Land of Silence and Darkness was a four day event at Oxford University connecting movies, drawing, perception and neuroscience. It evolved from a Wellcome trust Fellowship in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing. Exploring beyond my temporary “studio” in an old dissection theatre, I had encounters with a perceptual neuroscientist, an expert on Diderots’ Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those who can See, and Peter Mann who made a documentary about his father who is a blind painter. I have drawn lab mice and human eye cavities, witnessed the extraction of fragments of DNA and discussed the nature of experimentation with lab-based scientists and film writer Silke Panse. These people were invited to contribute to the event, along with artist Lindsay Seers, and Jorg Schmitt-Reitwein, Werner Herzogs cameraman for Land of Silence and Darkness.
‘The neuroscientist asks “What is the essence of visual processing?”, and explores this question through a very different process than Werner Herzog's documentary cameraman filming blind twins exploring Vietnam’
This project was funded by Wellcome Trust. It developed to include the publication Blind Movies and the film Demonstration 50.15.