Points of View and the Visual Arts: James Turrell, Antonio Damasio and The “No Point of View” Phenomenon

  • Ciarán Benson


This paper distinguishes types of point of view and their relationships to phases in the history of Western visual art.’ This supplies a context for considering the phenomenon which is the focus of the analysis, the experience of “no point of view”. The Ganzfeld Sphere created by the American artist James Turrell comes closest to enabling the perceptual experience of no-point-of-view with its dissolution of the phenomenological categories of inside-outside and here-there. In particular it seems to enable viewers to see their seeing. Using the work of the neurologist Antonio Damasio, the paper concludes with the speculation that Turrell has created the conditions which isolate for attention a particular neural representation of the body being changed by an object which Damasio proposes as central to subjectivity.


Phantom Limb Picture Plane Sensory Deprivation Linear Perspective Body Boundary 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciarán Benson
    • 1
  1. 1.University College DublinIreland

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