When I embarked on the Bad Hand writing series I did so to test whether the process of writing a brief phrase, repeatedly, would afford me a sense of psychosis. My mimicking of Hauck’s situated cognition was very partial (I wrote not from an asylum but from the comfortable, safe, quiet freedom of my basement) and was an attempt to explore the potential connections between the bodily, situated, experience of such writing; the concurrent ‹state of mind› of the writer and the resulting letters. When I began I felt self-conscious, though I noted that as soon as I held the pen I ‹knew› what short phrase I would write, «Leave me alone». I was surprised that within a few minutes of beginning I felt a rush of emotion and that as I wrote on, I felt waves of anger, fear, despair and calmness, the intensity of which belied the physical environment in which I was situated. Later, when I looked back at the writing ‹unfolding›, and heard the sound of the pen and my hand moving across the paper, the changes in handwriting style prompted a body memory and I remembered which emotion I had felt at which phase of the writing. After the act of writing, the letter, especially when played back as a video, was an object that afforded me insights into my emotional state, and the potentiality to experience that state again. My letters became a ‹model› for my behaviour at the time of writing.

If Hauck’s writing can be used as ‹model› of the way someone suffering from psychosis expresses themselves, then by following that model, by using their handwritten letters as a ‹hand book› could I experience a sense of psychosis myself? This is using the term ‹model› slightly differently, as a preliminary work or construction that serves as a plan that can be used in testing or perfecting a final product. The sense here is that the ‹model› is not the same in quality or size as that which it represents. Similarly, the connection between my letters and emotional state, and Hauck’s, can be seen as temporarily and partially ‹isomorphic›. By producing a form (handwritten letter of repeated short phrase) similar to those of Hauck’s I wanted to see if I would experience a psychological or emotional isomorphism (would my psychological form become similar to hers through the act of mimicry). By working in this way I was using Hauck’s letters as a partial, scaled down ‹model› of psychosis and my intention was to ‘model’ my behaviour on hers in order to try and get a sense of the feeling of psychosis.

<<  Ausgabe 02 | Seite 88  >>