Žarko Aleksić, Consciousness As an Art Medium

Why does coffee without sugar taste differently from coffee without milk?

Conceptual artist were using dematerialisation of an art object described by Lucy Lippard were focusing on the language aspects of art. I will be focusing on phenomenal aspects of art exploring top down processes that shape our aesthetic experiences (believes, expectations) especially related to examination dichotomy of institutionalised context of museum vs laboratory art using neurobiological approach to understand the consciousness as art process. I myself will be the subject and the object of designed experiments. That position will allow me to jump across perspectives from first person to third person while content of my consciousness could come from external or internal stimulus.
By understanding the nature of consciousness, one could understand the nature of the container, where the „art object“ is plunged (immersed), taking this into account the ontological unbreakability between a subject and an object.

The research questions I will address include the role of top-down processes such are expectations and beliefs in aesthetic experiences. What is the role of semantic and perceptual priming on phenomenal consciousness? Is there a difference between neural correlates of experience and aesthetic experience? And also what happens in the brain when perception changes but not stimulus?

For tackling those question different set of art related event will be developed with the aim to semantically and perceptually prime the audience . From appropriated experiments design performed in museum and laboratory context , a guiding tour in highly institutionalised context with the misleading information, to the design of Art Helmet (aesthetic experience elicited by noninvasive brain stimulation) and finally an exhibition with such a spatiotemporal arrangement where the piece is created in the brain in the way that every part prime the subsequent with individual pattern of walking in space. For the part with homospatial processes performance to try to define the neural correlate of imagined piece of art and bring it into visibility by employing fMRI technique of decoding brain states designed by Kamitani lab presented as a huge prints in light boxes with a title Screenshots of Consciousness.

Supervisor: Margarete Jahrmann

Image: Žarko Aleksić