The Space of Apprehension and the Field of Understanding

With Some General Commentary on the Haecceities Series

As seen in “Essentialism and the Haecceities Series” above, the aims of determining the limits of artistic Abstraction and the possibilities of radical artistic identity require the use of language. As also seen there, the relation of language to the surface that supports it has to be considered to solve the problems identified with placing language on a two-dimensional expanse. Part of this solution includes the calculated repetition of the language in the area that it occupies. The placement of language on a perceptual surface creates a ‘space of apprehension’ that includes any information or data that pertains to understanding the language, its repetition, and its relation to the space in which it is repeated. The Essentialist space of apprehension has both a perceptual and a conceptual dimension that is recognized in the use of the term ‘apprehension’ to characterize the nature of the space to which it applies. This space of apprehension includes the relations of language to language, language to data, and data to data on that surface.

Any subject attending to any perceptual object presupposed by the identity of any Essentialist artwork brings a ‘field of understanding’ to the subject’s consideration of the object. The field of understanding includes the subject’s consciousness of the perceptual object, with his or her memory, conception, reflection, and knowledge, as well as any anticipation, choice, imagination, or cognitive act or state that is relevant to the subject’s engagement with the object. Creative consideration of the relations and reciprocally involving natures of the space of apprehension and the field of understanding is an important aspect of Essentialism, and this consideration applies generally throughout the series.

The following general questions pertain to all of the works of the Haecceities series as they concern singling something out in relation of the space of apprehension and the field of understanding. i) Given that singling something out is fundamental, and that what is singled out is to be conceptually delineated in relation to essential elements of an artistic complex, how does one go about determining what is to be singled out and how it can best be singled out? ii) Given that what is singled out is defined or determined in relation to the interactive aspects and relations of a space of apprehension and a field of understanding, how is such a space and such a field to be used to construct, determine, or affect Essentialist identity? That is, how can the design and information of the space of apprehension be made to interact with a subject’s field of understanding to determine or affect that to which the language of that space is understood to refer? iii) How can the design and information of the space of apprehension of an Essentialist perceptual object be made to interact with a subject’s field of understanding to produce an aesthetic of Essentialism that characterizes an artwork from the Haecceities series?

Other questions and comments of an Essentialist nature can be found at the introduction of each the twelve sequences of the Haecceities series. What is stated in relation to a certain sequence may be relevant to one or more sequences of the series. Additional commentary, which is not meant to be exhaustive, can be found beneath selected works of the Haecceities series that may apply as well to works other than the work to which the commentary is appended. Nothing about the artist’s perception of the importance or value of a work should be inferred from its lack of commentary, if there is no commentary. This may be supplied in the future, but commentary may be omitted from the page of a work to allow the interested party to think about the work for herself, as well as to consider how things written about Essentialism and works of the Haecceities series may apply to it.

Jeffrey Strayer, 2019.

For further on these matters, and to consider them in greater depth, see Subjects and Objects: Art, Essentialism, and Abstraction (Brill 2007), and Haecceities: Essentialism, Identity, and Abstraction (Brill 2017). For things of additional relevance to Essentialism, and to the works of the Haecceities series, see Essentialism and Its Objects: Identity and Abstraction in Language, Thought, and Action (forthcoming).