Ubeity - Alan Crowley

Alan Crowley
Opening 7pm Friday 14 October
Exhibition Runs 15 Oct - 12 Nov 2011

Using film, traditional print and sculpture Ubiety brings together ideas inspired by the philosophy of the Irish metaphysician George Berkeley. His theories concerning the nature of existence and the senses, the function of the mind and role of God are reiterated in a visual language for present day audiences.

This show comprises six framed copper plate etchings with photographic elements. Each print represents one of the many functions of the mind, for example, how we judge distance and shape, and our taste preferences. The centerpiece of the show is a wooden polyhedron structure, which is a culmination of the ideas explored in this research. Also on display is a short film entitled Three in One. It is a conversation piece between two characters Herbert and Philip, and it aims to iterate Berkeley’s ideas in an inclusive format.

In the process of seeing the images we receive through our eyes are originally upside down. Our brain instantly processes this information into our visual perception of the world. This is one of the many tasks the mind performs in our seemingly trivial daily perceptions. This research project aims to highlight these unconscious processes of the mind that we overlook. Accept for the moment, that the only type of information we can obtain from our eyes concerns light and colour. No other details are provided by the sense of sight. Identification and naming is the responsibility of the mind. Unaware of this as we are, we jump to the conclusion that our eyes tell us everything about the visual world. It is rather the case that reason and judgment connects like things with like. How we knows what attributes goes with what is because of a habitual relationship. The mind has learned to associate certain patterns with physical existence. For example seen from different vantage points, a penny presents an elliptical appearance. Yet the mind disregards this elliptical appearance and a generalised notion of a penny is that its shape is round.

The purpose of focusing on this hidden connection making process is to bring to our attention that which we are prone to dismiss as ordinary mundane occurrence. This dismissal understates the complexity of the everyday sensory exchanges we participate in and fails to appreciate the functioning of the mind. The operation of mind is a crucial part of sense-based experience. Without it we could not comprehend the information received by sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste. Our experience of the world would be disorderly and unfamiliar. While philosophy is deemed to be the exclusive discipline of the scholar the purpose of this research project is to show how philosophy relates to our everyday experience. Through this artistic
interpretation and presentation of Berkeley’s theories of cognition an audience will be able to appreciate their personal relevance.

Ubiety forms part of Crowley’s M.A. Degree in Contemporary Visual Arts

and Media by Research at Limerick School of Art & Design.

Click images to enlarge

A Mighty Framework

Still from 'Three in One'

One Sense to Another
Varied Dimensions
Know the Data but not the Sense
See and Judge
Taste the Ambiguity
You in the Apple