Freud. Return and Repetition. Identity and Time. Appropriate mediums for message.

This video is again shot on the iPhone using time lapse software. The footage spanned several hours but resulted in only several minutes of video due to increasing frame rates in order to achieve the time lapse effect. The procedure is important because film (digital video) and software are able to act through our intervention as a mirror of our own thought processes. It can readily conform to the timeless landscape of our unconscious mind and also to that other place of no time (in the sense it isn't bound by physical laws) our memory.

In looking at the module regarding self. A current area of interest for me are these emotional hidden terrains or certainly aspects of oneself that lie beneath the skin. I am looking beyond any points of immediacy (a later post will discuss why this is essential to me) and I am exploring areas that are predominantly informed by philosophical / psychological ideas.

This film is again experimental and this time I am looking at Freud's ideas of the past. Historically he is a key figure in ideas about the self and as the founder of psychoanalysis I felt it would be important to engage with some of his thinking. He believed the past filters our present and disrupts our forward momentum spoiling our ideas of progress. Freud felt that we had no protection from these eruptions of the past and that the past did not sit neatly somewhere in the mind in temporal order. I think most of us have looked at clouds moving and felt a sense of time moving also. In this short piece I have used the clouds to represent a common symbol of time but then applied Freud's ideas of the internal timeless nature of the landscapes of our memories and the past. The back and forth and recurring repetition (disruption) of this familiar symbol acts as a strong communicative metaphor for how we experience our own emotional world. The disruptive effect of the past upon our present is at work by emphasising our inability to orientate ourselves to the direction of cloud flow. Are we projecting ourselves into a future or reliving a past and what effects does that have upon our ideas of the self and the person occupying the present. All this occurs for the viewer of course in the present moment of watching. The past clearly exists as a form of vaporous ghosting which clouds equally allude to and Freud saw the present as this place of many temporalities with a strong sense of overlap.

Exploring artistic ideas of the self can be highly complex but there are some common elements to us all which can be expressed simply in certain mediums. In this case the medium of film echoes perfectly the way our mind works in a similarly timeless place. We can rewind (past) or go forward (future) in an instant as we can with digital video and software. This is strong example of applying the appropriate medium to the message one is trying to convey.

Throughout Philosophy the idea of return and repetition seems to be a central theme and one that is inextricably bound to our ideas of the self. Modern philosophers like Giorgio Agamben see the past or the need to return not as a form of physic disturbance like Freud but rather as in the act of repeating we create anew. Memory for him restores possibility to the past and allows us to unfix the order of events. We can never return as we were from a point of future remembering because by definition we now stand in that future place observing not physically existing in that moment. The past is therefore more malleable from Agamben's viewpoint than from Freud's. The video was created from Freud's ideas about the past and how that creates (or disturbs) a present self. It is thoughts about ourselves such as those mentioned that interest me as I look to develop more ideas for the various project briefs.



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