In my work, I attempt to attain a trance state while drawing. I set up experiments for myself, becoming both doctor and patient. After exploring my unconscious self through these experiments, I usually reexamine these ideas through additional drawings. Not every drawing is the direct result of an altered state. I stress the word attempt. I use photography and video to visually explain these experiments.
Experiments in Self-Hypnosis Drawing:
In this experiment, I used self-hypnosis videos from the Internet to lead me into a meditative state. While listening to a video, I mixed graphite and flour together and created a drawing on the floor of my studio. Then after I created the drawing, I destroyed it by sweeping it into a pile on the floor. I was the only person who saw the real completed drawing before destroying it, thus symbolizing my solitary visions.
Experiments in Mirror Drawing:
In this experiment, I drew with two hands at the exact same time, attempting to make the same stroke or gesture with both hands. I am right handed, but in this experiment I used my left hand to simulate disorientation. However, I am more confident drawing with my right hand because of years of experience of the hand being dexterous. Even though drawing with my left hand is shaky, my mind is able to concentrate and control the hand. Drawing in different positions with both hands at the same time is too advanced for me. It results in focus being given to one hand while the other hand arbitrarily scratches at the same mark. Now I draw with both hands simultaneously in order to shift focus away from the dominant hand. In these experiments the physical movement of the hands is symmetrical but the two sides in the drawing do not reflect each other. My seemingly symmetrical drawings are asymmetrical.
Additionally, I am interested in the notion of an automatic drawing state —- one where the drawing comes either from the unconscious or simply from the enjoyment of the hand motions. In order to intensify this experience I have been drawing blindfolded and two handed, which physically forces me into an altered mental state.
Experiments in Blind Drawing:
In this experiment, I wore a blindfold when I drew. For two drawings I made the background and placed the pins with a blindfold on. Then later I reflected and re-evaluated the drawing by adding thread without the use of a blindfold.
Experiments in Faint Drawing:
In this experiment, I attempted to record the gesture of my own unconscious fall. I have synoptic episodes when I see blood, usually when I have blood drawn. Initially, these fainting spells were sparked by a traumatic event in my childhood when I watched my Mother have a blood transfusion. I am very afraid of fainting, but there is a strange, almost guilty pleasure I take from it. The act of fainting for me is a way to escape from my fearful situation. When I faint, I have fainting dreams or visions. Many times these visions are frightening and usually deal with my memory, forgetting who I am or what I should be doing.