INTERVIEW: Sue Burickson talks about her work featured in the sciart center exhibition "the new unconscious"
By Danielle Kalamaras
Sue Burickson is a digital and video artist whose work is featured in the virtual exhibition The New Unconscious currently on view on SciArt Center's website. Her piece “You Need To Get A Life” explores the tensions that manifest between the mind and emotions that prevent the ability to rationally make decisions. She took the time to speak to me about her work and what the 'new unconscious' means to her as an artist:
DK: How do you define the "New Unconscious"?
SB: The old unconscious, popularized by Freud, especially in his signature work the "Interpretation of Dreams" which was written at the outset of the twentieth century was held to be merely a receptacle for all the dark aspects in human nature, including all our blind and brutish urges. In contrast, Jung took the position that the unconscious is not merely a reservoir of primitive urges that continually threaten our moral integrity, but at its root, creative and intelligent and therefore ultimately trustworthy. Furthermore, contact with the unconscious heals and makes us whole.
"The New Unconscious" reflects the influence of spiritual discipline in the West.
All functions and impressions which are not within our sphere of attention are considered unconscious. The necessary free attention for consciousness comes from another level. It is received by man and perceived in three different ways by his mind, feeling and body. These receptors have different speeds and consequently different durations. The free attention which enables man to be seen as a whole is activated when the receptors are in balance.
click to continue this interview:
What part does this unconscious play in your work?
For many years, I was a portrait painter. During that time I became increasingly aware of the fact that my paintings did not reflect the inner life of my subjects which was revealed to me through the intimacy developed while painting their portraits. This inner life is in movement . I needed a vehicle to express both this inner movement and the outer container. When small format video became readily available in the form of cellphones and tablets, I realized that I could speak about this inner life in the form of sculpture with embedded videos. The “Inner Life of Centaurs” was born.
“The Inner Life of Centaurs” considers man from the point of view of the relationship between conscious and unconscious influences on his dual nature. Man is a Centaur. He has both an animal and a human nature.
How does the unconscious affect your everyday perception and behavior?
Through work in the silence during meditation, I find that I am more able to be sensitive to influences whose realm lies beyond ordinary language. As such, I can bring more of myself into my art.
What does "SciArt" mean to you?
SciArt is the place where beauty meets logic. It is an attempt to blend the systematic approach of science with the intuitive aspects that contribute to the creation of art.
Sue Burickson'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 the artists.