Eyeday – Inside Job


Stimuli proposal for MM-U Ljubljana/ Eyeday (visual thinking)

Introduction: Imagine a scene known from countless movies. A group of people, most often wishing to stay hidden, use a single pair of binoculars to observe an unfamiliar place/ distant situation. By passing the magnifying device, they exchange comments on their observations in a very direct and emotional way. Their communication is sincere, they are not ashamed of judgment. This community experience is meant to serve cognition. There is also an eye of the peeper. The magnifying glass allows to reach the places where we don’t want to send the body – the bedroom of a desired person or even a distant lunar craters. The body rests in one position. Nothing spectacular is happening around, but the silence interrupted by sighs reveals that the viewer is a participant in quite unusual things.

What if Hamlet’s words were reversed.
“In my mind’s eye” into “in my eye’s mind”…

Activity: Proposed activity is based on a collective, detailed process of observing exhibition/museum space (or other venue) through the use of a set of binoculars.The aim of using the magnifying glass is to transform the existing space into an abstract and immersive visual experience. The action will be completed by the audio fragments that refers to the moments of binocular-observation scenes [snooping/peeping/voyeurism etc] known from the cinematography. The sound will be transformed into specific audio collages to separate their original contexts. Following the sound and controlling own’s “magnified” gaze, we will create a parallel reality fueled by the individual/collective power of imagination. Sound will come from a portable boombox (typical for camping/picnic situations). It may encourage expression and verbal exchange of one’s own observations. Activity may lead to the creation of a common xeno-space, that is based on an existing and imaginative data.
The activity will take form of a relaxing and spontaneous sessions, freed from the specific narratives that are already imposed by the exhibition space [institution] itself.

Goal: To relax while observing. Observation based on the individual imagination and perception (followed further by the process of sharing collective remarks)
Correlation between fantasia ingrained within the culture of voyeurism and a spontaneous imaginative reaction that is produced by the act of watching something abstract
Constructive feedback loop : un-objectification of the artworks. Watching artworks from close up – textures, dust, imperfections, gaps, scratches — as a part of disavowing of linear perception and a source of mutational associations
Imposing imaginary into our rational thinking/seeing apparatus → accepting what exists outside of linear perception
Increasing difficulty and length of perception
Provoking the discussion/storytelling game based on the effect of „pareidolia”
Seeing artworks and gallery spaces as an living environment → people walking around, art objects, other distractors – all together zoomed in

Equipment needed:
Around 20 pcs of zooming binoculars
A boombox