The avant-garde movement in art and literature of the early 20th-century that sought to release the creative potential of the sub-conscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images is often termed as surrealism.
In the words of Salvador Dali, Surréalism is said to be the symbolic language of the subconscious; truly a universal language, it doesn’t depend on education, culture or intelligence.
Surréalism means cleansing your mind of what you have seen and be on the look out of "what has never been."
SURRéALISM AS A TOOL TO ACCESS THE SUB-CONSCIOUS MIND
Coined by French psychologist, Pierre Janet, the term sub-conscious refers to all information that is stored in the mind of which you’re not fully aware. Your subconsciousness consists of desires, fears, and motivations of which you may not be directly aware.
"The sub-conscious mind has just as much of an impact on your decision-making, but unlike the unconscious mind, it can be shaped and trained. Since sub-conscious thoughts are accessible to the conscious mind, you can program how it affects your life."
Surréalism surfaced in the 1920s as a literary movement responding to the illogical mass killings and social turmoil after World War I. Surrealist writers, including former Dadaist Andre Breton, were motivated by Sigmund Freud’s work in exploring the sub-conscious/unconscious and sought direct access to the deepest levels of the human mind, unfiltered by logic or reason. By the early 1920s, graphic design and visual art expressed dream-like imagery, ideas mined directly from the unconscious and Salvador Dali became the leader of the Surrealist Movement. The melting watches became the marquee surrealist works of all times.
Surréalism means you get to fuse concepts from our carbon based 3D reality with the silicon based virtual reality. The idea is to destroy the shackles of of your linear thinking mind.
SURRéALISM IS A SYMBOLIC LANGUAGE OF THE SUB-CONSCIOUS MIND
Science says that the human nervous system is bombarded with roughly 2 million bits of information. To maintain sanity, our conscious mind filters out most of the stimuli. In 1956 George A. Miller discovered that the number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 ± 2. (Now you know why phone numbers are made of 7 numerals)
The rest of that (2 million — 7(± 2)) bits are dealt by the sub-conscious.
SURRéALISM AS AN ART FORM, CREATES CONNECTIVITY BETWEEN THE CONSCIOUS AND THE SUB-CONSCIOUS MIND
The sub-conscious mind is the store house of immense creative potential. It is 90% of our total mind power as opposed to the 10% of the mind that we usually use in our normal waking state. Another way to look at it is 90% of our total mind power is not normally accessed while sleep. We spend 1/3 of our life asleep. It is the inescapable law of life. However, the sub-conscious mind never rests or sleeps. It is always active, controlling all our vital forces.
Here, it is worth mentioning that science is not able to pin down the correct percentages because, scientists cannot agree mongst themselves — the challenge is we are trying to comprehend that what is infinite with our finite intellect.
40 million VERSUS 40 — WHO IS MAKING THE DECISION
It has been estimated that a disproportionately larger brain mass providing the sub-conscious mind’s function has the ability to interpret and respond to over 40 million nerve impulses per second. In contrast, the diminutive self-conscious mind’s prefrontal cortex only processes about 40 nerve impulses per second. As an information processor, the subconscious mind is one million times more powerful than the self-conscious mind. (Reference: Norretranders, T., The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size, New York, Penguin Books. 1998.)
In contrast to computational wizardry of the sub-conscious, the self—conscious gives us the illusion of the free-will. Here is why our free will is merely an illusion.
Bombarded by an avalanche of data, your customers exist in perpetual partial attention, hyper-tasking across platforms, trapped in an endless flow of information processing. Yet, as they are pre-occupied with shopping and income tax returns and chance conversations, the stream of information, from the universe continues to flow "undisturbed, solving problems, planning ahead: one sits down sterile and dispirited at the desk, and suddenly the words come as though from the air: the situations that seemed blocked in a hopeless impasse move forward: the work has been done while one slept or shopped or talked with friends.”
"We are eternally half-tuned in to everything and frozen in not-quite complete status, unable to close the loop."
Here are 4 ways, your brands can latch on to surrealism and start talking to the sub-conscious mind
1. Appeal with Graphic Design and Art Illustration:
If you are a brand, you already have established a logo or brand identity. Take your 'logo' out on a spin. Think about Google and MTV. They are continuously stretching out in different ways and shape. Because your sub-conscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently — build in context, give a distinctive appearance, or a simple set of characteristics that relates to behavior of your audience. The idea is to break free from the corporate brand book and let your 'logo' appeal to the lyricism of humanity.
Images from worldwide web
2. Appeal with Intellectuality:
Intellectuality fuels our thirst or a hunger to extend ourselves, to reach beyond, to see something that cannot be seen.
“Intellectual freedom begins when one says with Socrates that he knows that he knows nothing, and then goes on to add: Do you know what you don’t know and therefore what you should know? If your answer is affirmative and humble, then you are your own teacher, you are making your own assignment, and you will be your own best critic." This goes true for brands.
When the Tesla automotive company adopted the name of a genius, Nikola Tesla, the brand sent out sub-conscious messaging that it will live up to the innovative mind of our times. Tesla owners receive over-the-air software updates, introducing new features and updates to your car—making your car safer and smarter over time. It is no co-incidence that this brand's offering deliberately rhymes with the Nikola Tesla's thought patterns.
In his own words, Nicola Tesla simply downloaded the knowledge of the universe that gave him the strength to think with 40million horse power.
This advertisement did turn out to be polarizing: some people consider it hilarious while others see it as disgusting. Nevertheless, a facial tracking technology reveals that the advertisement is most emotionally engaging, even though the emotions it provokes are mixed.
WHY DO YOU THINK THIS POLARITY?
You see, we all talk about the power of emotion and emotional marketing, but we barely understand the meaning of emotion. We only understand the broad strokes of human emotion that falls within the universal categories of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust.
But, these categories are the result of an experience — a state, not a trait.
So, you could say, emotion is engagement in motion.
Whether you realize it or not, your entire existence (remember those 40,000 impulses) is engaging in gradients of motion ranging between awe and anxiety, tranquility and tragedy, horror and sadness, amusement and adoration, and thousands and thousands of shades there of.
Unfortunately, being a 'culture of clickers and swipers' we have managed to package our emotions in four letters — F**K and it's derivatives. We have lost the language to express our state, and as a result, we find ourselves at polarizing ends.
AS CRAFTERS OF REALITY AND MAGICIANS OF THE SUB-CONScIOUS GET tO KNOW THE MOTION WITHIN —
There are 2 ways — If you can, take the time out and go into solitary retreat for 3 months. If you cannot, get acquainted with emotional intelligence. Take the class. You will see what others fail to see.
4. Appeal with Morality:
Surréalism neither aims to subvert realism, nor does it try to transcend it. "It looks for different means by which to explore reality itself.” Seeking morality is a distinctive path of exploration.
'Morality' is at ease with the 'collective unconscious' — "described as a universal library of human knowledge, or the sage in man, the very transcendental wisdom that guides mankind."
Seeking morality leads some brands to put ethical business models as their core differentiation. The brands keep their promises even though customers do not keep track of it..
For example in 2010, the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan came into existence. It aimed to double the size of the business while halving its environmental footprint by 2020. The corporate -wide moral compass was translated into brand-level initiatives in a movement that pledged to improve the well-being of more than 1 billion people around the planet. Examples include, Knorr's effort to fight malnutrition in Nigeria, the effort by Wall's to create micro-entrepreneurs in India, and Omo's campaign to save water in Brazil.
GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH THE ART OF SURRéALISM
Dr. John Bigelow, a famous research authority on sleep, demonstrated that at night while asleep you receive impressions showing that the nerves of the eyes, ears, nose, and taste buds are active during sleep, meaning our brain is at work. He says that the main reason we sleep is because “the nobler part of the soul is united by abstraction to our higher nature and becomes a participant in the wisdom and foreknowledge of the gods.” Often, we have experienced the creative intelligence of our subconscious at work in our dreams. A consistent way to tap into your dreams is to sleep with a dream journal. When you are at the edge of half-sleep and half wakefulnes, write down the dream in one sentence. You will be amazed the doors that will be opened in that surreal state of mind. As Brad Holland so skillfully puts it: "Surrealism: An archaic term. Formerly an art movement. No longer distinguishable from everyday life."
Thank you for taking this journey with me.
Until next time....
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there." Rumi