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Double Vision

Peter Campus

1971 00:14:22 United StatesEnglishB&WMono


Campus investigates the metaphoric overlap between properties of the video camera and processes of human perception, an area of great interest to many early videomakers. Double Vision inventories strategies for comparing simultaneous images of a loft space produced by two video cameras whose signals are fed through a mixer, thus producing an electronic version of what in film would be called a "double exposure." The cameras are set up to perform variations of binocular vision; for example in the section entitled "Copilia," the two cameras are set at different focal lengths and search independently around an empty room, attached to the same moving body. In "Convergence," the cameras are stationary and separated but focused on the same distant wall; their images gradually merge as the artist repeatedly returns to the cameras and moves them closer together. Double Vision is an elegant and systemmatic exploration of vision using basic video technology.

"[Double Vision is] an exploration of double or two-camera images and works its way up to an eye-brain model, always conscious of how this model differed from its subject matter."

—Peter Campus

This title is only available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

About Peter Campus

Born in 1937, Peter Campus studied experimental psychology at Ohio State College and film at the City College of New York. His early tapes explore the anatomy of the video signal in relation to human psychology and perception. "The video camera makes possible an exterior point of view simultaneous with one's own. This advance over the film camera is due to the vidicon tube, similar to the retina of the eye, continually transposing light (photon) energy into electrical energy... It is easy to utilize video to clarify perceptual situations because it separates the eye-surrogate from the eye-brain experience we are all too familiar with."

Campus was one of a group of artists in the mid-70s who produced work in the experimental TV labs at WGBH in Boston and WNET in New York. In addition to numerous single-channel works, he has investigated the characteristics of "live" video through closed-circuit video installations and elaborate sculptural works whose structural components included video cameras, projectors, and monitors.