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Such Wet Eyes

Francis Ruyter


Francis Ruyter works with the topic of pictures and the process of looking at them. He recently began using watercolours in order to work through ideas and images quickly which carry different relationships to light than his other works. In this presentation he uses photos of the location itself, including the shop’s Instagram feed as source material to develop a series of pictures that waver between various modes of recognition. 


When we look at things we run very quickly through a number of quick identifying questions. Do I know this? Have I seen this before? Is this relevant to me? Do I want this? We scan quickly and if information checks out, we might take a closer look. Colour tends to reach us faster than other information, and the kind of light with which that colour is delivered to us can alter our understanding of what we see. 


With technologies, come more tools to find what it is we are looking for or where we might fit in. It might not be clear why something is making us look, but something we have noticed elsewhere is making us pay attention now. In all of these processes, we might have more in common with machines than we realize. Marketing of course is built upon this, but at the same time we think of our personal choices being very individual and in fact deeply linked to our identity. How do we keep people interested in seeing with their human eyes and not their machine vision?


Francis Ruyter is an American artist who lives and works in Vienna.