On Sense Perception


I am just starting to enjoy reading Eyjolfur K. Emilsson’s ‘Plotinus On Sense Perception.  Yesterday I was not so sure, its like reading a Martian Artifact. Yesterday I could reach the conclusion that life on Mars exists, I was entirly uncertian if I had any chance of getting to grips with its culture.

My intial thought was no. Its far too weird. I seem to be dealing with a contemporary Martian dealing with the life of an ancient martian and attempting to explore his thought in historical context. I can see a relationship with my own understanding of history and contextual issues but the way this is presented is very unusual and unexpected.

In the end I just had to suspend disbelief, take a deep breath and live with the fact I could not understand what I was reading or why it was presented in the way it was.

The penny started to drop when I got to the disscusion of Plotinus’s sense of vision. How distant objects are percevied, ‘the relationship between the eye and the object of vision.’

An idea utterly alien to my own way of thinking. But I now have a rudimentary framework to put the idea in context, retrospectivly.

E.K. Emilsson’s reading of Plotinus puts it this way, “we should regard the distant object as if it were a part of our own bodies.”

Its alien to my own understanding of how the mechanics of the eye works. Not so sure if it’s entirly contrary to how my percepetion of how art works as a craft.

With acting I was taught to be more interested in the body in front of me, rather than with a pure focus on internal movement (that is more of a method approach, than the classical style I am familiar with). With a camera that object seemed to be removed and beyond sense. Presenting me with a dead spot.

My craft cannot navigate me through this space, I have no art to guide me.

Never been able to think about taking a picture in the same sense as I would think about art, as however I define what art is, its in that relationship between Actor and audience that I get all my sense of where it lies, its my only real experiance of  doing here and knowing what I am doing.

I think I have just been thinking about the word audience in a somewhat limiting way. Mistaking a word for something other than it is.

I can view my photography as a creative form of self expression but in terms of art its mute, shapeless and distinctly unslightly.  It has no form or substance here.

I can’t say that thought causes any concern, photography  is fun, and I can’t think of any reason why it should become anything other than that.

Perhaps its how I  define art that has to alter? I have no clear sense of how I define such things, but it does seem to have a touch of John Knox without the religion about it, I suspect.

I look at art as a craft that takes an awful lot of work to perfect.



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