Tag Archives: vision

Art for the Eye in Reykjavik

Ásmundar Sveinsson sculpted things for the eye, to give it delight as it sorted light and form before sending information on to the brain for further massaging. A trip to Reykjavik is just a pub crawl if you don’t get to the Ásmundarsafn, the gallery set up to show his stunning work.

It was a concept that has not yet seen its day. Perhaps you will be the one to expand on it?

These weren’t intellectual interpretations of human forms, human work and human engineering. These were delights made for the eye. Go on, don’t you think your eyes deserve some glee?

Note that the quality of the light is part of the effect that he was sculpting. I’m afraid that moving these away from their native environment just wouldn’t work. Off you go, now. Treat yourself!

Seeing in the Dark

One of the great pleasures of Iceland is to walk up a remote canyon, followed by ravens hoping you will slip and break a leg, and to know that they are your thoughts.

These thoughts.

It’s a northern thing. Of course, a country where a bell rope can serve as an improvised noose is a fine place to wander, too.

Darkness is everywhere, but it’s not black. It’s red or something, like blood.

The eye touches the earth as a bodily organ, as much as it does as the hand of the mind.

The mind is as much a heart as it is a muscle. It swims in blood.

Humans can’t see darkness, I read all the time. In Iceland, this illusion just doesn’t wash.

Maybe you can’t see it, but you can touch it, and enter through it the world behind the world.

And what is there?

Why, you are.

This doesn’t work in Reykjavik.

There, under the effect of the outside world, this sense of presence is called art.

One can live there, too. Between worlds.

Trying to catch the attention of passersby. Don’t worry. The world still sees you.

And you still see past it.

The old paths still wait.

Thought, Memory and All the Wisdom in the World

Oðin, the wanderer, threw his eye into the pool at the root of the world tree, to gain wisdom.

The Icelandic Green Party Reassembles the World Tree in the Election of 2013

The nature of the wisdom a supplicant received was determined by the quality of the gift. For an eye, he got two ravens, Thought and Memory, and what else is consciousness? That’s it, for sure. Here are a few pictures of Thought and Memory in Iceland, to show you how it works.Church, Battery, and Water for Horses.

Sheep and World War II US Army Surplus

Abandoned Cruise Ship and Fish Bins, Lagarfljót

Thought and a Door… Or is That Memory and a Mouth?

Window Remembering the Sky and Thinking of the Wind

Forest, Remembering, in Front of a House Thinking of a Waterfall

The Cow at the Hamburger Factory, Remembering Its Days as a Reality TV Show

Pretty cool, for sure, but here’s the haunting thing: what is the other eye doing? The one that is not consciousness? This?

This? Not at all. If it’s a human image, it’s conscious. The other must have been the eye of vision. The one that doesn’t stop and notice, but flows on.

There is, at any rate, something that’s not conscious, that is aware. So often, thought speaks of the Huldufolk, the elves and trolls that “live within the rock.” Are they the other eye? Are they us?

What are we looking at?

In Iceland It is Possible to Photograph the Dark

In 1940 Gunnar Gunnarsson wrote  that the long months of darkness were as treasured a part of Icelandic consciousness as the long months of light.

lightdarkWise words! Look how the darkness of this un-named fall in the Whale Fjord radiates vision, stronger than the light.