7th Lecture 2016 »The Difference between Subject and Object«

We and the world around us are standing in a reciprocal relation. As far as we can intellectually identify ourselves, the difference between us and the surrounding environment seems to be the main topic of this identification. We are thinking about our perception, as if the world would be one subject (that we try to describe in an objective way) and we are the other subject, and the difference between subject and object determines the cognitive perception of our so called reality.
What we have to understand is rather simple: The cognitive fact of the world is given to us with the intermediate-space, i.e. the space between the subject of perception and the object of recognition. The primordial fact of the world is our body, that means: the intermediate-space between me and the world, in other words: between my body and the outer world, are identical.

As Maurice Merleau-Ponty said: “Nothing determines me from outside, not because nothing acts upon me, but, on the contrary, because I am from the start outside myself and open to the world.”
My body itself is the only given space in which all parts of the world belong together in order to create reality. A space which is constantly changing. A space which produces other spaces.
Every artifact is a space (i.e. an expanding object) and by the same time a tool to produce more spaces. A space that aims to save existential experiences (and to reactivate them in the act of perception), we call art.
We realize: After the loss of all socially binding horizons (to create a “better future”), the only perspective which is left for any art or design, is to save our experiences as Existential Notations. So we have to deal with a horizon which is very close to us, a horizon which we could reach in the respective “next moment”.
This aim – to grab the horizon of our existence at the moment in which it appears, as something valuable, that we have to save for infinity – is an individual aim as well as an aim for the whole society. To do so, we have to use the given space of our body. This leads us to the question: How do we achieve a fundamental definition about what an Existential Notation is? To answer this question, first we have to understand; the answer can only be given through the act of implementation. This again leads us to another question: How to implement?
The following task is given to find an individually valid answer:

1. Describe an experience which you have recently had. Do not use more than five or six sentences for your description.

2. Analyse your experience in relation to the participation of the objects
a) Which figures were involved (persons and/or things)? In which space?
b) Describe the interaction between the figures inside the space.
c) Concentrate your analysis on the Formatives (i.e. the smallest parts of objects which are interacting (we can also say that they are colliding with reciprocal impact, i.e.  interactively). While they are interacting, the elements are transformed into something that is readable as a significant unit)*.

3. Use the process of interaction for your designing.

* Formative Element
= the interactive collision of two different elements (material combined with movement; mass–energy equivalence: E = mc2)
– gives an impulse
– with the impulse we will get a variance of the impulses (i.e. an iteration)
– with the repetition of the variance we will get a rhythm

Formative Unit
= the smallest part which gives us a recognizable meaning, resp. the smallest meaningful unit.
Unit means the material dimension of a sensitive affection such as the visual identification of a specific structure, to feel something gaseous on our skin or to smell it, to hear a tone, to touch (or being touched) by a specific material and thereby identifying it and so on.

How to use the formative elements and Units within the process of designing as a formative Setting:

Formative Setting (the basic part of every concept)
= extracted from an individual experience
– delivers the notation of messages and communicative contexts (to unfold from Existential Notations)
> of the basic elements
– of recognition (in relation to the phenomenology of perception)
– of the concrete kind of artistic elaboration (for example in relation to The Book of Arts by Cennino Cennini)
– leads finally to:

– defines the structural basis (i.e. the grammar: positioning, combination and connecting of the co-ordinates)
– defines the volume (colours, movements, materials etc.)
– defines the techniques of elaboration

– elaborates the shaping elements by the use of the pre-defined method
– of the shaping elements by using the required techniques(techniques of drawing, painting, composition, photography, moviemaking etc.)

– brings about a reaction of the senses (based on a physical or neurophysiological impulse)
   – the reaction of the senses brings about an emotional affectiona
       – the emotional affection brings about a narrative and intellectual interpretation
          (means that we are able to „read the text“)

Examples for the use of Formative Settings