Exploring the visualisation of different feelings experienced within ‘flow state’ and more broadly, the complex nature of our minds. Physical painting scans, manipulated and animated through various displacements and simulated data-moshing processes.
Completely focused and immersed in an activity, void of any negative or disruptive thoughts – a.k.a ‘flow state’ – or simply put ‘being in the zone’. It’s a simple, universal aspect of our lives, and despite it having become a bit of a cliché within the ‘self-help world’, is something I’ve become heavily intrigued in and somewhat mesmerised by as I experience more through art and life.
As someone learning to grow from the ups and downs of an anxious mind, I find flow state provides the natural sense of relief and liberation we often desire. Whether that’s through creating, exercising or enjoyable social interactions, I’ve become more aware of when ‘flow’ kicks in, and when the over-analytical mind checks out. These are happy, passionate and focused moments I consider flow because I can only really appreciate them afterwards, realising I was present, and void of any unhealthy, unproductive thoughts.
Popularised most notably by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, his research around flow state highlighted its relation to well-being and the different feelings people associated with ‘being in flow.’ Whilst more recently best-selling author and journalist, Steven Kotler, breaks down different elements and stages of flow state in relation to his work on optimal human performance.
Inspired by what these two people have explored and what I’ve experienced in recent years, I created a series of looping, moving paintings titled Finding Flow. Through distortion, movement and colour I aimed to not only reflect on the autonomous, trance-like aspects of flow, but also the general complexity and unpredictability of our minds.
Across 6 pieces, I wanted to produce set of work that viewers and I could revisit to tap into the visualisation of a variety of flow states, and in a way, help find a sense of flow directly. The piece’s lo-fi aesthetic and 1:1 ratio also aim to drive this, bringing a sense of imperfection and fuzziness, like a long-lost memory or state.
Over the coming years I hope to develop my skills with animation and generative tools through more advanced programs and processes to continue expressing my feelings and ideas through the beauty of moving pixels – and of course, continue to enjoy the natural process of Finding Flow.
Digitally manipulated physical painting scans, animated through different displacement maps, distortion effects and looping expressions, before applying simulated p-frame data-moshing effects and time displacements.
Tools: A5 Cardstock, Acrylics, Epson Photo Scanner, Photoshop, Photomosh & After Effects