& Inscendente kunst

transcenderen: van trans “over, voorbij” scandere “klimmen”; van PIE *skand
springen, klimmen

transcendentie = overstijging; bovenzinnelijk bewustzijn;

inscendentie = het proces van in de wereld klimmen, in de volle menselijke ervaring; volledige participatie

In many places transcendence is considered a goal, a desired state, whether it be overcoming the “ego” or surmounting the “physical” or “material” limitations.
Religious followers, spiritual seekers, transhumanists, virtual reality adepts, …, they all pursue some form of transcendence i.e. an escape.
This is highly problematic since it does not confront the world’s many problems at hand, on the contrary, it creates division and it cultivates resignation and passivity.

(c) Alex Grey

Transcendental art definitely has its merits.
However, it is a mix of fantasy, felt experience and/or hypothesis. It usually generates distance for the observer because the images are out of reach or hard to fathom.
As the transcendental picture is not directly accessible, it easily becomes artificial, superfluous eye candy, an aesthetic work of science fiction.

Transcendental art is not to be rejected, we just want to complement with more accessible ways of depicting.

When we inscend, we take a step back or down, returning to our inborn nature, our pre-rational core.
This involves a more contextual, intuitive approach to life and our surroundings, rooted in the physical world (body and environment).

Inscendence could prove indispensable to confront the ecological crisis, the climate emergency and the crisis of meaning.

Related notions/concepts:

  • – Eihei Dōgen’s “Shinjin datsuraku”
  • – Iain McGilchrist’s right brain
  • – Barfield’s final participation
  • – David Bohm’s proprioception of thought
  • – Lee Nichol’s rheosoma

Learn more:

Inscendental art aspires to close or narrow the gap between the mind’s eye and the world and the body.
Pictures that have a directness, a liveliness to them, so that one feels moved to join in and participate, empathize, sympathize, feel compassionate.
During the creation process, subject and object are undivided. Becoming one with the subject matter they are trying to depict, the artist (and viewer?) are in a wildly creative yet subtle zone of impressions and expressions.

Inscendental art is meant to spark insight into the infinite richness of nature and the world, altering primary perception in the observer. A work of art can make us look differently at the world after seeing it, even altering our conception of what we consider reality. David Hockney’s later landscape work is a great example of this, bringing out aspects of color and spatiality that elude many of us.
Essential to this key feature is the artist’s ardor to look more attentively and to become aware of their primary imagination, i.e. how images are formed unconsciously by body and mind, which in turn can inspire new ways of imagining and capturing the fruits on canvas/paper/…

Inscendental art is usually a combination of abstraction and photographic elements, it is the collapsing of abstraction and naturalism, more akin to how we actually perceive the world, could perceive the world differently and how we can participate in/with it. It tries to unlock human imaginative potential.
It aims to question what is considered “real” or “realistic”, breaking away from the ubiquitous conventions of linear perspective and photography. This is why we came up with the term ‘phorography‘, to push the importance of ‘phororealism’

More info in the FAQ below.

(c) David Hockney Foundation

“(Inscendence is ) the impulse not to rise above the world (transcendence)
but to climb into it, seek its core.” (Thomas Berry)

Veelgestelde vragen

No, this lively, participative quality has existed for a very long time.
It is present in Chinese and Japanese prints and paintings, in some comic strips, in art movements from the past (impressionism, post-impressonism, cubism, …), and it goes back to paintings and hand stencils made by Neanderthal people about 40,000 years ago(!).

(c) Franquin


Maybe. The idea of stressing inscendence and the observer’s participation is to highlight a quality that has existed for millennia in human art and human expression.

At first glance, one can see many similarities with Post-Impressionism (which never was a movement anyway, just a label).
However, many Post-Impressionists had an overly subjective approach to their subject matter. Inscendental art aspires to inscend the subjective and objective approach, integrating them in a holistic approach.

In a way this is new approach to Realism/Naturalism, but explicitly breaking away from photography.

No doubt! But the artwork is moving more and more in that direction.

Movement is key

Inscending is the most fundamental form of contexting, since it is a somatopsychic process where mental subjectivity and body-as-object fall away to a state of somatic agency.
In simple words: intuition, (formerly) unconscious processes take over perception, perhaps even more actions.

Contexting is participatory

Through imagination

Inscendental art is not an illustration of an idea or a static representation, it attempts to convey a living context in which you can participate (or not)

Not at all! But it can help you what to look at, and to look at inscendental qualities across art movements throughout art history.

Transcendental art tends to be largely Utopian, depicting altered states of consciousness, idealized image of what the “new age” would look like. In general, there is even more distance between the viewer and transcendental art than between the viewer and more traditional, naturalist art.