Binocular Waves is an artistic research project about binocular vision – being able to see with two eyes. The project explores what happens when we present two different images to left and right eye using a VR Headset. Depending on their similarities and differences these two images fuse, compete or coexist in the conscious visual perception creating different binocular phenomena.
Binocular Waves focuses on artistic exploitation of these phenomena and tries to create inspiration for scientific research:
- Binocular Dreams, experiment to reproduce dream phenomena, such as dream elements with multiple identities, by presenting each identity of the element to another eye.
- Binocular Rivers, exploring new ways of animated painting, playing with movement and time using stereoscopic imagery.
- Binocular Cells, a challenge to create novel visual perception by merging, contrasting, adding and subtracting two dynamic images which are presented to left and right eye separately.
All animation videos in these series are stereoscopic 360° animation videos. This means that each one of these animations is consisting of two separate 360° videos for left and right eyes.
The audio to the videos are produced by electronic music artist Fraternal Bee similarly by using two different sound in stereo channels which differ in octave, delay or timbre.
“Binocular disparity” is difference of image location of an object seen by the left and right eyes, resulting from the distance between two eyes (parallax) and makes the perception of depth (stereopsis) possible. However, when two completely different images are presented to left and right eyes one of the following perception phenomena may occur: a) “Binocular Fusion” two images are perceived as an averaged merge of two. b) ”Binocular Transparency” they merge into a superimposition. c) “Binocular Rivalry” the images compete and alternate in perceptual awareness.
The work is the result of a very long observation and quastioning process. From early childhood on my left and right has strong myopia and astigmatism with different diopter levels. At the age of 15 I had two surgical interventions on my left eye to repair an injury of my retina and replacing the lens with an artificial one. The latter intervention of lens resulted even more differences between my left and right eye vision such as in contrast, sharpness, focus, diopter levels and perceptual differences. This phenomenon made me curious whether images with interocular differences can be created to reproduce the resulting binocular phenomena which would make the impairment and the improvement for people without the differences in vision perceivable.
(top-down images are 360° panoramic videos of left and right eye fields)