FIGHT (2017)

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If you are currently at STRP and have experienced the installation, I would very much appreciate a few words of feedback here.


“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”
(Anaïs Nin? Babylonian Talmud? Immanuel Kant? G. T. W. Patrick? H. M. Tomlinson? Steven Covey? Anonymous?)

FIGHT is a Virtual Reality artwork commissioned by STRP in which the viewer’s two eyes are individually presented with radically different images, resulting in a phenomenon known as binocular rivalry. Presented with rival signals, the conscious mind does not ‘see’ – or perceive – both images blended as one might expect, but instead ‘sees’ only one of the two images, and unpredictably alternates between them with unstable, patchy transitions. Which of the two images the viewer perceives, how and when they alternate depends on the viewer’s physiology. Everybody will ‘see’ something unique, even though they are presented with the same images. The act of looking around and exploring the rival stimulus allows the viewer to probe which sections of each signal becomes dominant and which is suppressed, further underlining the notion that seeing – and in broader terms sensing and perception in general is an active process, driven by movement, expectations and intent. The picture we see in our conscious minds is not a direct representation of the outside world, or of what our senses deliver, but is of a simulated world, reconstructed based on our expectations and prior beliefs.

The work is part of a broader line of inquiry about self affirming human biases and our unconscious tendency to selectively only see what we would like to see, and the resulting social polarisation.

Commissioned by and premiering at STRP 2017 in Eindhoven, opening on 24th March 2017. More information and documentation coming soon.

Score by Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek)
Producer: Juliette Bibasse
Assistant: Rob Homewood