Notes on Misreading

In the installations I make we are as a third party/onlooker on the scene.

The reason for misreading is that we seek understanding of [literature/art/object/situations]. Therefore we interpret what we see.

Reality vs Illusion What is real? All things have multiple truths, all situations have multiple perspectives. Such is life, opinion and experience differ from person to person. We determine what is ‘real’ with our own cultural framework, formed by our experiences, norms and values.

Misreading happens when expectations collide with reality, either no meaning is seen where there is a greater message or higher meaning is sought where there is none.

Misreading might also occur when a single moment in time is observed severed from its context. As in narrative information about a scene can travel forward as well as backward in time, all of this information is left out of consideration when a moment is ripped out of it’s timeline. 

Misreading can be intentional through trickery and misleading. Methods of misdirection can be to focus the onlooker’s attention away from the clues that tell about the truth or to place important information out of focus or hide it. Also one might create false expectations from the onlooker by feeding false or misleading clues previous to observing a scene. 

Misreading can happen when a situation is only fleetingly observed. The mind will automatically filter out what it deems important and ignore the rest of the information, in every day life I argue that most misreadings happen this way, filtering out ‘unnecessary’ information that was actually crucial to the understanding of a situation.

Misreading is the only way in which we can experience the world. We all live in our own realities and can only be made aware of existing other realities (perspectives, perceptions). A person can be made aware of another reality and can ‘peer into them’ as if he were looking through a keyhole into another room. Someone aware of other realities existing alongside his own can see reality, a multiverse of perspectives all overlapping, 2D images together making a 3D universe.

For misreading to happen the scene observed must fulfill at least the following requirement:

  • it must be more than a/or a series of objects (an apple is an apple, only when placed in context can it have meaning)

Misreading happens when our eyes and brain selectively see what we want to see, a truth that is preferable over another, a truth that we are more likely to accept is noticed over one that will make us feel uncomfortable.

When we are knowing of being mislead we might be actively searching for clues to other realities and that on it’s own can lead to misreading (referring back to seeing meaning where there is none, for example reading into the meaning of nazca lines)


Inspiring readings:





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