self-similarity barb (c)2014 Jane Boyer
My own artwork is leading me to research the mechanisms, structures and relationships between simulacrum and autobiography, this naturally involves repetition – a lot of repetition. RECURSIVE has been a starting point for this study in a way, by peeling the layers of repetition and sort of mulling it over. We’ve discussed some of what repetition is, how we react to it, when it frightens us, and whether it even exists. All this begs the question: what if there was no repetition?
After thinking, ‘oh, that would be interesting…’, then I panicked. Can you imagine a world without repetition? It would be a world of singularity and we would have no reference points, no memory, no experiential knowledge, no rhythms.
What do you think? Can you imagine a world without repetition? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
WHAT IF THERE WAS NO REPETITION?
Susan left this message last week on the post ‘A Different Repetition‘. I was very moved by her telling of this personal discovery. Here is Susan’s beautifully simple, yet so expressive video: Book Thief
Here’s the amazing opening scene from Paris, Texas:
The question that has been in my mind thinking about this next post and question for discussion is: when does repetition turn from reassurance to warning sign? Are they simply two different patterns or is there a connection between comfort and destruction? In considering these things, I came across a very interesting article on the World of Psychology blog, by Ray Lumpp. In his article, Habit Formation and the Rat Race, Lumpp discusses a study at MIT finding habit formation takes place in the prefrontal cortex of the brain rather than in the subconscious:
Until now, psychologists and behavioral therapists believed that habits were hidden in the illusive “subconscious.”
But the MIT study shows that the brain is not just aware of habits: it controls them completely, moment by moment. And no matter how long the habits have existed, we can now shut them off, as by the flip of a switch.
The researchers formed habits through repetition and aural cues in mice running through a simple maze over the course of a few weeks. Once they had shown that the habit was fully ingrained, the researchers broke it by interfering with a part of the prefrontal cortex known as the infralimbic (IL) cortex. Using optogenetics, a technique that allows researchers to inhibit specific cells with light, the researchers blocked IL cortex activity for several seconds as the rats approached the point in the maze where they had to decide which way to turn.
Read the article
We all have habits, mostly routines that help us get through our day and let us focus on important things that need our attention. These habits help us relax or just give us a bit of comfort in the ‘known quantity’. But when do these habits turn into warning signs?
When do you take warning from a habit?