automatism

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Related to automatist: automatistic behavior

Automatism

An involuntary act such as sleepwalking that is performed in a state of unconsciousness. The subject does not act voluntarily and is not fully aware of his or her actions while in a state of automatism. Automatism has been used as a defense to show that a defendant lacked the requisite mental state for the commission of a crime. A defense based on automatism asserts that there was no act in the legal sense because at the time of the alleged crime, the defendant had no psychic awareness or volition. Some American jurisdictions have recognized automatism as a complete, Affirmative Defense to most criminal charges. An Insanity Defense, by comparison, asserts that the accused possessed psychic awareness or volition, but at the time of the offense, the accused possessed a mental disorder or defect that caused them to commit the offense or prevented them from understanding the wrongness of the offense.

automatism

see INSANITY.
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What simulates universal access to the liberatory impulses of a collectivized aesthetic (as, for example, in Manzoni's parodic iteration of the liberatory powers of automatist drawing in his Linee [Lines], 1959-61) is instantly enforced as an insuperable condition of administrative control.
Intricate in facture, composed of sheets cannibalized from previous drawings and laboriously recombined, they chart the process by which something once continuous, such as a length of string, is segmented and then pieced together like some convoluted tale being recalled to memory--not as a seamless sequence of events but in broken lines, accompanied by a singsong litany of automatist rhymes, always only faintly penciled onto the vast surface of the page like static on the line: SHOW JOE / SO LOW / NO POE.
Lines hastily thrown together with a sort of jittery, automatist flair form more or less absurd "con-figurations": sketchy figures, both elegantly drafted and shapeless, in fantastical scenarios.
No longer made using a more or less automatist process, the preparatory drawings that accompanied these later sculptures have none of the artist's original metamorphic power, by which ordinary objects changed before our eyes into extraordinarily suggestive forms, often nightmarish as well as sexual, as happens in the weirdly tragicomic Two Fagends Together 1, 1968.
The fact that Swedish painter Hilma af Klint was already fully immersed in automatic drawing by 1903, nineteen years before the Surrealists undertook what are generally considered by scholars to be the first automatist experiments, is hardly destined to plunge the History of Modern Art into a Reformation.
In the past, his self-restraint in denying free reign to the erotic inclinations of his automatist approach to drawing may have seemed a bit coy, as fairly explicit phallic and vaginal symbols played hide-and-seek throughout passages of programmatic abstract color.