22 January, 2009

Spectra


This is a project I've been working on for a little while with Mick Grierson, whom I first met in the guts of the great organ at Goldsmiths college in London's New Cross (on Watling Street for all you psychogeographers). Anyway, we discovered shared research interests, and began following some of them up practically, eventually resulting in this method of what Mick terms audio-visual phase distortion. You'll find a video of it here.
'Spectra' and 'specter' are both rooted in the Latin for 'apparition' or 'vision', and most importantly for my purposes here, the Epicurian or Atomist theory of vision, which stated that images were atom-thin 'skins' (simulacra) which flew off of objects and entered the eye. Ghosts were errant simulacra, cut loose from their natural paths. I first came across this in Dario Gamboni's extraordinary book on visual ambiguity, 'Potential Images', and later on in David Park's 'A Fire Within The Eye' - both of which I can recommend.
Anomalous theories about perception can sometimes seem to provide us with the right instruments to examine experiences created by media, which might seem irreconcilable in the rationalist domain...

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