My fourth post is about a key concept in my thesis: entanglement.  Entanglement can be considered both in terms of my practice, which is where my ideas emerged, and from a theoretical standpoint within the realms of physics and quantum mechanics. In my thesis, I refer to both “physical entanglement” which is manifested through the networks in the natural world such as in a forest, and “ontological entanglement” which refers to an entanglement of Being beyond our physical and conscious world.  It should be noted that the concepts and ideas about entanglement continue to challenge the most brilliant of minds and therefore my understanding and experiences are largely confined to my practice.

The philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) referred to the a priori concepts of space and time.  As human beings, we operate within this world according to and relative to them.  The concept of entanglement on the other hand resides without these constraints.  As far as my photographic practice is concerned, I endeavour to capture a moment in time, using the unique capability of the camera, and in so doing to record a hint of the hidden reality. Reality, of course, for us, exists in time and space as well, and this is where the concept of individual Being, as described by the likes of Heidegger, can be glimpsed.  Entanglement, which is plural in concept, exists in the world of “dark” physics where 5% of matter is known about and the rest unknown.  The object-oriented approach to my photography resides in the 5% category that is known but the plural nature of Being remains known but unknown – that is we know it exists but know little about it.

The videos I made early in Year 2 of my PhD were a moment of revelation as I began to see a world where objects emerged and withdrew in front of my eyes.

A World of Objects

Emerging and Withdrawing Objects

This for me was a manifestation of the worlds that Harman and Heidegger had spoken of, where objects continually conceal and reveal themselves in our world.  My videos, I would argue, provide a glimpse of entanglement and the 5% category discussed above.

My practice is articulated in the Ten-Signifier Onion Diagram below and refers to a meditative state of awareness (zonal flow) which I also call “dwelling” that I seek to access in my practice.

The Ten-Signifier Onion Diagram

It is a non-conscious state of awareness that allows me to use the camera intuitively and on occasion press the shutter without intent.    At this moment I withdraw from space and time and day-to-day experience and enter a realm that only the camera can observe.  I would argue that is the point when the possibility of capturing Derrida’s unnameable glimmer and Harman’s allure, occurs.  The signifier described in my practice as “zonal flow” allows me the opportunity to access a world of ontological entanglement, whereas the normally conscious world of photographic practice is only able to record physical entanglement.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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