I dissect the self only to discover it is but a mere flesh wound!

My design, sculpture and writing skim the surface of the construct of the self. There is an illusion that the self is an autonomous and masterful entity. Yet the self seems to function as a variable, a storage container for the dictates of society where the current cultural matrix defines what it means to be human—our limits, talents, expectations, and prohibitions. It tells us who we are and how we relate to the world. Emotions and identity are cooped as microregulators of culture. Want is appropriated as need. Consumer stimulation, pacification, and diversion are used to reinforce and reproduce the loci of cultural powers. If culture moves us toward unrestricted selfishness, we embrace our narcissism and revel in it. There is a struggle between the illusive independent self and the self’s dependence on culture. The self is incomplete, empty; culture completes.

Is this so? Are we social constructs? Why do I experience tension when I go along? Or when I resist? Can I enact change on the self or culture? Or am I impotent as a factor in change? Is it possible to step outside of the current consumer paradigm?

Who is in charge anyway?

How is change defined? Does it refer to a fundamental difference in a state of being or can change be just behavioral/superficial, as in managing ones funk versus no longer having the funk.

Are we purely complex systems of stimuli/response? What makes us uniquely human? What takes us beyond just being an object under the influence? What do we experience that is not based on our senses/stimuli/response?

How much risk is involved in thinking differently, behaving differently? Being different? What is the association/link between risk and energy? How might energy be stockpiled to use in risk taking in order to instigate change?

What is the role of solitude and group in change and change maintenance? Aren’t both required? Is the balance unique to each individual?
Is change possible?

I dissect the self only to discover it is but a mere flesh wound!