The Involuntary Pursuit of Clarity

The confusion of the maze, the involuntary actions of the robot and the conclusion of the poppy. There are three motifs in this image which I will briefly explain below. Together they explore the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious.

  • The key idea comes from a recent Horizon I watched on BBC2 on the 16th March, titled "Out of Control?" in which scientists put forward the notion that our sub conscious is really in control of us, not our conscious. This got me thinking about our similarity to robots. Our autopilot is on but we are lead to believe that we are in the driving seat.
  • Labyrinths and mazes traditionally symbolise confusion and in finding one's way through the maze, knowledge is gained. It is interesting, in a way, if we were to look at the physical characteristics of a brain that it indeed looks like a box hedge maze, like the one above.
  • The ancient Greeks associated poppies with sleep and dreaming and more recently we associate them with death and loss. In either case they can be interpreted as unconsciousness. There is hope, however, as the dead seed head is filled with the potential of new life.