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Craft Ecologies: Image-You-Know, Image-Eyes-See


Craft Ecologies is an exploratory exhibition hosted by Viral Ecologies. Through this exhibition,11 undergraduate students from the course Knowledge Lab at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, look closely at the complex systems that bring material into being.

In the mirror test, the ability to distinguish a reflection from the reflected object is a benchmark for sentience. Yet the boundary between reflection and reality is hardly so transparent. After all, vision is an inherently reflective process: the colours, shapes, and distances that we see are all constructed from reflections of light; the lens and cornea of our eyes project an inverted image to the retina, and the only reason why the world doesn’t look upside-down is because our brains flip these images in postproduction.

In Image-You-Know, Image-Eyes-See, the goal was to design a functioning eye- without-a-brain (more commonly known as the camera obscura) and share the process so that anyone can experience one of the most fundamental properties of light – reflection. How is vision constructed? If perceived image is the inverse of the physical image, which reality would be the shadows on the wall of Plato’s allegorical cave? These are the questions I wanted to explore.