Wednesday, September 25, 2013

CCDN 231: Proposal, Project 3

So, this next project is the real clincher. I want to continue with austerity, but alter it to the form of austerity that came out at the end of the last project. The austerity that came out from the last project was at the positive end of the austerity spectrum. This end of the austerity spectrum is defined by the intentional separation from things (material objects, aspects of ones life) with the intention of enhancing an experience (getting closer to God, enhancing a sensory experience).

At the end of the final experiment in the last project; where Henrietta chopped up the onion with her bare hands, she closed her eyes and, despite making things more difficult for herself, registered that she was actually really enjoy the experience from a sensory perspective. I experimented with the same procedure myself, and discovered that by removing sensory inputs, one was actually having a more vibrant experience of the onion.

I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a particularly spiritual person, but the removal of material connections as well as the physical connections to the world is considered by many theists and creeds to bring one closer to enlightenment. This imposing of austerity on one's life allows one to experience a part of life that usually gets drowned out in the noise of the rest of our existences.

So, to further enhance the experience of the onion, I want to create an extreme end of the experience that I had. I want to create a nigh-meditative experience, where the subject will have a chance to really experience the tactile, aural, and olfactory aspects of something from a world that we define primarily with our eyes. I want to create a calm, peaceful environment where the subject can sit without distraction and really focus on the sensory experience that the onion gives them.

By removing the thought aspect usually involved in chopping onions, one returns the ability to discover a novel experience to the user. So as to encourage the user, I will create a safe environment in the middle of a spacious and empty room, and then once they are comfortable, remove all light sources and guide the beginning of their experience with my voice. Then, once I have told them what they should focus on, I will remove the light completely and let them experience the whole thing in darkness, nullifying one of their senses completely.

This places them in a position of vulnerability, but at the same time it also exposes them to a large amount of sensory information. I want to creat a situation that borders on the spiritual where they realise the onion and all its previously unseen facets.

To achieve this, I really want to make the act work. I want my tutors to feel like they are going to have a revelation of their existentialism. I will completely overplay the position and the experience, and then leave them in the dark, literally.

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