Flash back / Flash forward by Giovanna Cerise at Split Screen / Coppelia
Perspective and Perception
Those 2 elements are connected and show the complexity, variety and temporal characteristics of how we perceive our world. Imagine yourself sitting in a room full of mirrors. They all have different angles, different transparency, different colours and different sizes. Every direction you will look will give another perspective and thus another perception of your reality and yourself. When you turn your chair a few inches or upside down, there will be new endless perspectives and perceptions to see. Now imagine all these mirrors to be your past, present and future, offering you multiple reflections on what happened with you in all these time frames. Yes you need an extra pair of eyes to see all, I know, but just IMAGINE.
Let’s take an example we all know to make it a bit more clear: memories. I have a vivid memory of bad things and happy things, but the bad things often are a bit more sticky, like with most people. One very bad memory is to be bullied when I was a kid. That experience was the starting point to a whole new reality of terrible fears, sadness, social withdrawal, incredible insecurity and in the end even a severe mental breakdown when I was 42 complete with OCD, PTSD, Social Phobia, Depression, Anxiety and a few more charming diagnostic elements.
Someone not knowing me in person would think I was ready to be locked up in an asylum, but since the whole world is an asylum there was no need for that :) I did receive therapy for 8 years to get things in errmmmm . . perspective! It completely changed my perception of being a valuable person that deserves to exist without feeling less then other people. No need to go in detail, but I can assure you I am fine in the present time of my existence, but of course with a vulnerability that needs attention from . . . yes . . . time to time (past/present/future reflections). And please . . . this story is not written down for reasons of feeling pity and to hear things like, oh wow that’s sad. It is written to explain what I see and feel when I walk into the Flash Back/Flash Forward installation made by Giovanna Cerise.
Past, present and future
The therapy that was used for me is called EMDR. I am not going to explain every detail of that, but what is interesting with EMDR is the use of the flash back and flash forward strategy. Flash back refers of course to a past (the traumatic experience and additional circumstances), flash forward however is based on imagining how a situation would feel that has not actually happened yet, but possibly could happen. For instance you are asked to imagine how it would feel to enter a room full of people looking at you when you walk in. For someone with deep social fears such a room is not a pleasant place and the first imagination will generate unpleasant feelings like anxiety and wanting to run away. The faces are hostile and of course laughing at you in a way that most likely means no good, etc etc. Thats the perception of that future situation in the present time. EMDR therapy works on that perspective and perception through, let’s say, a mind shift.
The mind is THE key to how we see, feel and think. EMDR reprocesses memories that got stuck in our mind in a certain timeframe connected to a negative tension. Bad memories simply have this sticky character to keep generating fear, sadness, social avoidance etc. EMDR sort of reinstalls the memory in another part of the brain where it feels less threatening and in the best case becomes neutral. A reboot of the mind to freshen up memory without the garbage of a stressful past. Not forgotten, but also not harming anymore. Once you have reached that neutral zone for all the memories that used to bring you down, your whole perspective and perception on the past, present AND future changes. All are linked and affecting each other. It is why we often say after some bad experiences: it was bad and I do not wish anyone to have to experience this, but it also made me who I am now and how I look at the world, myself and others. It shaped my mind, personality and behaviour in a hard way, but is appreciated for insight, experience and maturing effects. In the future that not has happened yet we may be able to look back to our present and past as OK, where at that moment itself it was not OK at all. That’s what time does, shaping and shifting all, over and over again.
So there is nothing more human than a shifting mind. We change our perspectives and perceptions all the time. Even when we think to have reached a status quo, it quite suddenly can change dramatically again due to an unexpected variable with a huge impact, or gradually, by a slow changing mind that is exposed to many other views that never were part of that person’s world yet. The birth of a child for instance is a life changer, the death of a loved one as well. Taking care of animals also has a special impact. Wars, terror, marriage, divorce and not to forget . . . cyberspace, internet, virtual reality. Nothing, absolutely nothing is absolute. Nothing is sure, nothing is fixed, nothing has a strict end, except our death (though many believe that also is not THE END). I think we all can acknowledge Second Life to be a mind changer as well. From mind fuck to mind blowing, from mental terror to mental euphoria, from mindful to mindless, it all is present in this parallel virtual world, which I would like to call an extension of the universe of our mind.
The installation of Giovanna
I took a long intro to get at the actual subject and reason for this blog: Hosted by Dividni Shostakovich at Split Screen is Giovanna Cerise’s new installation Flash back / Flash forward. Split Screen temporarily resides at the Coppelia Art Collective sim due to circumstances I will explain at the end of this blog. My intro can be seen as my personal view and analysis of the installation. It is how I perceived the different perspectives. Of course the installation also can be seen as pure mathematics, playing with perspective and perception in a visual way without association to the human mind. But well, I like to associate and when someone’s creation talks to me I will talk back :) Below you will find the link to Giovanna’s own words about her creation. Which is rare by the way because Giovanna never writes too much about her works and prefers people to discover their own stories.
Capturing Flash Back / Flash Forward
As for what I think of the installation I can be short. I think it is superbe. So many layers, so incredibly well made, it really made me stay for hours after the opening and today, to be in the middle of that feeling while writing the blog. It is very hard (impossible even) to capture the installation in a 2D way. You just have to walk, fly, turn, play with Wind Light settings and point of view as avatar. I think even a good filmer will have a hard time capturing this. In fact it cannot be captured, because no fixed perspectives, unless you glue yourself to a prim and don’t move at all. How boring is that . . . .
Giovanna made clear how past, present and future interact, change each other and shift all the time. Our lives in a nutshell, chaotic development with unknown ever changing results and a mind that tries to catch up to learn :)
Do take the notecard at the entrance point because it shows you the way through the several spaces of the huge mesmerising, disorientating, hypnotising structure. There are 6 rooms to explore:
The point of view
The impossible choice
Thank you Giovanna for another very inspiring work.
TP to Flash back / Flash forward (until July 31)
Coppelia / Split Screen / Flash Back- Flash Forward
Dividni Shostakovich and Split Screen
For those who did not read about it a month ago at his blog, Dividni Shostakovich, curator of Split Screen, is seeking sponsors to be able to pay for a new permanent place in SL, preferably a homestead sim. The former sim of Split Screen is gone due to financial circumstances of the estate owner. Because I always like what can be seen at Split Screen I decided to do a little promotion in this blog by giving it extra attention. I quote from the Split Screen blog:
The best possible solution would be if I could gather a group of sponsors who could help pay for a homestead sim (it would be relatively inexpensive if there were five or six people, probably around US $15/month), but so far, no luck. If anyone wants to become a patron of the arts, let me know! (The sooner the better, too, because during the next few days there’s a way to take over the homestead I’m currently on.)
So if any of the readers feel like supporting Split Screen in that way, do contact Dividni Shostakovich and empty your pockets. Well ok, a part of your pockets, just not your chewing gum and kleenex thank you very much :)
As for the present installation there also is a blog written by Dividni about that. At the landing point you can find some more information about Split Screen and the group.