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Liminal mind, creative consciousness: From the artists’ vantage point

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It has been said that our ability to identify and describe consciousness is like that of a fish describing water. Since a fish has always been immersed in water it cannot provide an accurate description. It stands to reason then that those who have experienced alternative states of consciousness have unique insight into the nature of consciousness. The historic use of imagery, music, poetry and other creative forms to describe as well as communicate not only emotion, not only intellectual data, but also states of consciousness – states of ‘being’ is well documented. Celtic poetry, Greek mythology, African ritual rhythms and contemporary creative works can be viewed as notational systems that encapsulate states of consciousness and could be investigated as such. As our creative instruments become more sophisticated our ability to express states of consciousness does as well and as a natural extension of this creative process, the artists’ exploration of consciousness equally intensifies and expands. As the Surrealists explored sub-consciousness, what areas of consciousness does contemporary creativity explore?
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Keywords: altered state; automatic pilot; consciousness; creativity; improvisation; liminal; surrealist; technoetics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Plymouth

Publication date: May 17, 2012

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  • Technoetic Arts focuses upon the juncture between art, technology and the mind. Divisions between academic areas of study, once rigidly fixed, are gradually dissolving due to developments in science and cultural practice. This fusion has had a dramatic effect upon the scope of various disciplines. In particular, the profile of art has radically evolved in our present technological culture
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