Eyes are the organs of the visual system. When disease or optical illusions alters one's vision, one experiences distortions and mutations of their reality. Lillian Schwartz is an artist and computer animator pioneer who lost her perception of depth and color due to chorioretinitis caused by exposure to radiation. While working as a Navy nurse in Japan, she contrasted polio that paralyzed her and altered her perception of conceptualization. Schwartz turned, inward, to her mind, and visualized completed pieces in exquisite clarity and color. Since then, Schwartz has used her ailments to create innovative 3-D technology with psychedelic animations.
The museum exhibition immerses viewers into a world of glitches, foreign body abstracts, and interactive mutations. Viewer's cross the threshold out of reality starting at the beginning of a long, dark hallway with Lillian's face peering at viewers seemingly normal. Upon approach, her face is noticeably glitched with chemical colored corrosion on her glasses. The main walkthrough of the exhibition is dark with interactive projections that allow touch to abstract spores that corrode to uncover Lillian Schwartz' words about her art, personal life, and dealing with an altered perception. These same words are put into context in the narrative brochure of the exhibition.
Just like the exhibit's immersive projections, the exhibition's accordion brochure allows museum-goers to layer papers and play with die-cuts to create a new composition. The brochure also comes with 3-D Chroma depth glasses that bring to life the vivid images. The exterior of the brochure is a reference to the beginning of Schwartz visual mutations which include seeing black dots in her vision. As you open the brochure, you experience a chronological progression of Schwartz journey with her oral history interview and pop-out imagery.
Phantom images naturally occur from exhausting the cones in the retina. This phenomenon can be recreated through augmented reality that recreates the experience of a phantom graphic with the added ability to see in motion. This poster collection is a take-away gift collectable of the exhibition consisting of three posters that can be viewed through the phone to create an after-image experience from the exhibition.