“The brain accepts what the eyes see and our eye looks for whatever the brain wants.” Daniel Gilbert, PhD, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University
The Brain’s Eyes is a selection of works created by China Blue, during her two-year Artist-in-Residence at the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at Rhode Island Hospital. The works were fashioned in collaboration with Dr. Peter Snyder, Chief Research Officer for the Lifespan Hospital, and Professor of Neurology at Brown University. In this collaboration China Blue has taken the images Snyder collected as a data set focusing on microvasculature (small blood vessels) of the human retina and produced paintings.
The Brain’s Eyes is a art-neuroscience exploration of the concept stated by Van Esssen that that there is no place in the human brain that does not respond to visual stimuli. Humans are visual creatures, with our eyes as the gateways that let us not only see art but explore its supravisual (beyond vision) elements to form and manipulate a mental model of something that is greater than the sum of its objective visual sensations. By bringing together literal and imaginary seeing, we are overlaying the two concepts in time: what is seen in the momentary sense and what has been imagined. Although the brain accepts what the eye looks for, it can also separately generate flights of fancy, new thoughts and conjectures. These two parallel forms of processing of visual information, the literal and the imagined, are the basis of consciousness in action.