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▷ ▶ CONCEPTUAL PROCESS FLOWCHART DOCUMENTING THE JOURNEY free Arts & Artists flowcharts and decision trees.
By juliet
Category: Arts & Artists. Viewed 2174 times. Created September 2013.     Disclaimer.   
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Documenting my Conceptual Process for CoFA 1002. From a Sensory Time Machine to .................a Mind-Bending, Never-Ending, Interactive Journey through Philosophy to Understanding Meanings.

In the beginning there was my concept- a Sensory Time machine - a vehicle that could transport one to another time/place/feeling via the input of sensory information at a specific location and time.
The idea for this concept was based on the linkage and embedding of sensual experiences and their mapping onto the memories our brain makes to the surrounding sensory stimuli at the time this memory is created.
The way a smell can transport you via memory to another time you experienced, like the aroma of freshly baked cookies when you visited your grandma's as a child, or how hearing a song can "take you back" to your Year 12 Formal.
Memory seemed a very important and linking theme in my now diverging research, and I discovered that there are strong links between memory and empathy. I then started thinking about those who lack empathy, like ASPD or psychopaths and sociopaths.
I studied brain injuries and the inability to lay down memory as well as memory loss and wondered if my machine could also be modified to repair or recreate memories in individuals effected by such a devastating loss.

Linking me to phenomenology and phenomenography and to Solipsism. Now here is where the Mind-Fuck started,( I thought of snipping a section from a porno film and editing a brain into the shot). I had diverged form the path and my Conceptual Process was taking me on a journey of layers.
This led my research into PHILOSOPHY , where I began to learn about Plato's "Forms and Ideas" and Descartes " I think therefore I am" then onto phenomenon and noumenon and the concept of quanti.
This thinking led me to think if we can ever really make another person "See What I See" or "Feel How I Feel" or "Think What I Think". Our thoughts are our own and we can never be sure if someone else thinks the same way or sees thinks the same way or feels things the same way we do.
I wondered what the sudden realization of the impact this persons actions had on those around them would do to the non-empathetic person - would their heart suddenly explode? I considered packing a sheep heart with match heads and making it explode.
This then led me to thinking more about empathy and if the machine could be used to make a non-empathetic person, such as a psychopath, "feel" empathy.

With every layer I peeled back trying to understand the "meaning" of these "concepts" another one was below. I went on a journey of tangents. In trying to " Understand" or make"Sense" of each of these abstract concepts I would inevitably find another word or concept that I didn't quite understand and link to it to find out what it meant.
So now my concept had become so scattered that I felt lost in my own head - I could see that all the concepts I had been studying were somehow linked but trying to make them converge to a certain point was becoming increasingly difficult.
Add panic and pressure to the mix, there was a deadline looming and I was stuck in a seemingly endless loop of research. I had exhausted all my family members with questions about life the universe and everything.
I referred back to my original Concept Map at this point. What am I trying to find/understand? I am trying to find out if it is possible to really "Walk a Mile in Someone Else's Shoes" or "Slip into their Skin" or "See it from their Perspective" or "Feel how they Feel".
Where is my conceptual research leading me? It is leading me into an introspective looping world of thoughts and abstracts and boundless philosophical concepts.

Ok I'm laughing now because I just thought about doing an interpretive dance piece, which would show a self I usually do not reveal to anyone others than those close to me ie.. family and close friends - so while it is actually a "face" of me, it is not one often seen by the "public" so to do so would perhaps prove an endless source of amusement both for me and the audience but also embarrassment.
Perhaps a series of portraits of the self form varying perspectives and taking different philosophies into account. Being limited to Tumblr as my medium I can post an image of my "creation" or a "sound file". I could do a Soliopsist self-portrait which would inevitably be incredibly self-centred as I would consider myself all that there is.
Through phenomenology and/or phenomenographical research I could compile a "Picture of Myself" as I perceive myself versus how others perceive me. I began to make a survey in Survey Monkey with the intent to email it out to friends and family members. Then I wondered if they would truly be honest if I could see their answers. I also struggled to work out what questions were the most important to ask anyway?
I then thought about. what is "real" anyway and how this could be related to anything - Is there one universal truth? Or could there be many as everyone has a differing perception/concept of phenomenon and noumenon.
Trying to reign it in.....I wondered about relating my research to a sense of self. Perhaps my Self-Perception contrasted with other peoples perception of me and which one is the "real" me?

I am noticing some similarities with the majority of these works, they would involve visual metaphors - here is where I read an interesting journal article on this topic and thought I was onto something. But if you start to think in terms of some of these philosophies isn't everything we sense really a metaphor?
With that in mind how could one explain how they understand something? We can only use analogies of experiences we see patterns of similarity in to compare our own experience and how we understand it and relate that back to how another may understand the same.
Perhaps using a phenomenographical approach I could survey others and compile a collective understanding of a thing - which could be myself or something else abstract like the colour red for example. Or I could approach it from a phenomenological perspective and choose to convey myself through my"Own Eyes"
Boundaries, limits or confines would make it easier to get to the end point but I just keep sliding off topic around on this slippery slope of acquiring understanding. Or do I ? I began writing this flow chart in order to find my way back from this Divergent Thinking and Converge trying to let my Conceptual Process Research guide me to an end-point.
Is it that my topic has become this Conceptual Process itself ? Should I graph the Process ? Could I convey in a visual, graphical or auditory way the meaning, as I understand it, of some of the philosophical concepts I have discovered through this process?

Well I've been working a few more hours and I have been side-tracked again in trying to work out how to answer the very open brief. I have looked at all the other teachers blogs in an attempt to understand what is required.
Ok, I am feeling intense pressure now so I think should start to follow one of my ideas and see where it leads me........
Whichever path I choose to follow I will have followed a Conceptual Process as to "do without thinking" is alien to me, even if the thought is not a conscious thought. Any of the ideas have value and all have interesting aspects now I need to choose which way to go.
Through accident or design each component of one of my works is imbued with meaning, there is a reason for my choice of image or sound or medium in which to convey my idea. So the end product is not necessarily a "thing" to get so hung up on.
How is this "Conceptual Process" helping me? Isn't any work I do following a Conceptual Process? I think - Therefore I am and I think before I do - a lot - about the how, when and why of anything I am trying to communicate - nothing is arbitrary.

Now here is where you can imagine me yelling "EUREKA" like Achimedes in his bath when he worked out how to find the "volume" or "mass" or an object. If only he was here to help me to find the "mass" of an "Idea" or "Feeling". Now on to designing the never-ending -ever mind bending game called Conceptual Processes - Trying to Understand Meanings..........
I just had a thought or a "Concept" this whole process has been like a game of snakes and ladders - just when I think I am onto something and can see a way to move forward with this assignment I come across a snake and slide back or sideways to somewhere else off the track where I didn't want to go.
Still lost and my mental state is in decline - I need to make myself a ladder to get out of this hole. Thinking of buying a sheep's brain and filming as I insert words that representation the philosophical concepts I have read about into the brain and then putting it all into a blender to draw an analogy between my trying to grasp these concepts and the resultant state of my brain.
Maybe the "Thing that it is" is actually this flow chart as it demonstrates the iterations of my Conceptual Process.
So I am attempting to go back through my research links to try to find exactly what I can "Do or Make" to qualify as a final piece that I can submit on tumblr.