Landscape and consciousness

Grennan, Simon 2013, Landscape and consciousness, in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, England.

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Title Landscape and consciousness
Author(s) Grennan, SimonORCID iD for Grennan, Simon
Conference name Consciousness, Literature, Theatre, and the Arts. Conference (5th : 2013 : Lincoln, England )
Conference location Lincoln, England
Conference dates 15-17 Jun. 2013
Title of proceedings Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts
Publication date 2013
Conference series Consciousness, Literature, Theatre, and the Arts Conference
Publisher University of Lincoln
Place of publication Lincoln, England
Keyword(s) consciousness
Summary Most conceptions of landscape tend to differentiate the term from mere land or territory by way of introducing an  intervening subject. In this respect, landscapes, whether “real” or depicted may be said to involve an encounter between subjectivity and an external space. What is largely absent from landscape literature however is an appreciation of this encounter or interaction in light of a 21st century conversation around consciousness.This paper asks: what is the relationship between consciousness and landscape and how can consciousness studies extend our interpretive and conceptual tools for both theorizing and creating landscapes? To explore this relationship, I draw on a familiar supposition of folk psychology: that experiences with landscape can enable states of heightened consciousness. I do this not to come to any firm conclusions on the matter but rather to address this broader question of relationships in a systematic way. The notion that an experience with a landscape quantitatively alters consciousness also prompts the counterintuitive possibility: that landscape diminishes rather than augments consciousness. In particular I draw on a hypothesis of the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC’s) developed by neuroscientist, Susan Greenfield. Greenfield proposes a quantitative model of subjective experience in which the subject’s sense of self exists not merely in on/off states but rather expands or diminishes from moment to moment and develops throughout one’s lifetime. The paper concludes that landscape may be regarded equally as a means by which consciousness is heightened or diminished. More broadly, the paper argues that both landscape and consciousness function as similar kinds of integrating/unifying/ defragmenting machines. They construct and preserve unity but do not necessarily put the subject “in touch” with reality.
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 190101 Art Criticism
190504 Performance and Installation Art
Socio Economic Objective 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft)
HERDC Research category EN Other conference paper
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Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Faculty of Arts and Education
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Created: Thu, 04 Jul 2013, 16:30:16 EST by Simon Grennan

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