In terms of psychology, “flow” is defined by Wikipedia as, “a mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.” Proposed by Hungarian-born psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, flow may be the state of mind of an artist absorbed in the creative process and, ironically, the answer to the pursuit of happiness.
FLOW is a collaboration between two artist-run centres, TRUCK and the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers (CSIF), presenting 4 visual artists and 15 media artists from around the world. The work represents a diverse interpretation of the theme; touching on political systems, paths, science, nature, the body, time, history and a little bit of humor. Each piece either enhances a notion of flow or rejects it outright, blocking to some extent, our understanding of life, as we know it, day in and day out.
All of the work in the exhibition and film program of FLOW, are metaphors for undeniable natural and unnatural cycles and systems. They imply constant change and continuous movement; water, time, people, money, politics, birth, death, creative thought, and our very own blood pulsing through our veins. The show broadly exploits simple visual metaphors for flow while resonating deeper with the flow of life in its most complex forms.
“We cannot deny the facts of nature, but we should certainly try to improve on them.” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990
Holly Simon lives and works in Calgary, Alberta