When The Eye Flickers Curatorial Statement

When the Eye Flickers (Quando l’occhio trema)
Screening curated by Claudia D’Alonzo – Digicult and Mario Gorni – Docva

Inspired by a 1989 film by Paolo Gioli with the same name, this screening reconstructs the historical and methodological path of the use of the Flickering technique, using a selection of works from the DOCVA and INVIDEO archives, as well as from works of a number of authors connected to the Digicult international network.

The “flicker” is a technique applied to a number of art forms, from the experimental cinema on analog film, light installations and environments, as well as video analog and digital audiovisual. This technique is based on a specific perceptive phenomenon. Our perception of moving images normally happens with a 24 frames per second frequency.

If we decrease this frequency to between 6 to 18 frames per second, we create a visual blinking leading to a direct stimulation of the optic nerve and, thus, to a proto-vision where the visual rhythm becomes directly synchronized with our cerebral waves.

The flicker belongs to what Edmund Husserl defines as perceptive ambiguity, for its potentials to go beyond and offer a chance to overcome the habitual conventions that govern our knowledge of the real.  This may be achieved through destabilizing—in some cases violently, or traumatically—perceptive common, almost addicted, habits.

Artists experiment with flickering using a phenomenological approach, through the anomalous stimulation of our perceptive apparatus, as well as through the structural analysis of the codes that compose the moving image.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Archive of DOCVA and Digicult, When the Eye Flickers (Quando l’occhio trema) is meant also as a moment of research, a way to conceive the archival material as a dynamic instrument through which to establish relations and exchanges, a point of departure to establish comparisons between the historical experiences of the audiovisual experimentation and the most contemporary developments.