To summarise, I suggest that the creative process engages mental processes that are nonconscious. Underpinning these processes are emotional states that contain information about the state of the individual, ranging from the internal milieu to the perceived position of the individual in the social field. The quality of this information is sensory and reaches consciousness as feelings and audio-visual impressions. Sensory images reaching consciousness can be experienced as coming from elsewhere, as though they have crossed a frontier. Although I see this as a neural process rather than a movement from one space to another, the experience is as if mental material emerges from a nonconscious realm. For me, the Freudian unconscious works as a spatial metaphor as it approximates the experience of this process. Lastly, the indirect and metaphorical quality of thought, especially the laterally relational material that informs artistic practice, may tell us of the associational structure of neural activity.
I have since found in the work of Donna Haraway a positive approach to thinking about the troubled future and I support the notion of the Chthulucene as ‘one of the big-enough stories in the netbag for staying with the trouble in our ongoing epoch’. Among Haraway’s objections to the discourse of the Anthropocene is that it ‘saps our capacity for imagining and caring for other worlds, both those that exist precariously now [...] and those we need to bring into alliance with other critters.’ Haraway emphasises the importance of cultural narratives, that our stories amount to shared visions, and that it matters ‘what thoughts think thoughts.’