Friday, March 22, 2013

The mind of an artist

An artist colleague once remarked that if I was to understand how artists think, I need to reverse roles in life. With a perplexed look, and a "huh? what does that mean," he suggested that I try working in the lab wearing my scuba suit. The next day I followed his suggestion ...

Showing up for a day's work, ready to experience the artist's mind.

Most of the day involves paperwork (sigh).

But occasionally I get to use fancy equipment, like this low voltage scanning electron microscope ...
... or the Albany high-voltage transmission electron microscope ...
It was hard to see anything through a fogged scuba mask.
Dejected and less inspired about understanding artists, I return to the lab. Sorry, Jan, it's better to collaborate with artists than it is to think like one ...

(Thanks to Amanda Andreas for taking these photos and tolerating my humor)


  1. 23: The artist may misperceive (understand it differently from the artist) a work of art but still be set off in his own chain of thought by that misconstrual.

    24: Perception is subjective.

    25: The artist may not necessarily understand his own art. His perception is neither better nor worse than that of others.

    26: An artist may perceive the art of others better than his own.

    27: The concept of a work of art may involve the matter of the piece or the process in which it is made.

    28: Once the idea of the piece is established in the artist's mind and the final form is decided, the process is carried out blindly.

    29: There are many side effects that the artist cannot imagine. These may be used as ideas for new works.

    30: The process is mechanical and should not be tampered with. It should run its course.

    First published in 0-9 (New York), 1969, and Art-Language (England), May 1969

  2. I found this post to be very informative!! thanks for all the good and useful facts!!