An image briefly flashed on the retina introduces a cascade of processes in the brain that unfold in time. Some processing streams focus on texture, others on spatial locations or large scale forms. Temporal evolution along different pathways may occur at different rates. Even within a single processing stream, distinct locations in space can lead to neural responses at slightly different times - a static image never exists in the brain. In the works presented here, snapshots of temporally evolving internal forms are made visible. The goal is to amplify unconscious associations related to specific slices of time and spatial scales in the visual processing cascade.
The first stage of the algorithm resembles filtering that occurs in the retina, thalamus and primary layers of cortex. The next step derives from the observation that different neurons respond to distinct parts of an image at slightly different times. If these temporal variations are translated into spatial dislocations, then uniform fields are distorted, planes acquire curvature, and fractures arise. (A physical analogy for this process can be found in the underwater light caustics created by waves on the surface of a swimming pool.)
Somehow the diverse and asynchronous visual processing streams are bound together to form a unified percept. In this process, information from parallel pathways is combined and perhaps each pathway brings with it associations based on prior experience with similar forms. Some of the works presented here combine information from multiple elementary snapshots in a process of decomposition, selection, and re-synthesis.
A physical analogy:
The path taken between two points by a photon of light is the path that can be traversed in the least time. Since light travels at different speeds in water and air, ripples on the surface of the water modify a uniform field of sunlight to create caustics on the floor below. As with the art form describe here, time delays are translated into spatial distortions.
Stages of visual processing (Van Essen).
A cortical visual map, and associated blood vessels (Matthias Felipe Valverde Salzmann)