Seeing is believing

Site specific installation on the Facade of the Curraghmore Estate, Waterford, Ireland for the All Together Now Festival .

Artist statement:

In this work we are primarily concerned with exploring the many sides of perception. This involves exploring the senses as a physiological basis of perception. Sensation and perception are not passive behaviours, but rather a dynamic interplay between ourselves and the environment. Our sensors mean little without our brains ability to organise this information and translate that data into meaningful perceptions. 

Perception is a creation of one’s mind. The colours you see, the forms you see, the depth you see in the world isn’t there in your eye. That information is a figment created by the mind and that of your imagination. 

Everything you experience around the world is filtered through your senses. We don’t actually directly interact with the world in any way. If we touch something, those are touch sensors in our skin telling us about pressure in our fingers. We interpret the texture of the surface from that pressure information, we are not actually experiencing the surface, we are experiencing our mind’s interpretation of the senses that it is receiving. The same for vision, we might think that we see everything as reality, whereas actually the world around us visually is interpreted by our eyes sensing photons of light as they enter your retina and causing electrical activities that are interpreted by our brain. Energy is actually changed from one state to another in this process, so light is turned into electricity via a chemical process and so we are actually a few steps removed from reality by the time we are experiencing the world in our brain. Which all means our perception of the world is through a curtain, it’s through a veil, of this sensory information and interpretation of it. Our senses, whilst we receive hopefully accurate information from the world, get filtered through our perceptual system and that’s where the problem lies. It’s our experience that can change our interpretation of those senses.

Visual illusions can be so interesting and so confusing because they demonstrate this process in action. You know there is an error in your perception, your brain is telling you something incorrect about the reality of the world, but it’s just not quite coming through. Visual illusions then tell us that our perceptions of the world aren’t necessarily tied always to reality. 

Colours don’t exist. They’re there as our brain’s way of signalling what wavelength of light the eye is seeing. Our colour perception is essentially related to the wavelengths of light, with particular ranges of electromagnetic radiation corresponding to colours in the visible spectrum of light. It is important to understand that the light is not coloured. It is simply a form of electromagnetic radiation of a certain power and wavelength. Our brain ‘creates’ colour to inform us about the wavelength in a way that is practically meaningful for us.

By exploring visual illusions our aim is to enhance our understanding of how the brain interprets visual information to make sense of the world around us.

I have come to realise though my own practice that simply from being in a space we change it. We are imprinted by the world around us as we move thought it and our actions print the space we inhabit. Physical spaces are married to multiple of other spaces; cultural, theoretical, fictional, social, institutional and so on.


Collaboration between Nick Azidis & Rose Staff
Production Company: Projection Teknik
www.projectionteknik.com
www.rosestaff.com
www.alltogethernow.ie