Curated by Ann Berchtold
WSOHOIDPS (A SHIP IN THE WOODS) in collaboration with Salk neurobiologist John Reynolds, sound artist Greg Smaller (LABS), Paradox at the New School of Architecture & Design and Daw-An Wu team up for Rhodopsin, a light installation based on the research of Patrick Cavanagh, Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes.
Our perceptual experience is not the direct experience of the world around us. Rather, it is the result of a constructive process, in which the brain formulates an ongoing hypothesis about the external world. Visual perception transforms the two tiny movies that constantly dance across the retinal screens on the back of each eye into the rich world we feel we inhabit. Opsins are biological pigments that reside in the photoreceptor cells of the retina, the cells that are responsible for the first events in the perception of light. Rhodopsin is the most sensitive opsin. It resides in the 120 million rod photoreceptors that sit in each of our retinae, enabling us to see in low illumination. In this exhibit, a flash of light will expose the observer to an afterimage as we create very unusual sensory conditions that will allow observers to experience the unfolding process of perceptual construction, from the photoreceptors to conscious awareness. Participants will experience a series of rich visual percepts that emerge through the interplay that takes place between our proprioceptive bodily sense and a visual system that is activated in total darkness.