a building say, and what kind of experience does this generate for its audience? However, it was also important to explore artists and architects that have made experience the concept of their work. Pushing the boundaries of initial perception, as you step into the gallery space, but enticing you with not only one gratifying experience but multiple ways to climb, spin and observe within and around the work itself. The concept of the four stages of experience is a way I found to make sense of the complexity that experience holds. There are so many factors that can create and destroy an experience, however that comes naturally to us all, in a completely individual and unique way of looking. As long as you are “attentive”, aware and open to the “past” and “present” factors then an experience in whatever form will always come your way. (Dewey.1970:255-282) (Pezo Van Ellrichsausen.2014:16-17) (Restak.2012:186-189)

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Chapter 4 How Do we see, The Development of the Gaze?

Introduction Through time and changes in culture has it become harder to stimulate the eye and play with space to the same advantage as before? Paul Neagu a Romanian sculptor and teacher has a different argument, he discusses this in his manifesto, “Palpable Art” (Neagu.1963: 380-384). He considers sight as an overused organ, he states that “the eye is fatigued, perverted, shallow. Its culture is degraded and absolute seduced by photography film and television” (Neagu.1963: 380-384). He goes on to explore how the eye is losing its primary role in aesthetic responses, while remaining secondary in this respect. His argument focuses on art needing to change to evolve to a new aesthetic where sight becomes almost redundant and taken out of the picture of space and form to use senses that are not often considered to generate interest. He goes as far as to use the word “pure” to describe senses apart from sight. He believes the opposite to that of Marshall McLuhan. Paul goes on to state how, “the works are to be one public palpable art through which all the senses, sight touch, smell and taste will supplement and devour each other so that a man can possess an object in every sense” (Neagu.1963: 380-384). This manifesto excites me, it shows how important all our senses are to helping us interact with everyday physical space. It’s true what Paul Neagu says, how can we trust sight alone. Sight can deceive. Morph our understanding. It’s vital for creating the overload as it’s the most sensitive sense organ. Although they can create and work together, to deceive. The importance of our senses to how a work and space affects us is key and as Paul Neagu rightly, I feel subjectively states, “you can take things in better more completely with your ten fingers, pores and mucous membranes than with only two eyes” (Neagu.1963: 380-384). This helps us to gather a picture of a space, to become attuned to an artwork. How can we use these senses described to effect? Do we become lazy with a gaze and how do we see differently from one 34


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another? How important though is our interaction to the wider meaning of the work. Is it truly complete without the engagement of others? How important is the viewer’s interaction to the wider understanding of the artists practice? Observation (observe) is a key word here I feel; without observation, how can we even begin to understand or visualise an artwork. Can observation merely be just sight or can other aspects of our senses influence the way we see a piece of work. Traditionally you could argue that artworks where once merely observation from a distance. However, in a more contemporary art society, that is beginning to change observation is slowly becoming not just a passive experience, but one where the view can engage more intently with the artwork. In contemporary museums, they no longer just rely simply on their static collection, but are becoming more and more like theatres, where live events, talks and screenings bring together the general public much like the opening night of an opera. (Ranchetti .2014:10). Observation is being taken into a creative act becoming not just a static motion, but a moving one. Where sound, sight, smell, and touch play a part. When we observe a piece of art work we must consider every aspect of its creation. Our senses, as we know effect the strength of the sensation we have, the more senses used the greater experiences we will partake in. Although one sense can generate an experience at an instant, it will not be as fully imbedded in our core memory as one involving all the sensory receptors that the human body holds. Touching an object instead of just gazing upon it, for example, may trigger a personal, emotional sensory response to a particular sensation. (Restak .2012:186-189). Sometimes we need to use all our senses to understand things, the senses are organs, that don’t make their own calculative decisions, but record and collect data, complex nerves that travel up the spine and through to the brain. It’s there that our perceptions of the experiences we face are stored, created and (evaluated) on a day to day basis. The Contemporary art of today, is slowly building artists of a new generation. Artists that appear to use the senses as a tool to create complex video, sound and installation works that encourages interaction and use of space to their advantage, not just to create work for the gaze alone, but for all the senses. Focusing on using them to full effect to grasp the work in all its integrity. There’s one 35


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artist in particular that I feel tackles this notion most strongly and that is the contemporary artist Benedict Drew. Figure 14

Benedict Drew. Sequencer 2015. British Art Show 8.

“I see my work as trying to create an alternative universe that I can inhabit...because the real one is so desperately terrible."” Benedict Drew. Benedict Drew`s piece at the 2016 British art show 8 achieves all that I could possibly hope for, viewing the work on a personal subjective level. It’s a clear and accurate example that relates strongly to Paul Neagu palpable art manifesto. The work not only tackles language, sound, projection and light it also attacks the senses in a manner of simple and complex ways using a range of, of the shelf bought tech. The oddly named piece “in sequencer” aimed at using psychedelic materials disorientating auditory sculptures and multiple projections to generate and completely transforms the space. The works multi-faceted approach and angles that hit the audience as soon as you walk through door instantly hits you. Changes in light flowing form bright yellows to a subtle blue. The tin foil that surrounded each light, created and diffused the light within the space giving a soft gentle glow. The smell of what seemed to be artificial hair gel wafted through the air. The array of electronic devices to give each area of the space a different viewing experience was intense. Constantly changing from forty-inch plasma 36


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screens with abstract landscapes, to pulsating large seven foot projections that run through on a continuous loop, ever changing the sounds that are projected into the space. When you hit the centre of the room you engage in a more personal aspect of the work. Being surrounded by three twenty- four-inch gallery style monitors that forces you to get up, close and personal, generating a mini user experience for you to engage with. What caught my attention in this particular work was the ever-changing nature of the (subject) in relation to the (object). The objects almost became skewed in pure favour of the viewer as the subject of the work (subject becoming the work). (Steyn, 2011: 2). The artist was clearly intending to have an impact upon the viewer, He wanted them to feel something, to hate it or to love it, to be overwhelmed or content. Maybe it was the artist’s desire to use all these senses to create an experience that was individual and unique to each viewer. The more complex an artwork is maybe the more diverse the range of reactions to the experience. Maybe more complex installations and multimedia exhibitions is art of the future, creating as Juliet Steyn from the Cultural Policy Journal, “The experience of art” said that: […]authentic experience involves encounters with otherness leaving the subject and object no longer where they were before, something worthy of the name experience cannot leave us where we began. However not all agree that the overload of the senses strengthen our sense of experience, in the book by Marshall McLuhan called Counterblast it explores how different mediums modify each other as one language and how this suddenly changes through contact with another. “each of our senses are daily modified by the experience of other senses (McLahan. 1911.MCL:302.23). The writings explore purely how our senses weaken other senses which enables us to blind from the truth of reality. “Noise weakens touch and taste; sight diminishes the range of audible and of taste and smell”. (McLahan. 1911.MCL:302.23). Each sense that we use to understand an object disfigures and morphs the true picture of an object, possibly making it harder to picture that truth within the work. We do not even consider that we are using our senses when gazing but we are, but what can cause delusions is the 37


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combinations possible of all trying to work in tandem. That may be when illusions start to take place, this is known as the (Enigma Illusion). The enigma illusion according to Richard M Restak is the “process where the brain can fool us even on the level of our most elementary sensation”. (Restak .2012:186-189). The more senses used the more complex the illusion will become; this is down to the many areas of the brain being used. For example, artwork using only (sight), leaves the other senses open, which in theory leaves you more spatial aware of your surroundings. An artwork that uses all the senses distracts you. The use of sight, sound, taste smell and touch can create and enable an illusion to take place. I’m not stating here that sight alone can’t create illusion, because it can and many artistic examples throughout the years have proven how illusion can create an experience through playing with the human brains inability to be fully spatial aware of a two or threedimensional object. But purely stating that the less senses used the, more there are available to make sense of the space in which we situate. Even when we use all our senses do we (observe) everything. A test run by Simons and Charbis, “The invisible gorilla in (1999) was aimed to test this theory of “do we see everything” in which we (observe). The test was simple, observe the students passing a basketball ball to each other. The “subjects” were asked to focus on the students wearing the white shirts. They had to count how many times each student in white passed the ball back and forth. They found at the time of their initial experiment that over half (50%) did not see the gorilla. (Mirzoeff. 2015:1-29). This experiment aimed to test the subjects (attention), given to every minute detail within the work. It showed that the minority cannot focus on more than one aspect of an image at any given time. It became clear in this experiment how tainted the eye can be from experiencing something in its fullest capability. The brain can be so easily fooled, it’s this ability that can either add to an experience or destroy it. Maybe this is a mechanism to protect us from the complexities of the world. Would to many complex sensations be too overwhelming to observe to interact with. Maybe it’s our blindness, are use of the senses that balance out the experiences we face creating a whole new way of looking. As we know “Objects that we encounter through senses are only echoes of absolute form”. (Flew.A.1971:56-57). 38


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Chapter 4 How Do we see, The Development of the Gaze?

Conclusion We Have explored the act of looking, (the gaze) and how this is a vital part of human nature, that affects us all in a manner of ways. The extent of its relevance as the key sensory organ to view art today is a muchdiscussed debate. Depending on the way in which the (artists) practice evolves, will change possibly his opinion on the importance of the gaze. Maybe the (viewers) gaze has become tainted by the normalities of modern day life and technology that the eye cannot see in the same manner as before. I (Me) see it in a completely scientific viewpoint, the more senses used, the greater the experience will be. In terms of the way we perceive and build knowledge and understanding all senses are vital. However, is it in art, as we know it’s important to consider all arguments and McLuhan’s Writing on how senses weaken other senses explores this notion of how using the senses can deform, disfigure the true picture making it possible harder for the work to be depicted. Observation (observe) as we have learned is vital, and is a key and probably most impactful stage in the cycle of Experience. After you (arrive), you instantly begin to (observe). We as human beings can’t make sense of the world or even begin to think about interacting (interact) with it until we understand it, make sense of it and its intentions. The overload of information is an area of specific interest in my own practice and this ability to not be able to capture all the information because of its vast array of sensory bliss should not be seen as a weakness, but as a point of interest. The gaze couldn’t be more important, through looking we obtain so much information, that the brain can use to develop, mould and shape ideas and interactions based on observations. But I am not convinced that the eye is the only stimulus. The use of an array of senses will create deeper, wider and much more powerful waves of artistic experience in my subjective point of view. We all use are senses differently and in the end the gaze is purely down to each individual, as “each and every brain is different depending on the psychological makeup of the observer”. (Restak.2012:186-189). 39


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(Flew.A.1971:56-57) (Flew.A.1971:56-57) (McLahan. 1911.MCL:302.23) (Mirzoeff. 2015:1-29) (Restak .2012:186-189) (Steyn, 2011: 2) (Neagu.1963: 380-384) (Ranchetti .2014:10)

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Glossary

Arrive- to come to a certain point in the course of travel; reach one's destination: Attention – notice taken of someone or something; the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important. Conscious- aware of and responding to one's surroundings. Contrast- an obvious difference between two or more things. Desires –a strong feeling of wanting to have something wishing for something to happen. Evaluate- to judge or determine the significance, worth, or quality of Experience - an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone. External –belonging to or forming the outer surface or structure of something. Feeling- an emotional state of reaction Inattention- lack of attention; distraction. Interaction – Reciprocal action or influence Internal - belonging to or forming the inner surface or structure of something. Needs- must needs (or needs must do something) Object- a material thing that can be seen and touched Objectified- degrade to the status of a mere object. Observation- the action or process of closely observing or monitoring something or someone. Passive- accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance. 41


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Perception- the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. Perspective(s)- a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view. Or - the art of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other. Pleasure- a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. Projection- an estimate or forecast of a future situation based on a study of present trends. Self- a person’s essential being that distinguishes them form others especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action. Sensation –a physical feeling or perception resulting from something that happens to or comes into contact with the body. Subject –a person or thing that is being discussed, described or dealt with. Tainted- contaminate or pollute (something).

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Bibliography

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