Playing with parallax

My mother used to play a game with us kids. Or at least with me–by the time I was born my brothers were too old for such silliness. It was called Owl-Eyes. We’d press our foreheads and noses together, close our eyes and count, “One, two, three-WHOO-OO-OO!” On ‘WHOO-OO-OO,” we’d pop our eyes open wide.

That’s the kind of excitement which entertained us kids in the forties.

Anyway, Jerry and I play Owl-Eyes sometimes. We’re lying in bed and one of us presses forehead and nose to the other’s and we say, “One, two, three–WHOO-OO-OO!” and we pop our eyes open.

But now it’s not just entertaining. It is a study in biology, perception, and design. The thing is, from this distance (or lack thereof), if you close either eye you get different perspectives. Parallax. I think Picasso’s paintings were all about parallax. (I just Googled Picasso and parallax and I guess I’m not the first one to make this connection.)

Seen at close range, Jerry may have two normal eyes, with a tiny one between them. Or three eyes with a fourth hovering up to one side. Or one eye above a very squashed nose.

I’m going to summon all my artistic powers and draw samples for you:



About Jessica Renshaw
This entry was posted in art, My husband Jerry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Playing with parallax

  1. ted says:

    But why assume that you see him best at a distance? That’s counter-intuitive. Maybe one of the pictures above is the REAL Jerry (And yes, Mum certainly played that game with me too, and I with my kids.)

  2. Googy. Plain goofy. But it did make me grin.

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