Subtle Shifts in Perception..?

I was walking through the park thinking could anything alter our perception yet still preserve a sense of anonymity? Soon after the thought I noticed that even though a canopy of trees’ covered me there were no leaves on the pathway I was walking down.  When I noticed this my perception of my environment shifted.  I was aware that somebody had been employed to remove the leaves, for that moment I was more aware of societies ability to subtly influence my environment.

It may sound slightly over analytical but it illustrates a point.  It demonstrates how society could subtly alter your perception of what is real.  We built this pathway so we didn’t have to walk on the grass, the leaves should have been on the floor around me but they were brushed to the side so they would not impair the use of our convenient intervention.  It accentuated an artificiality.         

The famous have the ability to more obviously alter an individuals perception, whether it be to influence our choice over which products we buy, by using there body as a tool for advertising.  To using their fame to impose personal beliefs, an example being John Travolta and Tom Cruise using their status to promote the teachings of Scientology.  Because these examples are obvious to us we maintain a sense of autonomy over how they affect us.  My perception being shifted by the leaves in the park is the antithesis of this.  The anonymous that make up the rest of society had subtly altered my environment, they changed my sensory experience.

The media is more extravert and obvious with its’ attempts to alter our perception, but in a way I am more interested in the ways which the anonymous who make up the rest of society can alter our perception on a more subtle level.  

I am starting to think of a project to relate to this experience which involves a street sweeper working in an unconventional environment.  I want to see if I can subtley or even minutely shift the viewers perception of the situation, to make you think twice about what you are viewing.  Hopefully this work will act as a good reflection point.  


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