Accessible here are some of my current research projects. As mentioned on the previous page, my principal research goal at present is to develop a philosophy of Visionary Humanism. This I envisage will take a good number of years and will be explored in a series of detailed books, of which two have currently been completed. In pursuit of this philosophy, in April-May 2016 I will be reorganising my online writing projects and setting up a 'Visionary Humanism' blog to share rough cuts of new essays, musings and developmental thoughts, partially integrated with my current blog Archaic Visions. Other research aims include to continue my researches into the Minoan civilisation of Bronze Age Crete, in particular to provide further updates and new artefacts to my three-part essay on the Minoan Epiphany, the work-in-progress draft of which can be accessed below, and to possibly bring all of it together into a properly-referenced academic publication at some point in the next five years.
The second publication in the 'Visionary Humanism' series working towards a more holistic image of human thought, perception and experience. Here the Modernist art theory of the 'death' of painting is challenged from a cognitive and anthropological viwpoint through a diverse array of case studies from the emergence of ritual behaviour and body painting in the African Middle Stone Age, evidence for 'otherworldly' perception in the European Upper Palaeolithic, and a survey of similar impressions and cognitions evident in the minds of contemporary painters reporting their experiences of painting. A bold thesis exploring the cognitive fundaments to human artistic expression.
|ON VISION AND BEING HUMAN
The first publication in the 'Visionary Humanism' series working towards a more holistic image of human thought, perception and experience, and an initial general statement on the matter. The 'otherness' of visionary and religious experiences are used to frame an investigation into the nature of consciousness and symbolic cognition as the central and defining feature of human thought and experience. Darwinism and authentic insights from quantum mechanics are invoked to engender a new, twenty-first century image of human beings as the perceptual creators of our inner symbolic and sacred worlds, a view which can perhaps permit materially-founded science to continue its explorations unhindered by religious dogma.
|The Paradox of the Leopard (March 2015)
Subtitled Some Diverse Thoughts Towards A Visionary Humanism, this is a collection of musings springing from my On Vision and Being Human in which I seek to transcend various contemporary antagonisms towards a fuller and more integrated image of the 21st century human.
|ARCHAIC VISIONS - BRUCE'S BLOG ON VISIONARY ART EXHIBITION
Much of my current writing is now directed towards Archaic Visions, my artistic blog on the Visionary Art Exhibition website, in which can be found a variety of short essays on diverse themes such as prehistory, indigenous worldviews, archaeological artefacts and mythological images. There is a focus upon Minoan, Mesoamerican and Palaeolithic themes, but the blog is also a platform to serialise my grand thesis on visionary experience in the 21st century, entitled ON VISION AND BEING HUMAN, for which an illustrated book is planned for late 2015. I'm grateful to Otto Rapp, who runs the site, for this space in which to muse!
|THE MINOAN EPIPHANY - A BRONZE AGE VISIONARY CULTURE
An archaeological essay in three parts which is the culmination of four years of research into the Minoan Civilisation, exploring the Epiphany, a set of glyptic images disclosing evidence of ancient visionary ritual practices. The Epiphany Cycle and models of ritual action lead to 'embodied' perspectives which challenge passive assumptions behind Western religious categories, in particular the depictions of altered states of consciousness and the visionary potential of dance gestures. An extensive Artefact Review is then conducted, discussing diverse aspects of the Epiphany imagery, and a number of Appendices expand the Epiphany purview into other fields.