Jenny, your project forms as an examination of psychological and socio-scientific practices. In fact, it appears to establish questions relating to us as individuals and how we are treated, perceived and even objectified within socio-scientific paradigms or cultures and therefore there is an inherent critique of this at the nucleus of this research. Some of your aesthetics share something of the pseudo-scientific early understandings of women’s bodies – for instance the belief that the womb roamed the body – that had the effect of harming rather than healing its subjects. So too, your work considering the effects of maternal separation experiments on Rhesus monkeys – where medical theory has played out as psychological harm in the real world. These works seem to lie at the nexus between the sometimes indifferent and inhuman health industry and the reality of lived experience. They appear to re-invest this space with a humanity via your use of formats which are lo-fi (animated medical illustration), personal (snapshot slideshow, ‘blog’) and intimate (nursery rhyme like ditties). In contrast with the slick aesthetics we usually associate with ‘science’, this works to humanise the medical–industrial complex and also to challenge and undermine its methods. Your body of work manifests as a website that has a range of elements from historic reflections to personal experiences and thoughts. While there are many cogent aspects to this ongoing and developing work, the use of a website as ‘form’ was an insightful decision, because as a document it allows for an unfolding series of spaces and matrices, where we can potentially move through spaces intuitively (or associatively) similar to the way our minds operate. The strength of this research project is that it arrives from a place of lived experience, and this authenticity is apparent as we experience the various facets of this work. We, like you, tie together many strands that in turn open out to various discourses in our minds, and therefore the work is not overly determined – it remains an open space for the viewer to question, and investigate their thoughts. It is a significant aspect of document-artworks that they afford arrays of realisations. Donna Haraway’s book Staying with the Trouble (2016) might assist in further understanding this type of fraught and discursive space, and the value of not determining
Mark received was 18/20
Short video animation showing how trauma, fear, anxiety, stress affect our body functioning and therefore feelings.
Artists sharing works and words.
Jenny was a child of the 1950s when Scientists proposed the three hourly feed, they argues that picking the baby up between feeds was spoiling the child. Harry Friederick Harlow conducted research on Rhesus money's to disprove this hypothesis, which my 'scientific' parents endorsed and followed routinely.
Polyvagal Nervous System is informed by the Amygdala, Thalamus & Hyperthalamus which sit within the Limbic system just above the Brain Stem. They manage the brain's emotional & traumatic memories, they impact the body's functioning through the Sympathetic & Parasympathetic Polyvagal Nervous System. See the video below
Polyvagal Body Song
Jenny asked Sue if she could respond to this Provocation: Contemporary Trauma Therapies are sensorial; creative expression is one of the most engaging trauma therapies available.Sue said, 'I've had enough of diagnoses, I don't want another one'. Is TRAUMA a diagnosis or is it a search for meaning?
Sue drew The Girl in the Green Meadow & explained, 'the girl, with her bag full of goodies, is more skilled at safety than Sue'. Sue says, 'The girl's experience is in contrast to mine. In my childhood the adults used torturous and terrifying methods to intrude, betray, neglect, abandon ... psychiatry repeated much of this, sometimes using similar methods. For years my wildness was only in the meadow. All my resources were kept in the meadow'.
Jenny's response, Song to Sue, can be heard by clicking the go button on the Soundcloud track above.