written on October 29, 2021
it was a night trip. a single night trip to meet my brother in Goa. I land at night and the next afternoon I fly back to delhi. but what is arresting is the notes on perception which still play havoc on my mind that i found myself recalling that moment the whole of the night as i tried to sleep in delhi in my bedroom with no bedsheets but only my shirt covering my upper body and my towel covering my feet to escape musqito bites.
I must write this for generations of art lovers and non art lovers to read this and gain insight into perception and therefore into drawing as well.
Let us begin into the falsehood of the vision. The vision does not exist. Neither does the idea that there is depth, that something is far and something is near to me.
Let us begin:
I am sitting in a cafe in Taligao, a village area. This Cafe is on the main road and in front of me is a road and after the road there is free space at least 500 meters till we meet a wall of Trees. Nothing is visible beyond this wall and above the trees is the wall of the atmosphere which does not let us see into the infinite of the space. It again limits us to maybe a kilometre up into the sky. My eyes have met the walls around me.
On my left is visible a road which is coming from the tree wall, right up to the left periphery of my left eye vision which again is cut short by the interior walls of the Cafe.
My right eye is meeting the road ahead and whatever of the green space ahead of me and unlike the left eye view, there is no road coming vertically towards me on the Y axis.
What fascinates me is the movement of objects and the scale of objects which are placed in front of me. The green space has a white feathered bird and a black skin buffalo. I can not remember now if i saw crows flying in the air. But i do remember the insects which the bird is eating are not visible to me. If ahead of me, in that green space is leaves, i can not see them, nor can i see the insects on the leaves or flying in that space.
On my left I am struck by the movement of red coloured metal box ( a red coloured car ) being driven through the support of an engine. Because of the speed of the object, as it comes closer to me, it enlarges in scale. Every moment it is coming closer, the scale which can not be paused at every inch is changing. But the size of the object remains the same. But it changes in my eye perception.
The buffalo and the bird are concentrating in what is around them, and so they don’t move with such speed towards or away from me, so i can not experience their scale. I just know, they are there. They are the animals in the field. They help my eyes to fixate on them. They give me something to SEE. I am interested in seeing and being happy as i have my cheeku banana milk shake. Its a mix of these two fruits. And enjoying the view along with something which comes invisible as i look outside, the GLASS in front of me which is at a distance of 3 feet. It blocks out the air from outside, reduces the noises, sounds from outside and provides me a Cafe space to look outside. If this glass was not there then I would not know what is being inside looking outside. Because a moment ago, i was looking inside the Cafe from the outside.
No animal has looked inside the Cafe to say they wish to sit inside the Cafe to look outside and say, oh I see a fellow buffalo outside. This behaviour, desire does not exist. But let us get back to perception and drawing.
I feel it is my eye which somehow creates distance which otherwise is not there. My eye knows that as things recede, they reduce in scale, blur, and become further away than being closer. Because when they are close to me, I can see more in detail and if they are too close, then I can not see anything. As an example, my face into the wall.
So what if, anything which was moved closer to or further away from me did not lose its scale, details no matter how far or close it went? Can an eye sight of that nature be developed.
The speed of the moving car. It was not driving at 400 kmph and not a 4 kmph. Maybe 30-40 kmph made me experience slow frames where the car changed scale. I did conclude that coming closer to me made it change scale and become larger, but this largeness of the car is not real, hence my vision is false.
The Car never changed scale. If it had the dimensions of 6 ft in length, 4 feet in height and 4 feet in depth. It remained that only. So much so, that I recognize it as a car as it has those dimensions, so my eye did not create panic, that what is that object? I knew it is a car on the road. That said; that it is a car, my eye has to do lot of adjustments to see it at every second of change in scale during its movement and this can mean one thing: that I can never know its dimensions. That I can never know what it means to measure something. Like what is One feet. This one feet is dependant on my distance from the object. And it is never a stable connection. My eye can never say, that it sees One feet from any position. Measurements are accurate but my vision is not.
Image drawn out of me sitting in the Cafe: