Monday, February 9, 2009
One of the things I have always struggled with is how to work a microscope appropriately. I was fascinated with microscopes when I was younger because to me they seemed like the ultimate tool of power at Toys R' Us. However no matter how hard I tried I usually ended up looking at splattered messes on my slides. I would have to satisfy my desire to explore the wilderness ( my backyard) via picking up things and making them into little bits of art.
Reading about the biological gaze in Evelyn Fox Keller's The Biological Gaze made me think about how much intrusion my attempts to use a microscope were applying to my experience of grass, flowers, trees and ants. In a sense the article itself presented an obstacle in giving me a good balance of scientific terminology I was unfamiliar with. I was reading the text but at times had to continue to read over it because I wasnt sure what I had just read. This to me was a good personal bridge to understanding what is meant by Keller in reference to the eye being an extension of the body and therefore a "touch" to what is being ovserved. It seems to me that technology at many points of life gets in the way to the actual experience of nature. Roads trips are scenic but the "nature" observed in road trips is hindered by the windows of the automobile one is in. The nature channel is called the nature channel, however its all recreations of nature and none of it is truly experienced in its full wonder by the viewer.
The conversation going on about the development about microscopes to me is the crucial point of Keller's point. It is an object made by man which stands in between man and nature. Yes it aids in viewing what the naked eye can not but it still is not a totally realistic experience. That kept reminding me of my lack of ability to use a microscope in the first place. As easy as it is suppose to make the experience of understanding biology or nature, it is an obstacle none the less. My satisfaction came from a more hands on interaction with nature itself. This is in my understanding due to it being more authentic without me disturbing nature, I was actually experiencing it.
Above I added A sketch I made in relationship to what I sense the article was stating regarding the interference of technology upon man's experience of nature. The microscope becomes an extension of the body therefore it in aiding sight also creates touch. The experience is not authentic but in regards to the gaze , it is constructed and or altered.