‘As Human as Knowledge’: Visualizing Phenomenology (Verónica Arís Zlatar)

Original post at :  http://arisdrawingproject.blogspot.be/2018/05/as-human-as-knowledge.html

All Images Copyright: Verónica Arís Zlatar


Arís’ pastels belonging to the project ‘As human as knowledge’ depict the experience of thinking of young women who reflect on their inner temporality. To a woman who had study Philosophy in Chile, Argentina and Belgium, experiencing the slim chance of an authentic thinking within the scholarly field, the return to paying attention to the simplest gesture of reflection on her own must have been impossible in that environment to the point of making her move forward visual art. “Philosophy requires freedom”, she says, “Unfortunately, nowadays Academia cannot offer that. Visual art instead does it, even though it is an alternative scenario for thinking.”
One of her pastels is untitled ‘The simultaneity of phases’. It portrays a simple woman who thinks about some formalizations of the inner temporality of consciousness. The scene seems to talk about a woman that hears elapsing noises around her, by a kind of awareness that helps her to let them go each time they fade down sinking into the past. However, she seems to stay attentive to the beauty of the present though. “Whatever makes us live this kind of temporality” she might think “requires different intentional acts running simultaneously. But what kind of simultaneity is this one, before any time and any temporal object, even before me who reflects on it?”
Through visual art Arís attempts to return to the freedom of thinking; this playful scenario of thoughts in which multiple hypotheses may appear as well as disappear depending on their appurtenance. “We can stay repeating what has been said a hundred years ago, or we can put the problem on the table and see what we want to do with it”, affirms the artist. This way, the paper becomes that table and the act of painting the lively commitment to the question. “The great thing of drawing and painting is that you have to spend a lot of time in addressing one tiny issue in order to give them the material dimension of an image. For instance, I have to find the face that really expresses what I am looking for, I have to try again and again the precise composition to get the one that can be accurate enough in expressing what I want to say and I have to keep an eye on this precise unity of meaning that the different elements will unveil throughout all the production progress. There is no chance to rush from one thought to another as it may happen when we are just conceptualizing. And this extremely slow speed of thinking, which requires an understanding in many levels –not only conceptual–, helps in bringing you to the authentic dimension of the question, i.e., the experience.”
This slow progress of understanding is also displayed by observing the resulting image. At first glance, ‘The simultaneity of phases’ seems to be a very nice portrait of the woman with a pleasant distribution of pastel’s colors and design; but later the unfinished drawing of her body and clothes makes the character dissolve into her insights as if only her flesh would remain true among all the adumbrations of the mind. The tension between her lived body and the nature of thoughts frames the scenario in which the internal time of consciousness takes place. Arís states “somehow I am the character but at the same time I am beyond her.”

How did you make them?
I painted with pastels on Canson paper. Basically, I worked on the flesh that can be seen in the area in which the skin of the character is visible.

Why did you choose to work only on the skin with that detail?
This is a nice question. The topic is about the internal time of consciousness and how we can get to think about it. As you can imagine, this is a very abstract thought that finds its opposite in the warm skin of the character. The time of consciousness is only within an embodied character, which feels and suffers the consequences of the elapsing experience. Time is in her flesh.

This is the first time you show a work in colors. Before you were working with charcoal, right? Which is your approach to colors?
As you can see, I have no much experience with colors, to be honest. However, my train of thought when I paint is to get deeper into the flesh. It is not about coloring nicely, but rather getting the feeling of the skin, its temperature, its texture, its subtlety. I think on a landscape within the skin, in which an unexpected color comes to play poetically. I marvel regarding how much an almost imperceptible change of a pigment can say about the sense of the volume of the body and its bodily conditions. I think that this is what I love of painting.  Continue reading “‘As Human as Knowledge’: Visualizing Phenomenology (Verónica Arís Zlatar)”

Appel à créations artistiques et contributions scientifiques


Appel à créations artistiques et contributions scientifiques pour l’exposition collective :

Cosmonautes de l’espace intérieur

« Écrivant j’agis toujours comme un cartographe, comme un explorateur des régions psychiques, comme un cosmonaute de l’espace intérieur, et je ne vois pas la nécessité d’explorer les régions déjà connues et topographiées. »

―William S. Burroughs


Depuis toujours, nous avons été témoins de l’éternel désir des êtres humains d’explorer et, par conséquent, de se comprendre eux-mêmes, la société et le monde qui les entourent à travers la recherche scientifique ou artistique (et bien souvent en combinant les deux). Comme le relève Pedro Conceição, cette exploration implique toujours trois éléments essentiels : l’explorateur, un lieu et un moyen (ou une technologie) pour atteindre des lieux précis. C’est dans la combinaison de ces différents éléments et dans le contexte idéologique global que l’on retrouve une continuité entre les premiers navigateurs parcourant les mers du monde entier, les cosmonautes à la conquête de l’espace, et les internautes du nouvel espace intérieur de l’infocosme.

Dans cette longue lignée d’explorateurs, nous devons rappeler, et souligner, l’importance des « cosmonautes de l’espace intérieur » et leurs voyages intérieurs parmi les hommes, partie intégrante de l’exploration humaine et paramètre fondamental des questions étudiées dans ce projet.  Continue reading “Appel à créations artistiques et contributions scientifiques”

Call for Artistic Creations and Scientific Contributions for the Group Exhibition: Cosmonauts of Inner Space

We are hosting a very fascinating Call for a Group exhibition at Belgium. The exhibition will take place simultaneously with exhibitions and performances in other big cities, like Athens and Tokyo.


Cosmonauts of Inner Space

“In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed”.

―William S. Burroughs



Ever since the beginning of human history, we can bear witness to the eternal desire of the human beings to explore and, consequently, to understand themselves, the society and the world around them either by artistic or scientific research (and in many cases by combining the two). This exploration always involves, as Pedro Conceição states, three critical elements: the explorer, a location and a means (or technology) for reaching particular locations. It is in the combination of these components and in the encompassing ideological context that we can see the continuity between the earlier seafarers around the earth, the cosmonauts venturing into the space, and the cybernauts of the new inner space of an infocosmos.

In this long line of explorers, we must add and emphasize the importance of the “cosmonauts of inner space” and their inner journeys within humans, which are an integral part of the human exploration and a basic parameter of the questions explored by this project.

The exhibition focuses on the dialectical relationship between the different loci of the human quests, the conjunctions and disjunctions between the inner and outer space, the microcosm and the macrocosm, the private and the social, as well as on the different ways/means of approaching them. Continue reading “Call for Artistic Creations and Scientific Contributions for the Group Exhibition: Cosmonauts of Inner Space”

Social media “happiness” is so passé!

I’m planning to write a full article on the subject, but until then, I am posting some brief notes.

It’s a long time now that I am observing more and more social media identities embracing the “always happy” narrative. Actually, some of them look so happy, like Julie Andrews singing happy at the hills (The sound of Music, 1965) . Don’t get me wrong, I like very much both the film and Julie Andrews’ performance, but all these massively-expressed, constant and uninterrupted happiness/success/beauty demonstrations, make me feel…bored. They leave me also with a feeling of “fakeness”, but I will not get into meaningless discussions about fake – real or true – lie, because, after all, we are discussing about constructed identities. Additionally, sometimes the “happiness” narrative coexists with a strong tendency to follow, for long periods, visual trends, even when these are considered “outdated” (how many more years should I look to bad-edited duck-face selfies or to “exotic” dinners)?  What I would like to point out is that these personal narratives are not working as they were meant to, they are bad narratives with even worse editing.

Continue reading “Social media “happiness” is so passé!”

Lovecraft’s World Adaptation to Video Game: The Sinking City


I always keep a keen interest for adaptations and it seems that Frogwares  intrigued my interest once again. In addition to transferring literature universes to video games, which is far more demanding than adaptations from other media, like for example from film or comics, this time they are transferring Lovecraft’s world!
More specifically, after their Sherlock Holmes’ series, now they are working on The Sinking City: A Lovecraft-inspired Open Investigation Thriller .

Continue reading “Lovecraft’s World Adaptation to Video Game: The Sinking City”

Narrative Essentials for Narrative Designers and Storytellers (01)


Have you ever wondered while watching a film or playing a video game “why is this happening now?” or “how is this relevant to the story?” or even “what are all these about?” We have! And this is the reason that we decided to write these article(s), with the intention to provide a toolbox containing simplified theoretical principles and most of all, practical tools, to any storyteller or narrative designer that has a great story to tell.
Continue reading “Narrative Essentials for Narrative Designers and Storytellers (01)”

Adaptations from Video Games to Films

Warcraft Movie King Llane Wrynn HD Wallpaper

Today I read some articles about Warcraft (Jones, 2016) film adaptation. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it yet, so I am not able to contribute with a review. Among others, I read a very interesting article from Erik Kain with the title: Five Reasons The ‘Warcraft’ Movie Is Way Better Than Critics Claim (you can find the article here ) that reminded me some issues on adaptation that I was exploring recently in various academic articles.

To make the long story short, my claim is that when adapting a story from one medium to another, a part of the audience will follow along with the story as it migrates to different media. While this is considered an added value for adapting popular texts, as it secures a devoted consumers’ base that results to more profits, it is also a burden in the adaptation process, since all the readers/viewers/players have already created in their minds their own adaptations. These adaptations don’t coincide with each other because they are based on the various social, psychological, cultural and personal conditions of the consumers. As a consequence, what some might consider as a “good” adaptation, others might perceive it as a total failure.
Continue reading “Adaptations from Video Games to Films”

The Incredible Flowability of Audiences: Video games are not just for those who play games

Yesterday, I read an article about the partnership between Facebook and Blizzard games, in order to stream video games on Facebook. While video game streaming is not today’s news and there are many groups of people that are engaged with video games not only by direct interaction, but also through viewing, until now the viewers were deriving mostly from strong gaming communities, like the one existing in Twitch. Also, Facebook has already hosted several Blizzard live streams. But this partnership signifies something different and it is very likely to change not only the market landscape for video game streaming providers, but most importantly, to reshape the base of video game consumers.


The convenience that this partnership is providing to Facebook users, that is watching games through their own timeline, transforms video game streaming to a social tool. The simplicity and easiness of access, it is very likely to attract even those who are not related with gaming, but they want to watch someone they know playing, to become members of a community, to socialize. Watching is attractive and enjoyable per se, as video game streaming is in essence a blend between attending a live event/performance and film viewing. It is easy to spot similarities between this experience and other social practices, for example the way fans are participating in a football game, by watching their favorite team playing. Of course, watching video game streaming is not the same with watching a football game, but it still holds strong analogies, since both football fans and video game viewers feel that they are actively involved through watching their team, or their chosen streamer accordingly. Continue reading “The Incredible Flowability of Audiences: Video games are not just for those who play games”