The Christopher Brodigan Gallery Archive

"An Experience of Seeing" by Elizabeth Goldring

“An Experience of Seeing”
Elizabeth Goldring
January 11, 2015 - February 27, 2015
Meet the artist at an opening reception on January 11 from 2-4 p.m. Poetry reading at 3 p.m.
Elizabeth Goldring calls her “Retina Prints” visual poems that interpret what she “sees” with her own blind eyes—“traces of laborious experiences with seeing, memories of woven words and images ‘sitting’ on my retinas.”
Goldring, the Charlotte Moorman Senior Fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, uses a medical device called a scanning laser ophthalmoscope that scans visual information onto the retina. As an artist, she interprets those images.
“Although I use many people’s retinas in my artwork,” she says, “the finished print reflects my way of seeing the words and images projected on my damaged retinas and their indelible ‘after image.’”
Several months after Goldring became blind, only able to perceive light and shadow, her retinal function was tested with a tool that projected stick-figure-like images onto her retinas. When she saw them, she asked to also see a word, “sun.”
“It was the first word I had been able to read for a long time,” she says. “For me, a writer who was beginning to forget the shape of words, this was truly a significant moment.”
She now uses the ophthalmoscope as a “seeing machine” and collaborates with physicians, scientists, engineers, and artists at MIT to create visual “poetry” for the vision-impaired.
The Brodigan Gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is free and open to the public.