Through Other Eyes
With NeMe Art Centre in Limassol, Cyprus, I curated the exhibition Through Other Eyes, exploring non-human vision in the form of both machine intelligence and the more-than-human world of animals and plants.
“I’m an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a world the way only I can see it. I free myself for today and forever from human immobility.” Dziga Vertov, writing in 1922, described the elation of the cinema camera capable of seeing in ways that had never been seen before. “Freed from the boundaries of time and space, I co-ordinate any and all points of the universe, wherever I want them to be. My way leads towards the creation of a fresh perception of the world. Thus I explain in a new way the world unknown to you.”
Throughout the Twentieth Century, the ability to see the world became ever more separate from human vision; in the Twenty-First, the ability to think and understand the world will follow. While they began by seeing the world, cameras are now starting to process and analyse what they see; to make decisions about the world they share with us. Computer processing generates whole new worlds in which nascent intelligences gambol and play. The vast memory banks and unsleeping awareness of contemporary computation allow for near-endless observation and infinite cogitation, changing our perceptions of time itself. Planetary-scale networks allow visions of one place to be instantly, and constantly, relayed elsewhere. The mechanical eye has become the machine eye, freed not merely from immobility, but from all other human limits.
But just as Vertov promised, these new eyes also give us access to the world we already know in new ways, and give artists the tools with which to recast our understanding of it. They might also, if we are open to them, offer us visions of unexpected insight, and startling beauty.
Artists featured in the exhbition included Timo Arnall, Eric Cazdyn, Bryony Dunne, Eva Koch, Deborah Stratman and Brent Watanabe. The exhibition opening including artists' talks by myself, Eva Koch, and Bryony Dunne.
In addition, an Open Call organised by NeMe brought local practitioners Alexia Achilleos & Egor Chemokhonenko, Yevgeniya Borissyuk, Marinos Houtris, Marios Isaakides, Sakari Laurila, Nina Sumarac into the exhibition.
Images courtesy of the artists.