time / timelessness (or our eye / through a lens)

Much has been written on the way cameras enabled a shift in visual perception, a major change in the way we understand what is perceived, what is focused upon, what is not. Two centuries of experimentation with cameras (preceded by more centuries of peepshow rooms and lens craft in the Netherlands) have perhaps given a crushing amount of material, of photographs, of perception traces. Watching carefully the work of Atget, of Kertész, of Talbot, of Cameron – to name randomly just four towering figures whose work, whose experimental work with perception is still fresh-looking today – may give the impression that all possible roads with respect to perception (and the lens, and the camera) have been taken.

Yet. Yet sometimes the light of a sunset (like a few minutes ago in Chía) or a visit to a new city or perhaps a combination of skin perceptions – the wind mixed with the light, the water overpowering and towering above – may radically open up new thirst for more perception experimentation.

This very thing happened about an hour ago, here in Chía, when the sun setting created a light infusion into boundaries of trees that somehow seemed fresh. Then I started (again) playing with time, with passing time, with perception of movement and stillness with open camera.

At some point, after the 5” exposures of myself – a thin hand, a vanishing presence – I went back to the mountain perception.

Meanwhile, while the photographs load (internet is very slow in Chía), I reread Felix Klein’s amazing chapter on automorphic functions…

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