FORM IS LIMITATION
When I left school I was accepted at University to study Philosophy and Psychology or Philosophy and English, and also by Art School. How to decide? These paths would create different people; which would be the better, have the better perspective on reality. It was almost by chance that I ended up in art school where a tutor once said to me: “Phillip’ you’re too academic to be an artist!” After my degree, I was lucky enough to be given the chance to also go to follow the Philosophy and English degree. In my first week a professor said: “you’re too artistic to be an academic!”. Here lies the dialectic that has shaped my life: we join clubs that recognise and endorse certain rituals, patters and behaviour modes of expression. The reward for accepting these is to embraced and supported by the club and to be able to evolve within it. If you don’t belong to a club, you can’t enter the conversation; there are rules to observe, vast quantities of research to read, initiation rites to gain acceptance into an on-going discourse.
The club gives the shared context for the exchange and development of ideas but, at the same time, forms and limits what we perceive; each discipline has “a cultural immune system”; perceptions differ within these clubs and within the cultures to which they belong.
Often advancement comes from “thinking outside the box” which is not always accepted: the earth is not the centre of the universe? Come off it Galileo! As Persig wrote ‘Lila’ too much static quality leads to atrophy and death, too much dynamic quality lead to chaos. Here the dialectic of structure and creativity; of limits and freedom: without rules there is no structure but when the rules become our reality the evaluative nature of reality is forgotten.
My interest has always been in the relation of these limitations to Reality, more specifically how, language (in the largest sense of the term) affects our perception of reality. The patterns of thought, behaviour and observation that we put in place distance us from a direct experience and consciousness of our relation to existence; what McGilchrist explains in terms of a developing left-brain dominance. Most of my personal work is around this reflection “form is limitation” and it is the theme of my new online exhibition that will be appearing on this site.