12 Principles of 'Seeing'

01° Other Spot   (8 of 455 features) Original images from Skin Care Auditions

01° Other Spot (8 of 455 features) Original images from Skin Care Auditions

Based loosely on Leonardo Da Vinci's theory Saper Vedere, these 12 principles reiterate an understanding that all things are connected in some form or another, and that knowledge flows from a practice of interconnections. Leonardo described it as Saper Vedere (or learning how to see), the Greeks called it ex-stasis (or ecstasy), but here it's presented as a notion of OthernessIt's a methodology that helps to form something called 'Systems Thinking', which is the ability to uncover new connections and combinations from common or familiar themes. Exploring the larger contexts and structures beneath subjects flows through the entirety of the artworks that you'll see (the 12°). The list of guides that follow are a type of backbone to the foundations that built them, and my only hope is that they help in uncovering the philosophies and influences that shape the ways we see and record our selves in an image saturated landscape.

— michael graf

01 — Nebula (Haze) Despite what our eyes might miss through the obscured haze around us, their are countless encounters waiting to be discovered within it.

02 —  Fortitudo (Nerve) The courage to wander into the 'haze' despite its many unknowns.

03 — Intuor (To Wonder) An unbridled imagination that engages the familiar in unfamiliar ways. In creativity, this is considered a divergent way of seeing and thinking.

04 — Dubito (To Doubt) A willingness to question how our imaginations might function practically. This idea runs counter to the notion above (or divergent thinking — to wonder), and this is often called convergent thinking. It's the ability to test the larger purpose of ideas, or our rationale(this can be among the most difficult balances to fully grasp).

05 — Praesumo (Bias) Beware of biases. Minimize immediate judgements on issues and observations that lie outside one's domain.

06 — Complecto (Folding) Building the bridge, or the mental folds between viewers and the viewed —  a crucial skill for us. The Act of the 'Fold' immerses us into the unseen influences within the art, the images or the artifacts of a time. It is part of Da Vinci's salvo, or learning how to see beyond oneself.

07 — Motus (Physicality) A physicality to engage in the world and produce ideas from it.

08 — Incerta (Adversity) As Nietzsche once famously argued, the fullness of life is not given, but is carefully routed through its many difficulties.

09 — Neglego (Disregard) The great physicist Richard Feynman once declared; pay no notice to other’s work — allow yours to thrive among theirs.

10 — Ratio (Systems) Creating and building a contextual intelligence, or ways of seeing the links, interconnectivity and relationships from other times, places, and ideas. It is the backbone of creative insight called 'systems thinking'.

11 — Omnino (Wholeness) a committement to expand on all these categories and the values in our different 'seeing ways'.

12 — Excogitatio (Otherness) Exo means out, while cogitatio is thinking. Together they translate to thinking outside — or otherness. Psychologists might refer to this as a theory of mind, and it captures the essence of what otherness means here — a task to see beyond immediate reflections and to capture the unseen influences at play. I've often referred to it as the Third Self, or seeing as Strangers to Ourselves. This idea best summarizes the approach presented here.

01(Haze)  02(Nerve)   03(To Wonder)  04(To Doubt)  05(Bias)  06(Folding)   07(Physicality)   08(Adversity) 09(Disregard) 10(Systems)  11(Wholeness)  12 (Otherness)