The Barn in your Dreams

As many of you know, I have this theory about the way memories are stored, and I suppose I will go off on a little philosophical tangent here. So, in meta-thinking about my brain, the way memory works is nothing like the way photos are stored in your directory on your computer. Since all of us use computers (obviously), and we organize photos into hierarchical directory structures, we tend to assume our memory in our brain kinda works the same way.

I think many of us, especially those of you that are regular and semi-regular visitors, have a mild form of synesthesia, where sensations get cross wired. In extreme cases, people can “taste” shapes, associate colors with days of the week, and that sort of thing. They get by fine, so it shows the brain is perfectly capable of such multi-functional wiring. After talking to many many groups and presenting my kind of art to countless people, I think that about 70-80% of us are comfortable with how these images are presented because their brains store memories like mine. The other 20-30% of people, I notice, reject them outright because it is simply not the way their brain works.

Take for instance this barn. When we think of a barn in our heads, it’s not just a series of shapes and textures… it’s every barn we’ve ever seen – it’s every weather condition we’ve seen the barn encountering – it’s every feeling and emotion we were encountering at the time – it’s imagining living in and around the barn – and it’s also empathizing with the barn itself, imagining what it must be like to be a barn. So most of this is on the subconscious level, and it’s why a boring, plain, predictable photo of a barn, while nice, does not really ever evoke anything deep in the viewer. Once you flip a few bits and allow the brain to make mistakes in interpreting an image, it allows some personal emotional context to come into play, letting the photo become more about the “viewer” and not about the photo itself.

Ahhh that was a long blog post I see… sorry about that… everyone in the house is asleep and I get lost in my thoughts.

The barn in your dreams (by Stuck in Customs)

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