Drawing as experience

Turpin, Lucy Jane (2015-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Drawing, as a discipline within in the Visual Arts domain of knowledge is the focus of this dissertation. Herein I pose the question: What happens between my mind, body (hand), and the drawing (as product) that appears on paper while I draw? Drawing as experience is primary to my practice and to my understanding of the varying processes that drawing encompasses. I relate and investigate these processes to understand my art making as a means of research. In the dissertation I reflect on my own drawing and on the work of the American artist Richard Serra, in particular his installation entitled Black is the drawing (1977). In my discussions of both my own and Serraʼs work I focus on the core devices that orchestrate the materiality of drawing, namely ʻblanknessʼ, automatic flow and the coming together of intention, gesture and act. The theoretical framework in which I investigate these core devices is mainly provided by the Chilean biologist, philosopher, and neuroscientist Francisco Varela and his notions of human perception, productive action, and creativity or invention. These theories of Varela I employ to frame and develop discussion in the dissertation. Further concepts that come to the fore in my discussions of drawing as experience, as derived from Varela and the French philosopher Jacques Derridaʼs writings, include signature, individuation, or characteristic mark making. Individuation of the mark in relation to self-reflexive methodology in art making as research practice is primary to the development of my discussions. Additional concepts that are key to the dissertation and that flow from selfreflexivity, are self-discovery and self-generating productivity and the notion of self-as-being that the drawing process can bring about and affirm. I argue in the dissertation that the drawings I generate stem from an automatic productivity that is enabled by the simultaneity of intention, gesture and act. I attempt to explain my understanding of the ʻblindʼ aspect of the drawing process, relying in this regard heavily on the thinking of Derrida. I align my interpretation of his expositions on this phenomenon with the thinking of Varela. Varela accordingly provides clarity on the circularity and unifying function of human perception. The unification of antimonies such as body and mind, inside and outside, and self and life-world, I find, lie at the core of my drawing, which functions as unifying interface.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Teken, as dissipline binne die Visuele Kuns domein van kennis, is die fokus van hierdie dissertasie. Hierin rig ek die volgende vraag: Wat gebeur tussen die verstand, die liggaam (hand), en die tekening (as produk) wat voorkom op die papier wanneer ek teken? Teken as ervaring is sentraal tot my praktyk en tot my begrip van die verskeie prosesse wat teken behels. Ek herlei en ondersoek hierdie prosesse om my kuns te verstaan as ʼn navorsingswyse. In hierdie dissertase reflekteer ek op my eie tekenwerk en op die werk van die Amerikaanse kunstenaar Richard Serra, in besonder sy installasie getiteld Black is the drawing (1977). In my bespreking van beide my eie en van Serra se werk fokus ek op die kern strategieë wat die materialiteit van tekenwerk orkestreer, naamlik ʻblanknessʼ, outomatiese vloei en die samekoms van intensie, gebaar en daad. Die teoretiese raamwerk waarbinne ek hierdie kernstrategieë ondersoek word hoofsaaklik voorsien deur die Chileense bioloog, filosoof en neurowetenskaplike Francisco Varela en sy idees van menslike persepsie, produktiewe handeling, en kreatiwiteit of ontwerp. Ek gebruik hierdie teorieë van Varela om my besprekinge in hierdie dissertasie te omraam. Verdere konsepte wat na vore kom in my besprekinge oor tekening as ervaring, soos ontneem van Varela en die Franse filosoof Jacques Derrida se skryfwerk, sluit in “kenteken[ing]” [signature], individuasie, of kenmerkende merkery. Individuasie of die teken in verhouding tot self-refleksiewe metodologie in art making as navorsingspraktyk is kern tot die ontwikkeling van my gesprek. Additionele konsepte in die dissertasie wat die tekeninge wat ek genereer stam vanuit ʼn outomatiese produktiwiteit wat gelyktydigheid van intensie, gebaar, en handeling. Ek poog om my begrip van die “blinde” aspek van die proses te verklaar, deur staat te maak op die denke van Derrida. Ek bring my interpretasie van hierdie eksposisies op hierdie fenomeen in verband met die idees van Varela. Varela belig beutelings die sirkulere en samebinded funksie van menslike persepsie. Die versoening van teenstrydighede soos die liggaam en vertand, die innerlike en uiterlike, die self en die leefwêreld, ervaar ek, lê in die kern van my tekenkuns, wat funksioneer as ʼn versoenende koppelvlak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96661
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