David Brooks recently wrote in an article,
“We are often under the illusion that seeing is a very simple thing. You see something, which is taking information in, and then you evaluate, which is the hard part. But in fact perception and evaluation are the same thing. We carry around unconscious mental maps, built by nature and experience, that organize how we scan the world and how we instantly interpret and order what we see… I never understand why artists want to get involved in partisanship and legislation. The real power lies in the ability to recode the mental maps people project into the world.”
“In the Japanese language, and thus in the society, a person is conceived of as a flexible and easily linkable dividuum, that is, as part split from and belonging to a larger whole. Everyone is educated to shake off the delusion of a separate individual ego, and to express supra-individual values… In contrast, the Western mind has tended to envisage the human being as a perfect and self-contained individuum (that is, indivisible whole) who should be educated to distinguish oneself from everyone else. We are encouraged to view the self as real, to discipline I and to express highly individual values. The desire to produce individual genius, a “superman,” has haunted all of Western history.”
Source: A really fascinating essay about the Japanese word “Ma” which deals with both the objective and subjective aspects of the idea of space.
I recently came across this quote in an essay by Robert Smithson, “A ‘logical picture’ differs from a natural or realistic picture in that it rarely looks like the thing it stands for. It is a two dimensional analogy or metaphor. A is to Z”
I realized that in my practice my primary interest is in logical pictures rather than representational work. Within that idea I’ve been thinking a lot about 3 categories: maps, diagrams, and notations. A map records an overview; a diagram distills the material of an indefinite field into a logical set of terms or relationships; a notation is a form of symbolic representation or record. I’m currently working on a series of drawings to explore and clarify these distinctions.