The purpose of the photographic work of the Echo-Image-Sense is to visualise human consciousness. If light serves as an agent for the medium of photography, then visualising invisible human consciousness is finding a right agent and the perfect foundations of monism that supports consciousness materialisation.
Theoretical studies on materialisation of the mind began with the philosophy of Thales of Miletus(c.624BC-c.546BC) in ancient Greece. The mainstream idea at the time showed tendencies of mind-body dualism, which separates the mind from the body by either introducing metaphysical ideas, or letting an omniscient and omnipotent god intervene.
Even the philosophy headed by René Descartes(1596-1650) in modern times was not quite free of dualism. As materialism was beginning to be systematised by French illuminati, Deni Diderot(1713-1784), and a German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach(1804-1872) throughout the Industrial Revolution, a more physical approach to the idea of materialism emerged under the name of physicalism, and reductive physicalism, especially contended by a Korean philosopher Jaegwon Kim(1934- ), reduced the human mind to the constituents of the physical world through the principle of the causal closure of the physical domain. Nonetheless, qualia, which refers to quality or a sensation, and is also a part of consciousness, cannot be fully reduced because of its non-materialistic nature.
In the field of science, The Astonishing Hypothesis written by British biologist Francis Harry Compton Crick(1916-2004) indeed presented outstanding findings of his research on the human consciousness centring on human visual perception; nevertheless, Crick failed to also physically substantialise qualia, referred to as the hard problem.
The Echo-Image-Sense designs a thought experiment named ‘Sensory Deprivation Chamber’ based on Phénoménologie de la perception written by Maurice Merleau-Ponty(1908-1961) with the aim of identifying the incomprehensible idea of qualia, a part of consciousness. Through the experiment, it was cautiously concluded that what we have thus far considered to be consciousness may in fact be an echo-image-sense(residues of sense), and might not fundamentally exist. Nonetheless, it was necessary to incorporate qualia, the image that comes to mind when we see an object, into the physics system, and explain its difficult, hyperphysical characteristics. While considering this, the thought that images only exist when our eyes are open and disappear when our eyes are closed occurred. Based on this, the Echo-Image-Sense speculated that image lies not within our head but outside of us and that the outside world is the actual qualia itself. It means that images do not exist inside of our head, but only substances or energy moves or flows, and qualia exists outside of us according to the law of physics. In addition, accepting Henri-Louis Bergson(1859-1941)’s theory that time and energy involve in the human mind, the non-materiality of qualia, despite its perfect reducibility to a physical phenomenon, could be attributed to immaterial time and energy.
And the Echo-Image-Sense had to find an agent that visualises human consciousness, which is a ‘material action’, and this was achieved by analysing the process of an artist drawing abstract paintings. At this point, brain algorithm was identified as an agent that can actualise the Echo-Image-Sense photographic artworks and got an additional result that the very algorithm of the human brain was formed from the senses, echo-image-sense, and memory.
In the Echo-Image-Sense artworks, human consciousness as a material is expressed in the form of energy, movements and time: through colours, shapes and background images all based on artist’s imagination.
The Echo-Image-Sense gives the viewer an echo-image-sense(consciousness, residues of sense).