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We see things not as they are, but as we are.

Memo Akten (TR/UK)

Fight is a virtual-reality artwork in which the viewer’s two eyes are presented with radically different images, resulting in a phenomenon known as binocular rivalry. Presented with rival signals, the conscious mind “sees” an unstable, irregular, animated patchwork of the two images, with swipes and transitions. The nature of these irregularities and instabilities depends on the viewer’s physiology.

The act of looking around allows the viewer to probe which sections of the signals become dominant or suppressed—a reminder that seeing (and in broader terms perception in general) is an active process, driven by movement, expectations and intent. The picture one see in his or her conscious minds is not a direct representation of the outside world, or of what the senses deliver, but of a simulated world, reconstructed according to the expectations and prior beliefs of ourselves.

Even though everybody is presented with exactly the same images in this work, everyone’s conscious visual experience will be different. Nobody can see, what someone else sees. And everybody sees something else than what is actually presented. Nobody is able to see the entirety of the “reality” before them. The work is part of a broader line of inquiry about self-affirming human biases, the inability to see the world from others’ point of view, and the resulting social polarization.


Commissioned by STRP
Score: Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek)
Producer: Juliette Bibasse
Assistant: Rob Homewood