Sentience

Photography, poetry and music

Selected as one of the photo books of 2015 by the Photocaptionist

"The rawness and honesty touch a nerve that many people can relate to and leaves an affecting impression and a reminder not to neglect reflection, even if it can be painful." - Clemency Newman, GUP Magazine
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Listen to the soundtrack while browsing the book. Play it loud or through a good pair of headphones.

Sit, imagine, for hours – stagnant
Empty mind
Shallow core
Participating witnesses of an awkward dance

The light carries no answer
So we’re sitting, anticipating
The notion of nothing

— excerpt from the book

Sentience documents two years of my exploration of emptiness, space and silence. All photographs in the book were taken intuitively, to mark passing moments and to preserve their delicate state. To memorise feelings in the context of physical environment. Nothing was planned. I was waiting for my conscience to manifest images to me.

I see the book as a loose description of multiple states of mind which we experience when moving through time.

In my practice of mindfulness and meditation I often encounter states of peace. I believe that emptiness - stillness of the mind, awareness of one's own feelings - is truly undervalued in our busy lifestyle. We are constantly on the move, looking for things to occupy our minds with. We are discouraged from not doing and are constantly pushed further by an endless number of tasks, chores and expectations. This is what I want to avoid, as I believe it ultimately leads to destruction of will and awareness. 

Sentience illustrates my own process of dealing with basic biological and culturally-constructed conditions: joy, pain, love, desire, loss and fear.

Unavoidably, the book is very personal as it concentrates on my own observations from the period. However, I believe that the message is somewhat universal; we can only be sure of what our minds carry (if even that) and what effects our actions have on our environment and those who are close to us. 

Review

Read the book review by Clemency Newman in the prestigious GUP Magazine.

Technical information

  • ISBN 978-83-934660-1-6
  • 100 hand-numbered and signed copies, self-published (available for purchase online)
  • Publication date: August 2015
  • 24 black and white photographs across 60 pages, 152x177mm format

All photographs and poetry by Wojtek Kutyla, with quotes from Nina Cassian
Music by Wojtek Kutyla and Cathal Rodgers, final mix by CR.

Press review? Contact me for access to a pdf containing the entire book.

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