slides works thoughts & projects videos contact cv press
Chaidari Kan-enas Creativity as a Selfmodel Από το "Είναι-μη Είναι" στο "Σκακιστικό Συνεχές"
For Engonopoulos Performance Pizza με όλα "Chess Continuum" and " Uncommon Ground" Yπόμνημα Εργασίας

Letter to T.M. (Thomas Metzinger )

“Being no One- a phenomenal model of Self”, what an amazing title! An Odyssey of sorts! Bybeing “noOne”(kanenas) Odysseus escaped the one-eyed Giant .I wonder…

I'm really enthralled by your work as I said (although I have to admit that I'm rather groping my way instead of reading it) perhaps because,  being a visual artist has already trained me to understand and accept, through the very creative act itself, the nature of selfhood as a construct.

Commonly, being creative (regardless of the quality of the end product ) is connected with the experience of being some One .It is acknowledged, creativity that is, as the act of "expressing" one's self - in other words to create seems to be one of the strongest conscious experiences of self.
However I feel it is exactly this feeling that brings the opposite awareness once one realizes the reciprocal relationship with the object of his/her creation… "Being the game and the game's game" was one of my titles realizing that I 'm both the huntress and the game to be hunted. It was also connected with chess but I will not expand on that…

Creativity is widely acknowledged, among artists at least, as a latent behaviour: We generally have no problem admitting, in the initial stages of creativity that we do not "know" what we are doing.‘Inspiration’ is recruited so as to let others understand, and yet, although we seem not to know what we are doing, there it is, outside of ourselves (?), done!
I guess for artists it is easier to accept that to create a "form", a formation out of all possible formations, implies organizing disparate and often conflicting information into a whole/Holon.This being a process of organizing ,synthesizing, systemizing a degree of order out of chaos. A process, a quest, that somehow along the way makes sense although it is not predetermined, or predesigned and therefore does not accomplish some pre-designated goal but arises step by step. This process, in its reversal, has created the artistic ego and its myth.

In other words I understand creativity, as technology of thought. As such it investigates and forms structures. The works of creativity are both tools as well as accomplishments. Civilization, in what we fittingly call Culture, is an open source code; software bequeathed and altered from generation to generation and in this process it changes its users, meaning that it alters mindsets most probably even hardwiring.

It is interesting, in this light, to note, that when one receives training to learn how to draw - in other words to understand “looking” and consequently create some representation - what takes place, as far as I see it, is an initiation, of sorts, in various states of consciousness.

Οne is taught initially, among other things, to squint his eyes when looking at the object to be represented. This mode of looking at the object of attention,(and to the degree that it can be seen) establishes a gaze that renders the object  to be seen  in broad areas of light and dark patches.   In this way the person looking, is guided away from focusing at whathaveyou small detail of the object (for example, when looking at a person focusing mainly on the face and especially the eyes) and learns to look at it in a more abstract mode.
Since squinting forces you to abandon focusing in favour for peripheral vision, what happens is the following: You are guided away from the focusing gaze (the predominant gaze I guess) which instantly narrows down to the "object" picking up information of detail, estimating distance, positioning it in space etc- i.e. seeing as measuring- towards the squinting mode, which basically does not allow you to see much but triggers awareness as of the peripheral vision-i.e. seeing as detecting- feeling.

 And since peripheral vision is mostly being activated in the dark or when looking at something far away in the horizon-the sunset or the stars ,which by this seer distance, and darkness, makes one unable to focus- one cannot see but tends to detect, sense, feel, “ compute” stimuli and gradually  becomes more aware of the act of “looking”.  
In general the focusing gaze focuses, nails down upon the object of attention, and by doing so, it distinguishes it semantically as well as visually from whatever surrounds it, objectifying it. Instead peripheral vision does not , can not, have a particular object of attention but is tuned into change and relationships that happen within the field of view  and therefore one becomes  more aware of connectivity and its disruption.

 Of course knowing that focusing and peripheral vision are also connected to different photoreceptor cells, Ι cannot help but think, that we are taught to harness our perceptual apparatus and therefore consequently the brain.
When learning to draw we are taught to alternate (?)focusing and squinting, as we are called, on the one hand , to measure our object of attention with the aid and in comparison to a measuring needle, and at the same time look ,at whatever is to be represented, and   maintain a squinting gaze.

In this light I feel that alternating these different modes of attention; focusing being a hunting gaze and peripheral vision being a 'mystical" gaze (perhaps it is not by accident that in ancient Greek the word μύω means closing your eyes while μυώ means to initiate a novice to a mystical doctrine) is a very powerful exercise in altering your apparatus and consequently your brain in how it perceives things.

 This exercise gradually makes you realize that you are responsible of how you represent the World -and yourself- in your mind. Selfhood as a construct emerges-if you want to see it, that is!-

-I kind of remember now that novices in meditation are guided to focus at the end of their nose experiencing perhaps another alteration of bifocal vision and therefore representation. Furthermore altered states of consciousness, either chemically induced or natural, are connected with changes in  the retina.-

Perhaps it is worth noting that the first drawings of humans beings in caves make ample usage of  these alternating modes within the darkness of the caves. I mean the images are both rendered two dimensionally (as drawings) and yet also three dimensionally (as sculptures) since they occupy most of the times -quite dramatically also- some rock formation making this whole thing protrude in space.

This forced them to experience the drawings (and rituals), mostly in the dark, using peripheral vision as well the focusing gaze.

Perhaps alternating modes make one establish on the one hand selfhood and on the other hand establish awareness of connections, awareness of connectivity and collectivity.

Perhaps “disinterested” aesthetic attitude can be linked with the volitional usage of peripheral vision and hazed artists are not so hazy after all…!

Well I will not expand since this brainstorming is becoming too long but I'll send you this with the image of "Being the Game and the Game's Game".
Hoping you might enjoy them.

Yours sincerely