Fractured Visions: To See Again

25 Sep — 30 Oct 2014 at Shard Building and King’s College, London

20 AUGUST 2014
"Fractured Visions: Diffusions", Tamiko Thiel, Augmented Reality installation, 2014. This collage of screenshots captures the process of viewing the artwork over time as the facade of Guy's Tower spreads onto another building. King's College Guy's Campus, Great Maze Pond Road, by London Bridge at the base of The Shard
"Fractured Visions: Diffusions", Tamiko Thiel, Augmented Reality installation, 2014. This collage of screenshots captures the process of viewing the artwork over time as the facade of Guy's Tower spreads onto another building. King's College Guy's Campus, Great Maze Pond Road, by London Bridge at the base of The Shard

From the 25 September, visitors to London’s Shard building and King’s College Guy’s Campus can view a new digital artwork by internationally renowned artist Tamiko Thiel. Made in collaboration with psychiatrist and clinical lecturer Dominic ffytche from King’s College London, the work explores the fragility of human vision and how changes to the brain shape our perception of reality.

The site-specific digital artwork is produced using augmented realityand takes as its point of departure a rare visual disorder called palinopsia, that causes the vision to fragment and repeat. Thiel’s digital imagery disrupts the field of vision when viewed through an Android or iOS phone or tablet application. Architectural details of the surrounding buildings are layered and repeated on top of the actual structures, such that the viewer experiences the disorienting effects of this extreme condition in which the real is conflated with the virtual. As an artwork inspired by palinopsia, Fractured Visions will provide viewers with a unique emotional and experiential perspective on how the world can look through different eyes.

On the scientific benefits of the collaboration Dr. ffytche states, " ... much of the key detail is missing in clinical descriptions ... the important contribution of our collaboration is the process of examining the experience of palinopsia from different angles. We have already stumbled across several issues that have not been thought of before."

When asked why the medium of Augmented Reality particularly appeals, Thiel said: "One of the ways in which art enriches our lives is by showing us new ways to look at our everyday world. This project combines two rich traditions of modern art: drawing on scientific and technical advancements that extend our physical senses, and looking at symptoms of visual disorders like palinopsia that provoked much of the “outsider art” that inspired earlier artists like Dubuffet. Augmented Reality provides viewers with a “magic eye” that must be wielded like a magnifying glass or binoculars, mediating not just the radical visual changes visible in the display but also engaging the whole body in a kinesthetic, exploratory encounter with place and site.

Fractured Visions is an original artwork commissioned by AXNS, a curatorial collective dedicated to cultivating collaboration between art and neuroscience and widening public understanding of neuroscience through art. The collaboration between Thiel and Dr. ffytche will result in the artwork, an accompanying seminar, and an online film and blog.

The project is funded by The Arts Council, The Wellcome Trust, and King’s College London.

For more information visit: http://axnscollective.org/fv/

Related images

1 "Fractured Visions: Multiplicities", Tamiko Thiel, Augmented Reality installation, 2014. Image of The Shard and Guy's Tower surrounded by ghosted multiples of Guy's Tower. King's College Guy's Campus, Boland House courtyard, by London Bridge at the base of The Shard
2 "Fractured Visions: Diffusions", Tamiko Thiel, Augmented Reality installation, 2014. Screenshot of Guy's Tower facade replicating and spreading onto The Shard. King's College Guy's Campus, Great Maze Pond Road, by London Bridge at the base of The Shard
3 "Fractured Visions: Multiplicities", Tamiko Thiel, Augmented Reality installation, 2014. Image of The Shard surrounded by ghosted multiples of itself. King's College Guy's Campus, Boland House courtyard, by London Bridge at the base of The Shard
4 & 6 "Fractured Visions: Diffusions" (detail), Tamiko Thiel, Augmented Reality installation, 2014. Triptych of screenshots showing facade of Guy's Tower spreading onto the Southwark Wing building and The Shard. King's College Guy's Campus, Great Maze Pond Road, by London Bridge at the base of The Shard
5 "Fractured Visions: Multiplicities" (detail), Tamiko Thiel, Augmented Reality installation, 2014. Multiplied images of The Shard. King's College Guy's Campus, Boland House courtyard, by London Bridge at the base of The Shard