Monday, 31 December 2012

I, Ego

In a plurality of patterns, blind,
Grasping onto strings,
Painfully weave and wind,
Fossils out of flux.

Little did I know, zero,
That one pattern brings forth
Two, two bring four.
And so on.

It isn’t just reflection, poor self,
So obsessed with coherence.
No, it projects and multiplies,
Transmits and interferes.

Map a course through the fog,
But you’re a ghost,
Lost in the fog,
Looking for a ghost.

Saturday, 29 December 2012


The diagram below is an attempt to map out my life cycles for the last 14 years or so. It is probably a trivial exercise, for reasons I will discuss later, but I think it will be interesting to analyse these faux data nonetheless. The way I see my past in general, is being made up of cycles of understanding. There are periods where I feel that I am understanding a lot of things, and there are periods where I feel I do not understand anything. Sometimes things make sense, and sometimes they do not at all. The notion of understanding and making sense of things, seems to be my general constitution in life so far. My personality and subsequently my behaviour, are defined by the way I understand the world, and that way is very carefully and consciously constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed continuously. This ongoing process was fuelled by external events, that made me question or revise my mental models and connections in response to these events. Of course what I’m describing is something that happens to every person, we are all moulded by our experiences, our experiences define our personality and our behaviour and our mental models are in continuous flux. In my case though, and from an early age I actively engaged on the construction of these mental models, analysing them, trying to understand them and expand them. It could be called an existential constitution, because ultimately these models were about understanding why things happen, why things are. As an artist I wanted to channel these models and express them through different media. In fact it was more important for me to visualise these models, and communicate them out of my mind, into physicality. These internal models are effectively my subject matter.

In tandem with this mode in life, I also seemed to not have had a very happy life. The lack of happiness and the multitude of problems around me seemed to feed my creativity. Problems meant crises, and crises meant radical deconstructions and reconstructions of my internal models. New models meant new ideas, which resulted into intense creative inspiration. So a kind of cycle began, first very short, brief cycles, but as time passed and as the models grew larger and larger, the longer these cycles would take. The cycle was as such: a disruptive experience would occur, which would lead to all kinds of emotions. These emotions would then be internalised where they would come into conflict with certain models and belief systems. General understanding would then fall, confusion ensuing, negative emotion, isolation and sadness. This is the state of reductive transformation, where incompatible models and belief systems are rejected. It is a state of loss and despair, and thus a highly creative time as there is a need for it to be communicated. (Instead of communicating with people, I would communicate with myself through art.) Soon, perhaps with the aid of art, a positive integration starts occurring where the experience is assimilated and the loss of belief is accepted to a certain degree. After that, an accumulative transformation occurs, where new models and belief systems are considered, in light of the change that has occurred before.

Metalife is about the plurality of existence, there isn’t just one narrative that is your story but an infinite multiplicity of narratives. The multinarrative is the personal metanarrative. It is the most subjective narrative possible, it is the narrative of the individuate. The self, the ego does not deal well with multiplicities. This needs thought.

approx time spans:
1998-1999 accumulative transformation
2000-2001 negative integration
2002-2003 reductive transformation
2003-2004 positive integration
2005-2006 accumulative tranformation
2007-2008 negative integration
2009 reductive transformation
2010 positive integration
2011-2012 accumulative tranformation
2013 negative integration

one complete cycle: positive integration (birth)- accumulative transformation (growth - inspiration) - negative integration (plateau, closure, completion, individuation?, post-, meta-) - reductive transformation (death)

Each cycle has two peak points, the highest point of inspiration, plurality, acceptance and awareness, and the lowest point. These two peaks lead to transformation.They are the yin and yan of existence, they seem opposite yet they are the same.

These are over-simplifications and are only separated intellectually so as to look at emerging patterns. They are all part of the same continuous spectrum of events. Cycles of roughly 2 years are observed, each cycle beginning with self-discovery and ending with recovery and recovery leads to self-discovery (they are sides of the same coin). Self-discovery is always followed by transformation – this is either a personal transformation or a transformation of a loved one, either way it leads to the transformation of all individuals involved. The transformation leads to a series of internal and external events that finally cause a disconnection or reconnection between the participating parties depending on whether this is perceived as a negative or positive transformation. In a negative cycle the events lead to a subsequent depressive routine. This is what I believe to be the re-emerging pattern that propagates these cycles. Delving into a routine whether a positive or a negative one, provides a sense of safety and certainty, and a surrender to inertia and procrastination. Routine is seen as favourable even at its most negative, depressive aspect. It gives way to denial and avoidance, and submission to the state of affairs instead of trying to change them. Only through the resulting disconnection, disappearance, fleeing or solitude do things finally change and allow for recovery and self-discovery. Recovery marks the end of a cycle and comes with a great release that leads to self-discovery and the subsequent transformation. It is obvious that a more pro-active approach has to be taken to break the cycle, we all need to become more fully aware, grounded in the now and not avoid or procrastinate responsibilities. Otherwise the fears will continue re-emerging in every cycle. They all need to be faced one by one.