Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Film and Electronic Arts
Project Advisor 1
HOW DO WE SEE WHAT WE SEE? by Isabella Kross
An Animated Senior Project
Film & Electronic Arts
April 27th, 2015
“A line is not really important because it records what you have seen, but because of what it will lead you on to see. You find confirmation or denial in the object itself or in your memory of it. Each confirmation or denial brings you closer to the object, until finally you are, as it were, inside it: the contours of what you have drawn no longer marking the edge of what you have seen, but what you have become. Each mark you make on paper is a stepping-stone from which you proceed to the next, until you have crossed your subject as though it were a river, putting it behind you.” - John Berger, On Drawing
The origins of this piece have yet to reveal themselves in their entirety, as I imagine much of my aesthetic, like many, to be an arrangement of subconscious reiterations- but there is one particular aspect of my childhood that has informed my process. I experienced normal vision until I was three, when one morning I awoke to greet my shocked mother with crossed eyes. The ensuing surgeries and vision therapy placed an emphasis on the physical aspect of seeing and its influence on my understanding of myself in relation to my surroundings- an emphasis that fostered a unique fascination with the visual transmission of information.
For me, film is the most effective way to trace the ineffable. A visual map relies on both the physical trailing of one's eye and one's automatic association through the experience of a familiar object- and from there, ideally, a deconstruction of that association.The potential for re-interpretation of an object through the physical act of seeing, interrupting the automatic sight-to-association process, is the driving force behind HOW DO WE SEE WHAT WE SEE? Moreover, this piece serves as my first attempt to express my infatuation with the medium and its ability to transcend other modes of communication.
HOW DO WE SEE WHAT WE SEE? is a film created without a camera. It is comprised exclusively of hand-drawn frames, each morphing into a successive frame- every line in pursuit of a departure from its own symbolic meaning. The emphasis is not, necessarily, what is being seen, but rather how it is being seen.
This project, at its core, seeks to elaborate upon visual associations by employing linear motion to interrupt them. HOW DO WE SEE WHAT WE SEE? is an arrangement of objects that develop meaning as their form appears to the viewer- relying not on his or her familiarity with the object outside of the film, but in the momentary experience of the physical gaze. HOW DO WE SEE WHAT WE SEE? works to emphasize this reciprocal relationship between the physical and psychological act of seeing.
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Kross, Isabella, "How Do We See What We See?" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 265.
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