The fascinating aspect about our eyesight is that it actively filters our environments signals into the headlines that require our attention. Our retinas are optimized to enhance and suppress visual signals into a hierarchy that we constantly re-evaluate. Our eyes are built to scan the environment and bring our attention to the juxtapositions and changes that occur there.
So a yellow patch against an orange background literally appears different to us then one against a purple background. Our eyes don't just show us what is to be seen, but what is likely more important to us to be seen.
Thing is, this optimization towards key signals, allows us to better live in our environment, but its corollary is that we become less adapted to any other environment signal… or any unrecognizable one according to our headlines history. Internet cookies as an evolutionary force if you will.
In the digital realm, clarity, saturated hues and distinction, move our reactions towards these cues identifying the headlines we scan. Adapting us to these electronic visuals, we are equally less able to comprehend and interact with the vague, subtle, interpretive cues of painting. Those painting cues become too stable, monotone and in actuality become visually supressed within our sight. The rise of abstraction may have nothing to do with its turning away from narrative, but more to do with our inability to discern the meanings within stories, and a propensity to seek out only the point form, the headline, the synopsis, even when this misses the valuable point of it all. How we grasp understanding and even why we grasp it, is submerged in attention towards electronic contrasts.
We chase the change, and not what has changed. Abstraction holds our attention, without our needing to comprehend nor give of our attention.
© GAMcCullough 2014