Re: Sharits and epilepsy

From: D. Mark Andrews (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Feb 08 2010 - 20:26:49 PST


Novice experimental filmmaker here, a trauma/emergency nurse by day. My
professional, work-related interests are primarily neuroscience based. My
artistic interests revolve around the intersection of early medicine and

I can not offer any specific information regarding your question, but have
always found Sharits' work fascinating and found the positioning of ESC
around photosensitive epilepsy odd since it is a particularly rare
affliction. Essentially universal, however, is the Bucha effect--nausea,
vomiting, disorientation, etc caused by overlapping images at a rate similar
to human brain waves. This is caused even when the eyes are closed since our
eyelids don't close completely and are translucent. First
discovered/documented widely in the 50s, I've always wondered if Sharits was
aware of it. I read most of his work structurally from the 70s within this
context. Shutter interface in particular seems to me more rich than ESC
since it is nearly identical to devices used to evoke pre-seizure brain
activity in patients--this of course could be entirely coincidental.

I once took care of a 20 y/o male who had a seizure while his mother was
driving across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco to Berkeley. The sun was
reflecting off the water at an intense level, but was punctuated by the
pillars of the bridge. This light/dark effect brought on nausea first then
full on disorientation. As his symptoms became worse his mother started
driving faster which only exacerbated the effect which lead to a full blown
tonic-clonic seizure.

I've only completed one film, but it is titled, Ictus. It is part of a
trilogy, the other two are called Prodomo and Postictus--all are references
to the stages of seizures. If interested, your colleague can see a short
clip on my website under the "states" section.

Again, I'm a novice here and this may already be discussed in the academic
literature, but Sharitis' work strikes me as being aware of the fact that
the pupil is not a dissectible portion of the eye, but a photosensitive
element created by the structure of the eye.


   -----Original Message-----
  From: Chuck Kleinhans [mailto:email suppressed]
  Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 12:11 PM
  To: email suppressed
  Subject: Sharits and epilepsy

  A colleague asked me:

    I'm teaching my medicine seminar and I have a student interested in the
intersection of experimental film and photosensitive epilepsy. He
specifically asked me if I knew anything that has been written about
Sharits' Epileptic Seizure Comparison from the 1970s.

  Anybody out there know anything on the subject?

  Chuck Kleinhans
  __________________________________________________________________ For
info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.