AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Pattern as embodied perception of time

by Mehr Javed

Institution: University of New South Wales
Department: Art
Year: 2012
Record ID: 1039698
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/52049


This practice-based research is an inquiry into an embodied understanding of contemporary drawing practices. The temporal aspect in the act of drawing and how it relates to viewing time is crucial to this multisensory and experiential understanding. My research explores indexical mark-making and repeat patterns as anti-narrative, non-representational tools to establish an empirical relation between art and viewer. Furthermore, this research inquires into subjective ways of looking, or haptic seeing of the drawing document and how the viewer's eye unfolds it in time. This research draws heavily from Medieval Islamic aesthetics and theories of perception as they offer an alternative standard by which to interpret and experience contemporary visual arts. Moreover, my studio practice extends the parameters of this traditional visual language by contemporizing it with the aid of computer-based algorithms and generative softwares, as well as a personal artistic style. The studio component engages an abstract ornamental language to create decorative surfaces that allude to a sense of continuous space. Geometric motifs/units are used that repeat to create tactile overall planes or Patternscapes. These, I propose, are haptic surfaces that mediate between material time as experienced, and abstract time as evoked through their contemplation. They demonstrate the symbolic and generative capacity of ornamental motif as a metaphor for the Infinitesimal and the Infinite as explored through techniques of repetition, tessellation and seriality. The resulting Patternscapes are repositories of time, thus allowing for the works to invite an embodied, subjective and performative viewership. They establish geometric abstraction as an inquiry not in representation but in performing the engagement with the artwork. Formally, my work explores the looser use of the `unit and whole' inherent in the lattice/pattern and how it interacts with the materiality of the two-dimensional ornamental surface. In doing so, this thesis introduces the perforation point as a minimal graphic element and a basic index of time that holds generative potential. These notions are critically engaged with in the production of hand-perforated drawings on paper (some backlit), small scale gilded drawings and relief works in mediums such as wood and ceramics.