Week 2. ‘Other than’ Photography
We were asked to think away from photography and to focus on something in our research or practice and write why we chose it and how it relates to our work without adding any photographs. We were also encouraged to read and comment on the submissions of others.
When I first looked at this task I had a word pop into my head. It does not relate immediately to photography or my inspiration for being involved in photography….but maybe it does in some way. I have looked several times at the task and resisted writing about this word but each time have come back to it. It also has sent me down a path of thinking about possible projects which seem far removed form my early musings (but not formed in any tangible way) about possibilities!
The word was fist introduced to me in a lecture. It relates to neurology. It makes me think about how other people see the world and this week I have been thinking about people who look at our images and trying to understand what they perceive and see.
The word also relates to another one. Both have links with my career in neuropsychology where I worked most recently with people with people with acquired head injuries, who had experienced strokes and in a first episode psychosis service. Common across these seemingly unrelated presentations were sensory impairments whether temporary or permanent. The words I am talking about are linked with visual perception.
Prosopagnosia and Capgras delusion
Prospagnosia is an inability to recognise faces and can be developmental, congenital or aquired. It is severe, much more than occasional lapses we may get as we are getting older.
Capgras is where you perceive well known people or pets as imposters (they look the same on the outside but inside they are an imposter)
What surprises me is the research coming out that says prosopagnosia is much more common than originally thought. One of my heroes in Neurology is Oliver Sacks who wrote The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat http://www.oliversacks.com/ (Links to an external site.) . Interestingly he discovered that he himself and family members had difficulties with facial recognition in later life.
Thinking about these words got me thinking about other forms of visual difficulty including colour blindness. Living with a family member who is colour blind I am constantly reminded of the difficulties….recognising traffic lights by order not colour (as red and green are the other way round!), choosing clothes that definitely do not “go” together and even buying a car they thought was one colour which they liked when in fact it was something else which they did not like! So what does this mean for me…I have wondered (I am always wondering and thinking since starting the course!) what colour blind people see in our images especially when we carefully take and perhaps manipulate colours to suit what we see and like…. what would they look like to those without the condition adjusted for colour blindness?
In marketing our work are we exclusive in terms of only selling to an audience whose sensory perceptions accord with our own?