The Doors of Perception


The Doors of Perception explores different ways of perceiving humanity’s relationship with the non-human, challenging the mechanistic model that has dominated Western Society since the Enlightenment. A veil of mesh entwined with pieces of clockwork hangs behind the first door, representing Cartesian mechanism. Beyond this are a series of mirrors, two door-windows depicting painted silhouettes of trees and a home-made sound recording of bats. Together, these elements symbolise the anima mundi (the soul of the world), the spirit of place and the interconnection between all things. The mirror is a universal symbol for truth, the soul and the ‘mirror of the universe’. In Chinese culture, a square mirror symbolises the earth. The trees stand for the cosmos in its entirety and the feminine principle, the nourishing, sheltering, protecting, supporting aspect of Mother Earth. The bat sounds, usually pitched at a frequency beyond the natural hearing range of adult humans, meanwhile, reveal a hidden world of animate presence, the inaudible made audible. The  audio recording can be seen as a way of connecting humanity to the non-human world of which it is an integral part.

 ‘ Through sound, through the various refrains we invent, repeat, and catch from nonhumans, we receive news of the cosmic  energies to which we humans are always in close, molecular proximity.’

Jane Bennett – The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings and Ethics


Bat sound field recording (greater & lesser horseshoe bats, pipistrelle) , Crowdy Mill, Harbertonford, Devon, 2013

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