The Infinite Void Within

"The currents of the universal being circulate through me."

Sabrina Nowling
March 7, 2016
The Magnificent Void
I made this piece for a project in my English II class. This design project is partly based on the essay Remix: The Art and Craft of Endless Hybridization, by Michele Knobel and Colin Lankshear. Their definition of remix is to take cultural artifacts and combine and manipulate them into new kinds of creative blends. We do this all the time all over the world; in fact it is inescapable to not at least experience remixing in our everyday lives. I think part of the reason of why that is may be the endless supply of artifacts cultures create everyday, combined with all the artifacts that date back to antiquity. Remix has been expanded from music and sound, to images, film stills, personal archives, and text in books and publications. The authors state that we remix meanings whenever we take an idea, artifact, or particular stretch of language and integrate it into what we are saying or doing at the time.
            According to this essay, whenever we discuss a book or a film we take the original author’s creativity and remix it into our own lives. Artists face the remix hundreds of times day to day, for example mixing found images with original images to express a theme or idea. As an art student and printmaker with a graphic design background, the image remix is my second nature. We create mood boards for design class that use a mix of images to convey a feeling about a project design. In printmaking we use appropriated imagery to create collages that tell new stories like the Bauhaus art movement did. The authors write that the art of remix is high quality when the elements of aesthetics, appreciation, form and composition are taken into consideration. Also, that part of being a successful remixer is to recognize the technical dimension involves knowing one’s way around the process and tools for encoding meanings one seeks to articulate.
         This piece was inspired by my studies on the sublime while reading the books Beyond the Finite and The Neural Sublime. My favorite quotes in each book are: “Rather than in the things of nature, the sublime is to be found only in our perceptions, when our inability to estimate the magnitude of things makes us aware of a super-sensible faculty within us. There are parts of the brain where rapid eye movement dreams are generated in higher brain regions by neural circuits that are more ancient than the ones that allow us to be awake - a sublime paradox.” (Beyond the Finite) and "If you’re part of the great cosmic dance, other than a mere spectator, then your inevitable death should be seen as a joyous reunion with nature rather than a tragedy." (The Neural Sublime)
In this remix collage I chose the eyeball/moon to represent the vastness within us for the brain itself expands to cosmic proportions and figuratively swallows the universe. The micro-macrocosms of the universe are present within our eyes, and the void is a great gift that can be received through meditation in nature. The dark blue void/night sky in the piece is representative of the pure fear our rational minds experience when we ponder infinity of time and death. These deep feelings invoke the true sublime by overtaking our senses with the unknown and then by letting go with no notions. This phenomena is explained by the Kantian sublime: This begins with an attempt on the part of the mind to grasp at the infinite or infinitely vast, to then the failure or moment if mental collapse, which followed and compensated for by a feeling that the mind has a power surpassing any standard of sense. Finally, the quote, "I have become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all;" by Ralph Waldo Emerson was not only included as an aspect of this remix piece, but to pay homage to all of the great thinkers who ponder the rapture of the sublime.