research discussion

My art practice – questions and areas of interest:

philosophy / phenomenology and existential theories: I have been mainly drawn to theories concerning our existence in the world and the meaning of it, and how we perceive reality. This is why I chose to research matters concerning body and mind through existential phenomenology and other theories, such as dualism and solipsism. I find myself always coming back to certain concepts concerning the existence of one’s self.

digital imagery: New technologies provide new means of visual representation in contemporary art. Experimentation with different means provide new directions in artistic practice. Thus, I have been experimenting with a variety of forms, from still 2D image, video to 3D.

situation: The question of where do I place the artwork. I am interested in the relation between an artwork and a site, and the meaning of placing an artwork outdoors.


My research paper – focus on the analysis of the work of three contemporary artists (Andrew Thomas Huang, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Matthew Stone) through aspects of phenomenological theory. Visual representation has always been a research field for phenomenological theories. If we analyze contemporary art in a phenomenological context, we will find a three-way relation between the viewer, the artwork and the creator. This connection constitutes a type of communication between the two parties, that use the artwork as an interface.

The paper focuses on the mechanisms of perception and the bodily experience by which a contemporary artwork is interpreted and understood.

I will give you some of the key points of my research paper in relation to examples from the artists’ work, and to my practice, so that we can have further discussion through each point.

#1   Phenomenology / Perception

  • Phenomenology provides an interesting approach concerning the perception of a “phenomenon”, that can be an object, a situation or an event, a place etc, as the viewer’s mental process of trying to make sense of what he sees.
  • Paul Crowther in his book “Phenomenology of the Visual Arts” talks about a phenomenological approach of art, using the term phenomenological depth, to describe and study the ontological reciprocity of subject and object of experience.
  • Perception and memory if seen through a phenomenological point of view becomes unique, and is linked to experience. Thus, a person can only be certain of his own reality and can only understand other realities by analogy.
Andrew Thomas Huang, The Solipsist, short film   Solipsist on vimeo

my art:   focus on digital images created from combined 3D scanned body volumes


#2   Body / Flesh

  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty introduces the notion of the “flesh” to describe the reversibility of our relationship with the world:
    “The flesh is not matter, is not mind, is not substance. To designate it, we should need the old world ‘element’, in the sense it was used to speak of water, air, earth and fire, that is, in the sense of a general thing, midway between the spatio-temporal individual and the idea. The flesh constitutes an element of being”
  • Laura Marks introduces the notion of “haptic visuality”:
    “Unlike optical visuality which depends on a separation between viewing subject and object, haptic looking tends to move over the surface of its object rather than to plunge into illusionistic depth, not to distinguish form so much as to discern texture.”
Matthew Stone – Cosmic Flesh
Matthew Stone – Body Language

my art:   3D scanned volumes – parallel drawn between 3D mesh and phenomenological “flesh”


#3   Embodiment / Situation

  • “Embodiment is the very basis of experience”
  • “Our physical situation in the world affects our perceptions and experience.”
  • Merleau-Ponty does not just emphasize the shared material physicality of the body and the world, he emphasizes how they define one another’s character. The shape, size, position, and perceptual characteristics of physical things are not absolute, but instead are correlated with the size and perceptual abilities of the creature which apprehends them.
Under Scan - Lincoln
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Under Scan, Relational Architecture 11
Andrew Thomas Huand and Bjork, Stonemilker, 360 Virtual Reality Experience

my art:   what about shared/public perception and memory?

“… in an ‘urban’ event of a material reformation of an urban phenomenon, memory is being concentrated, memory of both known and unknown events that take place in the space of the city itself…”


For further reading, you can find my research paper here:   research-paper