To paraphrase Paul Simon, “A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.”
This is a fundamental reason why eye witnesses are often unreliable. From the perspective of neuroscience, eyewitness testimony is an extremely unreliable type of evidence. The first reason is that our vision is vulnerable to all sorts of top-down influences, which alter (corrupt, some might say) the actual inputs witnessed by our eye. This doesn’t mean that our senses aren’t rooted in reality, but it does suggest that we shouldn’t place too much trust in the details of perception, especially when the event in question happened fast, from a distance, and in bad lighting.
And yes, the images We see here happened fast—in the blink of an eye, from an indeterminate distance, and often in bad lighting. Can we trust him? Yes, for as we also know: Art is in the eye of the beholder. We see what we want to see and disregard the rest. I see patterns, shapes, palettes…types and varieties that I like.
I can’t see a forest for the trees, but I do discern an overall pattern from a mass of detail, to see the big picture. I see an appreciation for an alternate reality. I see an appreciation for the disregarded rest for these images aren’t what a reliable witness would testify they saw. These images are, for me, more like my clear memories of last night’s dream.
…happened fast, from a distance, and in bad lighting.
8 May 2012