The scanning book makes available “public supplies” of photographs, and the “community chest” does the same for objects and materials. (Roll over image.)


“Opening up and reaching out are an expansive movement of the organism toward a source of energy or pleasure. The same action is involved whether a child reaches out for contact with the mother, for a toy or later as an adult, for a loved person.…

This sequence — reaching out for pleasure —> deprivation, frustration or punishment —> anxiety and then —> defense — is a general scheme to explain all personality problems.”

— Alexader Lowen

Bioenergetics, 1975


“The Ucs. [system unconscious] is also affected by experiences originating from external perception. Normally all the paths from perception to the Usc. remain open, and only those leading on from the Usc. are subject to blocking by repression.…

It is as though the unconscious stretches out feelers, through the medium of the Pcpt-Cs. [perceptual conscious system], towards the external world and hastily withdraws them as soon as they have sampled the excitations coming from them.”

—Sigmund Freud
“The Unconscious,” 1915;
“A Note Upon the ‘Mystic Writing Pad’,” 1915


“The delight of photographs consists in their ability to grant us a socially sanctioned engagement with our instinctual selves, unaccompanied by actual risk… An observer of photographs (the term includes us all) is not some kind of voyeur manqué, but has become, just the same, a person made sensitive to an expectation of certain visual opportunities that no previous art form could furnish. Some of these opportunities are indeed masturbatory and rape-like, but the majority of them kindle more diffused needs that link people together, through their reflexes as well as their obsessions.”

— Max Kozloff
Photography and Fascination, 1979


“Suppose we were to regard a dream as a kind of game which the dreamer played. (And by the way, there is no one cause or one reason why children always play. This is where theories of play generally go wrong.) There might be a game in which paper figures were put together to form a story, or at any rate were somehow assembled. The materials might be collected and stored in a scrap-book, full of pictures and anecdotes. The child might then take various bits from the scrap-book to put into the construction; and he might take a considerable picture because it had something in it which he wanted and he might just include the rest because it was there.”

—Ludwig Wittgenstein
Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief, 1943/1978


“Ideally, there ought to be enough space so that these things could remain spread out, so that one thing need not overlap and hide another — so that they could show and be seen… [At] some stage, I find myself looking at one object or at a group of particular objects which hold my attention in such ways as tend to heighten a mood of anticipation in me. I turn these objects in my hands…”

— Donald Weismann
“The Collage as Model,” 1969


In order to restore disturbed processes of psychic metabolization and coordination, depth psychological method must continually renew the psychohistorically relative, counter-cultural work of opposing the incursion of public space into the private, personal but nonetheless inherently social space of individuals. As in every historical period, individuals in our time are formed within a public space, which provides, as well, the arena in which individuality is expressed. In our period, however, there are unique impediments and vulnerabilities in this regard, of which psychological method must be cognizant.


Contemporary cultural tyranny involves overstimulation by undigestible mass-media imagery in a setting of vague social values and forms: image-surfeit combined with image-hunger. In such a context the opportunity for an individual to make personal use of unlabeled, mass-media images for his or her own configurative purposes, and to employ appropriate equipment to gain liberating access to his or her own personal image-repertoire, already invites a resumption of formative processes and is, in itself, both a political gesture and an initial therapeutic maneuver.