Hovey Brock
The basic question that guides my practice is “Why do we experience interiority?” Art has a crucial role in fostering empathy by allowing us to experience the subjectivity of another, but what is that subjectivity? Is it an illusion, an epiphenomenon of our conscious processes, or something else? Different media give me different answers. In painting, I observe how my own consciousness plays out as the recursive process of building a surface creates the work. In video, the time-based nature of subjective experience mirrors that quality in video. In social practice, I get to see how my self-awareness requires a social context in order to come into being.

My research has taken me into a labyrinth of topics: machine learning, brain science, the mathematics of recursion, primatology, evolutionary psychology, and, of course, philosophy. All these disciplines have a great deal to say but give no definitive answers that explain why, how, or what qualia (individuals’ subjective experiences) are.

I have only my intuition to guide me as to what qualia actually are, but make art because it is uniquely placed to communicate the experience of subjectivity. I think a multi-disciplinary approach is the best way to manage this, as no one discipline has all the necessary features to fully reflect the processes at work. All art is illusion, and there is no greater work of art than interiority.

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Hovey Brock, September 22, 2017 ©