“Art is somewhat like the mind. It is a vehicle out of which from nothing comes so much.” (Burnett 2008-9) The functional similarities between the creative arts and the mind make art an ideal candidate for the study of the mind. Art exists at the point where artifact and meaning coexist. However, one must ask if the scope of art or science is capable of this exploration independently, or if some partnership between art and science is a more likely solution. My research and subsequent artwork exists somewhere at the intersection of art and science, as I believe they both relate to my practice.
Rescher explains that; “if nature were not rulish in exhibiting manifold regularities – if it were pervasively ‘unruly’ (say, because its laws changed rapidly and randomly) – then anything approaching a scientific study of the world would clearly be impossible.” (Rescher 2005) Following this line of reasoning, I see how it has been difficult for biological science to explain the visual mind. My subjective perception changes rapidly and seemingly without a quantifiable order. A similar ‘disorder’ is induced with “Mind Mirror” because the visual hallucinations of patterns, lights, shapes and even feelings are dynamic, uncertain and ‘unruly’. Thus, it is sensible to consider the use of the creative arts to excogitate theories about the dynamic conscious visual mind. “Art then, is an increase of life, a sort of competition of surprises that stimulate my consciousness and keep me from becoming somnolent” (Whiten 1941).
There are several reasons why I think that art is an important tool to investigate the visual mind. First, art takes a flexible approach to any kind of investigation and this allows me to follow a holistic creative journey. Second, my artistic training has endowed me with an inherent understanding of human perception. When making works of art I am always conscious of the ‘perceptive potential’ of my intended audience. Third, “an artist is multidisciplinary by nature” (Burnett 2008-9) and this allows for ‘cross-inter-multi-disciplinary’ collaborative research styles that are certainly required when attempting any sort of inquiry into a subject as complex as the mind. Fourth, I am always making creative ‘experiments’. However, I do not equate my art practice to scientific research – but rather, I recognize they are both scholarly endeavors. Finally, many artists throughout history have studied human perception and shown that art can recognize important elements required for investigating sight.