Gustavo Eduardo de Campos Abbott
What you see is what you get.
The comparability between silenced thoughts and invisible infrared (IR) light intrigues me. Both exist and persist, yet go unseen/heard at all times. We are aware of both phenomena, and that with a bit of effort we can find a means to reveal either, yet choosing to do so lies entirely upon our individual dispositions. I am reminded of the opening sentence to the short story “The Depressed Person” by David Foster Wallace:
“The depressed person was in terrible and unceasing emotional pain, and the impossibility of sharing or articulating this pain was itself a component of the pain and a contributing actor in its essential horror.”
One could ask: if someone is yelling and wailing in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does this person have nothing to say? We all have our own internal demons and/or thoughts and opinions we may take to the grave, however we choose to conceal said internalities for a myriad of reasons. This may be likened to German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann’s Spiral of Silence Theory, which “stipulates that individuals have a fear of isolation, which results from the idea that a social group or the society in general might isolate, neglect, or exclude members due to the members’ opinions. This fear of isolation consequently leads to remaining silent instead of voicing opinions. (Wikipedia)”
The method of using emblematically analogous infrared light as a means to divulge silences attempts to draw attention to the fact that just because something is not seen (or heard) does not mean that it is lacks depth or does not exist in the first place.
Introduction to Physical Computing, Introduction to Computational Media