Bellevue Arts Museum Biennial, 2016.
The Rabbit Hole: Sculpture
Rabbit Hole. The looping video is a condensed depiction of what I’ve seen since the experience began New Year's Eve 2010 I was (and am) always looking for a white wall, blank space or bit of open sky to check my vision for floaters, bursts of light or falling curtains or other signs of possible problems.
I built the body of the piece to reflect the incredibly dense and crazy musculature that is the architecture of the iris. Below is a short edit of the 2 minute looping video that played through the pupil or central aperture of the piece.
Here is a short edit of the 2 minute looping video that played through the pupil or central aperture of the piece.
Weights & Measures. The adult human eyeball is about the same diameter (24-25mm) and weight (7-8 grams) as a large man's ring. I have spent my career and the majority of my life working within those parameters.
DSEK: Corneal Endothelium. The inner layer of the cornea is a domed sheet of cells that form a honeycomb of hexagons. Their job is to pump fluid out from the anterior portion of the cornea and maintain crystal clarity. If the cells fail due to illness or injury (in my case multiple surgeries) they become irregular polygons and no longer perform their duty. this leads to corneal edema and clouded or opaque vision. A DSEK transplants the inner cells from a donor (cadaver) , replacing the damaged ones. This partial corneal transplant can save the day and is much more easily endured then a full corneal transplant involving all layers of the cornea.
Phaco. Phaco-emulsion is the process, used in cataract surgery, that uses ultrasound to break up or emulsify the clouded lens for removal, prior to replacement. Cataracts are an inevitable result of retinal surgeries. The tool on the left is a stylized keratome . On the right is a phaco tip.
Iris Has Memory. This was a phrase told to me by one of my surgeons. It refers, I think, to the idea that , when traumatized, the muscles of the iris sometimes retain an irregular shape and may (as in my case) no longer dilate or contract. The image is of my pupil shows that irregularity. The two dark spots are holes drilled in the iris with a YAG laser to allow ocular fluid (aqueous humor) to drain and relieve pressure. The process--iridotomy-- is simple, quick and painless. Scarring of the angles or drains in the iris can be an unfortunate collateral effect of multiple eye surgeries.
Squint. I made this piece very early into my trip down the rabbit hole. At that time I was referring to lattice degeneration which are essentially stretched, thin areas in the periphery of the retina. Lattice is hereditary and is especially found in nearsighted people. The weakened areas are prone to retinal tears which can lead to detachment-- the door to the rabbit hole. Prophylactic repair with a laser can prevent tears but can also change peripheral vision.
Pipette. Surgical instruments are passed into the eye through ports called trocars.