It is generally accepted that a perceived negative experience is what holds the most weight; those contradictory thoughts that challenge an intent and question a result. In turn, this conflict might then take up residence in the realm of memory and as it is analysed, categorised and positioned within a framework of reference, it begins to expose itself to reveal its true intent. This disclosure can take ideas beyond the opaque which helps to initiate a continuum that compliments a practice and expands thought. These observations can also be the spark that propels ideas forward, in new directions. These challenges form part of a network which constantly relies on the surge of cause and effect, the connection of inputs and outputs, flows of information and flows of existence. These relations can be perceived as being organic, technological, ecological, economic, or relational and they can be placed just about anywhere within a systems of taxonomy; they are the threads, the nodes, the elements, the modules, the constituent parts of a whole.
As the artist becomes a scientist, the filmmaker a painter, the collector a writer, the student an educator, the performer an observer, the sculptor a dancer, the actor an activist, or the conductor a musician, ad infinitum, artists can learn to enrich their practice with the knowledge that nothing is static and all things are forever intertwined. This process of self-knowing allows them to inform every project they take on and feed the need for a line of enquiry which is dedicated and focused and allows for a convergence of ideas through a process of synthesis.
Synthesis is a way of thinking and doing, of providing a vision, in which an idea or a thing, imagined or real, is seen as a coherent whole; often consisting of parts, from which thought can be developed, action can be rejected or taken, and the thing made, assembled, or constructed; either as a new creation or activity or as a duplicate or substitute of known substances. (Hall, 1997, p.18)
In 1993 I worked with the author, philosopher (although he would not consider himself one) and engineer, Carl W. Hall. His book The Age of Synthesis – A Treatise and Sourcebook would become a significant piece of writing for me. This work confirmed a myriad of thoughts which had been muddling around in my mind. It helped validate my position in relation to the shift that I believe humanity needs in order to move forward in an intelligent, thoughtful and purposeful way.
Hall, C. W. (1997, Summer). The age of synthesis. The Bent of Tau Beta Pi, 17-19. Retrieved from http://www.tbp.org/pubs/Features/Su97Hall.pdf