The Various Lives of Thought: Fictional Machines, Thought Droppings and Mental Maps
Currently running at Sarah Mysercough Fine Art until 22 February 2010, this installation comprises the relics of an expedition in search of a thought inside the head.
The black box of the mind has been opened by the invention of non-invasive brain-imaging technologies that have revolutionised the neurosciences. In this fictional expedition machines have been constructed to mimic this development, but here the contemporary materialism on which much of neuroscience is predicated is taken to an absurd conclusion: these instruments are able to freeze neural configurations in space and time and to display them optically as objects composed (contingently) of clay and wax.
These playful coalesced thoughts, in a further twist, also appear to find themselves, like little gods, taking on journeys of their own: the rebirth of the minds from which they have been extracted.
The second element of the voyage plays on the phenomenological turn in the philosophy of mind (the birth of consciousness studies) and employs the concept of mapping the mind from inside the skull, resulting in multiple maps and atlases of introspective geography, an absurd adventure, being an act of tracing in the points and lines of a non-spatial entity.
The concept of a voyage inside the head prompted the display of the instruments and specimens in, on & adjacent to shipping crates, unloaded in dry dock from the ship (the neural shipping news). The black insides of the crates gesture toward the fact that despite the transparency occasioned by neuroimaging, the phenomenological character of the mental remains opaque from the outside.
Sarah Myerscough Fine Art
15 – 16 Brooks Mews
Tel: 0207 495 0069
Mon – Fri: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 12 pm – 3 pm