A video mnemonic: Consciousness research through creative practice | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533



This article describes an artwork in progress; a digital video of synchronized visual patterns based in part on rhythmic practices that are said to reliably lead to a shifted state of consciousness. The artwork is being developed to further understand the correlation of rhythm and consciousness. The investigation is based on a comparative study of the following practices: ‘The Art of Memory’ and Raymon Llull’s thirteenth-century diagrammatic mnemonics, the Lucid Dreaming exercises developed at Stanford University and the African Yoruba rhythms of ritualized possession. Throughout history, states of extreme lucidity, whether described as ‘ah-ha’ moments or life-transforming epiphanies, have been described with striking consistently and with such frequency that, rather than extraordinary, they seem to be fundamental to the human condition. The paradoxical state of lucid dreaming has been scientifically identified at Stanford University as a state of wakeful awareness that occurs during REM sleep, while dreaming. We might anticipate in the near future, the identification of a wakeful state of lucidity, a state as distinct from normal wakeful awareness as the state of dreaming. Those who have experienced altered states of consciousness can lend unique perspective and insight into the nature of consciousness. Analysis of practices that lead to such states add further insight. From running, to rhythmic breathing, to the circular movement of pilgrims at Mecca, to circular mosh pits, rhythmic activity is prevalent among practices that are said to lead to a shifted state of consciousness. The research suggests that in addition to rhythm itself, the relationship between rhythms is a significant factor corresponding to shifted states of consciousness. The digital video artwork discussed in this article might be thought of as a visualization of such rhythmic sequencing, and its development a creative method of inquiry.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error