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  • Writer's pictureThomas Mical

The Cyclops gets another Eye

The cyclops is a camera: he views the plentitude of the visual world from a single aperture, creating an equivalence between what is seen and what is real. Panofsky, in Perspective as Symbolic Form, would clarify that the classical world view, the classical perspective, has only room for the tangible as the visible. But the Cyclops is mythical, and with one eye the Cyclops converges both visible organic and visible supernatural figures into a single frame. For the Cyclops to lose an eye, the visible world collapses into the haptic. One to zero. In the exceptional case of gifted seers with mythical/non-standard "second sight" vision, there is a different ghostly layer just outside vision: premonitions, clairvoyance, oracles, dreams, ethereal figures, night vision, ... these are the frame tensors of the visible. But if the Cyclops were to gain a second eye, as a superpower or amplification, the Cyclops becomes binocular. The two eyes of the modified cyclops might possibly be symmetrical, but with the underlying hard and soft structures, chances are likely to be non-symmetrical eyes. This dualist nature of the apertures would create greater depth perception, the ability to see through elements whose width is less than the eye placement distance, and would overload the sensorium of the cyclops as a hallucination might overcome the rational-optical viewer. The differences between these two eyes (say, one human eye plus one eagle eye) would be a crucial part of the visual processing and would establish a differential phenomenology for the Cyclops, who would see scale, volumetrics, lighting, texture, and other attributes as differentiated - each eye streaming different signals, each stream a minority report alternative to each other. When the cyclops gets another Eye, one becomes more than two. More than two creates the instant possibility of multiplicity, the many, extension and distortion and complex hyper-vision. With more than two, the optical range of the visible gets deep, and the scenographic world opens up and intensifies before expanded vision, rendering settings and locations as expanded fields, not lucid dreaming but lucid sensing.

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