In A Journey to Ixtlan, Carlos Castaneda describes a conversation with an indigenous sorcerer who teaches him to see the world differently. The technique "consisted of gradually forcing your eyes to see separately the same image. The lack of image conversion entailed a double perception of the world ... which the eyes were ordinarily incapable of perceiving." Seeing the world with crossed eyes, for Castaneda, was a first step towards a larger understanding of vision. In her essay "Feeling with your eyes" the artist and activist Serena Kataoka takes this idea one step further, arguing that Castaneda's notion of cross-eyed vision can also be applied to social and political culture, allowing one to hold multiple - and sometimes conflicting - perspectives in one's mind at the same time. For Kataoka this is as much a metaphor as an actual practice, but it is one that quite literally allows for new ways of thinking to emerge.
With Castaneda and Kataoka in mind, Cross-eyed Visions is a visual response project that asks participants to meditate on the idea of seeing the world differently. Contributors are asked to take a portrait of their subject with eyes crossed. The image stands as a metaphor for seeing in more than one way at a time - the accumulation of which will metaphorically stand for multiple ways of perceiving the world.
Contributor Images 2017
University of Washington Bothell
image credit: Mackenzie Gilstrap (2017)
Participating Artists: Una Arslanagic, Mackenzie Gilstrap, Zeheng Guo, Justin Han, Yijing Huang, Jessica Kelly, Nghi Nhan, Brandon Taylor, Lingling Yuan, and several anonymous contributors