Definition of the concept of “Meta-object” in the visual arts.
If the concept of “object” refers, to a greater extent, to the actual, physical presence, a thing as such, with a clear definition of signs and properties, then “meta-object” is a personal interpretation of that object, the way we see and perceive it. Any object, in the eyes of the observer, becomes a subjective “metaobject. But if in everyday life we strive to unify the perception of objects for an unambiguous and correct reading, then in art the phenomenon of the emergence of a “meta-object” becomes the key factor of perception. The art object is designed to provoke and trigger the process of modeling the “metaobject” in the mind of the observer. This property creates the immersive nature of the interaction between the art object and the viewer. The viewer becomes an interpreter and participant in the art process. An art object without a viewer remains passive, not activated. And only the presence of the viewer triggers the art process. Hence the conclusion that the art object itself is only a prerequisite for the birth mystery of the “metaobject” that arises from the interaction with the observer. In a sense, this is the process of fertilization and birth of a new life, a new thoughtform, when the unique pattern of the subject’s perception is superimposed on the unique genome of the work of art. And if we continue this analogy, we can see that in this interaction, the born image carries new information about both participants. We learn something new about both the work and the viewer.
Eventually, in collecting heterogeneous opinions about the work, we observe not only, and not so much definitions of the work itself, as definitions of the recipients’ personalities and their subjective patterns of perception. This could be said of any interaction between object and observer, but in the case of an artwork, it is created for the sake of this contact, for the sake of conveying a message, for the sake of becoming a meta-object.
From the point of view of the artwork’s creation strategy, we can distinguish three orientations. The first, translational, strives for an unambiguous reading of the author’s message, in order to convey it holistically to the viewer. The second, inspirational, does not declare it, but implicitly pushes it toward certain conclusions. And provocative – deliberately directing a variant reading, in order to self-disclose the viewer in an attempt to read the work. Both are the author’s conscious, programmatic attitude to achieve one goal or another. To convey an idea, to provoke an emotion, to form an image or impression.
The very realization of the existence of the “metaobject” as a mental and vital projection of the object changes the attitude to both the creation of a work of art and its perception. Everything falls into place, vagueness and mythologizing are dispelled, and a clear understanding of the mediative principles of art, its meaning and objectives emerges.
Following this logic, we conclude that we are not interested in objects as such, we are not capable of seeing them at all. Our life is filled with metaobjects, that is, our perception and attitude toward the object. It is metaobjects that form our subjective reality, enter into interaction with us, and in general are visible to us. This is the territory, the world that is only real for us.