Ocular Perception

Ocular Perception was my final major project at degree.

It explores the relationship between audience and image and how we physically, physiologically and psychologically view visual stimulus.

The pieces are constructed out of found photographs from an old collection of encyclopedias. A section of each original image is enlarged to dimensions relative to that of a camera lens which creates images closest to that of human sight(50mm lens – 5cm – 5x enlargement). Each enlarged fragment has then been photographically printed cut to size (50mm diameter) and placed above its original position within the image.

The project is created as an ever-changing body of work. Each exhibition or presentation of Ocular Perception will present different images together, no two observations will be the same, just as no two individuals perception is the same. The 11 images presented are selected completely at random as the subject of each is not as important as the audience’s interaction.

Below is an excerpt from the original statement of work:

“‘The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.’ Benjamin, (1999 p.230)

Lauren Sutton’s work entitled Ocular Perception (.1) offers its audience a direct acknowledgement of their experience with the photographic object. Inviting the eye to engage in a process mimicking the innate motion of eye tracking, the piece provokes the viewer’s attention in challenging the mind in how it is looking and what it perceives. The photographic collages within Ocular Perception (.1) present a field of distorted images flowing from and to each other with no particularly definitive narrative. They explore the concept of the photograph as object and investigate the innate workings of visual perception. Sutton presents the familiar object as an unfamiliar image in such a way that adopts a physical approach to a psychological subject.

‘…the image is re-presentation, which is to say ultimately resurrection, and, as we know, the intelligible is reputed antipathetic to lived experience.’ Barthes, (2002 p.114)”


“11 individually framed images have been chosen at random. At every exhibition or display of the work, the 11 selected works will vary in image and position. There is no consistency in the images or their positioning because their surface image is not of importance, the process their constructs extract from audience interaction is the purpose of the work; there is no meaning in ‘the image’. The frames are distributed in salon hang as to naturally invite saccadic eye movement and physical interaction.”