I started out reading the following two chapters:
Ch. 14, The Desert & Ch. 20 Seeing is Savoring
I find comfort in knowing that an artist like Irwin does not feel compelled to share his experiences with the natural world (as in his desert trips) in the form of printed photographs that aim to represent said experience. It’s boggling to me that somehow it is conceivable a photo-mural in a gallery in nyc would be able to evoke a similar emotional or perceptual response as experiencing it for oneself. I think this relates to Ch. 20 where Irwin talks about the use of drugs and perception: they don’t heighten or brighten… all they do is override all the habitual inhibitions to clear seeing we manage to place in our way most of the rest of the time.
In cities we are so inundated with “better things to do” than see that only in a city would we find respite in spending a few moments in front of a scenic image. But on the one hand I am also intrigued by the idea that an installation can enable or compel others to put off the things to do and contemplate in how I operate on a physiological level as a human being. How do I see? Or how do I go about seeing more clearly the world in front of me?