Read : Expressions of Energy

Updated: Jan 3

Seeley and Reason began exploring the ideas of presentational knowing from a reflection on an experience, which was informed by search for societal joy informing research which led to wider engagement. Within this piece of research, creativity is defined as the ability to make or find forms that fit experience whereas art is artists bringing themselves into life existence to enhance experiences, engagement, alive, feeling and humanity.


The essay highlighted using the combination of the personal intuitive known, experience and research supported method, inspiring an individual’s journey to form collective knowledge in a collaborative approach. Specifically in regarding to development and research, key points were made over the fact rational is often valued over emotional and made me question whether we could form a comorbidity of the two? The research itself felt like a humanistic journey rather than heavy theorisation & documentation which allowed to develop a relationship of trust between author and experience. Related deeply to the idea of intellectualisation and certainty of knowledge as a separation tool to dispel anxiety between expression, highlighting my own need to offer more gratitude for experience instead of passivity. 


Key elements for me was a universal yearning to trying to form the human experience of relating, understanding and being understood with another’s internal world and how creativity and experiential knowing can be the tool for that. Intellectualisation often leads to a separation between our unfulfilled yearning of profound connection and action - does this anxiety come from attachment, judgment, connection or commitment? How can we encourage breaking free from self-awareness limitations and the fear of "being seen" that often comes through artistic or academic acts? In terms of pedagogical output it became clear that continually given cues and notions of stagnation to allow ideas to naturally form become vital to individual's authoring of work, linking the improvisation of experience & how that leads to collective freedom, such as through acts like music jamming and collaborative work.


Seeley, Chris, and Peter Reason. 2008. “Expressions of Energy: An Epistemology of Presentational Knowing.” Knowing Differently: Arts-Based and Collaborative Research Methods. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc, Pages 25–46.


Pg 27 : Childhood drawing - unconscious, undirected - marks from experience to expression

Expression to response - imagination ; “outer expressions of our inner qualities” (Colquhoun 1996 : 20)

A Doodle at the Edge : William Ayot

How can you balance academic and presentational exploration? - messy, stuttering

“the myth of utility-maximising, rational, homo-economicus strongly informs wealthy, Western, patriarchal culture”

Pg 28 : rejection of quantitive, rationalisation - “relationship between self and other, through participation and intuition” through holistic approach

not just academic task : everyday pursuit of acting in relationship & creating meaning

John Heron (1992) : experimental knowing : “embrace pre-verbal, manifest and tacit knowings” - imaging and feeling the presence of some energy, entity, person, place, process or thing (expressive) vs practical knowing (knowing how to exercise a skill)

Intuition, reflection, imagination and conceptual thinking

Presentational knowing - bridge between experiential grounding and propositional knowing & most immediate way of knowing direct experience (clarification)

Pg 29 : “Art is a mode of knowledge” - symbolising deeper pattern & perceptual images “telling a story”

Improvisational court jester-style storytelling - knowing, writing, poetry, visual art-based workshops & process of gathering books, films, music, images, memories, sleeping, reading, walking and talking (living) - “active mulling”

Pg 30 : "sensuous encountering : all ways of sensing to experience whole-body sense of curiosity & appreciation for the glorious mundane

Suspending : hanging fire with fresh rounds of clever intellectual retorts in order to become more deeply acquainted with the responses of experience of our more-than-brainy bodies to the more-than-human world

Bodying-forth : inviting imagination impulses to express themselves through the media of our bodies without our intellects throwing a spanner in the works crushing those responses with misplaced rationality or premature editing and critique

Am I documenting my own mental health recovery, or search for joy, my own play and trying to remove rationality?

Being in-formed : becoming beings whose livings and actions form and are informed by the rich experiences, surprises, provocations and evocations of presentational knowing - both as perceivers and as creators”

Healthy dynamic interplay between presentation & propositional - intellectual and emotional - “artistic skill is the combining of … unconscious, conscious and external” Bateson 2000

need intelligence for healthy sustainability to participate in Natural processes” - relational to social and ecological climate

Pg 32 : sensuous : “messy, rich direct experience where we are a part of our complex creative planet in the grounding for all our other ways or knowing” … intellectualisation keeps us apart from the wider world

Pg 33 : “our spontaneous experience of the world, charged with subjective, emotional, intuitive content, remains the vital and dark ground of all our objectivity” (Abram 1997)

modern culture of conformity of admiration, unquestioning of emotional experiences

Pg 34 : “sacred attention = presence” - pain and glory

Attention to the world via reflection - enrich the ground of our experience (sensuous, erotic, curious, playful and emotional engagement with experience)

Pg 35 : Suspending : over-intellectualisation = “what matters is absent from the room”

Allow responsive impulse to emerge from body - not as premeditated idea / improvisation

Pg 36 : “negative capability” Keats (1817)- “doubts as symptoms in the process of knowledge” (MC Richards 1964)

Uncertainty of improvisation : open ourselves to receive impulsive inspiration & primary thought processes “intuitive imagination”

Pg 37 : attention to multiple emotions and states - bodily experience & responses

Pg 38 : “everyday life - an unfilled yearning for a more profound connection” - too much self/societal pressure to follow artistic experiences - frustrated lack of expression = misplaced addictive consumerism (Emmel 2003) of novelty created by the need for deep engagement -

Pg 39 : what matters should be feeling over outcome - felt with / knowing about “savour”

Pg 40 : Bodying forth : forming tangible, visible aspects of feeling - within becomes through the body “aesthetic patterning”

Pg 41 : express our individual and wider truths - bodily gestures vs Art expressive acts separates us from society with labels

Experience and expression connect each other - propositional knowledge = commodity - “brain on a stick”

“It is not the things that are difficult to make, but to put ourselves in a condition to make them” Brancusi - sculptor

“our responses from the unexpressed privacy of our inner worlds out into the manifest arena” = an arena to act rather to a space to produce? Does it have to be an “act” or more authentic

Structure to form spontaneity - limiting conditions lead to improvisation - safety for freedom?

Pg 42 - “Something will happen”

“Potter and clay press against each other” - natural dialogue between hand & for; indirect language = subjective immediacy and objective immortality

Experience / feeling vs being “informed” - anxiety between this

Pg 43 - “It’s not pots we’re forming, it’s ourselves …” (MC Richards)

“The greatest art is less the creating of things than the creating of our own life” (Gablik 2002)

= two dimensional experience of society vs sensory enriched being

Perceiver-creator interplay - care for self, society and planet - structures that enhance rather than destroy for human perceiving and receiving = generative and restorative

“Post-linguistic propositional knowing” (Heron 1992) - cause and effect influences and patterns our responses to the world (openness to significance and delight of childlike clowning - engagement and playfulness in weighted awareness)

Pg 44 - shared humanity - meta-communication of compassion “being part of” inclusivity of ‘alive’ / core sense of “greater aliveness” - theatricality of every day life

A reflection on an experience informed by search for societal joy informing research to inform engagement

Creativity = ability to make or find forms that fit experience / art is artists bringing themselves into life existence to enhance experiences, engagement, alive, feeling and humanity


Further Research :


Kane, M.C.Richards : The Fire Within. Available online : [Accessed : 18/10/19]

Lottie Matthews © 2020
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle