Seeing with Eyes Closed

Contribution: Contribution: Markus Miessen in conversation with Alexander Abbushi, Neurospace

Alexander Abbushi / Ivana Franke / Ida Mommenejad

Association of Neuroesthetics, Berlin


Seeing with Eyes Closed brings together contributions from the participants of the symposium organized by the Association of Neuroesthetics, Berlin, at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, on 2nd June 2011.

The symposium takes its title from an interdisciplinary project by artist Ivana Franke and neuroscientist Ida Momennejad, conceived through the support of Alexander Abbushi and the AoN. The project concerns the visual experience of flowing images induced by stroboscopic light behind closed eyes. Being aware that the seen images have no foundation in external reality, one experiences them as hallucinatory. This ‘conscious quasi-hallucinating’ challenges our sense of the real in its alternation and its permeability with the imaginary. Each person’s experience differs from that of others, and each ascribes different dimensions to the perceived space in constant transformation. Communicating the content of this ephemeral flux of unpredictable percepts stretches the limits of acquiring subjective report to extremes, and challenges the scientific aspiration to precisely measure the timing of conscious phenomena.
Edited by Elena Agudio and Ivana Franke.