Presentation Title

Material Reality: Wood and Delineated Space

Authors' Names

Tyler Brumfield

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Material Reality: Wood and Delineated Space is a series of sculptures that visually investigate the influence of self-deception in individual psychology. The work explores how individuals construct their own personal version of reality by subconsciously reinterpreting their experiences in the imagination. Individuals can skew and distort reality as a defense mechanism against anxiety, or to perpetuate a better version of themselves when they reflect on the past. In order to visually present my concept, I designed a series of sculptures that carefully integrated geometric wood forms and the space in between them; the shape of the space in between the sculptures was just as important as the sculptures themselves. I fabricated the geometric forms out of glue-laminated pine wood. I arranged them so they had a specific linear rhythm: wood form, open space, wood form, open space, etc. The wood forms are physical realities; they unarguably exist in material space. However, the shapes that occur in the spaces between the wood forms do not actually exist in material reality; they are delineated space. The viewer must constantly look and evaluate the relationships between the wood forms the shapes in between them. This means that the viewer is constantly vacillating between a physical, material reality (wood) and an imaginary reality (air, space). This poses questions about perception and also about the nature of reality and the influence of the imagination upon it. The originality of my work arrives in the design of the sculptures, as well as my visual approach to psychological theory. My idea of clearly articulating the space in between and surrounding the wood forms is an unusual approach to take in sculpture. Typically, the shape of the space surrounding the material form is not as defined/designed as the material form In my practice, however, negative space is as important – if not more important – as the material form. The crossover between psychological theory and visual art is rich. Many psychological theories are criticized because they cannot be empirically studied; further research by the tools of science is not possible. But visual art is not bound by the same rules as science. My approach is original because I am making art that investigates theories regarding the way people think, feel and make decisions. Visual art can offer an impact far greater than reading about a theory; it can offer a unique, memorable visual experience that lingers in the memory. Psychological theory directly influenced one the most fruitful and captivating movements in art history: Surrealism. The movement drew inspiration from the theories of Freud; the participating artists invented visual counterparts to his theories. Why have no other psych theories been utilized in this manner? Freudian psychology is one of a vast number of psych theories regarding personality and individual psychology. I am interested in re-igniting the conversation between psych theory and visual art. The vast number of psych theories and the plethora of sculptural materials and techniques make for more than a lifetime of socially engaged artwork.

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Apr 27th, 3:00 PM Apr 27th, 3:10 PM

Material Reality: Wood and Delineated Space

UC Ballroom

Material Reality: Wood and Delineated Space is a series of sculptures that visually investigate the influence of self-deception in individual psychology. The work explores how individuals construct their own personal version of reality by subconsciously reinterpreting their experiences in the imagination. Individuals can skew and distort reality as a defense mechanism against anxiety, or to perpetuate a better version of themselves when they reflect on the past. In order to visually present my concept, I designed a series of sculptures that carefully integrated geometric wood forms and the space in between them; the shape of the space in between the sculptures was just as important as the sculptures themselves. I fabricated the geometric forms out of glue-laminated pine wood. I arranged them so they had a specific linear rhythm: wood form, open space, wood form, open space, etc. The wood forms are physical realities; they unarguably exist in material space. However, the shapes that occur in the spaces between the wood forms do not actually exist in material reality; they are delineated space. The viewer must constantly look and evaluate the relationships between the wood forms the shapes in between them. This means that the viewer is constantly vacillating between a physical, material reality (wood) and an imaginary reality (air, space). This poses questions about perception and also about the nature of reality and the influence of the imagination upon it. The originality of my work arrives in the design of the sculptures, as well as my visual approach to psychological theory. My idea of clearly articulating the space in between and surrounding the wood forms is an unusual approach to take in sculpture. Typically, the shape of the space surrounding the material form is not as defined/designed as the material form In my practice, however, negative space is as important – if not more important – as the material form. The crossover between psychological theory and visual art is rich. Many psychological theories are criticized because they cannot be empirically studied; further research by the tools of science is not possible. But visual art is not bound by the same rules as science. My approach is original because I am making art that investigates theories regarding the way people think, feel and make decisions. Visual art can offer an impact far greater than reading about a theory; it can offer a unique, memorable visual experience that lingers in the memory. Psychological theory directly influenced one the most fruitful and captivating movements in art history: Surrealism. The movement drew inspiration from the theories of Freud; the participating artists invented visual counterparts to his theories. Why have no other psych theories been utilized in this manner? Freudian psychology is one of a vast number of psych theories regarding personality and individual psychology. I am interested in re-igniting the conversation between psych theory and visual art. The vast number of psych theories and the plethora of sculptural materials and techniques make for more than a lifetime of socially engaged artwork.