Looking At What We Didn’t See

to look and to see are different. we can look without seeing. the world is there in front of us, we move around with, or without, bumping into things but what is actually going on, who a person really is, what is the nature of an event we witnessed, we don’t really know. time and time again, eye witnesses have proven to be unreliable. enter the artist-eye, the vision midwife, the one who helps us see.

part of our inability to see is physical/biological. the rods and cones in our eyeballs can register only a very limited amount of information, can respond to only a small portion of the vibrational spectrum. if we were butterflys, we would be able to see in more detail. if we had infrared eyes we could see heat. we would not be fooled by appearances, but, alas, we are human and so we have to work with our birthright--and with instruments we devise to extend and enhance our ability to “sense” the real world. and thus begat telescopes, microscopes, cameras, x-ray, etc.

beyond the biological (and what we create to compensate for biological limitations) exists our ability to envision, to see afresh, to imagine the world looking different. so, once more, here comes the artist, using equipment and creativity, to give us a different, a deeper, an alternate vision of the known. enter jedd haas--camera in hand and a penchant for approaching the normal in an unnormal way, a proclivity for messing with “what is” to present what could be and in the process helping us to imagine the possibilities inherent in our world for other worlds to exist.

a glove. a street sign. a shadow. a telephone wire. is the sky really blue? is red really red, or is it merely our appreciation of a given vibration? suppose you could impose colors of your choosing on shapes you see everyday?

“shots 1999” begins to answer these questions. and if jedd has done his work well as a visual alchemist, then when you finish perusing these photographs you will say: oh, i see!

kalamu ya salaam
12 april 2000

Shots 1999 © 1999 by Jedd Haas
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