the camera eye (aka Witness),

research about the visual sense, vision anatomy, prosthetic vision and intuition, consciousness and spirituality

the camera eye (aka Witness) is a work of interactive sculpture and a robotic vision system. The installation combines objective concepts of eye function associated with anatomy with subjective narratives associated with sight, gaze, perception, vigilance, imagination and witness. The installation presents an autonomous left eye marionette uncoupled from its context of the body. The machine is endowed with anatomically inspired mechanical movement of an isolated eye, has the capacity to track audience visual attention, seek and maintain one to one eye contact and has a tear duct to self-lubricate, cry and cast emotion.

Musing on the subject of my childhood fantasy to have my left eye fitted with a camera so that I might capture clandestine photos, the camera eye conflates the aesthetic sophistication that computer aided tools bring to machine design with the curious and uncensored little girl of the sixties that I once was. the camera eye is a little creepy; it is vulnerable; its actions are spontaneous, thoughtful and measured. It performs subjective concepts differentiated from sightedness such as ‘watch’, ‘look’, ‘ignore’, ‘stare’, ‘dismiss’, ‘wonder’ and ‘shift’ from one focal point to another according to its own shy logic. Being itself an eye-tracker, the camera eye performs ‘eye contact’ – connecting with observers’ own gaze. The machine can cry with variable intensity from the slow welling of tears that do not drop to the full flow of fat droplets pooling in a salty stain of a on floor below. the camera eye has an independent character and does not require viewer interaction to behave itself. Aware of other eyes within its field of view, the camera eye selectively attends and responds to attention as bodies enter its field of view, examine, play and relate with the artwork.

Designed in 3D software and printed with multiple CAD and stereo-lithography processes, the camera eye parts and peripherals evoke a sense of early science fiction. Elegant and pristine, the installation combines organically shaped elements –soft and fleshy contours, with the steely cold styling of surgical instrumentation and laboratory equipment.  The installation consists of a 1:1 scale ocular implant fitted with a small video camera mounted in a boney housing; a custom mechanical device to move the implant; a pump and glass reservoir  to port fluid; power, electronics and programming peripherals to drive the eye’s idiosyncratic behavior.

projects   A-projects.htmlA-projects.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0

childish objects \ the camera eye (aka Witness), 1970 and 2006 – continuing

autonomous machine object

3D design

CAD / 3D printed parts (various), ocular prosthesis, miniature camera, stainless steel, pyrex, ceramic insulation, electronics, hardware

(with special thanks to the Ottawa Eye Institute, Glen Bloom and Deborah Duffy)

the camera eye (AKA Witness) (in progress)

3D sketch

the camera eye (AKA Witness): Parts and Hardware

Prototype, Karsh-Mason Gallery: Artengine Electric Fields / the City of Ottawa (2010)

found objects, stereolithographic prints, templates, moulds and prototypes (eye assembly, motor array, control box, power box, clamps, presentation case

the camera eye (aka Witness), (in progress)

first prototype assembly (2010)

stereolithographic prints, camera, hardware

the camera eye (aka Witness), (in progress)

design analogue

various views of a human globe,

Dissection of the Orbit, August 2008

my left eye: anterior ocular structures and fundus (retina, optic disc, macula and fovea, and posterior pole),

digital retinal image, 2008

my left eye

visual acuity: blind spot test, 2013

my right eye

visual acuity: blind spot test, 2013

nichola feldman kiss art and designindex.htm.html