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A seminar on

PERCEPTION AND ILLUSION January 30 2016 at the Centro 3T Post Industrial Rurality Association curated by Francesca Conchieri and Mauro Cossu


PERCEPTION AND ILLUSION January 30 2016 at the Centro 3T Post Industrial Rurality Association curated by Francesca Conchieri and Mauro Cossu


The event is curated by Francesca Conchieri and Mauro Cossu for the Post Industriale Ruralità Association with the sponsorship of the Municipality of Sellero (Comune di Sellero), the contribution of the Brescia Community Foundation (Fondazione della Comunità Bresciana) the collaboration of Gruppo Ricerca immagine – Phototrace, A.i.e.v. Associazione italiana educatori visivi) Ruinas Contemporaneas Sound visual art forum. Translated from Italian by Kathleen Bowman ISBN 978-88-94-17260-7 Printed in Italy in march 2016 by Tipografia Camuna Srl Cover Photograph Francesca Conchieri Cover Photograph by Francesca Conchieri On the following page from top to bottom: Centro 3T photograph by Enrico Abrate; vertical woolen garden set up on the south furnace; P.I.R. Association stereoscopes - photograph by Daniela Poetini


Index

Introduction

........... p.6

The depth of conscious vision Learning to see and not just being content to look Gabriele Chiesa

........... p.7

Practical experiments cognition Francesca Conchieri

......... p.13

with

sight

and

embodied

Natural vision and Bates Method The fusion of images to play with and improve our vision First part - Bernardi Morena Second part - Daniela Giovati

......... p.19 ......... p.26

“Partiture Tese” (“Scores In Tension”) Space perception between sound and vision Mauro Cossu

......... p.30

Brief biographical notes

......... p.36

Link to “Partiture tese” performance by Mauro Cossu


Introduction

Stereo vision, a result of binocular vision, is what allows humans to see in depth. Stereoscopy is the centuries old technique which simulates the condition of stereo vision and allows three dimensional vision. With this event, the P.I.R. Association inaugurates a museum exposition at the 3T Centre about stereoscopes. The 3T Centre exhibits historical images and the reconstruction of buildings and industrial sites which were significant in the history of the middle Valcamonica valley including the ex-furnaces of the firm S.E.F.E. (today the Centro 3T). The use of stereoscopes is proposed in the museum exhibition because: they require a slight effort to obtain three dimensional vision, thus forcing the user to participate actively and mindfully in the act of seeing, which is the same mental attitude needed to appreciate the surrounding territory; they create a situation of intimate and individual enjoyment, which allows less influence and disturbance from outside factors; the different ways of enjoying the use of the stereoscopic instruments help the user to perceive an important connection between bodily action and the cognitive act that is taking place: seeing the past in present structures; The event on January 30th is intended as an overall survey of the achievements of the P.I.R. (Post Industriale RuralitĂ ) Association, the studies it has done and the direction that it is taking. F.C. and M.C.

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The depth of conscious vision Learning to see and not just being content to look Gabriele Chiesa Seeing and understanding are characteristic elements of human consciousness. Every learning process starts from these bases and the integral development of the person depends on these foundations. Seeing seems to be an instinctive sensorial act that is part of normal everyday life; a behaviour that does not involve a particular level of consciousness and which requires no learning as it is an innate ability. However, the expression “I looked but did not see you” helps us to understand that mere perception and conscious vision are on two different levels of interaction with the same reality. In fact, usually we do not fully understand what it really means to see, how we see and the way in which we use this sense. Basically we do not know what the act of seeing entails. We do not even take into consideration some simple facts that are usually ignored because they are considered irrelevant. As a rule we are content with what we think we see because every visual assessment is essentially personal and self-referential. We are not aware of: • our vision having reversed sides • seeing in three-colours RGB • mostly seeing NOT in colour • having a blind spot • seeing two images • seeing in “frames” For a simple optical phenomenon, the image that comes through the crystalline lens is projected in a reversed manner on the retina: up is down, left is right, etc., just as in a conventional non-digital camera. We do not realize this because our brains and nervous systems process the information to ‘re-reverse’ the image correctly. The light-sensitive cells distributed on the retina are of two categories and owe their names to the forms that characterize them: rods and cones. Rods are present in much higher quantities than cones. They simply record the amount of light and therefore produce visual perception in terms of brightness. The cones are sensitive to colour and are of three different 7


types, each of which reacts to stimuli of a specific range of wavelengths. There are cones sensitive to red, others to green, others to blue. In fact our photo-sensors for colour work very similarly to the Bayer RGB matrix (Red, Green, Blue) of digital cameras. The mechanism of perception of the three primary colours, called additive colour mixing, allows the brain algorithms to reconstruct the infinite range of all colours. The cones are distributed mainly in the central area of the retina. This means that we are able to distinguish colours by observing what is located within a narrow angle of coverage, only about ten degrees on either side of the optical axis. The area in which we perceive colour is therefore confined to the proximity of the fovea, where the maximum number of the chromatic photo-sensing cones are located. The remaining field is dominated by the achromatic perception in terms of brightness produced by the rods. We are not aware that our eye has a blind spot unless we try out a specific test. In the area of the retina where the signals from the photosensitive cells are received and the optic nerve is connected, there are no optical sensors. In this particular area, called the�blind spot�, the eye obviously has no visual sensitivity. Binocular vision allows the brain to compare and integrate images coming from two different positions, staggered horizontally. This allows the evaluation of different levels of depth and the perception of volumes and distances in 3D. Technology has developed different ways of restoring three-dimensionality to the images in photographs and films, but only by using the same staggering on the horizontal axis as occurs in natural vision. However, none of the systems developed so far has proved as efficient as the natural physiological one. This is because the technological media that have commonly been used to generate the feeling of depth vision, provide only two bi-dimensional images. In these conditions, eyes do not have the ability to vary focus continuously on different levels as occurs in nature. This means that the illusion of three-dimensionality remains imperfect and quite similar to that produced by children’s pop-up books. Finally it should be considered that human binocular vision, the basis of stereopsis, covers approximately 114 degrees horizontally whereas the remaining 60 to 70 degrees do not allow the perception of depth, as the vision of each eye is not superimposed. The binocular visual field extends to a greater extent along the horizontal axis than the vertical axis, but it is not easy to define the geometric shape with precision. The diagram of the human visual field is similar to an elongated cloud, 8


dense and compact in the central area, with margins that are progressively blurred until contour perception is lost. The central area is close to the optical axis of the eye’s visual system. Within this area we have a more defined vision of forms and details: here the colours are recognized more accurately. Peripheral vision becomes progressively blurred and more vague. The central zone is that of maximum visual discrimination and culminates in a very restricted foveal vision area. Unlike technological media, which always have strictly defined margins and which are therefore characterized by a well-defined frame, the human visual field has no recognizable boundaries. We are not aware of the edges of the observation field simply because at the extremities we do not have enough sensors to show them to us. Relaxed and unconscious viewing embraces an extremely wide field of view, comparable to that of a wide-angle lens with a focal length of about 17 mm. However our visual perception is intensely dynamic and capable of continuous change in extremely short time frames. In fact we constantly change our view points and we can focus with such flexibility and speed that we do not usually realize that, at any given moment, there are observation levels, at different depths, which would be confusing if we were aware of them. For a few brief moments each observer fixes on a number of specific points that are temporarily stored as if they were individual photographs taken in quick succession. These captured moments, which occur on average four times per second, are indicated by the term ‘gaze’. They are interspersed by rapid movements of displacement and vibration during which it seems that no recording of information takes place. Every single movement is indicated by the term ‘saccade’. Subjective integrated vision is completed by processing what our brain makes of all the information it obtains thanks to rapid eye movements. The first experiments conducted in the field of eye movement analysis, go back to the latter half of the sixties. Among the first to use eye tracking devices to detect the paths that the eye takes in order to see something was the Russian psychologist Alfred Yarbus. The instruments available to Yarbus were very rudimentary compared to those currently offered by technology but still allowed him to establish that the path of vision, defined by the technical term of “scan-path”, is extremely irregular, rapid and jerky. The integrated statistical research of scan-paths have shown the most intensively explored areas in an image. So a kind of colour map can be 9


constructed, which is similar to that observed in thermography, called a “heat-map�. The heat-map does not show the paths, but rather the focus areas subjected to a greater density capture, that is, the areas where statistics have shown that the eye focuses more frequently and for longer. An examination of the scan-path and the heat-map show that some areas do not seem to be covered by observation. In fact, these areas remain at the periphery of the precise point of attention, but that does not automatically mean that they are not perceived. If in these areas, which the scanning and analysis performed by eye and brain have decided as less relevant, something new happens, they will then receive new and more careful consideration. Otherwise they will continue to be ignored. The perception of colour in almost all human beings occurs thanks to three light-sensitive proteins, called opsins, which are located in the light-sensitive cone cells present in the retina. Each of them reacts to a particular band of frequencies of electromagnetic energy within the visible spectrum. The opsins began to develop about six hundred million years ago and living beings have lost and then multiplied them again during the evolution of the species. Almut Kelber (Lund University) argues that an archaic ancestor of the living forms we now know, had a fourth opsin. Some animals have an extended visual capacity for infrared or ultraviolet frequencies, which are not visible to humans. Indeed, in the first evolutionary mammal phase, two of the four original opsins were lost, because the vision of these ancient progenitors was predominantly nocturnal, a situation in which the perception is dominated by the rod function. It would still be millions of years before one of the opsins, as John Mollon (Cambridge University) explained, differed to become sensitive to the range of blues. The result of this evolution is that our blue opsin is still partially sensitive to ultraviolet light although this has no practical effects because these rays are filtered by the cornea and the natural lens. However those recovering from a cataract operation acquire a slightly more extended sensitivity. Evolution is never ending and still has amazing surprises. The genes that give origin to the red and green opsins are located in the X chromosome. A small proportion of human males have mutations of these two opsins that give origin to the phenomenon of colour blindness. These alterations affect the X chromosome, of which males have only one since they are characterized by the X-Y chromosome pair. Females can instead rely on a spare opsin, since their chromosomal pair is X-X. Therefore women can be carriers of colour blindness, while not being subjected to it. Recent research developed by Gabriele Jordan (Newcastle University) reveal that a small, yet unidentified number of women are beginning to 10


differentiate in terms of evolution, and ‘are learning’ to use this fourth opportunity, the ‘wildcard’ opsin to distinguish a wider range of colours . How do we learn from what we see? How are we changed by the events and environments that we observe? In today’s reality, intensely invaded by technology, the things of which we have direct and real visual experience are gradually shrinking compared to what we see represented by an image. The discovery of mirror neurons has changed the way we consider individual interpretation of images. That which has been defined, often using a traditional gender approach, as sensitivity and empathy, should probably be redefined in a more objective and scientific way. Since the end of the ‘90s, even the non-specialized press has begun to take notice of mirror neurons. It is a particular class of neurons that are able to activate themselves, both when one performs an action and when one observes the same action performed by another entity. In particular, the experiments conducted by Giovanni Buccino in 2001, then developed by Giacomo Rizzolatti, Stanislas Dehaene and Trevor Robbins and later by other researchers, show that in the human brain neurons work and are activated in the presence of complex actions, both when it is directly the one who performs them, or when such actions are simply observed. This allowed us to assume that in certain brain areas, especially in the Broca area, a resonance system of perception can self-activate. The functioning of mirror neurons is perhaps what enables us to understand why we learn so effectively from events that do not involve us directly, simply by watching the acts of others. As well as the observation of others’ actions, photographic images, films and videos can be sources of experimentation and replace learning directly from experience. These virtual presences only exist as evidence of a real presence which has been recorded by using optical, chemical-physical, or electromagnetic technologies. This virtual presence, in substitution for a concrete presence, is perfectly capable of eliciting the mirror neuron response. The images can then capture our attention and transport us to environments and situations distant in time and/or space. They are therefore able to function as visual traps and activate a process that has the following progressive stages: • capture of our attention • identification 11


• shift of consciousness • emergence and re-appropriation Even if just for a few moments, the viewer is moved to another place and another time. He is on the peak of a mountain caressed by the setting sun or in front of a child lying sprawled on the beach of a Greek island. He can look into the smiling eyes of a person long gone, or see himself as a child, playing with a toy now lost, but still present and alive in the image. For a moment he is “captured” but it is necessary that the moment ends with the awareness that it is an image and not reality. If it does not, he can lose touch with reality and the unpredictable consequences will at the least cause feelings of unease. In this way, photography, as well as video, acheive both time travel and teleportation. This identification with images can affect us deeply. It is akin to evoking a presence. There is no photography without presence and presence always calls us into question. One option to avoid being overwhelmed is to say, “I’ve seen this, look at it with me. It’s me, it’s us”. Photography, like video, captures us, traps us and puts us there, ‘inside’. Photography and video allow us to live or die by proxy. There are books, films and photographs that are harmless. Other images are not harmless: you can close your eyes and try to forget them. In vain. By now you are no longer the same person as before.

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Practical experiments with sight and embodied cognition Francesca Conchieri One glance at a bunch of green and brown spots is all we need to recognize a tree, because our experience has proved this intuition true so many times that by now we take it for granted. But it is exactly that intuition, which takes us from the spots to the object, from the sensorial input to something we recognize, which after the first few times ceases to be an intuition and becomes an automatism. If everything that we see daily, as we start to explore the world, becomes a collection of taken-for-granted visions, then it is very difficult to see anything new or different. Our mind, which is used to seeing what it expects to find, loses the ability to question the ideas we have of things on the basis of the sensorial input we receive. A simple example is part of my present moment. I could reread this text a thousand times, but without the automatic corrector I wouldn’t notice all the spelling errors because I know the words and I read them without observing all the letters. All it takes are the first two letters and the word forms in my mind without any need of checking it out. It is the opposite for someone who is learning to read, for whom every letter is a conquest and has to be classified in order to find the right sound, the right word and in the end a meaning, an idea. This knowledge allows us to move rapidly and efficiently in the world without really observing what we assume we already know. The mechanism works by removing (or at least by not paying attention to) what we aren’t yet able to read. This happens so automatically that even if we know that the mechanism exists, it’s unavoidable most of the time, but for this very reason it’s useful to learn to trick it. Vision starts with a series of recognitions which can’t be defined as arbitrary (or if they are they must be the most functional and useful interpretation of what surrounds us), but have very little of the absolute: starting with colours which are the interpretation of a restricted range of electromagnetic waves and finishing with the phenomenal capacity to ‘see’ in a surface of varied pigments a three dimensional landscape, or in a piece of rock the body of a man about to throw a javelin. The two cases are different but they have something important in common which I will synthesize with an example: bed sheets are white even if in the shadows they are grey, in sunlight they are yellow, with the reflection of a red blanket they are pink and at dawn they are sky-blue. And if I ask to get 13


the white sheets out of the chest of drawers, no-one would complain that inside the darkness of the drawers the sheets are black! Our vision of the world is a mixture of anticipatory imagination and memory on which the imagination is based. To imagine how a thought can fire up exactly the right combination of neurons which allow us to recognize the same subject in ever changing conditions, takes a highly imaginative effort. I like to think of it as a furrow dug by a rivulet of water. Once the water has dug the furrow, it will always run along the same path. Depending on the “furrow” made by our surrounding reality, our thought flow takes the same path, which is the drawing (sign and symbol) of our idea: the tree, the landscape, the moving man. At the same time every new thought always causes a physical modification of our person. These paths (motor patterns) are formed by our actions. The more we perform an action, use an object, etc. in different situations, the more the furrow will deepen, branch out, become more complex and the next time we do the same action, we will have more and richer possibilities of interaction and ability. The wider our experience is, the more varied, pertinent and efficient our motor patterns will be. The opposite reasoning is also true: the livelier our capacity to imagine movement and manipulations is, the wider our potential for experience is. All if this may not seem very pertinent to industrial architecture, but appreciation of it is inseparable from how people see landscapes and objects, both physical and historical, and therefore from their imagination. Reading a landscape is essential for an archaeologist. A small wrinkle in the ground, a promontory which is ‘out of place’ are signs that need deciphering, heralding possible discoveries. However, to an untrained eye, these things are non-existent. Industrial archaeology is quite different from ordinary archeology because often the archaeological ‘finds’ are already ‘known’. In this case we have to consider the important factor of removal: when an object in a landscape, for example an ex-industrial site, is no longer used, it seems that the mind excludes it from its mental landscape. This attitude is immediately applied to more than just a few square metres of land, but it also involves the exclusion of the object from the category of existing things. It is difficult to claim that the lime furnaces of S.E.F.E., a former company, with its three thirty-metre high towers in a landscape of buildings only one third as tall, can’t be seen. Until a few years ago, the main road 14


in the Valle Camonica valley passed in front of the furnaces and yet for many tourists going up the valley for the weekend, they seemed to be completely invisible. Most visitors, if asked, could not remember seeing them, whereas they seemed to have an extremely detailed cognitive map of the bakeries and bars along the route. The problem with unearthing a find in both traditional and industrial archaeology is mostly realizing that something is there to discover even if the observer doesn’t yet know what it is nor how to use it. It’s one thing to make a building come back to life by giving it a new function. First it was used to produce lime; today it is a library or a museum about lime. It’s quite another thing to make it acquire the status of an object which exists in itself and by itself, even with no function, because someone has looked at it inquiringly but without any reassuring prejudices about what it is or what function it has. I believe that this exercise of reconstruction and reinvention of meaning is what first brought industrial archaeology close to art: the usefulness of a find depends on its uselessness! A location emanates hypotheses, problems and images, and thus becomes a natural creative laboratory, evoking the excitement of discovery in those who enter. This process works even better if the site is in an abandoned state. To make it simple: the landscape is not interesting despite these former industrial sites and these sites are not interesting despite their abandoned state, but thanks to these abandoned structures, the landscapes become potentially new because they are nonsensical places of the absurd. For the inhabitants of Sellero who know the building well, the problem is surely of another nature. With them one cannot speak of invisibility but of the lack of physiognomy. These places, huge buildings of reinforced concrete which seem to have come from an alien planet, were, until restoration, places of urban decay (though full of wonderful memories of youthful raids). How can they exist along side mountain pastures and beautiful streets in the historic centre lined by wooden and stone buildings? How can they exist with the rural traditions which for the past century have been in a love/hate relationship with their own industrial dimension? It is up to today’s world to integrate all this in a vision of wholeness, to be created and shared. At this point, with the vision of the whole, and with depth vision, we can 15


finally talk about stereoscopy. We can sum up many of the positions held on the relationships between the concepts of experience and motor patterns/idea and territory/gaze of the subject with the definition “embodied cognition” which clearly shows how cognitive operations and concepts are the abstract counterparts of what happens in the body. Examining vision itself with this same approach, to begin with, we find that the two images of the eyes meld into one vision endowed with depth (3D) which is the process known as stereoscopy. This synthesis reminds us of the operation 1 plus 1 = 2: two different ideas which united generate one which is not similar to either but is richer. We can also compare it to the dialectic operation in which the point of view A (thesis) of the dominant eye is opposed to the point of view B (antithesis) which gives rise to a third vision that is the sum of the two. Going even further, we can risk even more Pindaric examples: swallowing a multitude of mouthfuls they become me, one entity. Is this how we learn to synthesize from the multitude of visions we have on a subject, the one idea of it? Is it not because we have eaten them that we have learned to recognize apples on tree branches and that we have formed a very precise idea of that fruit? After all, is eating not one of the first functions with which we assimilate the world? There are many other examples of this synthesis of the manifold, some perhaps less exaggerated and more pertinent. If it is true that a person creates the perception of three dimensional space with the two images registered by their two eyes, it is also true that after the first two images their eyes will provide another two, and then another two, and so on for all the fractions of seconds of their seeing life. Exploring the surrounding space, it is the individual, who in the infinite sequence of images, stays the same (the constant which moves in space) and thus creates another synthesized dimension of the world in ‘depth’: time. In the end, if we have to represent the flow of time, do we not do it by putting together a series of images as in a film? Are we able to imagine another way of representing time? In ancient paintings the three dimensional depth of the background, a landscape, was used. The further away a scene was, perhaps on a path, the more time had passed in the life of the person represented. This is another case of giving a physical dimension to the represention of time. 16


The various ways humans have of representing time often follow the same processes of apperception, that is, the processes by which they become aware of having perceptions.They also seem to be excellent instruments for studying and revealing the moment of passage from bodily perception to cognitive apperception. Moreover the act of representing is an occasion for greater understanding of the represented subject...in relation to the person who is representing it. Can we now interpret the depth of the eyes (stereopsis) as depth of the mind? Our visual awareness of reality is not confined to the surface of the objects which are of immediate necessity but perceived as a moving three dimensional wholeness all around us. Can we not think that this awareness of wholeness and depth becomes a cognitive and conceptual depth? Can we not apply it to the act of reasoning itself, there where we want ‘to see more’ and better. The same is true for binocular vision of the whole which means having an idea of reality without interruptions. And so on: the clarity of focusing often corresponds to the clarity of ideas about the observed subject. Not by chance, the objects which are more easily recognized are those for which there are fewer vision problems. In the same way remembering a letter before looking at it helps to see it better. Now let’s go back and apply this approach to our topic. Offering an image of the past does not mean pretending that it is present. If technology gives me the means today to see a scene from yesterday, exactly how I would have seen it if I had been there, well then, I have been there! I’ve had the same visual experience as I would have had then. However, in this way, the scene stops being past and becomes a present moment, not only theoretically but practically as well. Today there is a great use of 3D vision technology for the enjoyment of ‘increased’ reality, but this is not very different from the use and abuse of old illusionist techniques like trompe l’oeil. No matter how extraordinary a film or video game is, the immersion of a person in increased reality has and will increasingly have, the ‘shortcoming’ of having them assume the identical bodily attitude as that assumed in normal vision. Therefore nothing is really new on an experiential level with regards to sight. It’s quite another thing to take an optical gadget, to seek to line up the two single-eye images and as if by magic, to be projected into depth, while 17


realizing that this is a result of my observation skills, even though they are not completely stable. It’s something else again to use a gadget which instead of providing a depth image exploits binocular vision to produce mirages: images that flash and fluctuate, changing as our minds move back and forth between choosing the right eye or the left as the most important. By using the stereoscopic cards (shown in the museum exhibition in the Centro 3T) it is possible to visualize a re-creation of the dismantled pieces of the structure and the hydro-electrical plant, seeing them superimposed on the present day architecture and landscape. Thus, by way of visual fusion, they suggest the hoped for conceptual fusion: seeing in the present structures their past functions. Other cards allow the vision of what lies beyond the wall in front of the centre. Yet others demonstrate the former productive cycle, showing parts of it from different points of view. If an image is intended to convey a new way of interpreting it, it must be seen as such, revealing its value in the simulation of a reality to which only the mind can find an access. The illusion must not completely succeed as the image should allow people to complete the process with the awareness of what they are doing, of the fact that they are crossing over a threshold!1 We have conducted many experiments in this sense. This seminar is intended as an introduction to the speculations which started them off.

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Natural vision and Bates Method The fusion of images to play with and improve our vision First part Bernardi Morena

The A.I.E.V., the Italian Visual Education Association, is a non-profit association of social promotion registered with the Conacreis. The special aim of the Association is to promote the individual’s awareness of the use of sight, eye contact and the thoughts, emotions and feelings associated with them. It teaches relaxation of the eye according to the principles and teachings developed by Dr. William H. Bates as well as drawing from many other holistic methods of relaxation. Among the association’s purposes is the dissemination of the Bates Method through conferences, seminars and training courses for Visual Bates Method educators. William Horatio Bates (1860-1931), American ophthalmologist, devoted much of his life to observing his patients, their use of their visual system and developing a treatment for visual impairment. Going beyond academic studies, he dared to question his own knowledge. He paid the consequences by being disbarred from the medical profession. A man of humanistic and medical education, he was the discoverer of adrenaline and inventor of a new intervention for the improvement of permanent deafness. He published the book “Perfect Sight without Glasses” (original title: “Perfect Sight Without Glasses- The Cure Of Imperfect Sight by Treatment Without Glasses” 1920, New York) and many articles later collected in a series of publications. Bates believed the use of glasses to be unnecessary, and even harmful in some cases, because by not solving sight problems, most of the time glasses made them worse. This was the premise that started his research which was aimed at developing a technique that could improve or solve visual problems, a real holistic method. Thus the Bates Method was born, a method based on four fundamental principles, to make people aware of the basic attitudes that cause their visual problems: mental tension and stress in the act of seeing. These in fact cause rigid visual habits, creating bad vision under stress. Bates noted that people with no visual disturbances, continually moved their eyes in a relaxed way, looked exactly where they wanted to see something and had a perfect memory of the things they had seen. In contrast, people with visual difficulties rarely moved their eyes and with 19


no relaxation. Their way of looking at an object was completely different: they had a fixed gaze and a tendency to make an obvious visual effort in order to see anything. They did not have a good memory of what they had just seen. The 4 PRINCIPLES 1. Movement: People with visual impairment don’t move their eyes much. This affects the body and involves emotions, feelings and thoughts. They stare more and in some cases they hardly breathe. It seems as if they have found the perfect way of concentrating on something, but they end up being stiff and rigid. They do not blink, contract their jaws, have limited movements of their pelvis, shoulders and neck and show difficulties in feeling contact with the ground, feeling rooted. Bates proposes many practices that help us become aware of our eyes and attitudes. An example is the exercise called swinging: wide oscillations of the body which give us a sense of general relaxation. The eyes lightly touch and caress everything that passes in front of them, stimulating gentle movements of both body and vision. Our eye muscles loosen their tension if we can let them flow smoothly on objects, letting everything flow until our surroundings appear to move. Regular breathing and the slight blinking of our eyelids complete the exercise. When interpreted and done as a slow dance, the oscillations certainly lead to a state of complete relaxation. 2. Centralization: one of the consequences of ‘fixing’ one’s gaze is trying to see one thing by keeping one’s eyes almost immobile and trying to see all of it at once, as if we wanted to broaden our eyes and vision. In doing so we make our vision worse, making the object more blurred because the more the image is spread, the less visual acuity we have. On the contrary, those who see properly do not fix their gaze, do not stop the apparent movement of images and let everything move, including their eyes. These perform at least 3600 movements per minute, scanning the entire image, focusing on all the smallest details, which the brain will then rebuild in a clear image. Centralization is correct only if there is movement. 3. Relaxation: very difficult in our day as all of us are always on the run. Tension has become part of us, of our way of life and rarely abandons us, especially if we have visual difficulties and have worn glasses for a long time. The tension is sometimes so strong that we almost do not perceive it. When we relax we see better, we breathe better and therefore live better. Those who have a visual impairment do not see movement and 20


consequently do not relax. For good vision without effort we must learn to relax our eyes, noting movement and centralizing. 4. Visual memory and imagination: according to Bates, memory and imagination are very important for good eyesight. An object is not seen well if it is not remembered perfectly. Bates wrote that the ability to remember something perfectly, or imagine it, is closely linked to the state of mental relaxation. Therefore memory and imagination play an important role in the process of vision. The speech that I gave at this meeting, in collaboration with Daniela Giovati, was not only theoretical. We wanted people to try some exercises and so have the opportunity to take home a few precious exercises for relaxing their eyes. PALMING First we did palming. This exercise should give you a pleasant sensation and make you feel relaxed. Make yourself comfortable by choosing a position that is comfortable for you, for example sitting with one or more pillows on the table and propping your elbows on them. Cup your hands with your palms resting around the eyes (image 1). Check with your eyes open that light does not enter and if it does, position your hands differently, then close your eyes and open them again only when the exercise is over. Try to perceive the different parts of your body: pay attention to the position you are in and listen for a few moments to your breath. Then starting from your feet, try to be aware of how one foot is resting on the ground, how you feel your toes and if you feel heat. If you are not comfortable, change position and perceive the new contacts your feet have with the ground. Continue being aware of your body, gradually switching to the other foot, then going up your calves, knees, thighs, buttocks, back, chest, shoulders, neck, head, arms, hands and finally to your eyes. How do you perceive them? Do you feel one of them differently from the other? Listen to your perceptions. Finally pause a moment on your breathing, then exit the Palming exercise by moving your hands away very slowly, always keeping your eyes closed while trying to pay attention to the changing sensations of light and heat. Palming, if done correctly, relaxes eye and neck muscles and can remove tension from our minds. This is just one example of how to do Palming: one can also evoke images which are pleasant for you, situations, landscapes, or objects. It’s very important to be able to lead your mind into something you love, leaving 21


space for your imagination. For Bates it was important to be able to visualize the colour black, but it can be difficult especially at the beginning. For some people, imagining black is so difficult that it can cause tension, eliminating the beneficial effect of Palming. Then we worked on how to merge images by connecting to the earlier experience in the morning with the stereoscopic images at the 3T Centre. We taught the audience how to fuse stereoscopic images without the aid of any optical instruments. We worked on a special chart created by Ray Gottlieb that trains eyes to converge (crossing of the eyes) and diverge (making them parallel) and with the aid of two different coloured straws, we understood whether and how the eyes work together with binocular vision. The exercise proceeds as follows: put the black straw approximately 20/25 cm from your face at eye level, and the coloured straw positioned behind the black one at arm’s distance. By looking at the black straw, you will perceive the splitting of the coloured straw and vice versa (image 2 and 3). The acquisition of the technique of fusion of images gives us the opportunity to use our eyes in convergence or divergence, creating a threedimensional image. Convergence: crossing your eyes. Divergence: looking at the image as if you wanted to look at a distant point. This exercise of merging enables us to experience ourselves in a new way and to experiment, as if we were looking through the eyes of a child!! The merging work is important for those with visual impairments such as severe myopia and presbyopia. In both cases it can help to regain curiosity and interest in seeing, the key to regaining clear sight. Many images that we use in fusion work have magical and unexpected effects. We see threedimensionality where in fact there isn’t any: awakening in us the taste for discovery and for play. RAY GOTTLIEB Professor of optometry, Syntonics Instructor, Lecturer of the Bates Method, Ray Gottlieb is always present in international conferences on Holistic Vision. Gottlieb is a specialist in the field of visual education and particularly on the work on fusion which in traditional orthoptics is used to diagnose disorders of binocularity and to treat them. He has adapted and perfected this work on the accommodation/convergence ratio. 22


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2 and 3

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4

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Through this work of merging images all accommodation problems can be improved: presbyopia and hyperopia that manifest accommodation deficiencies and myopia that instead has an excessive accommodation. He presented his original method for the first time at the Paris Conference in 2002. His work is based on two principles of vision: convergence and divergence (image 4). His method rearranges these principles and makes them easy to learn through materials which work effectively. Note the two black points in the upper part of the sheet (fig.5). If you cross your eyes you should see four or three points: to see three points is your goal. If you are not able to cross your eyes voluntarily, hold the sheet at about 40 cm from your eyes and put a pen under the two points, exactly in the middle. Pay attention to the tip of the pen, and start slowly bringing it closer to your eyes. You will notice that behind the pen the points will begin to split and become four. Keep on slowly approaching the pen until the two central points overlap and there should be three points, including a particularly sharp one in the centre. What appears is so extraordinary it could make you lose focus of the pen. Practise until you find the three points again! You will become better and faster. Do not forget to blink and breathe. If you practise you will be able to hold the convergence without the help of the pen and be able to read the words in the paragraph. This is the ingenious part of this exercise. Start from the biggest letters and then read the smallest ones. Note the depth of the image!! Practising convergence stimulates and strengthens accommodation The same chart can also be used for divergence. Start with your nose resting on the sheet, just below the level of the two black points. Imagine looking through the points and the sheet (as if it were transparent) until you see one big black spot which is not very clear. Slowly remove the page and you will see two more points: one on the right and one on the left of where you are looking. Do not concentrate on the sheet but keep your vision unfocused, maintaining peripheral awareness of the rest of the room. This is the GOAL of Stereopsis, a feeling of WONDER! In the Internet you can find some very beautiful and useful stereograms to help you see in divergence. Go to www.easystereogrambuilder.com to create your own stereograms (image 6).

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Natural vision and Bates Method Second part Daniela Giovati Before becoming a full-time Bates Method visual educator, I had worked for over 30 years in a Hospital as an Orthoptist, that is, a visual re-activator of binocular vision function disorders. However, I felt somewhat restricted by the concept of medicine in which the main protagonist is the disease to fight and the diagnosis is searched for technically, while the patient remains in the background, part of a category based on his symptoms and the results of medical tests. I had the good fortune to come across the Bates Method, a holistic discipline that is part of so-called non-conventional medicine. In this method we do not speak about sight, but about vision. A symptom is considered an alarm bell indicating a more general lack of balance. We look at the whole person, the psychological and physical appearance, behaviour, posture, breathing, interests, motivations and personal goals. The person who has visual troubles is not passive, delegating to others their own improvement, but personally takes on the responsibility of actively doing something to change their own faulty visual habits. First of all they become aware of what is wrong with their eyes, eyes being considered as the final manifestation of a visual process that involves their own way of looking inside and outside of themselves. So the first step towards change is to start to be in contact with themselves, to listen to themselves, to know at what point they are and to accept it. I like to talk about the”lived-in body.” To live in a body means to illuminate matter with consciousness. In homoeopathy the diseased part is defined as the blind side. What more than eyes could symbolically define this blindness, this not wanting or rather not being able to see? Vision is synonymous of awareness, focusing synonymous of understanding. How do we think we can “take care” of our eyes without taking into account our soul part, our humanity? Groddeck, in “The Book of the ES” speaks of myopia as a clever ploy to keep one’s own way of looking at reality, blurring and removing the way others want to make us see it. For example a child in school does not understand, “does not focus on” a scolding by the teacher. By putting on glasses the person sees how the others normally see, but under those glasses there is still a frightened child who does not understand. By following the Bates’ Method people are invited to take their glasses off and this gives them the opportunity to experience their true way of seeing reality and then to get back in touch with and transform the old traumas that have caused these disorders. In ophthalmology we measure the structure: the dioptre, the length of the 26


muscles, the transparency of the dioptric media, but we do not evaluate, or at least not enough, the functionality of the visual system, and even less how the person organizes their sight spatially and cognitively. To work consciously on the eyes means to ensure that sensation becomes perception. Light particles enter our eyes and are received by our senses, but most of the time we are not aware of what we really see; we look but we do not see. we often have no “idea” - picture of what we’re looking at. If we had to redesign it we wouldn’t remember it. In fact, studies on visual perception show that from 70% to 90% of what we see is pure fantasy. Vision is a complex mechanism which processes how the information which reaches our eyes, is interrelated to our attention, our interests, our personal and cultural history, our expectations, etc.. Real interest is the main incentive to seeing well. If we are not interested in what lies before us we might not see it, or distort the vision of it with the our mind’s filter. The eyes have little to do with seeing: they are receptors and light transformers, but if our brain and entire nervous system is not activated by our attention and our interest, then visual stimulations are not perceived. They do not enter into a relationship with us, they don’t “say anything to us”, don’t give us any emotion and the eyes become dull and expressionless. In Chinese medicine the word “shen” means awareness, the light in a person’s eyes that comes from their heart. Children’s retinas have a brilliance that is slowly lost over the years. Children’s eyes are so bright, so interested in what is around them, as if everything is new. Their feelings, their emotions are amplified. I think we should remember and awaken more often the child’s eyes that are in us. I like the Bates Method because it is not a cure but a method of training how to restore a proper way of using our eyes, which means removing stress, rigidity and diffusion (that is trying to see everything all at once). It means returning to a more natural, more physiological use of our visual system. This change involves our posture, our breathing and more deeply also helps us to better focus on our goals and the priorities in our lives, helping us to have a broader view when facing difficulties and therefore to feel more confident and relaxed . I also like the Bates Method because it made me go beyond my role as a therapist who takes charge of the patient, allowing me to be an educator who, with the student, shares, compares and improves the way people see themselves and the world. The fusion of images to play with and improve our vision Stereopsis or three-dimensional vision, is born from the convergence and fusion of the images of two eyes. Practising convergence, we unite the opposites, our right and left sides, the masculine and the feminine, instin27


ct and reason, re-calling insight. We leave flat, two-dimensional vision to enter into a new dimension where our breath expands, everything acquires substance, creating a sense of depth and space which revive the smile and the wonder of our inner child. As visual educators, we use three-dimensional figures a great deal. They allow us to work on binocular vision, creating much more collaboration between the two eyes and working towards improving the problems of visual difference. They also help realign the two parts of the body generating in it a greater sense of unity. By creating three-dimensional vision, eyes are encouraged to work together, which determines centrality as the position of our gaze and this is reflected in our posture. It is as if we create a central fixed point between our eyes which helps us perceive a median line, which separates but also joins the two parts of our body. We therefore feel a greater balance. If we transcend physicality we can claim that we are working with the third eye: when you create a 3D image, especially converging, it is as if we look from behind our eyes. Often people feel as if something has been activated inside their brain, sometimes perceiving it as a tingling, sometimes as an emotion. They feel more compact, more concentrated, more present to themselves. Sometimes, if they pay careful attention to what is going on, they can also be moved to tears . I’ve been dealing with vision for forty years and it is due to my long experience that I feel that it is like reuniting our two parts, the right and the left with all their symbolic value. The right is the male part, capable of doing only one thing at a time, rational, solar, scientific and corresponds to the fovea in the eye, the part that takes aim, pursues the goal. The left is the female part, capable of multi-tasking, instinctive, lunar, artistic and corresponds to the peripheral retina in the eye, the part linked to perceiving movement, which has the perception of the whole. The person feels more confident, stronger, more united, with a sense of being able to better master situations. Working with 3D figures in divergence (which means trying to look towards the horizon, towards infinity) this strong feeling of self perception of our body becomes weaker. We feel more space around us and we perceive the circularity of this space that envelops us, that contains us and the figure together. There is a sense of lightness. This often produces a smile. On a physical level, working with 3D in convergence (which means crossing the eyes) re-activates the sympathetic nervous system, contracting the internal rectum muscles, the pupil and the lens with its ciliary muscle, while divergence activates the parasympathetic nervous system de-contracting all those tissues. 28


These exercises greatly improve the muscle elasticity needed to focus, distinguishing between convergence and accommodation, as if we looked at one point and we focused on another. They work very well on both myopia and presbyopia. Moreover, latent strabismus (there are many more cases than we imagine) have great benefits from them with quick and lasting results. When working on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, I love to say that we are working on polarity. It contracts and relaxes us, as does a hot shower and then a cold one, using light and dark (as in “sunning” and “palming”, two Bates method exercises). So this speeds up reflexes, thus awakening the whole central nervous system. To work with three-dimensional images is a wonder that is renewed every time. It awakens the inner child’s way of seeing, the child who enjoys playing with their own eyes.

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“Partiture tese” (“Scores In Tension”) Space perception between sound and vision Mauro Cossu The concert “Scores in Tension” is an interpretation of the 3T Center vertical garden. The musical scores, supported by rods, are documented by video footage which represents their musical transcription. The vegetable garden in question, in its visual and objective structure, effectively manifests elements that lead back to the sound dimension. I planned the garden as an extended pentagram formed by a self-supporting structure, divided into five rings made of steel cables attached to a series of galvanized iron stakes supporting metal mesh pockets full of unwashed wool for the planting of seedlings. When these grow, they create a variable score in a constant state of flux. The title expresses a special condition that can be interpreted in diverse ways: what kind of tension? Cables and rods supporting the whole structure? Fragile threads holding up the sky. Is it the reaction to an unnatural growth condition? It isn’t the strongest which takes up space but who is the most adaptable. A transposition of emotions in the listener or in the author himself? And yet it is always possible to observe ... it certainly is not a joke to survive at a high altitude! Or simply ‘to be’ in the world. Although the environment is well ventilated it can sometimes be difficult to breath. There is a little tension. The sound performance in itself does not need any support of images. The choice of projection has its logic in the narrative documentation previously carried out: the planning and the garden construction, the plant care and growth, the observation of the place over time . The binocular setting of the video, the analysis of chromatic values and the interaction with the acoustic sphere form a study of space which enters our perceptions through all our senses. Moreover, by integrating our research with new sound producing materials, new forms of musical writing and graphic representations of the materials themselves are introduced. The use of unusual instruments and live sounds restore sound to a contemporary and vital dimension of reality. These include unorthodox instruments such as the bicycle, which is not used for folkloric reasons but for tonal characteristics and conceptual reasons (1). They also include traditional instruments such as the transverse flute, played in strange positions, and new instruments such as the “chiodofono” (nailophone), as 30


well as samples of live sounds which all result in 54 minutes of atonal and micro tonal music in a non-linear tempo. Having worked for many years with the interaction between sound and vision, I believe I have gained an extensive and detailed perception of space that, in spite of myself, I do not always manage to convey. Simplifying, what I mean by sound is all the possible variations of music: noise and voice and by vision everything that falls in the visual and plastic sphere: photos and videos, bodies, static and moving objects. The correlation of forms in space and acoustics seems to me to be a logical structure, capable of expressing both consistency and duration in the phenomenological world. In the concert “Erosion of sound” (2006, Villasimius) sound and vision merged into a unique entity, with the complicity of a dimension that was both distancing and enrapturing. The sound that was generated, gradually diminished leading to the progressive erosion of space. The scenic system, made of 70 square meters of transparent cellophane that was sometimes erect like an iceberg, allowed glimpses of objects and instruments: the projection of images shot in the outskirts of the city (demolition of a group of buildings, urban traffic, night lighting as a continuation of the day), on the coast (the sea seen from the land and vice versa, stretches of sand as far as the eye could see, cliffs with sheer drops) and then the hinterland (lush vegetation and desert area, the action of wind and driving rain), introducing extreme contrasts which slowly vanished. At the end of the concert there was a direct confrontation with the public with discussions, questions and explanations. I clearly remember the light-headed feeling that seized me and the audience! Another performance project focused on the connection between sound, noise and plastic creation was “Roba da chiodi” (‘Unbelievable happenings’) at the Ex Ma’, Cagliari in 2006. I gathered together about ten artists, inviting them to create a piece by bashing nails into wooden boards. While all of them proceeded hammering, I fit in amongst the rhythmic and tonal variables, extraordinary for irregularity and texture, with the flute. The final result was a concert (lasting 3 hours) of ten material pieces, on display for ten days with the audio recording playing at the same volume as the live execution. This mode allowed me to maintain unity between sound and vision, without giving the impression of an exhibition accompanied by background music. 31


Devoting myself to the study of sound in relation to the territories in which I live (including the places which I pass through and in which I will stay for differing lengths of time), I felt the necessity to inquire into the visible-invisible/audible-inaudible condition. Sound is related to our perception of time and absolute silence does not exist in nature. Listening activates a complex mental and motor development; its origin is due to molecular vibration and to electromagnetic waves distributed over a wide range of frequencies. For this reason hearing and perception of sound is not only limited to the ears but also occurs through the skin and internal organs. The perception of space through sound allows one to rebuild the invisible; similarly, a sequence of images allows the perception of inaudible sounds. The physical characteristics of sound are not enough to focus the brain on music. When listening to music, whether live or with headphones, one sometimes abandons oneself to an unknown flow, entering into another temporal reality. This phenomenon can be a source of joy, annoyance or dismay, especially when the perceived sounds are not within the range of sounds that have already been internalized and resistance can develop out of the fear of losing self awareness. Trying to give ‘visibility’ to inaudible sounds I worked on an improbable sound mapping of environments, divided between reality and representation (which is where the “Personal Map” open project took shape, a project which is still in progress and with anticipated further implementation). Generally sound mapping of an area means the study and observation of the sound scape (landscape sound), which means the way in which sounds intervene in an environment configuration (this term was introduced by R. Murray Schafer in 1977 in his most well-known book, “The Tuning of the World”). The perception of the Shaferian landscape implies an intimate and immediate relationship with the environment, accompanied by a detailed spatial analysis. Despite appreciating his research, I decided to do something else. While hiking in the mountains, I stopped and began reflecting on the surrounding environment: the intricacies of a stream, the depth of the water, the contours of a lake or a pond, a mountain range or a single mountain, all of which can be represented by a bathymetric and a plani-altimetric graph of space. Attributing a particular sound value to the graphic definition of the detected items, musical scores arise from the morphology of the places under observation. This sparked the birth of “Four sound studies in the area of the Camonica 32


Valley”, on the occasion of the project “There/ Here Veins and Reservoirs”. Of course I never intended to dictate the rules for a new approach to the reading of the soundscape (and even less to devote myself to the systematic production of graphic-sound works marked by morphological studies) but neither did I intend to reduce a creative moment of multi sensory perception into a simple game. The beginning of a quest is often due to simple and random moments, accompanied by curiosity, amazement and unexpected intuitions. Some time ago, on a spring day, as I was walking the streets of the historical centre of Cagliari, I was impressed by the myriad of clothes hung out, suspended from one balcony to another: a disorderly poly-chrome presence of varying intensity and size, a joyous score fluttering above my head in the first gusts of the mistral wind! The occasion marked the beginning of a long process synthesized in the concert – “A che gioco giochiamo” (“What game are we playing”) - performed at the Royal Palace (Cagliari) in 2007. At a presentation of the record “Expanding Sound” (in 2008 at the bookshop “The portal”, Cagliari) I put together a performance that involved 14 women of different nationalities. Each of them was asked to read at random and in their own language, a few pages of a previously chosen book. Having established a few simple steps, each was able to express herself alone, in a duo, a trio and in a chorus, in a counterpoint of different texts and languages, sometimes characterized by an adagio, sometimes by a continuous crescendo, with breathtaking starts and stops! Within an hour the performance seemed to result in a clash between order and chaos, in a babel of sometimes overlapping voices. However, the different languages were clearly audible and understandable. The experience was particularly exciting and spurred on by the sensations it had given me, I devoted some time to the connection between number and coincidence. The connection between music and mathematics is not new at all. Recent studies on quantum mechanics applied to the development of sound contents are the most tangible demonstration, without forgetting that starting in the latter half of the 18th century musical games were quite successful. These were systems of generating music by combining pre-composed elements at random. The best known is the “Musicalishes Wurfelspiel” attributed to Mozart (it appears in the Kochel catalog of Mozart’s works with the number K516f). Starting with the use of games of dice, he developed countless ways of composing minuets. 33


In the contemporary operetta “Days of February”, presented at the “Eliseo Theatre” in Nuoro in 2011 with Francesca Conchieri, the voice support determines scores which are inseparable from the moving pictures. Reality and fiction mingle constantly (eg. in the offer to the public of some marigold oil or the delirious speculation of a tower prisoner), leaving the audience with no reliable reference point. With the expansion of sound experimentation to new sources and new concepts, it is evident that traditional musical notation will be entirely unsuitable. Edgard Varèse, in the midst of his hectic activity, wrote verbatim “As new frequencies and new rhythms will have to be indicated on the score, the current notation will prove inadequate. The new notation will probably be of a seismographic type. As in the Middle Ages, we are facing an identity problem; that of finding graphic symbols to transpose the ideas of the composer into sounds. “ The relationship between author and performer in the execution of the score is one of the problems affecting contemporary music. Even today one must ask oneself how Schoenberg, with his twelve-tone setting, could be certain of the proper execution of his works, having definitively eliminated all ties with traditional harmony and tones. The multiple connections between sound and whatever that surrounds it which forms an autonomous language (from an image to a moving body) are by now part of the multi-media experiences of our time. The relationship between image and sound has deep roots. In the early decades of the twentieth century, with the Dadaist and Futurist visual arts movements, a sound space beyond the image was being sought, while music was being investigated to find a visual space beyond sound. Moreover, there is no lack of research indicating that sound and vision originate in a plastic dimension. The composer and painter Luigi Russolo, who signed the manifesto “The Art of Noise” (11 March 1913), which first introduced the use of noise in the sound space, performed his own music with an instrument invented by himself, the “noisemaker”, a mechanical device capable of emitting discordant and avant-garde sounds. He asserted: “noise is music, and it is much better to hear the rattle of a tram than a Beethoven symphony”. Beethoven had been listened to for a century and a half, and, without denying his greatness, he certainly did not represent anything new. This underlines the need to contextualize art forms, understand the changes and become aware of the present time. Takis does not separate sound projects from plastic projects, while Woody and Steina Wasulka explore the space-time relationship through electromagnetic frequencies. 34


In an era of great changes it was difficult to ignore new creative interventions on the pretext of protecting the past. For Claude Levi-Strauss, “bricolage” is fundamental to human thought. Without it there is no becoming, and even Levi-Strauss’s studies on myth would not have been written. Marshall Mc Luan, forecasting that the new media forms would radically change the relationship between human beings, space and time, upheld the importance of not being caught unprepared. From Fluxus onwards, the boundaries between disciplines have become completely permeable; factors which are external to the interpretive act and the different modes of executing a performance make a sound event a complex phenomenon. The John Cage and Earle Brown graphic scores, Karlheinz Stockhausen’s annotations on electrical oscillators of frequencies, Christina Kubisch’s sound paths between everyday objects, Luciano Ori’s visual music, Luciano Berio’s compositions and Edna Politi’s moving images about Luigi Nono’s possible infinities have marked an era which is not yet over. The current practices of photo-music, expanded sound and expanding images lead to new scenarios. As Susan Sontag stressed in a nutshell in ‘On Photography’, 1977, reality is becoming obsolete in the blurring boundaries between things and their images, between objects and their shadows, due to the de-platonization of the world. So perhaps today it would be appropriate to discuss parallel realities. Tonal music, as a form of research, has exhausted all of its innovative energy. Even the most refined tonal compositions today add nothing to the formal achievements of the past. Sometimes useful in film, advertising, entertainment or in certain therapeutic applications, tonal music is not at all easy to get away from but all too easy to absorb.

Note: 1.The alternation of day and night, of the seasons, of life itself is cyclical. In the context of this project the ecological aspect is to be seen in the reuse of wool in agriculture and in the choice of a vertical and circular wall (one of the three kilns) for cultivation without soil. The bicycle is a non-polluting means of transport, capable of travelling in mental territories where sound, far from hierarchical bonds, can freely be expressed.

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Brief biographical notes Gabriele Chiesa is involved in studies and research in the fields of language and history of photography. He graduated with a thesis on “The use and social function of the family album”. Author of ICPAL articles about old photography techniques and the appreciation of antique images. Together with Paolo Gosio he has published a book entitled “Dagherrotipia, Ambrotipia, Ferrotipia Positivi unici e processi antichi nel ritratto fotografico”. He is the founder of the Gruppo Ricerca Immagine, the cultural curator of the Fondazione Negri as well as a lecturer at the Image Academy and holds PhD Seminars/Courses in photography at the University of Brescia (Università degli Studi di Brescia). Francesca Conchieri artist and cultural planner She is the co-founder and president of the P.I.R. Association (Post Industriale Ruralità, manager of the Centro 3T in Sellero, in which she conducts the ‘visual and sound experiments’ section together with Mauro Cossu, with whom she also looks after the project “Ruinas Contemporaneas”. She has a degree in philosophy. Her thesis was on the philosophy of images. Mauro Cossu Artist and curator, composer and musician. His work is on the interaction between the visual arts and sound experimentation, micro-tonal research in non linear time, the aesthetics of noise, interventions of expanded sculpture and sound in expansion. For the past fifteen years he has collaborated with Flash Art, a magazine of contemporary art,. He is responsible for the visual and sound experiments of the project “Ruinas Contemporaneas” and the Centro 3T in Sellero (BS), in collaboration with Francesca Conchieri. Morena Bernardi A Bates Methods teacher, qualified by the A.I.E.V. (Associazione Italiana Educazione Visiva/Italian Visual Education Association) of which she has been the president since 2014. She is involved in the continuing education of Bates Method graduates and teachers. She is a graduate of the A.E.I.V. Bates School in Milan where she did her practicum and where she has collaborated actively since then. She teaches the Bates Method in conferences and theoretical/practical lessons. She conducts seminars 36


and residential experiences and gives individual lessons to adults and children. She has a diploma in classical guitar and is attending a Professional Course in Music therapy Techniques. She has been teaching Preparatory Music and Guitar in public and private schools for more than twenty years. Daniela Giovati Orthoptist, psycho-pedagogue, qualified Bates Method teacher. “I’m an orthoptist (visual rehabilitation therapist) and I worked in hospitals for thirty years. Although I was keen on my work, I felt closed in by the immobility and sectionalism of conventional medicine. So I followed my interests in the relationship between body and mind by getting a degree in psycho-pedagogy and undertaking verbal and bodily psychotherapies, integrated with disciplines such as yoga. Twenty years ago, I found a more holistic approach to “seeing “ in the Bates Method which lets one “see with different eyes” everything that has to do with visual problems. Being a professional therapist and an educator has given a new meaning to”caring for” people.”

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Ass. P.I.R. Centro 3T, Sellero (Bs) centro3t@gmail.com www.postindustriale.it Gruppo Ricerca immagine - Phototrace www.gri.it www.imageacademy.it Associazione Italiana per l’Educazione Visiva www.aiev.it Progetto Ruinas Contemporaneas www.ruinascontemporaneas.it


Mauro Cossu Concert and video PARTITURE TESE (Scores in tension)

LINK to Scores In Tension

Sound editing Gianluca Canetto Cover illustration Francesca Conchieri


RUINAS CONTEMPORANEAS

ISBN 978-88-94-17260-7

This seminar explores visual perception by inaugurating and using optical gadgets in the museum exposition of the Centro 3T. It includes theoretical explanations and practical exercises. The rediscovery of the territory starts from the observer.

Profile for Francesca Conchieri

Perception and illusion 30 january 2016  

This seminar explores visual perception by inaugurating and using optical gadgets in the museum exposition of the Centro 3T. It includes the...

Perception and illusion 30 january 2016  

This seminar explores visual perception by inaugurating and using optical gadgets in the museum exposition of the Centro 3T. It includes the...

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