BAMS Re-Visited: Developing a New Outcome.

When last developing BAMS, my outcome was left abandoned, unfinished, and barely touched after it had been removed from the bronze tree. The design was ineffective and I felt nothing for it; I did not want to look at it, or even bother with it. This led me onto my next decision – these poor attempts in bronze will be melted back down and I will start developing a new outcome.

I did re-visit my original concept and design, picking out the small aspects in which I did like. The constellation of the Polaris Star (Ursa Minor) and the stars that was meant to represent it. With this in mind, I went into rhino to start CAD sketching out new concepts.


I wanted my medal to convey a message, and my first attempts held no symbolic value in its meaning. This helped me moving forwards with developing a new design in CAD. As seen above, I have kept the Polaris Star (Ursa Minor) constellation. It is now the forefront of the medal. I found the space around the constellation visually pleasing and I wanted to add something else to the front of the design. I initially stayed clear of text, after hearing how many people had issues with typefaces and words last year. However, I have decided to challenge myself by re-visiting BAMS, so I opted for text.

bams 2

The quote in latin is one I made up myself one evening, when I was looking out into the night sky at the stars and the moon. This reminded me of someone I lost and I started to create this quote in a notebook, absent-mindedly. It was only when I came back to redesigning my BAMS medal that I realised it fitted in nicely with the concept.

bams 3

This led me to the experimentation of different fonts and typefaces – some were too small, too bulky, others were unlegible (particularly with the quote in latin) and I decided the generic typefaces pre-uploaded onto the system was not what I was looking for. I took to the internet and came across this font “Stars” by House of Lime, and it was almost like the typeface was made for my BAMS medal. After an email discussion with Charlie Bull, it was possible to install this new font onto the network computers and import it into Rhino.

bams 4

The font was an interesting result – the stars effect running throughout the lettering gave the lettering an antique feel. This made one of my friends question how I managed to make the lettering look antique. I worked with Charlie Bull with getting the text to curve around the medal, and this took longer than I anticipated, due to technical issues we had not anticipated. The text did not want to flow along the surface (rhino didn’t want to play ball). To tackle this issue, we created a new solid that emulated the original medal. This made it easier for the CAD software to curve the text around the object, and once it was done, I simply deleted the emulated surface. This left my text perfectly curved and allowed me to simply move it over onto my medal and make the necessary tweaks and adjustments.

ursa minor

The next challenge was tackling the opposite face of the medal. I decided to have the animal that represents the constellation on the back, and knew I could import vector files from Illustrator into Rhino. I found this image on google and it was exactly what I was looking for. This was taken into Illustrator, turned into a vector file then imported into Rhino.

bams 5

I had to tidy up the imported image, create a 3D surface out of it and re-adjust the sizing. There was a lot of extra bits floating inside the bear that was not needed. This surprisingly, was the quickest part of redesigning the new medal. I just need to now re-adjust the text size, turn the stars into fully enclosed 3D surfaces and it should be ready to 3D print. This will allow me to take it into the next process of a silicon mould, where I can then take it into wax, develop a wax tree and eventually do another bronze pour.


Art & The Conscious Mind: Material Experimentation.

Casting in Wax:

After developing my mould, I was able to begin experimenting with different materiality. My first experimentation was with wax (an already familiar process); the results were not exactly what I had hoped for, but nevertheless, it is still an amazing experience to see my artefact(s) come to life with each different materiality I choose to undertake. I chose wax first because, I wanted to see what the difference each outcome had, in terms of weight, texture and touch.

There is virtually no weight to the wax coins, which was interesting as it felt like you were holding nothing. I am aiming to try achieve an outcome with my coin design that has some weight to it when held in the hand – exactly like that of a £1 coin.

Another issue I found when casting in wax was that, due to the support structure for the ‘unconscious’ side when 3D printing, the text isn’t printable nor legible. This is demonstrated in my outcomes. At first too, the wax would not make it all the way down to the artefact’s shape in the mould. This was due to the small pour hole, and after every cast, I removed more and more away until I got a full coin result.

Casting in Pewter:

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Casting in pewter resulted in a nice, weighty outcome. There was some similar issues to that of casting in wax at first; the ‘unconscious’ text did not pick up. I did wonder at first if this was due to the wax or materiality I chose to cast in, but given that the second material experimentation proved the same issues in results, I feel I may have to change the typeface and see if a different, bulkier font may work more efficiently.

Despite the issues with the typeface that I decided to use, the weight of pewter is nice to hold and I was pleased with the material outcome when casting in pewter. At first, I tidied up the excess pewter by sawing off the excess. This did not take up much time at all. Afterwards, I filed the round edges of the coins with my filing tools to eradicate the sharp edges from when I removed excess material. Once this was done, I got 150 grade sandpaper to polish the round edges and both faces of the coins. This proved a nice result.

Art & The Conscious Mind: The Unity and Rationality of the Conscious Mind.

Art & The Conscious Mind.
Seminar: Professor Robert Pepperell. 01/02/18.

The Unity and Rationality of the Conscious Mind.

Assessment: 2 minute presentation, blog URL, making connections to your practice.

We are still thinking about art and the conscious mind, but unity and rationality

Lichtenstein Rouen Cathedral

Monet original painting, but Lichtenstein applied a technique to it. Cheap, crude process. High value images vs low value images.

Is your experience whilst seeing this painting (unified, holistic etc), or are you having many experiences?

You may see the cathedral and dots at the same time. You may not necessarily be able to focus on one part or whole of the painting.

Is your experience of seeing the painting rational?

Do you see the cathedral or dots? Or do you see the dots and the cathedral? There is a slight irrational experience of this painting.

Do you have one mind or many?

This question of a single thing or of many.

The unity of the conscious mind

Descartes 1912,  founder of western philosophy.

Manual Kant, 1900 “the unity of this apperception I call the transcendental unity of self-consciousness, in order to indicate the possibility of a Priori cognition arising from It.”

Monolithic coherence. von der Malsburg, 1997.

The binding problem…
When I see a red chair, the experience of ‘red’ is happening in a different part of my brain, and the chair is happening at another at different times. There is no current explanation to interconnect this phenomena.

Blayne and Chalmers, 2003.

Barry Dainton, 2003.

Corpus callosum. Surgeons cut a connection in the brain that stops epileptic seizures but caused side effects: two distinct personalities living with them. Two minds happening in the same head, at the same time. It is still practiced in today’s modern society.

Michael Gazzaniga.

This is evidence to suggest that the brain can hold more than a single mind and will cope.

O’Brien and Opie, 1998. They are saying thoughts going on at multiple times, your shopping or sound you heard over there etc.

Zeki, 2001. Essentially saying glue holds everything together.

The rationality of the conscious mind:

Lack of consciousness can be defence in law. This question of rationality is so important, especially in medical and law.

Are we rational? You can save £10 on £50 bill if you drive to a petrol station on the other side of town. You can save £10 on the price of £5000 pic if you drive the same distance, law of expected utility. Kahneman and Tversky 1979. We don’t often act in the way we should; we often make choices that are bad for us.

World health organisation states 1.5 million people die in a year when they fly. 50 million people are injured in a car crash per year.

If you flick a coin, in a continuous loop, then you will consider tails is next.

Example of irrational perception.

Cognitive dissonance – when people hold conflicting beliefs they can’t reconcile, they’ll be forced to believe something even if they know it’s not true. Leon Festinger 1956

Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT). Aims to reconcile conflicting mental states.

Anatidaephobia – fear that a duck, somewhere, somehow, is watching you. (Irrational fear).

The nature of unity and rationality

Our concept of unit and rationality is flawed.

1. the state or quality of being one; oneness
2. The act, state, or quality of


Unity 1: possibly the universe right at the start of the Big Bang. Maybe at that moment there was just one thing. Everything in our life has more than one thing.

Unity 2: after the Big Bang, the Stars formed, the universe is one thing but contains trillions of things; planets, people etc. However the universe is one thing, it is everything.

Man Utd example.

USA example.

United Nations examples

Unity really is a multiplicity.

Most definitions of consciousness is unity 2.

Ambiguity of unity example.

Individual disc, no unity in single disc because they are pair of four and each disc made of more than one layer.


Is it rational to even question the rationality of the conscious mind?

Metaphysics IV, 3. Aristotle

Scientists, philosophers etc take it as fact that we cannot be more than one thing at a time.

Byers, 2007.

Sample of white circle.

Immediately this image challenges Aristotle’s law. To have a white circle, you can’t have a white circle to begin with.

Mookerjee, 1978.

Jainaism has seven states of consideration.

Monks and elephant example.

All of us receive / perceive a percentage of the world (the real world) but they are different.

Example of paradox:
1. all natural phenomena are rational.
2. Irrational thoughts are natural phenomena

The statement is false, but the statement is true so is therefore false. Do you see the problem?

Which point is higher from the ground example.

Our experience is full of these concepts. Our rationality is not as solid as we believe, and unity is a very ambiguous concept. If disunity and irrationality

The manifold and

Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral: setting sun, 1892-94, oil on canvas, 10 x 65 cm

the painting is incredibly textural. Monet mixed all sorts into the paint to give it texture – something you do not see in mass production.

I see many things in one painting; sky, circle, mud, hair, sand, frame etc.

I see wholes and parts; you can think of the doorway, so there are wholes and parts. I see things that look the same, and I see differences. I see a painting and cathedral. Is it a painting or cathedral? It’s a projection of a photograph, of a cathedral.

Monet has made the painting so visible, he makes you aware of everything, the paint, the hairs, the smells, feel the paint and texture vividly. Paint is both not paint but is paint. It could also be architecture stone.

I see something separate and something from me but is part of me..

I see flatness and depth.

Contradiction and paradox in paintings

Gombrich 1960.

Is it possible to see both the plane surface and the horse at the same time?

Examples of involuntary visual perception

Richard Wollheim

Julian Bell

Art & The Conscious Mind: An Investigation into Ontology.

Ontology is the philosophical field of study of existence – that of one’s being, or what applies neutrally to everything is real. It was dubbed “first philosophy” by Aristotle in book IV of his Metaphysics. The Latin term ontologia (“the science of being”) was invented by German philosopher Jacob Lorhard (Lorhardus) and first appeared in his work titled “Ogdoas Scholastica (1st ed)” in 1606.

According to the definition of ontology:

  1. The branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
  2. A set of concepts and categories in a subject area or domain that shows their properties and the relations between them.

Ontology deals with abstract entities.

According to

“The history of ontology has consisted largely of a set of fundamental, often long- and implacable disputes about what there is, accompanied by reflections about the discipline’s own methods, status, and fundamental concepts—e.g., being, existence, identity, essence, possibility, part, one, object, property, relation, fact, and world”

Art & The Conscious Mind: Workshop with Theo Humphrey’s.

Workshop: Irrigations of the Imaginary
Theo Humphrey’s, 30/01/18.

Art & the Conscious Mind.

Mental blocks: There are things you can do to overcome mental block. Try open up channels to let artistic talent flow.

DADA & Surrealism: Modernism: 1850-1950s. Anything past that is classed as “contemporary”.

If you continue to develop technology, it will become self-destructive. (You are oroborus).

The First World War was a fascinating time period for technology, because you literally had people turning up on horseback with lances. Napoleon effect. Similar time period was the development of the tank. Technologies being developed were enabling society to wipe out a large quantity of people, with the flick of a switch or button. (Machine guns etc.).

Surrealism came to existence early 20th century, people were sick of seeing all the death and horror, so used escapism and internalised, so Dali like state.

Dadaists stated that every man is his own King.

Spiritualism: using merging technologies to try communicating with people beyond the grave.

Experiments & Games: Dream, collage, echo poem etc.

(First activity: drawing activity – collaborative.)

After an inspiring three hour seminar with Professor Robert Pepperell, which encouraged me to expand my thinking and develop a more curious, and open-mind, to then find myself sat in a lecture room playing games that I regard to the level of a six year old, that even in trying to participate or integrate, I found no inspiration or curious spark and has resulted in boredom. The outcome was to expand your imagination, but I felt it did the complete opposite.

Art & The Conscious Mind: Development of Idea: Mould-Making.

conscious 2consciousunconscious

The CAD outcome from designing in Rhino produced a nice size and a detailed 3D print – I was worried that the printer would have issues with printing the text. Although there was evidently support structure for ‘unconscious’ side, as that was the base of the coin, it only took roughly around five minutes to gently pry away the support structure with a small set of pliers. By doing this, it resulted in the coin having two sided textures, which I thought attributed a further element to the concept of having two sides of a coin. It also attributed to the fact that conscious and unconscious are two different aspects.

I spent an hour and half developing a plasticine mould, as I feel time well spent on a mould to enhance its quality, helps produce neater and accurate models. I was in no rush to pass this process quickly, and I found it relaxing.

The coin size was decided upon investigation into what sizes monetary coins were struck as, and my overall research showed a large percentage of coins were 19.05mm with a variance in depth, between 2-4 inches. I used this data as a gage to develop my coin in Rhino. As the photos demonstrate, it is the perfect size for a coin and due to the nature of its size, getting the depth of the mould correct took time and precision.

I am enjoying the process of mould-making and it is something I have participated in very little of this academic year so far, despite it being one of my strengths. Coming back to it, however, felt like second nature and I thoroughly enjoy the process.

I aim to develop the final outcome in a variety of materials. I will experiment in  materiality such as pewter, plaster, clay and resin. The beauty of having a high-temperature heat resistant silicon mould is that it enables me to develop and experiment with a variety of materiality. I aim to have a variety of outcomes in materials, before making a decision on which materiality I want to develop the final outcome into.

Art & The Conscious Mind: Investigation into “The New Unconscious”.

“The New Unconscious” 
Sigmund Freud understood the unconscious as a place of libidinal repression. Art in turn found inspiration in psychoanalysis—surrealism took as its manifesto Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1913), and later abstract expressionism explored the irrational desires of the Freudian unconscious. With new technologies of the 21st century, science exposed a deeper mental reality and proved that human behaviour is the product of an endless stream of perceptions, feelings, and thoughts, at both the conscious and unconscious levels. Even with technologies today that allow for an empirical observation of the mind, reality itself is still debated. As in gestalt theory, the brain completes external imagery the eye cannot produce—all done at an unconscious level. If a central function of the unconscious is to fill in the blanks in order to construct a useful picture of reality, how does this affect our understanding of the world? “The New Unconscious” explores how human behaviour is dually dictated by the conscious and unconscious mind. ​- Curated by Danielle Kalamaras (SciArt, 2015).

Kayo Albert

“Painting for me, is an act to uncover my root, and trace what is beneath in many different level, buried as memories, dreams, or flashes of images and ideas. My work is a combination of drawing, painting, dripping, splashing and pouring. Drawing allows me to dig deeper, guided by intuition. Painting gives fluid layers which creates various colors and shades. It is pure abstraction with no figurative reference. My work is a bridge between physical process and mental or spiritual state, and between individual and collective consciousness.”

Albert Barque-Duran

“What do neuroscience and surrealism have in common? Scientific knowledge has made significant advances since the Freudian studies on irrationality and the unconscious through psychoanalysis (fundamental pillars in the manifestos of this artistic movement). These works discuss the conceptual excesses, the melancholy, the wonder, the reflection and the sensitive violence. This labour arises from the pursuit of scientific objectivity, but expressed figuratively through experiential subjectivity. This work proposes a reinterpretation-actualization of the surrealist movement through the contemporary knowledge about the human mind.”

Julia Buntaine

“As an artist I am interested in what has proven to be the most complex puzzle, the epitome of emergence, the deepest well our sciences have examined; the brain. The instantiation of form and function united, from the molecular to the level of neuroscience as a discipline, my work seeks to address the beliefs, theories and findings of the biological phenomenon of consciousness. Beginning with biological form or data, my work departs into the world of aesthetics as I manipulate the idea through the use of scale, metaphor, material and form. Unlike articles and raw data, scientific ideas in the form of art inherently demand subjective judgment and interpretation, and my goal as a science-based artist is to provide my viewer an alternative way to understand the wonders of biology we have discovered in ourselves.

“Neighbourhoods” explores the architecture of the brain and the city, and “Brodmann’s Subways” compares the mapping of the cortical surface to the mapping of the subway system.”