Honeywill_whole_thesis.pdf (36.13 MB)
The Ever present eye : a studio exploration of the moment and the everyday lived experience
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 10:00 authored by Honeywill, G
The ever present eye is a studio exploration of the spectator and the effect of the transforming moment, when, in the 'blink of an eye', the everyday is interrupted by a transient experience of wonder or magical reflections upon the world, witnessed through a glance or discovered through the lens of the camera. The moment, as it is blinked into existence, is a complex entity. It may be characterised as expansive and revelatory ‚Äö- a moment in which the temporal and eternal conjoin, and it may also be a fragment capable of containing implicate fragments. My personal experience of a short-lived moment of wonder inspired intellectual curiosity and experimentation to both explain the event and to attempt to keep the extraordinary qualities of the moment present. An attempt to engage with what has just passed and with the immediate drives this research project, stimulated by Elaine Scarry's idea that beauty incites the act of replication. Scarry cites drawing, photography or language as primary tools of replication. Today the camera is omnipresent, but no matter how quickly the iPhone, my ever present eye, is activated to replicate the moment the presentness of the moment is all but lost. The act of replication is also one of documentation, proof of existence, particularly of ephemeral actions that might pass unnoticed in the landscape, or in the momentary performance of a work. Aliveness, created through engagement, is crucial to the extended life of ideas and to their originators. In this body of research I have collaborated with existing ideas and artworks conflating theory with artist interviews and studio experimentation. I have used an array of cameras, including CCTV and the iPhone, in order to participate in a dialogue of generational aliveness where the act of replication can also become an act of creation reflecting on what has gone before and on the world around us. Just as CCTV technology provided artists with a new means of exploring the world the smartphone has become the technology of the present moment. The smartphone is now so ever present that artists are creating works that demand the participation of the spectator. The reciprocal dialogue between the work of the artist and the spectator in the form of hundreds of thousands of images that will then be disseminated across the world in an instant has never before existed. This project concludes that we are all changed by the omnipresence of this instrument ‚Äö- empowered and endangered ‚Äö- in a way that Kodak could never have anticipated at the turn of the last century. The smartphone camera is now central to our restless search for the moment, meaning and knowledge of our everyday world.
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