Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Prisoner's Cinema

Something that has always fascinated me is phosphenes: the little sparkles of chromatic energy that are always there if you care to look-especially in dark places- like with the eyes closed. Soon these little guys form patterns and waves of energy, and if you're in the right state of mind- either a humorous state or bordering on sleep, strange places and things materialize ( i never get these visuals when i'm all stuck up and serious, or critical).

There is a method I found for getting good closed eye visuals that I've never seen mention of before-simply draw with your eyes closed and watch. Of course you'll get a shitty drawing on the paper, but it reaaaaaallly prompts visual activity... I must ad though it only works if you are in a humorous mood. Its funny because I saw a study recently where some science types showed that people in a humorous mood solve visual puzzles easier-theres definitely a connection there. here's the study

heres some pictures trying to capture things I've seen, I like it cause I see stuff that I wouldn't consciously design...

this first one i saw with lamplight shining through the eyelids- a really cool thing you can do is change the space and the mood of the visuals just by the amount of light shining on the lids, opening them slightly has an effect too. It amazes me how much designs like this have been found the world over, the mandala or sacred lotus type form.
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this one was seen in total darkness (blindfold)- one thing I can't capture about this stuff is the scope, and there is always constant motion or change-even if the form of the visual isn't transforming it will rotate or my point of view will pan around it. Nothing sits still.

 Here's a bizzarre one I've never been able to repeat, words started forming into "giant" walls of text as I (or my point of view) flew through them, then they would break apart and new spaces would form-

another abstract form, it seems lonely in this picture, cause when my brain produced this stuff there were hundreds or thousands of these planetoids. What amazes me is how lighting in the phosphene visuals will be so consistent. Or how real things look, the brain is such an amazing painter from the start, but it takes the human ego years to learn how to put anything like it on canvas. I notice a pattern of formation with these things. Generally it starts with a silhouette and then value patterns form in (which shows light on the form). If you are focused enough you can follow it into a full color, crystal clear visual, but this happens rarely, usually they slip through like trying to grab jello with the fingers.
 Now this one is very different from the others, and it shows the variety of imagery types that the living brain produces. I had been doing something I call "seeding", that is looking at reference pictures of the type of stuff I would like to see in the phosphenes right before closing the eyes. I was also drawing at this time, just closed eye sketching, because it encourages the visuals x 10 . I think it has to do with the sense of feel, you start to 'feel' out the picture by drawing with your eyes closed, and then the brain conceptualizes it as an image that will pop up on the eyelids. It will start changing and rotating very quickly though, and similar yet various forms will start appearing. I was drawing aircraft and then this bizarre pontoon jet flew through my vision. I ended up doing this painting trying to describe it.

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