Working mainly with traditional fine art media I often feel compelled to confront a growing sense of frustration with the limitations of that media. Those frustrations stem from a realization that not only is art itself a 'lie' but the world that art reflects- the world as it appears to our senses is itself a seemingly unfathomable 'lie'. Although this may be an idea which falls into the realm of commonplace in many peoples minds how many of us carry such an idea to the fore-front of our minds as we go about our everyday existences? Such an awareness of a blinkered existence need not interfere with the practicalities of surviving and thriving in a modern society and indeed for me carries the potential for a life led bathed in a brighter light of awareness and truthfulness.
Much of the art we see today attempts to give alternative means to interpret what we see and experience in the world, but is all this effort not just a duplication of a falsehood and a duplication of equal magnitude and falsity to the one it purports to depart from. I do not pretend to have all the answers to this age old dilemma concerning art and reality but I hope that my current experiments with sensory deprivation will provide me with a new awareness of my own blinkered outlook,
an experience which hopefully avoids some of the aspects of that duplication I mentioned. I continue to make art, but those artworks themselves seem to stubbornly retain some aspect of that parallel 'lie'. My hope for this project is that in time the veracity of my experiences in S.D. will affect my creative process. We shall see. The S.D. tank in affording a glimpse into alternative realities may or may not be a panacea for what I see as a serious deficiency in our current ways of viewing the world, but if nothing else it is surely a more elegant tool than a paint brush or a hammer and chisel in the attempt to steal a glimpses of alternative realities.
Acrylic on Canvas, 6'x7'
Outside Art, Inside the Black Room
2. The Installation
4. The Eye Scan Project
5. Art and Environment
6. The S.D. Tank Vs. the 'Motor/Stimulus Deprivation' Chamber
7. The Tank as a Tool for Aesthetic Awareness
Copyright © 1996 Peter Mackay