My current artwork is, for now, named ‘The sum of our parts’.
The name comes from the idea that everything is ultimately the accumulation of smaller parts and that we are not the end of this chain, but just as much a part of it as everything else.
Within this project, I am attempting to explore the way that our ideas of identity mix with concepts of free will, instinctive impulses and inclusion. For example, The way that our understanding of ourselves effects the crowds that we gravitate towards and the people we choose to separate ourselves from. I am also interested in the way that this crowing seems to be instinctive or inevitable, and considering whether this intrudes on our desire to believe in free will.
The Greek philosopher Democritus was the first to reason that the universe must be made up of infinite, minute, varied and unbreakable forms. He called these Atoms – meaning uncuttable. The constant changing in the world must, he then decided, be caused by the flow of these particles.
Have you ever noticed how, when you start from this minute level, everything seems to be made up of the grouping, separating and subgrouping of the next thing? and that this instinctive grouping is something we are pulled to do also, despite wanting to think our intelligence has given us free will. Things group and continue collecting until the group becomes too large and there is need to separate off into subgroups. this appears to be true of everything. Cells do this, becoming different parts of all living things. protons and neutrons group to become atoms and these group to form gasses, liquids or minerals etc. It is also part of how species develop to become different from each other. A thing that we see as a whole is made up of the accumulation of smaller things. The smaller things continue to group together until the crowd of things separates and the whole one thing becomes two. This continues, the bigger things begin to group. Until the crowd becomes too large and a limit is reached, then there is separation. This continues.
We group just as everything else does. we are pulled to do it. we are unable if we don’t.
when a group becomes too large it distinguishes difference to create sub-groups
We group with things that appear similar and create separation between those that appear different. At one time this may have just been between us and other animal species. which resulted in all the stories we tell ourselves to reassure ourselves that we are somehow better or more important. However, as our population became larger and spread over continents, we started to see variation in our own species and so we created sub-groups of humanity. Now we are overflowing. There are so many of us on this earth that there is no longer space for the geographical separation that we have known for so long. We struggle to accept this because we so deeply want to understand ourselves as part of a smaller group. We feel we are being intruded on. The amount of people we are able to know personally and are naturally comfortable with, I think I have read, is limited to about 70 people. maybe since technology invaded our social lives we have been able to feel connected to a larger amount of people, but still, there is a point where separation will naturally begin to happen. It is obviously natural, and it doesn’t mean that our desire to be a part of a group should be connected to a dislike for other groupings. It is simply that this is where we feel the most ourselves. Maybe in the past, it was easy to see race as one way to subgroup humanity because of all the space that lay between us. We knew that if we were surrounded by those that looked like us, we were in the right place, surrounded by those who thought the same way as us and would care for us. If we were not surrounded by people that appeared similar, then we had wandered too far. Change creates change, however. So maybe as we start to see a change in where people live and how we communicate, we should also start to alter the way we distinguish subgroups between us. we are able now to choose who we are and what we feel is right or wrong in a way that has probably never been possible before. There isn’t really pressure to follow even your parent’s ideas any longer, as the internet and closeness to of so many other people, allows us to learn other viewpoints and choose what we believe. So today you can’t necessarily use your eyes to distinguish who in a crowd will be the most similar to you. Change creates change. In a world where room and resources are becoming more limited, we need to see how we can be both find comfort within one group and stay excepting of those in others.
Just a thought. I mean I think it a good one. You can let me know what you think below 😉
why should we try to cling to ways of discriminating similarity that no longer work? we all learn from each other now so surely similarities are so much more personal than appearance, geography and circumstances.
If hydrogen atoms only ever grouped with each other there would never have been any water. there is obviously a point where we should except the need to group with those not so similar.
So there’s a ramble of confused thought for you to ponder on if you feel the impulse to. It is likely that some or most of this only makes any sense to me, so I applaud you for struggling through this far!
what do you think about this line of thought? I would love to hear opinions!
thank you for spending the time to read this, I really can’t believe you have made it to the end. You are a wonderful person with, what must be, an enthusiastic and open mind. To have read the whole post without getting annoyed by my wishy-washy way of thinking, you must be a saint. I have already said this, but I would so love to hear any thoughts you have on this. you might find that you influence my future artwork! If you do I promise to give you a shout out 😉
okay, I’m signing off now! haha
inappropriate mich drop …