Art and The Conscious Mind 7

The self awareness of the conscious mind
When we are young we have little awareness
Transition from conscious to self conscious
Capacity for knowing we exists
  • Humans are uniquely self conscious
  • One of the most puzzaling things about consciousness is that it creates the possibility of reflecting on itself
What do we loose by being self aware? (gain self knowledge, loose blissful state of union with environment and nature)
What is self awareness? Locating the self aware mind
Meta-self awareness – the capacity we have to reflect on our own minds
The mirror test – after 18 months to 2 years – Chile will notice that they have a red dot on there heads (realises it reflects them) – awareness of yourself as an existing being
Humans – Apes – Dolphins – Elephants  Can also display this
What is the self that is aware of itself?
‘I think therefore I am’ Descartes
Could dout what he was seeing – Because he can think about something he must exists even if everything else is a lie.
Two types of self
  • Core self – Immediate awareness of self and environment
  • Autobiographical self – knowledge of history
Higher order thoughts
No part of the mind is in itself conscious, or part of the self.
If i think about my self its that thought thats conscious not the self – Argue against
Husserl – Aquire self awareness because of other people being aware of us – No access to other minds so we know we are separate
Can understand the self unless you located in our everyday lives
Context change so dose our self – many mental leaves exists one at a time one after another
We blive we have a self/ exists – just a story we tell ourselves – nothing at the core of that (no physical or mental property)
Logical problems with the self-conscious mind
Can you think about yourself thinking? – creates a loop
Homunculus – viewing what is happening in your head
I am aware of myself – Logical problem – Me that is aware and myself that I am aware of (two separate things) No aware part and no myself part (just one part)
What is the difference between subject and object?
Paradox of introception (schooler and schreiber)
What we believe we are thinking can be different form what we are actually thinking
People do not realise their minds have wandered, or are not aware of mental responses that are given away by physiological behaviour
Paradox of self consciousness – can think about our self till we are aware of our selves – need to be aware of ourselves think of our selves.
If i think about myself who is thinking
Paradox of explanation – can a object be explained
All explanations of the self-consious mind seem to end in logical paradox, or infinite regression.
The generative potential of infinite regress
Infinite regress – where one things requires another thing to exists
Conceptual regress – Earth is on an infant pile or turtles – Maths Recurring numbers
Physical regress – Two mirrors (tunnel effect) Ends somewhere unlike conceptual
  • Video feedback – Camara looking at a tv screen (looking at it self)
  • Sound feedback
Self – consciousness is not one part of the mind but the result of different parts of the mind reflecting on each other.
Conscious mind – Organ that senses other sense organs – Reflection (feedback from the world)
We are aware of our thoughts of the world not the world itself
Thought > thought > thought
Artists are aware of many of these things – nature of the mind etc
Inverted structure of work. Reflects on its own existence
The self aware image – an insight into early modern meta painting
Art work referring to itself – art work as a separate object (not a representation on he real world)
Painting talking about its self (process of looking at paining)
Presented him self as another painter (painting himself)
The front of a painting on the back of painting
To understand vision you need to get behind the eyeball
Painting knows that it is a paining of x/y/z
Painting the future
Attempting the impossible – Magritte – person he is meeting is also the person he is painting
Work all about themselves – Clear square glass leaning is …
Getting away form work that refers other things (force art work to only talk about themselves)
Art is the definition of art – Art about art
Jenny Holzer – Protect me from what I want
What would a self aware are work be like?
Self conscious machines
Paradox can be creative
Brings us closer to what the conscious mind is and also our self conscious mind.

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