DIRECT EXPRESSIONISM (working definition)

Any work of art or process of artistic creation/interaction in which the mode of encounter deals primarily with perception itself.

All art is perceptible in various ways and the process of perception is deeply rooted in how we construct and experience reality. This form of expression is unique in that it seeks to penetrate and bring about an awareness of perception's most essential moment to moment operations within the realm of individual consciousness. Thus one gains insight into the actual processes of perception in which one is continually constructing reality from.

The artist(s) engaged in such art enters into expanded states of awareness in order to contact directly their perception of the medium so that they may arrange the medium into a transformable context of perceptual communication.

This is not simply creating tricks for they eye such as in "optic art", rather it deals more essentially with perception and consciousness as a whole, in its primary processes out of which mind, the self, and the world originate. Thus the originality rests not in contacting meaning or form in a new way, instead it rests primarily in contacting perception in new ways by creating out of an increased awareness of it's original experience constructing processes.

Such art may also be related with the increasing ability of science and technology to understand and utilize subtle forms of matter. This subtle utilization increases the ability to structure surrounding mediums more freely and directly across time and space in order to express an individual's (or group of individuals) state of perception or consciousness more accurately, and subsequently/simultaneously contact the art viewer more directly as well.  This relation may also be a reciprocal process, in that by bringing about and encouraging new more "original" ways of perceiving, new hypotheses may be formed to be then tested by science.

The expressive element of this art may go unnoticed for many viewers. As the artist contacts his perception deeply, the realm of self identity and memory ceases to command his attention.

The expanded awareness out of which the artist creates is not simply that in which the creative use of the medium arises. It is also the awareness out of which all notions of self and other arise as well.

The outcome of the process then may appear empty to others as it is not created out of the drive of a self to fit or manipulate particular conventions of meaning or aesthetics. As the expression is increasingly devoid of self and conceptualization, the expression enters a flow of self, material, space, time, and universe acting as an undivided whole.

Such a creative encounter deals not exclusively with creating order out of the chaos of self, society, and mankind's conscious and subconscious existential difficulties. It subtly creates order out of the cosmic bath of the Universe itself.

Ultimately, expression and perception are realized to be one as the artist transcends identity, fear, and limitation by entering into (realizing) the Infinite Creative Being of the Universe.

Verbal translation of perception and expression as one:

To truly express something, one must perceive it. (not necessarily knowingly)

For example, to truly express yourself, you must first perceive yourself deeply.

To perceive something truly, one must express it. (this is a little harder to accept)

For example you see a tree. You see a tree and say, "I know that tree". Yet you know an image fitting a category. You do not perceive the roots, the water flowing inside, the balance of trunk and limbs, etc. Nor do you know the seed that brought the tree about, and where the seed came from, etc. Once looked into it deeply either contemplatively or through science, one comes to the emptiness of that particular tree and all objects of perception in their interconnectedness to everything else and their essential nature as pure energy. Therefore, to fully perceive the tree, one simply becomes the tree expressing itself as "treeing" or a human being by simply expressing being.

These are not two separated processes, in that they arise reciprocally together. For instance, by expressing one's unconsciousness one may be able to better perceive it, and by increasingly perceiving it, they may then increasingly express it.

In spiritual terms, once one directly perceives their inner reality as Unity, one may creatively express from this perception. Or, if one expresses out of the creative flow of the universe, they may then be able to perceive and realize themselves as this flow or Unity, which is the Source of their expression.

Ultimately, one sees the emptiness in the perceived and the emptiness in that which is expressing (the self, the other). The distinguishing of the Universe as Creation, and self or mankind as creating, ceases moment by moment into Wholeness.

"The artist is the man who sacrifices objective existence for subjective existence, who chooses to exist in his work rather than in the world and in history. If he sometimes shirks the norms of daily life, it is because he vaguely believes that it is not his behavior in this life that he can be reached and judged. And perhaps individuals who believe this most clearly and bitterly are those who experience themselves as alienated, dispossessed, or lost. For them true life lies elsewhere, in the universe of the work which is disclosed whenever the work meets the public......"

From The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience

“Like it or not, if you look at your own mind you will discover it is void and groundless; as insubstantial as empty space.”

Guru Padmasambhava