Another Type of Seeing
Building on my previous post and making a memoir of how this style developed—this “seeing differently” of considering how the brain pieces together data and forms an understanding of the world we occupy, identify, and claim as familiar. These photographs of mine are less scenic and more a mental capture.
Like many new things, the following understanding came to me due to limitations. My camera was the limitation. When set to shoot in multiple exposure mode, my camera reverts to single shot mode if and when the camera goes to sleep (due to a lapse in time for not tapping the shutter button). As a result, and not wanting to continually tap the shutter button in the middle of a sequence (or set the camera never to fall asleep), I would only photograph things within my proximal purview within a 30-60 second window. I would capture a document as my eyes dart around, mapping the environment, looking for elements of interest, and stitching them together as a pictorial representation of my visual experience: of the process of capturing data to my brain and how my brain might see the scene. I was at that time – at that moment, collecting a picture of my surroundings based on my eye reading a location and stitching together a relevant expression. The resulting image would mark my memory of that moment in that place—a mental shorthand.
It is important to note here that this is ‘selective’ seeing. Bias dictates my “seeing .” We only ever seem to see what we are looking for. My mental perspective, my motive for looking, is to make something artful in composition and, in some cases, contextually. My final multiple exposures represent the information I am proximal to at any given time, as led by my particular bias to make an artistic result. We all see what we are looking for among the data to which we are in approximation, and our bias influences that which we look for in that data. Not just what we see but also what we think. Chicken/Egg. Confirmation Bias? Nature, nurture, either, or both? This process of how we form our perceptions of our world fascinates me. We see and make sense of the world we live in, good and bad, in how we stitch things together as our eyes dart about collecting data to our mind’s eye, according to some bias or programming we hold to—but I am ‘waxing.’ Excuse me. My thoughts tend to run away.
And in the running, as all ideas do, this idea evolves with consideration and the continued activity of the creative process. And that is something for my next blog post.
Below is a small gallery of works from walking around Las Vegas back at the beginning when my subject matter was less cerebral, social, or historical—before it became about memory, experience, and personal knowing. Then it was about buildings and noise and the vibrant energy of Las Vegas. And this style was a great way to capture it all.