There’s a kind of art that might be called focus knob aesthetics. You know it on a microscope? You’re looking at the merest smear of liquid on a slide — and the focus knob can zoom you from one reality to another — as you observe the anatomy of cells ranging from nearest the lens down to those smack against the supporting slide.
The point is you can’t keep both in view at once.
Paleontology, photomosaic by Sloan Nota copyright Sloan Nota
Paleontology is an artwork. A composition, a structure of tones within a shape sculpted from 2D space. It asks to be judged as any artwork — does it convince you? Incite emotions? Speak to you?
Paleontology is constructed from 37 photographs taken in Paris. Pont Alexandre III is the city’s most grandiose bridge and its gilding glowed on a sunny day. I took photos without composition in mind — the processed photos would later suggest how the artwork should be built. Your eye reads the joinery as gestures. Your right brain takes it in in one gulp. What your right brain is designed to do. And what static visual art is designed to address. Your focus knob is on the whole.
Spin the knob and your left hemisphere can read the content of the photos. Bridge, goldwork, Seine. No longer gestures, these shapes hold specific meanings that your left brain is made to isolate and name. Different than how you take in paintings. In paintings you may pay attention to brushwork but you don’t pay attention to paint.
This is your introduction to a new feature debuting on this blog, Poem for Your Eyes. A set of images that make a certain sense together. Not the kind of sense you can be tested on — the war was in 1812, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen make a water molecule. I was going to call it Essay for Your Eyes but the right hemisphere of the brain can’t follow arguments. Or reasonings, pros and cons.
Hence poetry. The visuals and the wordy stuff won’t mingle. Credit lines will be found at the bottom of the page. And other material that your left brain may find intriguing.
- 1 Ice Monster, St. Joseph Lighthouse, Michigan by tomgill via Ink and Penstemon
- 2 Crystallization, 3D-printed woman’s outfit by Iris van Herpen via dezeen
- 3 Distortion 6 photo by Andre Kertesz via blog.juan314.com
- 4 Predictive Dream 2 porcelain by Aoiki Katsuyo via his website
- 5 Male albino crocodile by EPA via The Telegraph
- 6 ferrofluid + detergent photo by Matt Abinante via Flickr
Poem for Your Eyes is an experiment and I’d appreciate your feedback. For some the form may raise hackles, for others it may be a comfortable slide into yes. Please share your thoughts.
St. Joseph Lighthouse
- This lighthouse on Lake Michigan gets coated with phantasmagoric ice during winters. A living sculpture, it records where and how the frigid water hits each season.
- Herpen creates amazing garments using 3D printers and more conventional materials. None of them look like you’d want to sit down in them but it’s worth checking out her stunning reinvention of what fashion can be.
- I very much admire his deft and transformative way with porcelain. The skull motifs, not so much.