Artist/Creative Research Statement / Jim R. Sconyers, Jr.
My most recent body of work, imago corporis impressa state ii, includes CNC router-cut rings and panels, graphite chine collé drawings, digital and gold tone salt paper prints, photography-based sculpture, and a laser cut cold-rolled steel sculpture. The work exhibited this past November and December in a solo show in the Cleo Miller Gallery at Bridgewater College, in Bridgewater, Virginia.
The images were collected in rose gardens located in North Carolina. Each flower selected exhibits a faded beauty with poignancy that penetrates in reflection. The circle works hang like vanity mirrors, capturing reflected portraits of beauty and decay in fleeting moments. The patterns that emerge through the random method of their composition create a space for reflection.
My methodology is informed by my ongoing interest in how knowledge is acquired, stored, accessed, and the mechanisms by which knowledge is determined to be accurate or truthful. The title of the work references a passage in Augustine's monumental treatise, De Trinitate, in which Augustine uses vision to investigate the acquisition and processing of knowledge. Augustine makes a crucial distinction, consistent with contemporary neuroscience, by differentiating between the actual external object and the recording of the object through the process of vision. Anil Seah, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neurosciences at the U of Sussex, speaks to this in a lecture titled “Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality. (Seah)”
The sculptural paper pyramids were created through a process of cutting up the photographs and reassembling them as randomly placed, tessellated objects, mounted on wooden circles and illustrates how matter is assembled to create the object. The pyramids are manufactured from the image of the flower cut up into squares. I use a random number generator to determine which 1/4 portion of the square to remove in order to create the pyramid. Placement of each pyramid is also determined by the random number generator which employs atmospheric noise to generate integer sequences. The circle panel allows for the placement of 42 pyramids; however, only 29 occupy the space - 70% fill and 30% empty. The use of black lacquer and empty space acknowledge the presence of matter (black matter) within the emptiness.
My chine collè graphite drawings illustrate how misperceptions generate false assumptions - false realities. A false assumption would allow one to read this as one perspective with no repeatable patterns, exhibiting chaos and randomness. Actually, each graphite mark is an independent view of a non-random (non-chaotic) structure. What you see are numerous rotations each individually rendered from a rigid matrix. The laser and/or CNC router cut slices in wood and steel signify rigidity of structure.
The rigid structure, and the building of material on it, also informs my understanding of free will, limited free will, or no free will.
Seah, Anil. “Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality.” YouTube, 18 July 2017, youtu.be/lyu7v7nWzfo.