Thursday, June 30, 2005


Vision. I spent four hours tonight building viewing booths for vision-testing machines that friends of mine have rigged with new images - juxtapositions of horses and the sea, red dots, blue dots, perception questions about poverty and priviledge both addressed obliquely through secret voices in your ears while viewing, then, as you move from machine to machine, textually appearing on the screens. My back is sore but it is worth it, to build something, even if so temporary, which will have some kind of direct affect on the thousand or so folk who will experience it. We will act as clinicians, guiding our "patients" into a booth, setting them up with the audio and visual, and be there to witness who-knows-what as they face an expected machine with unexpected contents. It's like the stick-your-hand-in-the-box-and-answer
-what-sort-of-animal-it-is game they offer as education married to fun at science centers.
Something which would both delight and annoy me if I weren't a "spectician", as those in lab coats have come to be called on this project. It will launch on the biggest art event day of the year in Madison, which is now reduced to thousand dollar booths selling wooden hearts made by people from far away states. So much for supporting local art. We'll show them...

And I feel I can talk about it here, this bizarre public/private space.

I worked on a film in college called Blindspot. I am obsessed with concepts of vision. Of what we see and don't see. Had a note on my hand all day to call my brother and I never did it. Finally at midnight, alone and quiet in my head, I called. Too late, of course, but I tried once I could really see it. All the things we don't see that affect us still. Endless to list. Fire trucks wisping after someone else's burns. The wind. Contents of books of which we only see the spines. All that we will never read in all languages but our own. Big, big pink elephant blindspots.

Worth a sliver or two and some Gorilla glue on the hands to confront just a few of them.

1 comment:

  1. Seems like a very interesting project. Do send photographs.

    In effect what you are doing is testing a diferent kind of "vision". Testing the awareness. Those who are more integrated with what's happening around them won't be shocked, as much as others!

    What I also like about it is its "service-orientation". It looks like just the sort of thing you would do for someone. Test their vision.