World-renowned philosopher David Chalmers has developed the inspiring notion of an extended mind in an extended self that surrounds the luminous fundamental core, which is consciousness. The fire that makes anything matter, blazing in a somber physical world. Consciousness has been largely neglected even though we have absolutely nothing without it, and consciousness must reclaim its due place in our minds and culture.
The artist however doesn’t create from consciousness alone, but much farther into the self and deeper into the world. The creative process goes visibly beyond the skull as technology increasingly takes over functions of the mind. Memories of forms or the sense of shapes, for example, could be scattered and reorganized around in the artist’s studio as handwriting notes, sketches, projections, screenshots, website indexes or any kind of information technologies. These memories would be retrieved and reprocessed just like the ones in the temporal lobe. A myriad of technologies around participate in our decision making, shape our emotions and are in fact part of ourselves. Our wearable computers, cloudy artificial intelligences and infinite software devices are intertwined in our cognitive processes, but even modern cameras or rudimentary instruments like brushes or chisels are extensions of mind and body.
Art is an experience of the mind in its creation and its reception, mediated by the artwork and its aesthetic qualitative truths. But where does the mind cease to exist and the artwork commence independently? And where does art give way to other aesthetical phenomena before the conscious beholder?
Modern and contemporary art have wandered by the obscurities of the unconscious for so long, but neglected the fundamental light at the core. Arts of all sorts are called here to join this pivotal time in the examination and discovery of the conscious mind. David Chalmers has explored the extended mind, consciousness, and the place of conscious experiences in an epistemological construction of the world, staying at the forefront of the philosophical and scientific debate of the mind. These territories give inspiration to Art takes Manhattan to curate an exhibition that aims at shedding light on the hard problem of what is that something it is like to be oneself. Art takes Manhattan is resolved to display how art can illustrate the ineffable and contribute to its understanding. What is it like to be oneself, if nothing else than an extended self.