Entoptic Object

by William Fairbrother

Humans have made been making marks long before the advent of the sophisticated, diverse, and culturally-specific languages that manifest themselves in various forms of writing and type populating the world today.

These alternative marks are not socially or culturally determined, instead rooted in human biology; therefore universally recognisable.

Entoptic phenomena occur in our brains. These internal psychological shapes, like Jung’s archetypes, are externalised in the real, material world through cave/rock art, psychological experiments of the 1960s, indigenous art, even more modern abstract art.

Considering that entoptic phenomena are something inherently human, existing in the past and continuing to pervade our lives, I set about creating a timeless, ambiguous, and fictitious artefact to explore their lack of spatial or temporal context.

The 15 most cited entoptic phenomena (Kellogg, Knoll and Kugler, 1965) have been inscribed onto a sherd-like piece of clay sculpted from London clay dug from my garden. It bears resemblance to petroglyphs cut into rocks that are still objects of wonder today.

Dating rock art is difficult, for you cannot date a void, a lack of matter. To date the rock itself would be futile. Petroglyphs exist therefore in a timeless realm

In contrast to the physical, hands-on experience of inscribing into clay, I have digitally mapped the object and projected onto its surface new images/shapes that shed light on human cognition in the form of coloured MRI scans of the brain.

More on William’s web site.