INTERVIEW: Deborah Cornell Talks About her Work Featured In The Sciart Center Exhibition "The New Unconscious"
By Danielle Kalamaras
Web Editor at SciArt in America
Deborah Cornell's work is featured in the virtual exhibition The New Unconscious currently on view on SciArt Center's website. The artist took the time to speak to me about her work and what the 'new unconscious' means to her as an artist:
Danielle Kalamaras: How do you define the "New Unconscious"?
Deborah Cornell: The newest thing about the “New Unconscious” is that it is fed by increasingly powerful means. Connections between physical data/experience and cerebral, remote worlds seem increasingly tangible.
The images in “Place/Trace” are remote in place and time, but reflect the involvement we have in our own existential touch and in the historical and analyzable evidence of the presence of human perception. Besides topography, the images parallel an aboriginally created Millingimbi bark painting from the early 20th century and a microphotograph of a partially burned section of cane recovered from a cave In Tennessee that had been used as a torch, ca. 200 BC.
Due to communicative and technological resources, this unconscious is a newly powerful societal influence rather than an individual structure. I found the curator’s overview for the exhibition insightful. It is the incidence and impact of combined perception that interests me.
click to continue this interview:
What part does this unconscious play in your work?
My work depends on remembered connections and imagined structures. It proposes the power of influence of constructs of the human mind on the environment, a serious major effect of unconscious perception on the external world.
Visual form implies physical effects. The work “Water Column” connects genetic material and mapping to observational images of storms over the Indian Ocean, postulating rhythmic echoes of condensed structures.
How does the unconscious affect your everyday perception and behavior?
Unconscious association melds with conscious perception imperceptively . Memory is tricky. The mental evocation of what Is, and of what wells up from prior experience and from “understood” structures of reality, are not unmixed. This influence of the mind can seldom be delineated, perhaps only refined.
The chemist Berzelius wrote in 1818 “All our theory is but a means of consistently conceptualizing the inward process of phenomena, and it is presumable and adequate when all scientifically known facts can be developed from it. This mode of conceptualization can equally well be false, and unfortunately presumably is so frequently. Even though at a certain period in the development of science, it may match the purpose just as well as a true theory.”
What does "SciArt" mean to you?
I am interested in perceiving seen and unseen worlds comprehensively and simultaneously. My interest in scientific analysis of reality originates with my early observational work on locations in the US. My objective became the creation of visual experience that expressed the not-seen, the evolution of forms underlying visual appearance, tactility and unconscious imagination. Technology offers multi-faceted conduits to see, experience, and process what we perceive as real. The incorporation of scientific imaging and investigation became an intrinsic part of how I define “seeing” in the larger sense.
The idea for “DarkLight” was conceived in Australia, in a perception of simultaneously illuminated parts of the world perceived in a single breathing space. It is informed both by diagrammatic hemispheric pressure measurements and by observed and imagined light effects.
Deborah Cornell's work is featured in the virtual exhibition The New Unconscious curated by Danielle Kalamaras. This exhibition features the work of 30 SciArt Center members. Click here to see all the featured artwork and to learn more about each artist.
The New Unconscious pop-up exhibition will be held October 3-4 with an opening on Saturday, October 2 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Live music and refreshments will be served.
The New Unconscious
The SciArt Center at Creations Gallery
89 Ave. C
New York, NY 10009
Want your work featured on SciArt in America's Blog? Tweet Danielle Kalamaras @danileekay to check out your artist website or portfolio.