Wednesday, February 27, 2013

News Flash- Artificial Retina Argus 2 Approved by FDA

There's been big news about the FDA giving the ok to the Argus 2 retinal implant.  This actually restores sight to those blinded from RP.  Briefly- its a tiny photoreceptor chip implanted into the retina, and transmits electrical signals into the brain. The resulting artificial sight is crude and at a stage where just simple shapes and lines can be seen, so its useful for navigation and everyday tasks requiring sight. Something more or less like whats below... 

Some kind of sense... simulation of the artificial Retinal implant
Its an amazing mixture of biology and technology, there's a video camera and geeky looking eyeglasses.  I guess I could carry off the cyborg look by imagining its merely some super cool vaporware product under development, with streaming data sets pouring into my keen eyes. In New York, Im not sure how long they'd last on the streets here before someon decided to snatch them off. Do they work well with skinny jeans?
It could be that I'll wind up implanted with something similar one day, but as far as treatments go, genetic therapy seems more likely to restore vision to those of us with RP. I dont go to the RP bulletin boards and chat rooms any more. Newly diagnosed people need them for support and information.  And I'm tired of waiting for all those hope filled "promises of a treatment very soon", which never actualized. I need my life, my joy, my art, and stay as far as possible from the medical world and its terms and definations. The Argus 2 though, deserves bravos. My friend Raymond, who went blind from RP, might investigate this to restore his lost vision, and I guess its good to know that this cyber eye will improve in resolution, and will be there when I need it, its comforting of course.

"Unimpaired by Vision" by Maia Booker

 Journalist Maia Booker visited with the Seeing With Photography Collective last year. Read about her experiences HERE.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Two from a total of four light paintings I made recently. They are more in the "Revisit" series. bringing older art work to a new, visual life again through the technique and intent of light painting. I used some prints of blind Centaurs.  Here and there are small birds and butterflies blurred and partly frozen in flight.
Colin Nusbaum joined me, filming again. It was really nice to talk with him about writing, and film making. His intent is for a film with no obvious resolution, or formula, just recording life as it unfolds. Its unnerving somewhat, wanting to live up to some expectations, his or mine. As the subject, and focus of this project,  I want his effort and time filming to be rewarding. The week after he had filmed at my Yoga class, our teacher, Nina Priya David jested with us gently. "Last week", she said to our small circle of students, "It was very exciting here, wasn't it, with all that filming. Maybe you re wondering, will I be in it? will it be on TV?, will it be in the movies? Well... who gives a s..t! - you all were wonderful when that camera was on you, your poses could have made the cover of 'Yoga Magazine', so always do Yoga as though you were at the center of a big film."
 Colin is very casual and sensitive and laughs at my jokes, so Im kind of getting used to his camera being around.. I told Colin I haven't been making many photographs lately, and have just been writing. Mainly transcribing a journal I kept in the 1980's and 90's. Im the only one who can do this. I need to have these words travel with me to the place of darkness, though my images cant make that trip with me. He thinks its a good idea to film it, but I worry It'd be tedious for a documentary, 
The Seeing with Photography group has been invited to return to Russia, the plans are still preliminary, details as soon as I hear any more news.
Something new - but old ...Mark has a small batch of that wonderful Polaroid 4 by 5 inch negative film. I've made a few light painings using  it with the old speed graphic camera recently, like the old days! The negatives need to dry, and Mark has to scan the negs, so Ill show you some results soon.

 Above- Centaur 1 and 4