Explore with your body
A conscious wardrobe

A conscious wardrobe

A Conscious Wardrobe


My body picks up and loses weight. As I grow older, it changes shape and elasticity. It is comical to note how my body is perceived relative to that of the population there when I travel to different countries. I have been called tall as well as short. Fat and skinny, muscular and sometimes not strong enough. How can one body be assigned so many contradictory labels? It’s all in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

The age-old adage: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, teaches us that beauty is very subjective. We are primed by our culture and upbringing to have specific ideas about the world. But it doesn’t stop there.


The language we speak shapes how we see the world. People who speak more than one language will often lament how difficult it is to translate certain phrases and concepts.


Our social media interactions also shape how we see the world. Algorithms have become astute in optimising content for maximum consumption and often lock us in echo chambers, reverberating our own biases.


What else could have an impact on how we see the world?


Would you believe it if I told you that our brains might be keeping certain information from us? Researchers have a lot to say about our cognitive abilities. Theories such as the ‘Cognitive Trade-Off Hypothesis’[1] or the process of ‘learned irrelevance’ – what our brains learn to tune out – points to the fact that humans tend to de-emphasise particular stimulus to not become cognitively overloaded. If you live next to a busy street, you eventually tune out the sounds of cars. We quickly forget the chair pressing against our leg or the sensation of the clothes against our skins. What else are we missing out on?


In the rhyme below, I expose some of the blind spots created by people’s ‘logical’ minds (don’t worry, I back up this assertion with lots of theory). I would venture to say that relying solely on a cognitive rendering of the world is limiting our participation in it.


This rhyme is an end rhyme – the last words in the sentences rhyme – and follows an ABBBA rhyme scheme.

[1] As proposed by Tetsuro Matsuzawa, postulates that a trade-off between superior language facility at the expense of memory ability based on social life occurred during human evolution.  In comparison to chimpanzees, who possess superior short-term memory  abilities and no known language, humans de-emphasized short term memory for extraordinary language capacity, which may be one mechanism for increased collaboration and altruism in humans. – The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis. (December 2018). Vsauce. [Youtube]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktkjUjcZid0. Accessed: 5 December 2020.

Some call it the 6th sense. Not the movie though!

Linguists are aware of around 7,000 languages spoken around the world. All unique in their construction of sounds, vocabularies, grammar and syntax. But this is just scratching the surface of linguistic diversity. Even the situated and spatial relationship between the subject-verb-object is vastly different. This begs the question. Does the language we speak shape the way we think? Does language craft reality? The linguistics reality hypothesis postulates the existence of 7000 cognitive realities because of the 7000 languages in the world. – An excerpt from my summary of Lena Boroditsky TED talk.
Boroditsky, L. (May2018). How Language Shapes the Way We Think.
[YouTube]. Available at:. https://youtu.be/RKK7wGAYP6k.
Accessed: 17 July 2021.

“The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, also known as the linguistic relativity hypothesis, refers to the proposal that the particular language one speaks influences the way one thinks about reality. Linguistic relativity stands in close relation to semiotic-level concerns with the general relation of language and thought, and to discourse-level concerns with how patterns of language use in cultural context can affect thought.” 


Lucy, J.A. (2001).  Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis. International Encyclopaedia of the Social & Behavioural Sciences, 13486-13490. Pergamon. 
[Online]. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/psychology/sapir-whorf-hypothesis.
Accessed: 8 July 2021.
The misconception that humans are in control of the world and everting is subordinate to the human race. When I examined the differences in English and Kuuk Thaayorre before, I hope, you were as surprised as I was by the lack of sensory access to time and space when observing the world in English. Our metaphorical and ego-centric descriptions of time and space impact our range of mental representation. Just shifting our brain coordinates to an allocentric, object-centered, or world-centered view could already broaden our cerebral dimensions and make it sensitive to potential beyond our narrow metaphysical realm.– An excerpt from my summary of Lena Boroditsky TED talk about Kuuk Thaayorre, a language native to the western part of the Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia.
Boroditsky, L. (May 2018). How Language Shapes the Way We Think. 
[YouTube]. Available at:. https://youtu.be/RKK7wGAYP6k.
Accessed: 17 July 2021

Only five senses and five ways to experience the world.

Check the link below for an interesting comparison!
WikiDiff. (NA). Conscious vs Cognitive - What's the difference?.
[Online]. Available at: https://wikidiff.com/cognitive/conscious.
Accessed: 7 April 2022.

In his talk about the limitations of science, Rupert Sheldrake urges scientists to free themselves from the dogma of materialism.

The ’10 dogmas of modern science’ are:

  1. Everything is essentially mechanical. Dogs, for example, are complex mechanisms, rather than living organisms with goals of their own. Even people are machines, ‘lumbering robots’, in Richard Dawkins’s vivid phrase, with brains that are like genetically programmed computers.
  2. All matter is unconscious. It has no inner life or subjectivity or point of view. Even human consciousness is an illusion produced by the material activities of brains.
  3. The total amount of matter and energy is always the same (with the exception of the Big Bang, when all the matter and energy of the universe suddenly appeared).
  4. The laws of nature are fixed. They are the same today as they were at the beginning, and they will stay the same forever.
  5. Nature is purposeless, and evolution has no goal or direction.
  6. All biological inheritance is material, carried in the genetic material, DNA, and in other material structures.
  7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree, the image of the tree you are seeing is not ‘out there’, where it seems to be, but inside your brain.
  8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.
  9. Unexplained phenomena like telepathy are illusory.

Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.

Sheldrake, R. (2012). The Science Delusion. London: England. 
[YouTube]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaFtQwF-Ans.
“…little sustained attention has been paid to the embodied dimensions of image perception, and almost none to theories of affect. It’s not my intention to argue here that semiotics has no place in the analysis of fashion images. Nonetheless, such images are explicitly addressed to embodied subjects, and somatic or bodily responses are integral to the way that they come to mean. As Paasonen writes, ‘[bodily]
sensations and arousals do matter, yet their meaning is far more complicated and slippery an issue because the mattering does not primarily concern signification.” p:75 
Shinkle, E. (2012). Uneasy bodies: Affect, Embodied Perception, and Contemporary Fashion
Photography, 73-88 in ‘Carnal Aesthetics: Transgressive Imagery and Feminist Politics’.
Papenburg, Bettina & Zarzycka, Marta. I.B.Tauris.
DOI: 10.5040/9780755603374.
“Many of your beliefs were installed in you before you were born, through your mother and her perception of the environment. Parents are belief filters. Parents are genetic engineers; they are selecting genes in their offspring as they develop so the offspring fits the environment the parents live in”.
Lipton, B. (2009). The Biology of Belief. Carlsbad, California : Hay House, Inc.

I’m shouting because I’m angry but I’m not really sure why I am angry!

Oh yeah, I must be upset because that idiot stole my parking spot this morning.

People who are “open to experience” tend to be intellectually curious, creative and imaginative. Personality researchers have shown that such people literally see the world differently.” 
Smillie, L. (2017).  Openness to Experience: The Gates of the Mind. [Online].
Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/openness-to-experience-the-gates-of-the-mind/.
Accessed: 25 January 2022.

I see things differently when I take LSD.

I just said that I do LSD…

Travelling also helps. To learn about new ways to do things.

Easier said than done. A helping of cognitive dissonance anyone?

“Focusing on a 2009 Chanel fashion show that appropriates Chinese sartorial signs, it demonstrates that the inability to know the ‘real’ China is the very condition for it to emerge in our imagination in a creative play of identity and différance.”

Behnke, A. (2021). Fashioning the Other: Fashion as an Epistemology of Translation. 
At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
United Nations. (NA). The 17 Goals: Sustainable Development Goals. 
[Online]. Available at: https://sdgs.un.org/goals.
Accessed: 7 April 2022.

My dog definitely knows when I’m sad. My cat too but the cat doesn’t care.

The view (paradigm) that humans are different from all other organisms, all human behaviour is controlled by culture and free will, and all problems can be solved by human ingenuity and technology.

Human exceptionalism paradigm: . (N.A.) Oxford Reference.
[Online]. Available at: https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095949791.
Accessed: 5 June 2021.

Fashioning an Identity, fashioning a look, fashioning a hairstyle.

Show others what you think through fashion.

“(matrixial theory) A space between conceptual borders such as culturally-imposed binaries.”
Ettinger, B. (2005). The Matrixial Borderspace.
[Online]. Available at: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-matrixial-borderspace.
Accessed: 13 February 2022.
“Fashioning, from my perspective, has to do with a body that is not only “seen” but also “felt” insofar as it is simultaneously a perceiving subject and a perceived object in constant flux, being rearticulated in a variety of forms through its being in the world and its being with others, a permeable membrane that absorbs, manipulates and reflects affects, images and discourses.”
Filippello, R. (2016). “What’s so Fashionable About HIV?”. 
[Online]. Available at: https://www.fashionstudiesjournal.org/essays-1/2016/11/29/whats-so-fashionable-about-hiv.

Accessed:  7 March 2022.


Like fashion designers? They are rich!

O those guys, I tend to try and forget about them 😫.

Workers’ wages represent only a fraction of what consumers pay for the clothes because of deep-rooted structural power dynamics. A well known example is the national kit of the England football team at the 2018 World Cup, embellished with a well-known sportswear brand logo and the most expensive England kit ever. They were sold to fans for as much as €180 – while the workers in Bangladesh who made them were earning less than €2 per day.”
Clean Clothes Campaign. (1989). [Online]. 
Available at: https://cleanclothes.org/.
Accessed: 21 September 2021.

Aaagh, I don’t want my clothes to be sad.

“Our bodily response is unclear, however – “our lack of ability to explain its somatism as anything more than ‘mere’ psychological reflex or to admit its meaning as anything more than metaphorical description” Sensual description in film criticism is considered “excess.”
Sobchack, V.C. (2015).  “What my Fingers Knew. The Cinesthetic Subject, or Vision in the Flesh. 

Qualia are the conscious experiences or mental states that include the ways it feels to see, hear and smell, or experience pain.

Sudden inexplicable shivers down your spine!

Lexical means related to language and words.

Different senses intersect. Maybe you’ll see colours or hear numbers.

Does this mean that I can be anything I want?

Yea, that’s true. People have different opinions about things.

Deviating from the norm, especially in terms of behaviour. Not being normal is the new normal!

Yes, I get exited when other people are exited.

Rupert Sheldrake, a researcher in the field of parapsychology, proposes the conjecture of morphic resonance – a universal collective memory that permeates everywhere. Energy travels across time and space in ways we cannot quite discern but what is evident is the similarity in patterns of vibration or patterns of energy and the patterns in myths. Dr Rupert Sheldrake is adamant that the conscious communicates and that laws of nature are outside time and space yet prevalent everywhere. This results in the existence of morphogenic fields – fields that create form or a shared consciousness since memory is beyond the material and can travel through

time. His ideas go against the dogma of mainstream science that generally have sanctioned and valorized materialism, a theory that proposes that everything came into existence accidentally with the big bang.

In quantum theory nature is probabilistic. There is no rigid determinism, as can be demonstrated by the double-slit theory. In this experiment a single photon is measured going through a double slit, the end position is random and unpredictable. Scientists can only determine a probability distribution. But in quantum theory, the kind of observation you make depends on what you are observing in other words the observation depends on the observer. All science suffer this subjective fate though. All observations depend on the observer’s preconceptions and equipment. The answer depends on the questions.

Sheldrake is a bigger proponent of chaos theory where inherent indeterminism thrives. There is inherent freedom in nature, at the fundamental particles of matter. Sometimes mainstream science protects its dogma through denial of variation. This intellectual phase-locking – when scientists’ results agree although they are incorrect – can upend social stability and serve as the justification for the infringement of human rights.

Sheldrake, R. (2009).  A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance, 3rd Ed. London: England.
[Online]. Available at: https://www.sheldrake.org/research/morphic-resonance.
Accessed: 14 February 2022.

Those are all difficult words!

Yea, that’s true. People have different opinions about things.

Not being normal is the new normal!

“They argue for the need to explore what role affect plays in these reciprocal relations, that is, how it affects and is affected by as an aesthetical and ethical inquiry (Seigworth and Gregg, p14). What it is to encounter the visual work of art within an event of shared materiality? Can affect reshape models of society, ethics and aesthetics?”
Braidotti, R. &Dolphijn, R. (2014). This Deleuzian Century. Materiality of Affect: How Art can Reveal
the more Subtle Realities of an Encounter, Agnieszka Anna Wołodźko , p175.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789401211987_008.

I think the point is coming across now.

The present project began almost ten years ago in response to these problems. It was based on the hope that movement, sensation, and qualities of experience couched in matter in its most literal sense (and sensing) might be culturally-theoretically thinkable, without falling into either the Scylla of naive realism or the Charybdis of subjectivism and without contradicting the very real insights of poststructuralist cultural theory concerning the coextensiveness of culture with the field of experience and of power with culture. The aim was to put matter unmediatedly back into cultural materialism, along with what seemed most directly corporeal back into the body.
Massumi, B. (2002)Parables of the Virtual, p14. 
Duke University Press: Durham London.

Well, the disarray in my closet gets me down.

I think I’m seeing the point now.

In the YouTube video Your Cells Are Conscious!!!’ I learned that epigenetics is the study of how your behaviours and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. According to Bruce Lipton, human skin might not be our wrapping it might be our brain, more similar to the skin of an octopus. Maybe it is our interface with life. Our skins contain the receptors that interpret information and then send signals to our brain and body. Epigenetics postulates that we are more than products of our environment but rather that we are controlled by our environment. We are continuously adjusting our biology. Evolving with each interaction between the environment and the organism. There are no random mutations, but rather conscious mutations. Organisms develop to fit the environment, not by conditioning but by being an integral element in it (it isn’t survival of the fittest it’s evolution).
Lipton, B. (2020)Your Cells Are Conscious!!! Awaken This Deep Power. Under the Skin by Russel Brand.
[YouTube] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XmhVB8AIt0&t=248s.
Accessed: 10 January 2021.

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