M O N A  C H O O  / THE STRUCTURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS
 

In a world that is becoming more and more fragmented in thinking and behaviour, where we have fostered a one-way relationship with nature that has brought about grim consequences, a new world view is urgently called for.


A new world view requires us to reevaluate our idea of reality, and to reconcile that idea with our spiritual pursuits. In doing so, we can potentially salvage our relationship with nature and begin to develop a holistic view of reality which can hopefully lead to a holistic way of life.


Art is the platform on which my own enquiries into science and spirituality come together, often leading to more questions, provocations and discourses than to answers.


Trying to understand the nature of reality has led to an inevitable curiosity regarding the conundrum of consciousness and the innate intelligence that governs nature.


We know the world to be made of unconscious, mindless physical particles, yet it somehow contains the consciousness of which we are the agents. Where does our consciousness fit into this materiality?


Perhaps it is materiality that has to fit into the shapes of our thoughts, conjured up by a consciousness greater than our selves.


“We will never understand anything until we have found some contradictions”. Niels Bohr, Nobel prize physicist and quantum theorist, 1885 - 1962.


Currently, I am trying to get more understanding about working with physical space: the two dimensional surface versus three, the concept of multiple or higher dimensions, and how I might express these ideas visually.


I began experimenting on two levels. The first was manipulating screenprints on paper and clear acrylic. Seeing the printed image distorted causes the eye and mind to reinterpret a flat surface and hence the entire print. How much of space is in the way we perceive it, and how much of it is actual reality?


My aim is to challenge people’s perception of the space we inhabit and push our understanding of dimensionality, as I believe we live in a universe with more than three dimensions. I want people to ponder the question of where our consciousness might reside and the possibility that it is in a different dimension to our physical world.


The second body of experimental sculpture attempts to give consciousness a physical form. Web of Consciousness (2013) is based on the theory that we are all connected to a universal intelligence and to each other’s consciousness. The sculpture is also a metaphor for our relationship with nature and the fragility of our ecosystem. When one point comes apart many of the other points are affected. The links are broken and the whole structure suffers. Currently, our view of the world and the way we live is very much

focused on individual points rather than the structure as a whole. We need to begin to understand that we are all interconnected and our actions affect one another in ways we cannot ever know.


Between Dimensions (2012) aims to confuse the viewer as to where the sculpture ends and its shadow begins. It is one part inspired by Plato's Analogy of the cave in 'The Republic' and the question regarding our perception of reality, and the other part inspired by Rudolf Steiner's proposition that our consciousness 'resides' in higher dimensions. I wanted to draw parallels between the materiality of an object and it's non-physical shadow, with that of our physical bodies and our non-physical consciousness. Each cannot exist without the other.


This is a pursuit that will take me many lifetimes.


My current practice aims to give consciousness and its interconnectedness a physical form, an interpretation of the concept of us being plugged into a greater intelligence - the web of Universal consciousness.


Inspired by some of Rudolf Steiner’s thinking, I am also exploring the idea that we are higher dimensional beings living in a lesser-dimensional projected world. Three dimensions is, after all, the projection or shadow of a four-dimensional world. Rudolf Steiner proposes that our self-awareness resides in the fifth and sixth dimensions. String theory proposes there are at least eleven dimensions in our reality.


Between Dimensions, 2012

Bamboo skewers, glue, paint.

Approx. 65 x 65 x 85 cm

Web of Consciousness, 2013

Acrylic rods, fibre optic strands, LED lights, wire, batteries, mirror panel, glue.

Approx. 65 x 65 x 85 cm

My first foray into giving consciousness a physical body. Starting with a central point, surrounded by other points, I join everything to the central point and then most of the other ones to each other, to illustrate interconnectedness.

With light comes shadow, and this became a crucial part of the work.

The start of something - this 3D form/structure/model of interconnected consciousness was expanded by using light to create it’s two-dimensional identity.


Much like our thoughts and our physical bodies, one is the other and there is no boundary between the two, though we presume to live by the physical boundary that is our body.

Paper & Space

These form part of my research into geting more understanding about working with space. Two dimensions versus three, four and beyond. How much of space is in the way we perceive it, and how much of it is reality?

In wondering about these questions, I began a series of experimental paper sculptures where I try to manipulate a two-dimensional surface on which there is a print, into something that straddles two and three dimensions. Seeing how the printed image is distorted causes the eye and mind to reinterpret the paper surface and hence the entire print.

atomic, 2014

Screenprint on OHP film, folded, photographed with shadow.

Photo: Memographs by Hira Hussain

Photo: Memographs by Hira Hussain

atomic, 2014

Screenprint on OHP film, folded.

“Don’t forget that life resides in the unity of energy, that we are centers who receive and transmit, so that we are indissolubly connected to everything.” Umberto Boccioni, 1882 - 1916.