A Poke around Manifestation
Updated: Oct 30
A week filled with reading, thinking, observing.
I would have liked to be more productive in my experimentation.
This is somewhat new to me. I’m used to spend countless hours inside my mind, but when it comes to “making”, to “producing", I often follow a brief. I realise how much structure and limitations can enable my creativity. And in a time and space filled with infinite possibilities, I feel a bit lost. It is hard to figure out what to do with my own freedom.
This is something I very much appreciate in this course. I am somehow forced to pull myself out of the mind and into the hands, into the action of making.
I feel my lack of skills as an obstacle in this and I wish there were more opportunities to learn and train skills, even remotely.
Interesting reads and concepts I stumbled upon in my research:
“Il gioco dei mondi” V.Catani, E.Ragone, A.Scacco – exploring the genre of science fiction in a very philosophical way. As a hater of Star wars and Talkien, I was surprised by the way this genre could resonate with my artistic ideas. Unexpected. Lots of suggestion to other good reads. Note: develop this further in another post.
I’m not new to this concept, and I’ve always been extremely fascinated by it. THIS is the direction I want the work to go. Just need to figure out HOW!
Maya represents the illusory and constantly changing nature of the physical world and our human perception of it.
The physical world and human illusory perception of it act like (or act upon) a veil, a curtain, a mist, that conceals another reality or other interconnected realities.
I believe art has the power to pierce the veil and give us a glimpse of what’s behind, through a temporary manifestation.
Maya is the principle that shows “attributeless Absolute” as having attributes.
In late Vedic text ”a magic show, an illusion where things appear to be present but are not what they seem”
In Hindu philosophy “the powerful force that creates the cosmic illusion that the phenomenal world is real”
In an early Vedic text “the wondrous and mysterious power to turn an idea into a physical reality”
Schopenhauer was one of the first Western philosophers to take interest in Asian literature and philosophy, he wrote extensively about Maya: “'It is Maya, the veil of deception, which blinds the eyes of mortals and makes them behold a world of which they cannot say that it is or that it is not: for it is like a dream; it is like the sunshine on the sand which the traveller from afar takes to be water; or the stray piece of rope he takes for a snake'”
Wachowski sisters made a cinematographic tribute to Maya with The Matrix, one of my favourite films.
The concept of Manifestation in modern days came up often in my online reaserch. It originates from the Law of attraction and New Thought in early 1900s. A bit of a creepy self-help technique that claims that if you think positive and ask for wishes to the universe, the universe will make good things happen. While I see the good in positive thinking and I agree that our thoughts have a role in shaping our reality, I also think that there are a lot of schemers and narcissists eager to make money off of people’s hopes and desires.
Here are a couple of the creepy videos I found online:
These videos stroke me for their focus on individuality, capitalism and material possessions (not Zen at all!).
Made me think of an image: a white Californian woman meditates and expresses her affirmations to the universe (“I want to make a lot of money” OR “please make him call me back”), while sitting amidst the aftermath of real catastrophes such as Morocco’s earthquake, Libia’s floods, Gaza. Fuck this.
“Neuroscience and Neuroaesthetics” essays - how the brain works looking at different objects. How different shapes activate different areas in the brain and generate different emotions (e.g round objects vs spiked objects).
“Anthropomorphism” the belief and attribution of human qualities to animated or non-animated objects
I will continue researching and I will push myself to be more practical, try things out, push the limits of materials and equipment I have and, most of all, of myself.