Five senses. This is how we are taught to group ways of perception. Some argue there are more or fewer. Within these universal five, such as taste, some cultures subcategorize them differently. In certain places, people call green and blue the same thing, considering them as variations of the same shade. If we cut off one sense, we are told others can heighten. Perception, sensing, is a capricious thing, as powerful as it is subjective.
What of the lack of sensation? Numbness. To be blind, to be deaf, does not imply one does not feel. But numbness—physical, cerebral, or psychological is a nuanced thing. Subject a limb to extreme cold, fail to move your arm for hours, damage a nerve—numbness, as expected, will ensue. But what of the numbness of overexposure? With a scroll of the wrist or finger, nearly second nature, we tumble down a rabbit hole of worlds we may not know but see everyday: the real violence of war, the violence of callous comments on social media, ever-growing, interchangeable material addictions, photoshopped ideals, sex, on demand, of every kind and extreme variation, instant company, virtual dating. Our world’s access to experience is unlimited, but our ability to feel has never been less. What is the threshold between knowledge and numbness? In a society that saturates our senses, what does it mean to truly feel?
Issue III of Tabula Rasa invites its contributors to tackle the spectrum of numbness, from source to sensation, visualizing its implications and manifestations.
— Photographers include Adam Kremer, Boru O’Brien O’Connell, Brian William Green, Carolyne Loreé Teston, Charles Caesar, Clément Pascal, Danielle Ezzo, Eli Schmidt, Ian Baguskas, Keisuke Otobe, Peter Funch, Ryan James Caruthers, Sam Rock, Sergiy Barchuk
Fixation—is it tangible? Ephemeral? Psychological or physical? Is it something you experience with all five senses, or something you sense but can’t put a finger on? Is it the glue that binds us to our desires? Or the edge of a blade that untethers us from ourselves? Is fixation dependent on what we perceive? Or how we perceive ourselves? Issue II of Tabula Rasa invites photographers to consider their fixation beyond the realm of an object of desire. Using the image, we encourage contributing artists to the concept of fixation—personal, societal and cultural—exploring its foundation, its experience, and its aftermath.
— Photographers include Alex Lockett, Bryson Rand, Daniel King, Edward Mulvihill, Frankie & Nikki, Fryd Frydendahl, Josefine Seifert, June Canedo, Magdalena Siwicka, Renell Medrano, Sean Vegezzi, and Stefano Galuzzi