Through the thesis, the basic philosophical understanding of the notion of the sublime from Longinus, Burke and Kant has been explored, which belongs to an aesthetics catalogue with different aspects. Sublime is a part of aesthetics, and it is hard to define and not that easy to describe and represent. Also, sublime has various forms like awe, terror and even in today’s technology. To some degree, sublime exists in everywhere, however, it is not something that we can easily create and grasp. From the study, the key to discovering the sublime is one’s way of looking at beauty and his or her personal experience. Human being is an individual and with its awareness of things, but we are all interested in curiosities and those seemingly magical things because there is a generality of unknown and un-representable. Therefore, the most likely way to transmit the impossible matter is to restore the impossibility as much as possible in an approachable and straightforward way that makes people feel like seeing the light.
Meanwhile, the study of formalism and its relationship with artwork’s content, which makes me have a better understating of how to structure an artwork. In addition, form is also related to aesthetics. Thus, sublime exists in aesthetics and then aesthetics reflects formalism, and they are closely connected. The “interface” of an artwork is the function of revealing immanent eternity which with the reality inside. And naturally, the meaning of the concept is sublimated.
From the point of interaction design, it is an intuitive method to explore potential concept of the work through aesthetic form and interactivity. Most importantly, sublime is able to evoke the feeling of pleasure and pain at the same time during the engagement in artworks by using human ability of senses and reasons. Through the analysis of three artworks, they have totally different forms but with a universal nature – ambivalent experience (contradictory is the origin of the sublime) and individual’s involvement. These three projects avoid self-directed definition but use simplification, so the sublime is evocated in people’s participation. The quality of nature what they made via ordinary objects is “grand”.
With the understanding of the sublime through the study and the form, I chose in In the Name of Sublime: A So-called Dome and A Sudden Snow. What I focused on is the journey of how to approach the impossibility of the sublime by using ordinary objects and approachable methods, and also the “immersive” relationship (experience) between participants, space and snow. As a souvenir, miniature crystal ball is for recalling the memory of what you have been through and is the representation of one particular festival – Christmas. Actually, the power of recalling is un- representable, each piece of memory brings you various feelings: happy and unhappy, relaxed and tense, sweet and sad, etc., which is also unpredictable because no one knows the effect of recalling in different situations. To amplify the size of miniature crystal ball to enable one-person to stand inside and feel snowing is romantic, but it is tough to build the ball and create the snow which is just like the characteristic of sublime. Therefore, to approach this seemingly impossible thing via an ordinary way is exploring the ubiquity of the sublime, which is meaningful and interesting. Also, the notion of the sublime should be straightforward rather than puzzling.