Vin Grabill Vin Grabill
video artist
The Inner Eye Eyesight 1 Eyesight 2 Eyesight 3

In 1988, I produced a 21-minute experimental video documentary, “The Inner Eye: From The Inside Out”, in collaboration with poet Elizabeth Goldring. Our intent was to portray some of the day-to-day experiences Elizabeth faced as she coped with deteriorating vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy. Elizabeth described to me the visual artifacts and effects she experienced in various settings, and I attempted to simulate these effects using various video effects. 
In the video, we portray several everyday scenes in Elizabeth's life - walking through a building at M.I.T. (where Elizabeth works), crossing the street, experiencing a laser treatment session, walking again in bright sunlight, and reading with the help of a large print computer device. All scenes are accompanied by excerpts of Elizabeth's poems and journal entries, spoken by Elizabeth.

Once this video was produced, Elizabeth and I created an interactive video installation inspired by the video, "EYE/SIGHT", featuring a live camera and two-channel (one small screen set into a larger screen) video display. When a viewer sat in an "examination" chair, he/she was able to peer into a camera lens that was set to insert a close-up image of his/her eye into the video mix. The inner video screen showed edited footage of Elizabeth's diagnostic eye exams, and the outer video screen showed video footage of retinal images until a viewer sat in the chair, at which point the outer screen switched to a live video image of the viewer's own eye. Audio from the diagnostic footage is projected into the space, but when a viewer puts on a set of available headphones, the ambient audio is muted, and the voice of Elizabeth speaking poems from her “Eye Journals” can be heard.

"EYE/SIGHT" was exhibited in the 1990 "Options" show at the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA), as well as in exhibitions in New York and Germany. "The Inner Eye: From The Inside Out" has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions in this country and Europe.


©2012 Vin Grabill