Artwork on East Campus includes this 2016 welded, oxidized steel camera sculpture by Joan Waters titled “the single lens reflex.”
An accompanying plaque reads: We experience the world through our five senses—taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight. This sculpture asks us to examine what happens when we limit our perception to one sensory lens—the visual.
This is essentially what cameras do when they record patterns of light with a mechanical or digital “eye.” We easily interpret and accept the camera’s images as reality, but do we sometimes privilege these superficial surrogates over actual experience?
When we find ourselves mindlessly caught up in converting our days into a stream of mediated images, do we lose track of the main event: to be fully alive?