Gallery at the Ann Felton Multicultural Center
March 2 - April 14, 2015
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Artist Reception: Monday, March 2, 11:15 a.m. - Noon; Artist Talk @11:30am
*Use Parking Lot #2 or #4 located on the North side of campus
Persistence of Vision originated in late 2012 with my experiences working with
visually impaired adults while living in Seattle. Moments after meeting a
stranger, I was walking arm and arm with her in that trusting intimacy that
develops when touch and voice stand in for sight, when she suddenly said, ‘I
miss looking at the night sky most of all.’ I wondered why she yearned for
blackness studded with mystery, a spectral dissonance I assumed to be the
condition of those without sight. Her statement seemed a profound metaphor,
leading me outdoors on many nights to glance at the enormous telescope on my
neighbor’s patio and then follow it’s gaze upward, toward that “great unknown.”
From that initial inspiration, I began to research blindness, astronomy
and space exploration, which opened up many more questions and associations.
For instance, visualization is largely a mental process. “Persistence of
vision” is a term related to cinema that describes how the mind perceives a
series of successive action photographs as continuous motion. I borrow the term
to suggest other ideas: for people with visual impairments, it applies to
mind’s eye imaging, as well as the experience of those who see continual static
as the retina attempts to form an image. Persistence of vision is also what
allows “people in the dark” (to use Hellen Keller’s expression) to venture from
the relative safety of home into the unknown dangers of the outside world. For
astronomers who keep vigil at their telescopes on cold winter nights, it is a
wish to discover that which no one else has seen before. And for artists and
inventors, it is the process required to shape nebulous ideas into clarity and
Gallery at the Ann Felton Multicultural CenterSaturday, March 21, open hours: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.Reading at 2:00 p.m.
Stephen Kuusisto will give an informal reading during special gallery hours for Persistence of Vision at The Gallery at the Ann Felton Multicultural Center. Kuusisto is an author, poet, disability advocate and director of Syracuse University's Renée Crown University Honors Program. In the semi-darkened gallery space, much of Woolpert’s exhibition involves touch, including her piece "Planet of the Blind" named after Kuusisto's acclaimed memoir.
Gallery at the Ann Felton Multicultural CenterThursday, April 9, 2015, 5:30 p.m.Closing Reception in the Gallery: 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Picturing Motion: How Movies Began in Syracuse is a presentation that delves into one aspect of the Persistence of Vision project. I had a fascination with the pre-cinema device known as the Mutoscope (1894) before I moved to Syracuse in 2007 and rented a photography studio at the Gear Factory on the Near Westside. By chance, a couple years later I discovered that the Mutoscope was invented in Syracuse--in fact, on the site where my studio was located. Incredulous, I made artwork in response (Eggbeater Mutoscope, 2010). In 2014, after living in Seattle for two years, I returned to Syracuse as Artist-in-Residence at the SALTQuarters (also located on the Near Westside). During my residency, I researched the Mutoscope inventors in depth and uncovered an inspiring story of four creative minds that made Syracuse a part of film history lore. Their success inspires me to move forward with the invention of my own optical device, a patent-pending stereoscope called the TwinScope Viewer. Picturing Motion: How Movies Began in Syracuse tells the story of these Syracuse inventors who fought the odds (and Thomas Edison) to bring photographs to life. One image displacing the next is the persistent blink of light upon darkness.
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