Rejections of the Rainbow
Ideas on Sight, Memory and Visual Manipulation for Artistic Aims
There is a hierarchy to perception, we focus on what immediately seems vital. We scan for friends, for foes, for resources that may be vital. Bold colors are eye-catching as well, and they communicate statuses, information about the object or being. Many plants and birds display bright colors in an attempt to warn predators, entice prey or solicit mates. The more vibrant a bird like a peacock or cardinal, the more vulnerable it may be to predators also displays a virility and an ability to survive. Colors are viewed as wavelengths and captured by cones and rods in the iris, the pupil expands and contracts to take in just the right amount of light. The eye restructures gathered light, perceived as the rejected light of the spectrum rainbow which bounced off objects as unabsorbed energy off of matter, which enter the eye (as through the camera obscura lens) upside down then is inverted into a logical vision (in the case of the camera a mirror inside reflects the image upward into the view finder right side up). The brain reconstructs the images it receives through the aperture of the pupil like broken 3 dimensional objects, a Picasso of moving shapes, into a congruent memory of the solid masses we believe they interpret. When deconstructed are really separate concepts you realize you can then magnify what you like, magnify your pleasure, your purpose, your narrative… commit this bias to memory, hence to art, hence to history and through manipulating this hierarchy is how artists shape the world. there is a hierarchy of images. These images were never pristine or accurate to begin with since the eye can only paint a clear vision of what was in front of it, not in the periphery vision, too far or too near, there was always a focus..but that does not mean we should not investigate the sidelines or blurry parts further.
Your brain creates art from the physical process of sight, it is already an interpretative act based on focus, selection.. a slight restructuring…art is replication of memory based on bias/emotional sentience and survival/ reproductive instincts but once you become aware of this and investigate the meanings you find then you wander into the realm of art. When it is not a passive or purely subconscious but the conscious act to recreate your own reality with a narrative…the more sensitive one is to the inner dialog of viewing, the subtleties of things, the incongruities..the rough edges..the singularities within a whole, the better the art will be. Perhaps it is an act of investigation into the oddities of human perception, the inner abyss. Sight is an inner specter and memory the hologram’s reel forever spinning…sometimes on loop.. sometimes spinning new worlds inside…the synchronicity we find, the meanings they allow, the hierarchy of value, the rhythms and rivers of streaming visions we return to, the truths we find at their banks that we can bank on..that is what you paint.
Sleep scientists say we dream so much we often don’t remember most of them. Yet some dreams stand out and stay with you, they become your narrative, inner companions, false yet verifiable truths.. we identify with these instances and choose them for our personal narrative. In this way art is the stuff of dreams and sights re-membered. We re-create these memories and restructure the stories of us, the stories of the world in a new mythology that in future times will perhaps be perceived as facts. For most of human history we had nothing but art, things saved from fires, images in cathedrals and illustrated manuscripts to inform us on how life was and predicate perhaps where we were going. In this way art is a weapon for it shapes reality to an aim. It’s beauty makes it a treasure insuring that we will try to save it from war, fire, famine, disease and flood through generations..in the end it may be all we know of great civilizations and ourselves. As plants and animals send out signals to ensure their survival in a botany of desire to insects to cultivate, to warn predators and lure mates, artists cultivate a language of colors and shapes to humans of worlds past and imagined (imaged-in) to hook the viewer as something they cannot forget. Like love sickness is an obsession which consumes the mind to think of the beloved ( love at first sight) and calls to action the love sick to pursue the desired. The artist can spread these ideas through beauty- strange and frightening as it may be- to call the viewer to action, to evoke emotion, to preserve wonder. That is mastery.