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Seeing is not Perceiving

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

“[T]hey may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding” — Parable of the Sower, Mark 4:12 (NIV)

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting an artist’s studio in preparation for ICI’s upcoming spring exhibition. Without giving too much away, upon seeing the works, and speaking with the artist, I have been left to philosophize on the line between truth and perception or rather between sight and reality; a curiosity that has been further intensified by a recent visit to PHENOMINAL at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

In conjunction with the theme, “phantom worlds,” this quandary is especially intriguing. Is what we see around us genuine? Do we perceive the true form of our surroundings? Is there a secondary reality that we are being denied access to as a result of limited knowledge or access? How much do we really know about our world or anything else for that matter?

In the words of The X-Files, “the truth is out there”, but whether or not we’ll know it when we see it is yet to be seen.

Opening my eyes and mind to new ideas of perception


A New Start

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


Hello everyone, I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Eliana Ruiz and I am the new Archivist Intern here at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry. I am a native to Southern California although I recently received my Master’s degree in Library Science, with an emphasis in archives, from the University of Pittsburgh. For me it was a natural road to follow after earning my Bachelors’ degrees in History and Spanish Literature from the University of California Riverside.  For as long as I can remember I have been passionate about books. From an early age they were my introduction to places, times, and ideas that I could only begin to imagine. While my travels may have begun in books they have since extended to traveling to places as diverse as Italy, Spain, and South Korea.

Since that time my travels may have brought me home again but it is my great pleasure to begin this next journey working with the unique library and archive housed here at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry.  It is a collection that more often than not provokes as many questions as it provides answers. It contains a logic that while not immediately obvious is all its own, one that challenges users to expect the unexpected.  It is a thought that is echoed on a billboard I saw outside the ICI after my first visit. In its conversation between two people it reads, “What are you looking for?” “The truth, darling, the truth”.

In a world that pushes us ever forward I believe that this pursuit of truth is something we all carry within us. While what is true will invariably mean different things to different people I look forward to discovering what it will mean for me in the weeks to come.