What generates the reality I experience?
According to David Eagleman it includes:
Data captured by my senses and transmitted to the brain.
Information sent to the brain by my own internal model of the world – facts learnt from previous experience – that rectangular metal objects are cars, fluffy white things in the sky are clouds, etc. This short cut referencing system means my mind doesn’t have to work things out from basic principles each time.
Corrected or adjusted information – for example, when I look around me the image my eyes take in is jerky and unstable rather like film shot without a tripod. However, my internal model has learnt things like buildings, horizon and landscape are generally stable so it automatically removes any movement. Also, I think I see colour but this doesn’t really exist – my eyes translate the wavelengths they see into something I perceive as colours.
Missed information – when I pay attention I feel like my senses have captured most information but in truth they only collect what’s needed.
Restrictions created by my biology – my senses can only supply data that lies within their physical capabilities – a whole lot of information outside this natural range remains invisible.
So, it seems the reality I experience is not what’s actually out there in the world. Instead, it’s a version of reality my brain has created; facts blended with assumptions, interpretations and extrapolations.
And, unless everyone’s senses and minds operate in an identical way, there seems little likelihood that the reality I perceive is precisely the same as the one experienced by anyone else.
Source: Dr David Eagleman The brain with David Eagleman, episode1, Blink films 2016
What our senses pick up – light, sound, taste, smell, sensations – isn’t piped straight to the brain. Instead this information is converted into electrical signals, transmitted to the brain, sifted through to identify patterns and then re-assembled. What results is a version of reality that’s less about what’s happening around us and is far more a constructed product of the mind itself.
Data from the senses each runs at slightly different timings so light, for example, is processed slower than sound as its more complex. The brain conceals the effect but there is around a 0.5 second delay between an event occurring and our conscious experience of it. So, we live in the past; by the time you think the moment NOW is occurring, it’s already long gone.
Source: Dr David Eagleman, The brain with David Eagleman, Blink films 2016
In the two short films I’ve made recently (In search of the unreal n.01 and n.02) the sections that interest me the most are the views seen through another train. They offer multiple perspectives simultaneously – the train I’m travelling on, the one passing in the other direction and the scenery in the far distance. They contain disparate layers naturally trapped together into one frame – an accidental collagic collision of fairly random perspectives, events, objects and people.
Other footage in each film may have been layered digitally to construct unique perspectives but these shots through the trains have not been manipulated in this way.
It makes me wonder… What other collages can I find naturally occurring around me? What part do things like reflection, shadow, shafts of light, mist and smoke have to play? How different do the final results feel if they’re documented in photography or film?
These experiments in instant collages are being recorded using Instagram.