Bill Viola

For the Persian poet Rumi, each human life is analogous to a bowl floating on the surface of an infinite ocean. As it moves along, it is slowly filling with the water around it. That’s a metaphor for the acquisition of knowledge. When the water in the bowl finally reaches the same level as the water outside, there is no longer any need for the container, and it drops away as the inner water merges with the outside water. We call this the moment of death. That analogy returns to me over and over as a metaphor for ourselves.

Fifty years from now I don’t think optical realism is going to be an issue in visual communication any more. Experience is so much richer than light falling on your retina. You embody a microcosm of reality when you walk down the street – your memories, your varying degrees of awareness of what’s going on around you, everything we could call the contextualizing information. Representing that information is going to be the main issue in the years ahead – how the world meets the mind, not the eye.