Chimera art

artwork by I. Giardina

Exploring chimera.

This stage (2009-2012) marked a transformation from mixed media plaques in part one in the dry tropics. Chimera art in a sense is a counter point to my previous to my marble plaque base reliefs that I began in the wet tropical region.

Chimera art and consciousness

There was a sense that in order to explore the next theme around the subtle problem of consciousness I needed to develop a stand alone sculpture. There were a couple of reasons for this dramatic shift. Firstly, consciousness as from a human perspective would ether be a simple product of being a non physical soul or it would be complex interdependent state of some physical configuration. Secondly, if consciousness is at least in principle to representational it theory there needed a whole approach that entailed the human agency. These reasons were the basis for the subtle problem of consciousness being embedded into a stand alone sculptural motif. This sense of correlation to the manifest image and the embedded nature of consciousness is a artist take on the hard problem of consciousness.

What are the conceptual drivers behind these figurative forms?

The prior intent was on using materials the best I could in the circumstances of experimentation. So it was not a planed conceptual map that constructed forms to represent modes of consciousness or a representation of intrinsic states. However as the forms began to emerge it became evident of some theoretical aims that had interested me through my academic years. So for the mask-on-man and Eco warrior and Saving Sisaphis the influence of environmental philosophy but also philosophy of mind. So the Eco warrior correlation of tape recorder for the face and plaque is to do with intentional states in relation to species interaction with its environment. I was able for the first time to go further to achieve some resemblance of complicated philosophical issues. The previous stages could only hope to comment on a basic problem or overarching theme such as primordial platonic realms or environmental degradation.

A Sculpture for philosophical enquiry

It was after the initial steps with works like Eco warrior that I began to take on more adventurous topics. A memorable on was the brain project. I sculpted a resemblance of a brain and then made copies of it. The brains were coloured and placed in a vase shaped container which made a comment on the “Brain in a vat” thought experiment championed by philosophers’. Though my aim was to go beyond the diagrams and depictions to characterise the problem in the world through the analogue of sculpture as human constructed and natural elements like the tree trunk. The intuition is that this world might too be the simulation. The ‘mad scientist’ might actually be a hyper dimensional entity creating multiple simulated universes.

East of existentialism

A field of enquiry developed that extended from eco spirituality and consciousness to areas that interested me in the 80’s and 90’s. The area of Indian classical metaphysics could be explored through sculpture in ways quite distinct from the traditional iconography. The sculpture vortex form was one such piece that resembled a contemporary version of centres of psychological correlates often depicted through out the length of the body as chakra or wheels. Sculptural constructions such as latex lady and running walking were versions of the theory from yoga psychology that purported layers of the self from the manifest skin as the outer sheath to the intellect as the inner sheath. This later developed into a plethora of yogic forms.