PHENOMENOLOGY - BEING AND TIME - MARTIN HEIDEGGER
Heidegger's essay 'Being and Time' proposes a destruction of traditional philosophical methods of thinking - he wants to depict our existence through lived experience. He accepts the existence of human beings but disregards the idea that we are the primal-thinkers and that are separate from objects. He proposes that we are beings who exist outside, alongside and in the world that we do not distinguish ourselves from.
Phenomenology aims to find commonalities in structure in people's average everyday lives instead of question our existence on a kind of spectrum against the 'external world', objects around us or the human-ness of other people around. He is critical, therefore, of the work of Descartes who questions our existence in relation to others. Heidegger, on the other hand, simplifies human existence to the inevitable pathway between birth and death.
I have found Simon Critchley's commentary on Being and Time interesting and helpful in understanding Heidegger's philosophical approach - here are some quotes that have helped:
A) " I am completely fascinated and absorbed by my world, not cut off from it in some sort of "mind" or what Heidegger calls "the cabinet of consciousness"."
- This is the feeling that I want to create within my installation - the idea that we are not separate from our environment. I have tested my videos on a few people who have described it as trippy - or that they went into a daze or a trance. In my head, that is my idea of connecting on a phenomenological level with the video, almost like an optical elusion.
B) "Heidegger insists that we have to "thrust aside our interpretative tendencies" which cover over our everyday experience of the world and attend much more closely to that which shows itself."
- I don't want to change the reality within the train videos themselves. The only thing I want to do is form an accumulation/saturation of a collection of moving landscape videos in order to show a multiplicity of experience and how these experiences look when they're placed on the same screen. Its a replay of the land being the land, on top of another land being the land, having no direct connection other than the fact that I am filming from the train window and that they occur nearby a train-line. The video is not my interpretation of the landscape, its purely my camera's and then put through a change of opacity and an overlay from another video, chosen with as little intention as possible.
C)"This is another way of approaching his central insight: that we cannot exist independently of our relation to the world; and this relationship is a matter of mood and appetite, not rational contemplation."
- Most of my creations within this work were created through improvisation and randomisation of a series of videos and demos which aren't necessarily directly related but all share the same mood and come from the same approach. By making less conscious decisions in my process, by Heidegger's approach, I have less independent existence from the world that I am portraying in my work.