Recording the stream of consciousness: a practice-led study of serial drawing

2015-12-09T09:11:54Z (GMT) by Joe Graham
How is a process of serial drawing understood to record the phenomenological stream of consciousness that underpins it? This research question emerges from a hypothesis driving the research: that when considered as a form of expression which speaks in a particular way (Tormey, 2007), drawing re-presents ( records ) the stream of consciousness underpinning it in a rather fundamental manner. The purpose of this first person, practice-led research is to question how this hypothesis is understood, treating it as an assumption to be tested via practice and theory combined. Within the research this hypothesis is linked to both the wider assumption that drawing records thought (Rosand, 2002) and to the contemporary idea that drawing is a form of perpetual becoming (Hoptman, 2002; de Zegher & Butler, 2010) given the temporality which underpins the act of drawing. To help facilitate investigation of the hypothesis, the assumption that drawing records thought is duly suspended (bracketed) for the duration of the research, allowing the structure and process of serially developed drawing (Chavez, 2004) in conjunction with first-person methods for approaching phenomenal consciousness (Varela & Shear, 1999; Depraz, 1999) to investigate it in practical terms. The significance of the research resides in a scrutiny of the drawing process, undertaken in close relation to Husserl s (1931/2012; 1950/1999) Phenomenology. As a result, the phenomenon of drawing is re-described as a self-temporalizing phenomenon, emphasising how the appearance of drawing (noun) not only re-presents the prior act of drawing (verb) which produced it, but also provides the practitioner with a look ahead, indicating the hope and expectation of drawings not yet made. This claim emerges via the specific manner in which my serially developed drawings demonstrate re-presenting the streaming of consciousness described (in Husserlian terms) as the self-temporalization of consciousness, experienced within the duration of now. This phenomenological description of how drawing operates builds upon Rawson s (1969/1987) statement regarding the special charm of drawing - the underlying quality of movement that drawings (noun) exhibit on the basis they were drawn. Husserl s protentional focus on hope and expectation (de Warren, 2009) allows the research to expand upon this idea, describing the underlying movement within drawing as a form of self-temporalization that also points ahead to what is not yet drawn. This forward looking, practitioner centred claim is intended to compliment the focus on trace and memory that a proportion of the current critical discourse on drawing remains engaged with (Newman M, 1996; Tormey, 2007; Newman & de Zegher, 2003; Derrida J, 1993).