Posts Tagged “Harry Bernstein”

Notes toward a Lecture on the Invisible and Art

03.30.2010  |  By
Filed under: Field Notes

We are all born blind, but artists are obsessed with seeing the invisible, unseen, and ignored.

Our physical eyesight can be cybernetically enhanced by telescopes, microscopes, or cameras, to make the impossibly distant, small  or brief things in the universe available to us. This is the popular, default, banal meaning of invisibility.

Our brains are evolutionarily developed to edit out most extraneous information that enters our eyes, information that it believes is not crucial to our survival. This is why, when you visit the Galapagos Islands, the naturalists explain that the frigate birds will ignore you because you are neither a threat nor prey. It’s not to be mistaken for friendliness, it’s that in essence they don’t see you. But if you tried to pet one it’d put a hole through your hand with its powerful six-inch beak.

“Attention is much more than simply taking note of incoming stimuli. It involves a number of distinct processes, from filtering out perceptions, to b... More