The Hunt is a group show that documents a gentle “scavenger hunt” within Oregon Health and Science University’s Historical Collection and Archives. The item "found" was interpreted or utilized as inspiration by each of the artists into the creation of a new piece (without any harm done to the item "found.")
Artist Warren Buss received the number
77-271.1.2 for the Phoropter-Ocular
This is his artist statement:
I have provided for the purposes of this exhibition the last series of phoroptical images in my collection, the rest having decayed beyond usability. Even these are quickly fading. What you see are all that remain as testament to my many years of research and meditation. My sole purpose in making these images has been to improve the lives of my subjects, by increasing their insight into the deepest, most obscure parts of their psyches.
My device, which I have called a phoroptor*, enables me to look deeply into the eyes of my subjects, reading with great precision things of which they themselves are not aware. Images of these depths are captured by my device for me to interpret at my leisure. While the capture of these images is in itself miraculous, the true value comes from my interpretation of these images, based on my accumulated experience and wisdom.
In my research I have discovered that the eyes are not duplicates of one another – they do not both hold the same information. The right eye most often speaks to appearances, to objective experience, to whatever self-awareness the subject already possesses; while the left frequently speaks to what is hidden from the subject, to things they are not aware of about themselves and their lives.
By combining the information from both eyes, I can provide for my subjects a balanced insight into their psyches – information they can use to better their lives at the most profound levels – not the superficial levels offered by so-called scientists. For an example of how these charlatans would seek to devalue my work, one of them has noted that a byproduct of my reading process produces a random series of numbers, which, when used in the formulation and refinement of ground glass, improves the eyesight of the subject.
I ask you: when judged against the self-knowledge my readings impart, how does merely having better eyesight compare in any meaningful way? Meaning in life is found by looking inward, not out.
Let me conclude. By presenting to you the evidence and theory behind my device, I hope to rescue it within your estimation from the depredations of those who would seek to either discredit it as mere quackery or to subvert it to more base purposes. Thereby to reserve for myself and my research their proper place in history.
Yours truly etc.
W.K. Buss Phoroptorist
* from the Ancient Greek: “bringer of sight”
This is the last series of
phoroptical images in W.K Buss collection