Thursday, 21 June 2007

Human Resolution, Human Definition

I've been thinking about the eye and what the eye is and what the eye does.

What it does is to represent the reality we find 'before' us in frequencies of a particular spectrum, which in itself is a sample of the overall spectrum. The other senses do the same in those other parts of the perceivable frequency bandwidth that their representative abilities are geared to.

Complex (or simple) descriptions take a stab at formulating a hypothesis where we might then treat as a topography, a terrain which is most apt for creating a structure for our concepts to then develop.

So we invent ourselves different technologies to then re-present what we have experienced through this topography - our technologies are narratives with which we tell ourselves and each other about the world.

So then there's the concept of 'more'. When I was young I experienced a version of infinity which I then retold to myself as a way of handling the notion of endlessness.

Many years later I went to see some starlings down on Long Drove and into Shapwick Heath. 20% of the European population of starlings landing in one boggy piece of land. That's about 12 million birds coming in to land. Forget Lord of the Rings - these effects were of an order that defeated my concept of 'more'. They didn't stop coming and I was satiated by the experience of 'more' and letting the effect wash over me. ...And more and more birds came...

Then there's that commercial made for a technology company that speeds the cars up to 400 miles and hour and talks about developing the capacity to handle the guidance systems of the cars at an intersection - a complex manoeuvre beyond our capacity - whilst we simply take out hands off the wheel and just relax, chat, have a cup of tea. In this future we let the concept of 'more' or in this case using a different but allied notion, 'speed', wash over us.

And in visiting the Glastonbury Festival with around 170,000 people just wandering around on the night before the music really begins, for something to do, possibly going to find a frozen yoghurt (like I did) or seek out a friend, or maybe go buy a vegetable burger, or whatever, because the desire simply fuels the urge to have a narrative, seeing all of that multitude of eager hopeful humanity, a million complex lives passing you by, animated faces never to be seen again, animated with complex organisational structures amounting to a self-reflexive reality, in that melee the concept of 'more' and the accompanying non-attachment washing over one - just like in the other experiences I described - there I realised the issue of high resolution imaging.

I previously used the metaphor of traffic lights at dusk being too bright because the rod and cone technology of the eye switches over from good colour to good light receptors. So there's a place where we switch between technologies - but more, we have a narrative of 'switching' which encompasses the potential of there being a liminal space existing between the poles where something out of the ordinary can happen. Carrying the metaphor over into the definition handling capacities of the eye, in one narrative, that bit of 'mechanics' or in another narrative, that 'software solution' charged with dealing with the appropriate amount of definition available, or rather, the amount of definition that 'is good or useful for one at any one time', which sometimes is switching between two settings, then there is, it seems to me, a potential for a liminal space where something out of the ordinary - or - extraordinary, in terms of definition, can happen.

The artist and sometimes the entertainer and sometimes again, the technician, is charged with the exploration of that space - my research then, is to do the above and talk with those busy doing the same - and when I say 'talk', I really mean 'to look with', to gaze.