ALPHA STATE AND CREATIVE ART
Currently, I am working with a wonderful group of photographers who are desiring to explore what it means to create a masterwork. Though there are many definitions of masterwork or masterpiece, we are trying to determine if one of those definitions can be applied to our own workflow in creating a photographic image. Two definitions I would like to use in this blog are:
In paraphrasing another way of describing a masterwork;
- Once you have seen a masterwork, you will never forget it.
Both definitions resonate well with the word and meaning of authenticity. Basically, I question whether an artist’s masterwork could be a masterwork without being authentic to his/her unique vision and workflow. For example, I have admired Edward Weston’s pepper image ever since I first saw it many years ago. I have even attempted to make such a photograph myself. I would have to say that yes, it is a work I have never forgotten; and yes, it is perhaps a masterwork of Weston’s. Yet, no matter how well made my reminiscent ‘pepper’ is, it can never be a masterwork of mine. It was not my vision.
Now the question becomes, is it possible for me make a photograph that is truly authentic, and made with a unique workflow, then be seen and experienced as something unforgettable?
For many years, I have been interested in and experienced the effect ‘alpha state’ images (visions) have had on my artist within or my way of seeing. An alpha state is that half awake and half asleep awareness that can be experienced going into or coming out of sleep. It can also be brought about through a wide variety of meditation practices.
When I am in a more alpha state of awareness the most beautiful, and what I believe to be most authentic, images present themselves. They appear undirected by my conscience mind; they just appear, as it would seem, on their own. They are not reminiscent of any artwork that I can recall.
I believe, or, at least, I am considering, that if I have a good chance of creating a masterwork under any definition, it may well have to come from this alpha state resource. Even though I cannot know from where or if these images have an ‘outside’ influence, they do appear as the purest form of authenticity that I have to offer.
Now comes the concern of how a workflow, coming from my conscience and awake mind, honors the perceived authentic nature of the alpha state vision. The faces, lines, macro-level detail, moody light, and 3D shapes are so varied. They almost insist on their own unique photographic capture and post-process workflow. The razor-sharp lines and intimate fractal design workflows are counter to what is needed for the faces and shapes that are more pictorial in presentation.
I do not have an adequate answer to this concern. I do believe that learning and experiencing more about how an alpha state awareness affects the creation of art has high merit. For this artist quest, I feel a certain excitement.