Necklace of Infinite Possibility

Video, 1997

From a thesis by the artist for the Master of Fine Arts, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, 1997

Necklace of Infinite Possibility can be seen as an exploration of a particular state of consciousness, as Ken Wilber calls it the ‘Eco-Noetic Self’ or the nature mystic experience. An experience of being the same consciousness as the plants and trees, seas and stars, of experiencing the consciousness of plant or tree or forest, whilst retaining the consciousness of the experiencing human being.  Wilber says that “in the nature-mystic experience, you are not a strand in the web. You are the entire web. You are doing something no strand ever does – you are escaping your ‘strandness’, transcending it, and becoming one with the whole display. (Wilber, 1996)

 

This state is not a retro-romantic state, which is one of thinking that nature is spirit, but one of recognizing that consciousness is in everything, and that nature is a manifestation of consciousness. The One in the Many and the Many in the One.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson speaks poetically of this level of consciousness as the Over-Soul, and says ’We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole of which these are the shining parts is the soul (The Over-Soul). And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all but accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object are one’. (Emerson, 1969)

 

He explains this further with a particular analogy…’Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thoughts any occurrence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear….Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing: I see all the currents of Universal Being Circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.’ (Emerson, 1969)

 

The masks are a representation of the individualized consciousness that is experiencing this state, the experiencer or the witness. 

References

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Selected Prose and Poetry. 2d ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969.

Wilber, Ken. A Brief History of Everything: The Collected Works of Ken Wilber. Boston: Shambhala, 2000.

Raine, Kathleen. The Collected Poems of Kathleen Raine. Washington, D.C: Counterpoint, 2001.

from the video

I am a grey sky, inky black

I am the seashore ochre reflecting

I am the golden light of Sunday

I am the bright star next to the moon

I am a wind gust catching the branches

I am the lichen stone in the forest

I am the last violet in the fading rainbow

I am a tree of quiet waiting,

An eye I am, an eye I am.

 

from the poem 'Seventh Day' by Kathleen Raine

‘Passive I lie looking up through leaves

An eye only, one of the eyes of the earth

That open at a myriad points on the living surface.’

This work has been shown at various venues:

  • 2006 F.I.F.E. Carbunari, Experimental Film Festival, Florian Mus., Romania

  • 1999 Locus with Maggie Witzche (Canada), Ewart Gallery, Sydney

 

This work received awards at:

 

Still images

See Sculpture | Cast Paper

Watch the video 'Necklace of Infinite Possibility'