In this series of works I meditate on seeing. I give hints to the viewer concerning what the exhibition is about, but she or he should go through it themselves, and experience it in a way that is appropriate to each one.

The above drawing is a section of Seeing, one of the 'Tack board Pictures', to follow. A fuller and more complex explanation of the exhibition follows the pictures.

Your first view (left), as you enter, is of an installation in two rooms.
(The beige rectangle above the stairs is the entrance into the next room.)
When you look left, you see the Night Notes (below). These are notes which I write on a note pad next to my bed, when I am half asleep and half awake.

They come from a not entirely understood realm of awareness, which is perhaps part of the 'realm' of dreams, and dreams is a way of seeing. So the meditation starts.

The night notes are sewn on to cotton wool, to suggest the softness of sleep, and then onto acetate, which is transparent and yet solid. This suggests going from one area of consciousness to another.

Below is the 'night notes compartment' of the installation. 'Falling' from a hole in the roof are more night notes, sellotaped in long rows, suggesting how they come from 'somewhere'.

Night notes  Night notes (Floor)  Night notes
If you turn right inside the 'night notes corner' you will see a white work with mainly black ink markings on.
These are impulses coming from … where? The work has holes in, covered with acetate, to show how our awareness goes back and forth between an irrational and a rational place: on the other side of the same work are more understandable things: hands clapping, trees against a blue sky, letters of a word ('conflict')

The Trees of the Fields

And the rest, my dear friends, is explained after the photos. If you want to read it you are welcome, and if you do I hope you enjoy it!

The present project is the most recent phase of the pursuit of a life long interest in the exploration and development of the human potential. I am particularly interested in what the human brain and mind is capable of, and also in the realm of the soul. Concomitant with this is an interest in how and what we see, both with our physical eyes as well as with the so-called 'mind's eye'.

I do not wish to preach to the reader, I simply feel it is only fair to one taking the trouble to read this that I explain what the basic point of departure of my thinking is. The reader will be spared having to seek it out, and will be able to evaluate my communication with less effort. My basic point of departure is lodged in my personal understanding of certain New Testament teachings. I do not wish to impose this on the reader, merely to clarify it, and the reader is of course free to think what he chooses of my communicated understanding.

The first two of the underlying three underlying 'tenets' of the present project are also the underlying idea of the previous project, namely 'seek ye first the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 6:33) and 'the kingdom of heaven is within you' (Luke 17:21). The third underlying 'tenet' is 'the last enemy … is death' (I Corinthians 15:26). I relate at least part of 'seeking' the 'kingdom of heaven' that is 'within' us to investigating the human potential, particularly the capabilities of the eye, the brain, the mind and the nature of the soul. Seeing has a particular place in this economy for me because some types of seeing produce a sense of timelessness, of eternity, in the beholder.

A poem of Rimbaud comes to mind, for example, which communicates how the sight of sun on an expanse of water produces an experience of eternity in the beholder . Why, I ask myself. Are these the first springs of a time when there will be no more death while we are still in a human body? Recent advances in medical science make these ideas seem less 'airy fairy' than not long ago, as the research of the Cambridge gerontologist Aubrey de Grey, for example, suggests. The popular health guru Deepak Chopra has also put forward a case to this effect (Chopra 1993).

This, then, is the 'pool' of beliefs and ideas which underlie my project.

The present project is a questioning of and investigation into mental processes which I experience and do not entirely understand, processes which involve switching between different types of mental processing, and the actual mechanics of the different types of processing, including what popular psychology calls the 'right and left modes' of the brain.

Before discussing the specific works and the form of presentation of my work I would like to make a last introductory comment. The practical component was made parallel with the theoretical research, and therefore the practical component mirrors the process and progress of the research, and not its final conclusion, namely that a central 'organizing energy' of the meditation in the 'Bath Series' seems to be the metastable switch which Gandelman calls the 'Ur-Gestalt' (1989: 209), which only crystallized out at the end.

Much of the research involved considerations relating to visual and verbal processing, and this switching is shown and considered in much of my practical work. Some critics see the switching of aspects as an uninteresting banality , but I see it as having a relationship with the different ways or 'modes' in which the brain processes information, and I find this more interesting than I have words for. However, the installation does not focus on metastability, it considers broader issues relating to mental processing in which the eye, the brain and the mind participate, and which manifest in particular examples during the course of art history. One of my questions is into what direction is all of this pointing? Never dying?

2.The two sided works
There are five works worked on both sides, namely Ode to the Switch (14), Where do We go from Here? (6), The Trees of the Fields (5), Textur If you Could Read My Mind (24), and Thank U Jasper Johns (23).
Ode to the Switch ii is covered with writing in a blue fountain pen. The writing relates, broadly, to the meditation on seeing which is the topic of the inquiry. The writing is continuous and develops by association, therefore it forms an integral part of the meditation of the body of work. For example, I put the sheet of paper on which the writing is done rapidly into a bath with water in to make the ink run and also to make it wet and more receptive to the ink that I poured onto the other side, which is side i of the work. Two corners of the sheet are folded over from the writing side to the 'ink blot' side and sewn into position along the outside cut of the paper, into the inside of the 'ink blot' side. The alphabet side suggests the part of the brain which deals with verbal processing, and the running ink suggests the way the verbal transmutes into the suggestive Gestalt-like 'clouds' on the other side of the sheet, and vice versa. Side i suggests processing according to visual 'rules', for example the light blue horizontal lines which become darker suggest a seascape, while the curved horizon suggests that the viewer is not observing a conventional seascape, but participating in a questioning permutation of the mind, questioning how we see, how we process what we see, and how we interpret the fruits or results of the processing. The 'Gestalt clouds' can evoke the well known past time of seeing images in the clouds (such as camels, faces and so on) . The work demonstrates a switching between the verbal and the visual, between word and image, and the folded over and sewn on corners suggest that their interaction is indissolubly linked. Sewing with a needle and thread is a simple yet laborious method of joining two materials. It evokes various aspects of mental processing, which can sometimes be as slow as working by hand.This and the other two sided works were made in sympathy, as it were, with thoughts Jasper Johns expresses in his writings,  namely,

    2 kinds of "space"
    one on top of the other
    one "inside" the other (is one a detail of the other?)
    " "around" " "
    What can one do with "one includes the other"?
    "something" can be either one thing or another
    (without turning the rabbit on its side)
    (Sketchbook [n.d.] 1968-69) (Castleman 1986: 23).

Here the '2 kinds of space' suggest, for me, the two mental spaces, or areas in the brain, where verbal and visual processing take place.

The title Ode to the Switch suggests that when the two modes work in concert they can produce something mysterious and beautiful, which the work is to me, and so suggests the 'undefined' and 'ineffable'. The words are hung up side down to suggest the metastable switching of aspects.

Where do We Go from Here?  asks a very broad question about the general state of global culture and the contemporary world,  especially in the light of what is being discovered about the abilities of the human organism and mind.  Duchamp’s  ‘attack on mathematical or aesthetic absolutes’  (Dalrymple Henderson 1998a: 188)  has contributed to relativizing absolute beliefs.  Nothing seems to be forbidden,  and in addition advances in the fields of medicine and genetics suggest that human bodies and minds can regenerate indefinitely (De  Grey,  Chopra;  cf.  Isaiah 25:8,  26:19,  1 Corinthians 15:26),  given suitable conditions.  The work is done in a graffiti style to suggest it is a question for everybody,  for the  ‘street’,  rather than for a particular set of  ‘chosen’  only.  In the lower right corner is pasted a section torn from a local daily newspaper showing Damien Hirst with his painting Death Denied  (2007),  and this contributes to putting the work into a contemporary idiom.  Side ii of the work has,  to my mind,  aesthetic qualities,  for example the varied qualities of line,  colour,  tone and composition.  A visual language in undeniably present,  but it cannot be adequately encoded into verbal terms.  As such it is indexical of the  ‘undefined’.


The Trees of the Fields is one of my suggested answers to the question Where do We Go from Here? The work is two-sided. The yellower side uses iconic and indexical signs to suggest a more verbal, rationally encoded representational mode, while the whiter side suggests a more irrational, visual encoding. Holes have been cut into the paper and covered with acetate to suggest the circulation of meaning and communication between the two sides. Red paint, staples and sewing used to attach the acetate to the paper suggest that the communication is sometimes difficult and painful. The cut out letters in riffle cardboard spell the word 'conflict', although it is not so clear. The letters on side ii are reversed, and recall the reversed letters used by Johns and da Vinci, as well as the 'reverse world' that Alice enters when she goes 'through the looking-glass' into 'wonderland' , by following a white rabbit that carries a clock which goes backwards and of which the numbers are reversed. My work White Rabbit (number 16), and the acetate in The Trees of the Fields speaks to this. On the largest section of acetate I traced the outlines of Magritte's 1964 work The Difficult Crossing. It shows an eye inside a dismantled room drawn in conventional one point perspective - the 'sides' of the perspective 'box' have been dismantled. The somewhat wooden eye is looking at a storm at sea outside. The organic lines of the lightening bespeak the irrational, 'visual', organic, processes which the eye/brain/mind is aware of, beyond the broken perspective box. Magritte's painting is, in a way, a terse formulation of my presentation.

I came upon the title of the work The Trees of the Fields while I was considering an answer for the question Where do We go From Here? I turned to my personal beliefs and the words 'the trees of the field shall clap their hands', from Isaiah 55:12, came to mind. It is an optimistic vision of the future,

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth in singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands (English Standard Version (copyright 2001).

This is a 'vision', seen by the 'mind's eye', and in as much as it involves religious experience. The 'soul' would also be involved. When the prophet Isaiah 'saw' his vision some not fully understood cerebral processes were involved, and there is no common consensus regarding the location of the space in which his vision was (is?) located. As words of a prophecy the passage carries a sense of an eternal life for me, a life which would involve making better use of the potential of our brain and its various functions, among other things. The image of trees clapping their hands is visual and irrational, and comes from the part of the eye, the brain and the mind which is beyond reason. While drawing the clapping tree/hands of this work the side of the hand started looking like the side view of a dove to me. As I was thinking about this in a semi-waking state I remembered a work of Magritte with a hand like that in it. I found that it was The Difficult Crossing (mentioned above), in a book on Magritte which I had bought a few decades ago, and that is how it came into this work. In The Trees of the Fields I sewed a border around my hand/dove drawing and the hand I copied from Magritte's work onto the acetate, to show a connection between the rational/representational and the irrational/'dream' experiences. The sewing by hand again translates a laborious and sometimes painful process, which is how I at times experience the switching between different modes of mental processing, and which is the pivotal issue of this research.

All the details of the work are involved with this idea, for example on the yellower, representational side there is, along the top part of the work a row of fairly iconic green trees with brown trunks against a blue horizon. On the other side are drips of black paint on white paper. When I started the work I took a sponge full of black paint and squeezed it out along the top edge of the paper and let it drip down both sides in the same way, simultaneously. On the representational side I made ('verbal') 'sense' out of the lines by making them into trees against a horizon, while on the 'irrational, visual' side I let the feel of the lines direct me as energies which inspired me to make more energy lines, in a way similar to the automatic writing practiced by the Surrealists, except that I was not writing in words but recording energies from a not entirely rational state. The repeated lines on the 'rational' side showing the vibrations of the clapping hands could suggest the meanings of the work reverberating without ever reaching a finality. The riffle cardboard and 'riffle' paint marks, done with a riffle sponge roller, also suggest a continuing reverberation of some kind of vital energy which cannot be expressed verbally.

(see above)

If You Could Read My Mind was made later and is therefore less literal and more suggestive than the earlier works - the 'visual mode' had become more activated. I let a glove fall onto tulle, and sewed it onto the tulle in the position that it fell, thus working like the Surrealists, such as Jean/Hans Arp did, who let papers fall onto a surface according to the laws of chance and then fixed them where they fell, so that reason would not interfere with its conditioning and determining action. This indicates 'chance' and workings of the mind which are not entirely understood, yet, as I see it, vital for survival into the future. The title suggests that there is a lot that we do not know, and at the same time it suggests that it is not possible to 'decode' all the workings of the unknown functions of the mind into verbal terms - 'If you could read my mind - but you cannot because a verbal system does not furnish you with adequate tools with which to do it'.

The top, largest, laboriously one word is 'textur', 'texture' deliberately miss spelt to draw attention to 'text', something which is written in words of some sort, and then also to 'texture', to suggest that even words are entities which the mind first 'feels' and then codes into learnt meanings. The work should suggest the relativity, even the arbitrariness, and the ephemerality of meanings which are created by the verbal, representational, symbolic processing mode of the brain. The tulle is not cut into a neat square to further suggest its ephemerality, as something passing and not permanent, and the letters in the tulle also suggest something flimsy and fragile caught in a net, which can easily escape and disintegrate.

The position into which the glove fell looks uncomfortable, perhaps as if the hand is pulled up in a cramp, or scratching against a wall of an imprisoning surface. This would again suggest the difficulties of the communications between the two modes of processing. The raw, unworked, black side of the glove is seen when looking at the writing from the 'right' side, to suggest the finality of a conventional mind set, while the glove on the 'reverse' side of the writing is in 'magical' violet/lilac/iridescent colours suggesting the vital, creative, processing functions of the eye, the brain and the mind.

(no image avaialble)

In this work I thank Jasper Johns for his mental voyages into the not well known or understood regions of awareness, of consciousness, of the mind and probably of the soul. I have written the title of the work in Tippex along the top right section of the vertical right side of the format with the Ns, K, Js and S reversed, as a recognition of how he and da Vinci have treated this phenomenon in their work. 'The white Tippex cirlces and spots recall spiral galaxies,  suggesting an opening into new realms of spatial awareness

This suggestion is 'qualified', in a sense, by the three drawings deliberately placed in equally sized rectangles, equidistant from each other, along the lower horizontal edge of the format, and each one is 'affixed' by two illusionistic nails with illusionistic shadows in the top corners against/'against' the 'backdrop' of black blackboard paint. The first contains Johns' rendering of the facial features he encountered in the drawing of Bettelheim's schizophrenic child patient, the second the doubled face of his reworking of Picasso's Straw Hat with Blue Leaf, Untitled, and the third is his rendering of the old/young woman drawing. I copied these drawings, aligned and placed as they are on the format, from his Untitled (1986), (98. R&F 298-9). I see them as three questions, in a sense the same question, that he asks about the location of the awareness of the perception and of the experience of space that is indicated by each drawing. He places the child's drawing, Picasso's drawing and the metastable drawing on the same level, and thus, as well as by their size, he gives them equal importance. I admire this, namely that he sees the same questions about the interactions between the eye, the brain and the mind in works (of an ill child, Picasso, and the metastable image) that conventionally have very different statuses from each other when considered art critically.

In the just mentioned Untitled of 1986 the 'backdrop' of the work is flowing Isenheim sections. In a 1987 Untitled (98a. R&F 298) he aligns the same three drawings in the same place, order and size, but this time each against a hanging cloth/'hanging cloth' which in turn is affixed/'affixed' with shadowed nails against an Isenheim backdrop with hanging cloth-like qualities. Each work thus poses the question of what is behind the flimsiness and instability of perceived reality in its own way, and to me it suggests that behind this film there is an enormous ineffable.

In Thank U J. Johns I painted the 'backdrop' with black blackboard paint. The 'blackboard' with white, chalk-like Tippex drawing suggests a didactic, step by step spelling out of the questions, to which there are nevertheless no entirely palatable answers available at the present time that I am aware of. In this my work is conceptually related to Magritte's Les deux mystères (1966) which shows his This Is Not a Pipe (1928)

composition on a blackboard mounted on an easel. Its proper site is not the museum or gallery, but the classroom, and its function is as a pedagogical primer (Mitchell 1994: 66).

These were the two sided works.

3.The tack board.
3.1 Introduction to the tack board.
The next eight works were made when I 'officially' turned my attention to the practical component, to 'start' it. I set myself the task of producing a number of 'final', completed works. As Johns 'parades' his questions and meditations on seeing in the 'Bath Series', I do the same in these eight works. The first work I made of this group is called Seeing (10i), and it 'parades' various questions about seeing, placed along a section of a circle, suggesting perhaps a merry-go-round, or the old fashioned 'binoculars' into which one inserted a cardboard wheel with a series of coloured photos of a particular subject, such as the Eiffel Tower or Mount Fuji. I 'parade' my series of questions, partially inspired by the study of the 'Bath Series', and elaborate some of them further in the works which follow. This set was placed against the back wall of the larger room of the Substation, pinned onto tack board (3.66 x 7.32 m), with pins a various points in the work, and threads running between the pin points, to show how they interconnect with each other and other works of the installation. The viewer could follow the connections, which demonstrate logical thought process as well as non-logical thought which proceeds by association rather than by step by step logic, and seeing would have initiated the processing.

When one first looks at Seeing the immediate impression can easily be that of a complicated mess. This is acceptable, because it speaks to the complex nature of seeing that this research is investigating. Closer looking soon reveals a fairly simple basic compositional structure, namely the top section of a near-arc placed diagonally across the format. The images are ordered according to the curve of the arc, and this impression should supersede an initial impression of visual disorder. Each viewer will then engage differently with the work by starting at a point which interests or attracts them, and then follow where this leads, to the next and the next and the next point, and so on. Thus the viewer participates in the questioning or meaning forming activity which the installation is performing. I shall next give a few examples of suggested routes around the installation. These are the routes I set out for the examination, and they are, to me, the most crucial.
3.2 Suggested tack board routes

One enters the exhibition space by the larger doors of the Substation, and sees against the wall opposite a tack board with eight drawings nailed to it. There seem to be a few lines drawn across the works. As one approaches one sees different coloured threads, held in place at certain points by pins. Possibly the most obvious is a thicker, silky red embroidery type of thread. Its beginning is nailed close to a sketch of a cow, with rocks above it which suggest a profile. This is a copy of Gauguin's Seascape with Cow or Above the Abyss (1888) . The viewer first sees a sketched representation of a cow and rocks, but then the mind leaps or switches into another perceptual space and sees a profile and a bovine shape in the rocks. 'Abyss' could express a fear of falling into this unknown perceptual space. The red thread leads to Ten Commandments as a Landscape (10vi), where the rock/profile has become more evident and the bovine looking rock on the left more bovine. The horror vacui of the rock/profile has become more evident . The rock images have 'switched' into profiles by processes for which, to my knowledge, no adequate explanation exists at the present time.

The viewer may then follow the red thread along the wall, through the threshold into the smaller room, left across the width of the room, to where the thread goes through a sheet of photocopy paper, sewn onto a sheet of tulle hanging close to the top of the ceiling, in the top right corner. At the point where the thread enters the paper there is a depiction of the switching vase/goblet image.

On the tulle, titled Can of Worms Notes (30), are more photocopies with metastable images on, namely the Necker cube, the duck/rabbit, and the old/young woman, which initiated this work when I saw the Drawings of Jasper Johns exhibition in the Hayward gallery in 1990 . The photocopies are from Gandelman's article on da Vinci's painting Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (1510), which discusses da Vinci's interest in metastability (1977: 160-1, 163, 170). Further photocopies on the same tulle show da Vinci's exploratory sketches for the painting, particularly his seeming searching for satisfactory positions for the feet, for which different places are repeatedly tried out. On the same sheet are his drawings of a steel rod going through wheel, implying a turning round and round, like the abovementioned feet, and like the mind searching for a satisfactory aesthetic solution for the figures' feet to rest. I see this spinning around as analogous to stitching between possibilities, as the search for what looks 'right' continues (and this links, by a fairly long path, with sinstra/dextra (19), that is left/right issues).

The sheets of paper on this tulle relate to thoughts, intuitions and the like, about the abilities of the eye, the brain and the mind, for example the small copy of the well known profile by da Vinci showing the eye's 'three-bubbled' connections with the brain, with little passages between them leading to a part of the brain into which rays of some sort are shining diagonally, slightly tilted upwards, suggestive to me of the sky, realms of the mind, soul, and the unknown.

This particular painting, the V&CSA remains 'unquiet' as the feet, arms and legs have not settled into the 'right' place, and as such it continues to be a questioning work which testifies to the processes of the mind which are not entirely understood. That is why it is in my 'tack board collection'. Its presence is motivated by the Mona Lisa iron on in the 'Bath Series', in fact I first became aware of the V&CSA's 'seeing problems' while investigating the Mona Lisa for the 'Bath Series'. I came across references in Gandelman (1977) and Gamboni (2002a: 188), for instance, to Freud's theory that da Vinci drew a vulture in the Virgin's lap as a result of complex destabilized visual perceptions. After some research I decided Freud's theory is not correct because it is based on a mistranslation of the Italian nibbio into 'vulture', while it actually means 'kite' (Constatino and Reid 1991:16). I nevertheless feel that Freud was aware that there is an unresolved 'seeing problem' in the work, although I do not agree with his explanation of it.

While meditating on the seeing questions in the V&CSA I thought that all the questions that arise are really like a can of worms opening up, and then front leg of the Virgin looked like a worm or larva of some sort to me. I decided to play with it, since I am observing and investigating the mind which 'plays', the non-rational, non-verbal mode, 'visual mode', as I have explained.

A wavy copper wire comes out of the photocopy of the V&CSA in Can of Worms Notes. Over the photocopy is a sheet of tracing paper, with the traced larva/leg cut out and put alongside the opening in the tracing paper left by the cutout. This cutout was used as a template for the subsequent larva/leg shapes. All of this is put into an A4 plastic folder, and sewn closed all around in fairly large, fairly loose stitching. The wavy copper wire imitates the Virgin's larva/leg, bent slightly at the knee, and the viewer may follow the wire through the threshold back into the larger room. It first comes to rest at a thumbtack stuck into Seeing at a very bright, colourful collection of larva/legs, arranged into a circle emanating from a central point. Light blue circling coloured pencil lines follow the circular movements of the spinning larva/legs, recalling da Vinci's spinning wheels in Can of Worms Notes. The bright spinning wheel is a kind of variation on the smile of the Mona Lisa - a mystery laughing at humanity trying to understand and explain things which cannot be put into words, which 'do a lot better' when translated into visual terms and function according to 'visual mode' processes, which are not, as far as I know, fully understood.

The copper wire continues its route and finds its next resting place on a grey variant of the larva/leg. The viewer may then pause and look along the semi arc on which it is resting. The viewer will see three versions of the V&CSA in different styles, showing different types of mental processing, and alongside the arc of V&CSAs a small, pen drawn diagram showing Freud's perception of the obliquely orientated vulture in the Virgin's lap, showing it is part of this group of questions. The second highest V&CSA variant is an abstracted version of the work, and the last one, above it, is changing into a more cubist version, and is in conversation with the photoreceptors at the photoreceptor's party, along a straight line with them. A sufficiently curious viewer will read the words in the speech bubbles and notice that the photoreceptors are discussing Marcel Duchamp, who said that he was against a purely retinal art, for example,

Marcel Duchamp … moved his work through the retinal boundaries which had been established with Impressionism (Vb: 22).

The photoreceptors are not overly impressed with Duchamp, as their conversation shows. A pinned thread leads from this location to At The Photoreceptor's Party (10v), which is an enlargement of this section of Seeing, to which I shall return further on.

The lingering unresolvedness of the V&CSA of da Vinci bears a relationship with the Mona Lisa, of which the 'seeing problem' of the smile has not yet, to my knowledge, been satisfactorily resolved.

To summarize, then, the red thread leads to the basic theoretical underpinning of the installation, namely a meditation on seeing, with metastability as its cornerstone, when it stops at the row of metastable figures in the lower row of photocopies in the Can of Worms Notes. The copper wire leads the viewer back to the tack board, where one can decide which 'route' to take next - suggestions are made by different coloured and textured threads, each with its own coloured circular stickers to mark out the route more clearly. I will make brief comments about the suggested routes to give more of a sense of the nature of the meditation, and then about the experience of space, which is one of the main ingredients of installation.

, a pin is stuck close to the words 'unreal city', recalling T. S. Eliot's poem The Wasteland (1922) , and a thread leads from there to the work at the top left, Questions that are too difficult to answer, sometimes to ask, even (10viii). The thread stops at a pin stuck in what seems to be a flow of lines, but because of slight colouring one may prise out lines suggesting a kneeling figure, with a yellow line coming out of the eye/head area. Above it is written 'I saw a new heaven and a new earth' (Revelation 21:1) The 'prising out' recalls da Vinci's recommendation to painters to 'prise out' images from cracks in rocks (Gamboni 2002a: 29), and the Isenheim figure which must be 'prised out' in the 'Bath Series'. The thread continues along the wall, with periodical dots on it, to The Trees of the Fields (5). The final dots are at the words 'The trees of the fields shall clap their hands', taken from the book of Isaiah 55:12 . The lower section of the work curves slightly to anticipate the arrival of the thread from the 'new haven and the new earth'. This was one of several 'happy accidents' which occurred when the work was being installed, and which necessitated my revision of this section, which describes the installation as it was installed. The words from Isaiah are a suggested answer to the question above it, posed in a graffiti type of writing, against a suggested brick wall, Where do We Go from Here? (6). The vision of the prophet is also a type of Seeing, when the 'figure' of the future is being prised out from the 'ground' of the present, when, arguably, a perceptual shift in time and space takes place.

Returning to Seeing, a transparent (glass-like) pin is stuck next to a speech bubble containing writing in pencil, and reads, 'What do you think of Marcel Duchamp?'. The photoreceptor is not very happy with Duchamp, as we have said. A pale green thread leads from this to the work above to the left of it, The Caterpillar of Consolation (10vii). The pink caterpillar consoles the photoreceptor by telling it that it should read on, that is look at the contents inside the three near squares in its (the caterpillar's) body: Impressionist or 'retinal' painting, then Duchamp's progressive photos of himself descending a staircase which can be seen, art historically, as the next step after Impressionism, and a third, more exploded rendering suggesting in what varied ways art/'art' has developed since Duchamp. The caterpillar is a flipped or switched over version of the cloud in Duchamp's Large Glass (1923), of which the processing into a caterpillar is shown in Caterpillar of Consolation Notes (31) in the smaller room. The caterpillar consoles the photoreceptor by reminding it that Duchamp's remark must be seen in an art historical context, and that the photoreceptor should not take the remark personally. The levity provides relief from the serious subject matter of the work, while at the same time 'playing' as the flipped Play (33), which hugs the wall from the smaller into the larger room, enjoins one to do. The Dada movement, in which Duchamp played a significant role, was also characterized by, among other things, 'unseriousness'. Night Notes with Transitional Figure (11) echoes this in that the figure is a mealie leaf version of Hugo Ball in his shrimp costume, evident if one were to prise out the photo of this behind the transparent black cloth next to the figure. I saw the small, bowing, drawn mealie figure to the left of the transitional figure in a dream, and he reminded me a lot of Hugo Ball in his shrimp costume. There is, behind the same cloth, a copy of a page of Dada poetry below this group, which further continues the themes of play, Dada and seeing.

To return to The Photoreceptors' Party (10v), the 'receivers of light' in the retina are having a conversation about Marcel Duchamp because he was against the 'retinal painting' of the Impressionist movement - he was not satisfied to have only a play of light on the retina transcribed , but wished for the mind to be involved as well in 'seeing'. The backdrop of the drawing is a reworking of sections of the brain, showing the involvement of the brain in these matters. In the left section of the backdrop some of the brain forms are suggestive of gasping human heads, which express the ongoing longings of humans for something better, a 'beyond', a sublime, new vistas, perhaps a 'new heaven and a new earth'.

On the left 'foot' of the photoreceptor in the middle sits a collection of creatures. Upon closer inspection they will be recognized as the creatures surrounding the bent over figure in Goya's The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (c. 1797). They have also 'come to the party' because they, as part of Goya's etching, also have a place in the development of ways of seeing, and investigations into the interactions of the eye, the brain, the mind and the soul: Dada, of which Marcel Duchamp was a practitioner, explored the 'irrational', the subconscious and the unknown regions of the mind. Goya is given a place in this drawing because The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters speaks to a nascent awareness of these matters.

The creatures on the 'foot' of the middle photoreceptor are fed up because the bouncer at the party will not let them in. They feel entitled to enter because of their link with Surrealism, which followed Dada. The cat therefore says to the bouncer, We're from Goya, in case you don't recognize us.

The blue Duchamp line with blue dots, which started in Seeing, goes over the Photoreceptors' Party, along the wall , passing below the threshold of the door and above the Johns' 'blackboard' below, up the wall on the other side, into the smaller room, where it ties a knot with the threads coming out of Marcel Descending a Staircase (25).

The beholder has switched into a new space, and if she looked to the right she would see, by the light switch, a P version of the melted clock on a branch from Dali's Persistence of Memory (1933), and above it, seemingly ready to tip over, the seemingly unstable forms of Cézanne, the sphere, the cone and the cylinder. This corner refers to the discussions about the 'fourth dimension' in Paris in the 1920's in which Duchamp participated (Lebel 1958/1985). The alternative title of the Large Glass is The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, and according to Lebel, whose book on Duchamp Johns read in translation,

the function [of 'even'] is to project the title to another level, to make it deviate into another dimension which is evidently the fourth, that which Duchamp introduced by force … into his works (1958/1985: 173) (my translation).

The 'fourth dimension' represented a mental space beyond conventional reason, the space on the other side of the glass, perhaps, even, the glass through which one passes 'darkly' in order to gain access a clearer vision, to see 'face to face' (I Corinthians 13:12).

4. The experience of space.

Site specific installation involves making the site and its space part of the work  (O’Doherty   1999),  and to conclude the discussion of my work I shall address this matter. 

When one enters the installation Gniees  (‘seeing’  reversed)  by the large doors of the Substation the left side of the installation contains more visual information than the right side.  A long white line,  made up of night notes sellotaped together,  lies on the floor,  starting just right of the entrance,  and it moves in a slight diagonal direction,  leftwards towards the tack board against the opposite wall.  It stops just below the white circle of the Inventor of Chinese Writing had a Double Set of Eyes  (Gamboni  2002: 23)  (10iv).  The white  night note line and the  white ‘dot’  suggest the receding line and the vanishing point of perspectival space,  and it leads into the installation’s  ‘official’  starting point,  at the drawing Seeing  (10i)  on the tack board.  The cat-like creature in the  ‘white dot’  can be a doppelganger of the viewer picking his way through the installation.  To the left of the perspectival line are  ‘waves’  of night notes,  ‘washing out’  of a less conscious state,  the  ‘white corner’  to the left of the entrance door,   into more conscious work on the tack board.

Against the left wall there are two already mentioned lines with dots,  the large work  Puppy Experiments,  and next to it a P box with ten A6 books with Daily tree sketches,  e.a.  (9)  on it.  Just above it is the drawing Dream  -  At the Hairdresser  (8).  (5)  and  (6)  are placed parallel to the tack board wall,  thus creating a semi-enclosed space which contains a fair amount of material.  The smaller   ‘boxed’  area,  directly to the left when one enters,  is also a partly enclosed space,  which has a strong white component,  and carries a sense of pristine and almost impersonal cleanliness,  innocence and purity,  which could be the space most closely connected to the ineffable and the unknown because of the ten lines of sellotaped night notes coming from the ceiling.  The fluorescent ceiling light shines particularly strongly onto the top section of this white cascade of paper with semi-consciously made lines and writing on.  The physical height emphasizes the suggested vastness from where the notes are coming. 

Near the top of the further corner of the same wall are two shiny P forms which suggest inverted commas,  used to indicate quoted speech,  and they could suggest that this  ‘busy’  side of the installation is the verbal section of the space.  The inverted commas could also,  perhaps more importantly,  suggest that the whole installation is in inverted commas   because they could be embracing and enclosing the whole work.  They shift the awareness of space along the almost empty wall to the ceiling,  making one aware that one is indeed in a  ‘white cube’ (O’Doherty  1999).  The  ‘quotation marks’  can suggest that the building and its contents are fleeting and unstable,  just a few utterances forming part of the ongoing conversation of humanity about who we are,  where we come from,  where we are going,  and why?

When the brain tires from too much talking we are  ‘switched off’  and go to a quieter mental space,  the experience of which is suggested by the left side of the installation.  Two double sided works hang diagonally,  ‘pointing’  left to the emptier,  calmer walls.  One can circulate between the works and stop at various points.  At each stop,  from each viewpoint,  one perceives a different spatial organization because the relationships of the forms in the space change.  Ode to the Switch  ((14),  in particular,  seems to be floating because it is just below shoulder level away from the floor.  It works with the spaces created by the very transparent sinistra/dextra  (19)  (made from the negative shapes of the word  ‘conflict’  in The Trees of the Fields)  and the minimally used white wall to enable the experience of freer,  more open awareness.  11,  12 and 13 are calm works against the  ‘door wall’  of the right side of the space.  Once could say that the left side of the space is more  ‘left mode’-of-the-brain friendly,  while the space on the right is more  ‘right mode’  friendly.

The three pages of semi-calligraphic writing (15,  21,  26)  each contains a quotation that compares the  ‘verbal mode’  with the  ‘visual mode’  of the brain,  and thus relates to the spatial organization I have just discussed.  26 includes a small sketch of Redon’s  The Eye  like a Strange Balloon  Mounts towards Infinity  (1882),  and speaks to the experience of the eye and the mind of infinite space.

The glove of Textur If You Could Read my Mind  (24),  sewn onto tulle and surrounded by cotton thread writing,  at first seems to be floating because of the transparency of the tulle, and this adds to the experience of lightness and floating in the installation space.

5. Conclusion

I have not referred to the following works of the installation, and I shall now make very brief comments about some of them , proceeding numerically. Overall the titles of the undiscussed works give an indication of how they fit into the concept of the work, and further elaboration would make this reading too long, without necessarily adding anything pertinent to what has already been brought up.

Ticks (3) suggest day to day, ongoing process; Puppy experiments (7) are drawings done with the left and the right hand, with and without glasses, with the photos being copied orientated 'correctly' and up side down, in different states of mind, as becoming more aware of what the eye and the mind can produce in different states exercises; Dream - At the Hairdresser (8); Night Notes with Roots (12), Night Notes with Black Velvet (13); White Rabbit (16); More Puppy Experiments (17); Trying Out (18); From Behind (20); Ongoing Process, Bouquet for J. J. (22); the quote in Latin next to the fire hose (27), where it fit snugly into the space between the wall and the hose the first time I tried the works out in the Substation, and with its colours red, white and black working well with the wall and the hose, is nox est perpetua una dormienda, literally translated as 'night is perpetual, a having to be slept'. It is from one of Catullus' well known love poems in which he expresses his passion for 'Lesbia' (Carmen 5, line 6, Fordyce 1978: 4). I see it as a strong protest against death, and a profound, heartfelt statement in favour of life, and it is part this work's statement; Geometry Melting (28); Skin (29); P, shimmering pinkish objects, changing, various sizes; and Hanging onto the Vestiges of Sanity, with Puppies (10iii).

As the discussions of Seeing and V&CSA, for example, have shown, each work engenders a long route of references by association. The associations are mine, and not necessarily what would interest someone else. The purpose of the work was to engender an experience of process and further discussion and experiences which would have some kind of meaning for the viewer. Judging by the feedback I received from the show it achieved this purpose.

The above is an extract from my Masters dissertation. The full reference is, Smit, Susanna Margrietha. 2012. Instabilities of visual perception in the 'Bath Series' of Jasper Johns (1983-1988). Unpublished MAFA dissertation. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.