Saccadic Time

Above: Gif of Lilac Chaser by Jeremy Hinton

Time’s thievish progress to eternity (Sonnet 77, Bard). It is both a gain and a loss. It is an expression of equilibrium like the first law of thermodynamics – that what is gained comes with what is lost, and what is lost gives us new gains. But for our perception and consciousness, our visual life with the still and moving photos, and for how they could be envisioned to put another interpretative layer surveying the reality, how do we make sense of sights, pictures, and moving pictures? How do we build meaning on this sensation changing balance, the time, when we look at and perceive images? One interesting link between our biological existence, generation of an on-line and alive consciousness, is saccades. A saccade is a unit of measurement, it is one rapid movement of the eye between fixation points. Each fixation point is a stable locale, and our eye surveys the object through its countless saccades. But these then add up to a ‘continuous’ and stable interpretation of images and movement. It need not be perfect and exhaustive in its coverage as our brain ‘fills in’ the blank with the help of top-down processing from the pre-existing schemas, memories of prior images, that we have. That is how we experience it. Hence, it may be similar to our perception of time, in that we sense it as a flow but each image and each saccade locale has its own reality and singular time. This artwork that has pictures of groups and each having their performance that expands with augmented reality is an engagement with our meaning making with time, like through saccades, and like the philosophy of balance and gain and loss equilibrium it brings to our being. The day is conscious of itself (Rumi). 

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