Inquiry into Cognitive Dissonanace – 2019 ©
Also see Board games
In the mid 1990’s whilst living in a caravan in a wood, I was doing a lot of thinking about the relationships between psychology, philosophy, science and religion and I developed a theory that I called ‘Perspective of Reality’ (see Perspective of Reality #1) which was concerned with the increasing blinkerdness and level of psychological gymnastics that had to be done by individuals and societies in order to disregard and dismiss anything that contradicts one’s sense of reality, in direct proportion to the logical evidence to support such contradictions. It was much later on in around 2010 that I heard about a psychological theory called Cognitive Dissonance that was developed in the 1950’s by Leon Festinger, and it was after hearing about this that I knew that I would have to revisit my ideas again one day.
My series of ‘board games’ all intertwine together as a whole work, but can also be separated as individual works relating to individual topics, but one of the central and most important themes is that of cognitive dissonance and how it shapes us and our values and sense of reality. Once upon a time the world was flat, but enough cognitive dissonance was felt by enough people from the revealing of facts through the use of logical reasoning to eventually make it spherical. Our values and sense of reality are very ‘sticky’ – we do not like to shift them, and generally the older we get the more sticky they become. If you wish to find truth then you must also be prepared to accept the potential pain of cognitive dissonance.
It is hard to see from this 2D photograph, but the words ‘COGNITIVE DISSONANCE’ form a bridge in the sculpture which crosses the word PAIN under the bridge.