Stef Will

Stef Will

• 23 July 2022

Re-seeing the world

My work often uses the algorithmic gaze as an instrument to help examine and make sense of the world by looking beyond the surface, both physically and metaphorically. Tools like the far-infrared camera breach the body’s boundaries and look past its visible aspects, but can also survey the environment the body finds itself in.

Looking at the world with ‘different eyes’ via the algorithmic gaze, for example via making invisible energy fields accessible to the human eye, not only challenges perception and the traditional hierarchy of the senses, but also allows the viewer to fundamentally rethink and re-evaluate their perceived nature of reality, up to the point of fully deconstructing and reconstructing it – tabula rasa, starting again, without presumptions.

However, in addition to surveying (present) embodied experience, I am also interested in energetic entanglement and traces left by past embodiment, such as in my short film ‘Vanishing Traces’ (as shown in the Jane Austen House Museum, see previous post), which surveilled energy left behind and mingling with that of others, after the physical body has long left the site.

In ‘Deep See’ (below), I explored invisible energy fields surrounding forest trees and their energetic dialogue with the sun. These tondos were exhibited outdoors in landscape. Being unexpectedly confronted with this evidence of surveillance activity in the landscape, may elicit feelings of loss of privacy and control in the viewer, but more about that in my next post…

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