Thought, experience and memory from a brain in a jar, one that sometimes has control over a thirty-two-year-old Londonite.

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Location: Herne Hill, London, United Kingdom

02 December, 2007

The Eye of the Beholder

Big Eye Am
Originally uploaded by Simon Scott
So on Facebook I have a cropped down version of this image that I use from time to time as my profile picture. The reason I took it was because of a weird perceptual shift I sometimes experience when watching the TV. People generally aren't shown facing the camera, but are in a three-quarter profile, or thereabouts. If I'm tired, or mindful of the illusion, I find that these three-quarter people tend to have their faces dominated by the nearer eye. My depth perception (which is easy to manipulate considering I'm trying to make sense of a two-dimensional image) tends to give me the impression that they have one huge eye, and one small eye. I think this in part has something to do with the Quirk character that I've been drawing since my late teens, whose face was rather similar.

It was only natural, therefore, for me to try and recreate this illusion in a photograph, so a couple of photos and an award-winning Graphics package later and the job was done.

Although I was anticipating some comment on the image, I was quite surprised at the level of disgust people seem to have felt as a result of the picture. I used it as my Facebook profile throughout November as it was the image that I was using on the NaNoWriMo site, too. Having taken it down I've had three or four messages from friends thanking me for its removal; rather like a family member who confides in you after you've finished a relationship with someone "well I never really liked them any way". I'm kind of glad, in a way, that I've been able to create something that, despite being fairly ordinary, has had such an impact, but I do find it slightly discomfitting knowing that my boundaries are different to those of my friends. It's just a big eye!

Oh, and thanks, but I didn't actually do anything to the ear. That's just my ear.


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