The Image After the Senses

The congruence of representation and reality has been constructed as an accepted necessity within the evolution and adaption of human cognition where it functions as a key feature of human survival within the material real. However, the adventure of contemporary science has questioned whether human cognition is even capable of exploring the complex traces of the deep structure of reality. If as has been speculated by Quentin Meillassoux in his rereading of Henri Bergson perception itself is a double limit based on both a biological process of filtering the stream of particles and a cognitive process of selectivity then our phenomenological apprehension of the real is one of poverty not dominance. This limit not only repurposes our relation to materiality within the multiplicity of reality but implies a limit to the human structure of thinking. If the structure of human interiority is exactly composed of our limited experience of an exteriority then the possibility arises that the structure of reality itself gives rise to or even creates the structure of human thinking. At the pragmatic level the structure of human thought derives from an ideal structure of physical reality and is capable of an imaginary metaphysics of infinite speed, unlimited by the mere physical constraints of light or gravity and redolent of a dynamism unconstrained by the human sensory apparatus. These questions have emerged simultaneously this century within the realisation that it is an unsupported assumption that the biologically determined human conception of reality does not mean that reality has achieved its apex in human consciousness. In freeing the sensory conception of thought from that definition, the specter of mathematical ideation and schematic artistic conception assumes a primacy in the new representations of reality that exist beyond both the real and the imaginary and are conceived within a speculative possibility of new forms conceived without the aid of the senses. This paper seeks to address these concerns as they are made manifest within new and emerging practices in Art and Design.