In the past months, I have been principally engaged with drawing techniques. These have proven, above all other past methods, to be the
most coherent (due to its “simplicity”) in my desire to represent human
mental processes and the cognitive impact of pharmaceutical drugs. To
be more precise, what has called my attention for the past years, and
what I am seeking to delve into in the future, is the field of
neuroscience as it pertains to artistic creation and representation.
On one hand, I think of my characters as a reflection and exploration of
what I consider are strictly (but not solely) chemical mechanisms in
the brain. On the other hand, I intuit a strong connection between art
(as it is perceived as well as produced) and the workings of human
emotions. That is to say, not only do I think of my drawing as a way of
depicting the nature of brain activity, but I also believe that all art
has a therapeutic quality that it must expound on in order to strike,
and ultimately balance, human emotions. In this sense my approach to
art is two-fold: it serves both a method to describe the quality of
brain activity, and its also allows us to veer this activity towards a
constant improvement (in the artist and the audience). This approach
has been accompanied by a very structured, aseptic, and rigorous method
(a would-be scientific method) of artistic production, in which I have
often been able to draw links between the role of the artist and the
doctor, as both seem to deal, in the end, with the health of the
“patient.” Moreover, I have lately been very involved in finding ways
to represent effects of pharmaceutical drugs on the mind, especially
through drawing techniques that offer a visual counterpart to the
effects of those chemicals. I have also sought to represent the impact
of urban conditions on the human psyche, which has taken me towards the
development of “(h)urban beings” – characters that are, at once, a
product, a representation, and a critique of the city. All in all,
these works relate to my on-going study of the brain as it reacts to its
physical (and chemical) “surroundings”.

In order to expand this field of investigation, I think it necessary to expand my means of
expressing it. That is, I consider it vital to explore beyond drawing
and painting, and deepen my understanding of video and animation
production techniques; these mediums, I think, will allow me to
effectively simulate cognitive processes within an artistic platform. I
am also keen on establishing cross-disciplinary links, for example,
between a school of art and a mental institution (or a neuroscience
lab), that will allow for the complementary development of both art and
science. I believe the city I'm currently living would be an
ideal place to explore this link, as it seems to offer a strong
institutional framework for both of these fields. My desire is to
continue investigating, through artistic expression founded on empirical
evidence (i.e. PET scans, chemical readings, etc.), what seems to be a
field where both art and medicine fall short of understanding: the
human mind.

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Comment by F. on June 29, 2010 at 6:44pm
While the theory that the left and right hemispheres of the brain process information in very different ways has become somewhat outmoded, it is still a useful model to explain the way we function: the right-side concept is which focuses extensively on the 'how and why' behind the mental process of drawing, rather than simply demonstrating the technique.
I checked and, in fact, I've remembered the vase/faces drawing exercise and tied it up with the 'would-be scientific method' of artistic production that I mention in the blog post. Thanks, and I'll look up for the book.
Obviously, you need to control the state in your mind, recognize it and then the brain does all the work. (Sensing+Selecting+Perceiving=Seeing - Huxley)
My english can be more than confusing, so if you prefer 'en español' it's ok for me. and yes, i'm always interested in this kind of information, thanks again!
Comment by Raina Todoroff on June 29, 2010 at 5:57pm
I'm reading a book that supposedly teaches you to draw by teaching you how to see in a different way that isn't the normal way to see. The way you should see in order to draw things implies the use of the right hemisphere of the brain. The book is calles Drawing on the right side of the brain, by Betty Edwards
It has some interesting quotations on the estate of drawing, the way you feel when you're at it, the way it's comparable to some drug effects.
For example, Huxley says "What the rest of us see only under the influence of mescalin, the artist is congenitally equipped to see all the time. His perception is not limited to what is biologically or socially useful. A little of the knowledge belonging to Mind at Large oozes past the reducing valve of brain and ego, into his consciousness. It is a knowledge of the intrinsic significance of every existent."
Once you recognise this state in your head and you can control it, it's an absolutely delightful thing. And I find it truely awesome the way your brain is related to what you do.
My english can be a little bit confusing but I thought you might be interested on this.
Good luck with your research!
Comment by Raina Todoroff on June 29, 2010 at 5:48pm
go on!


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