29 March 2019

Visual Noise

Josef Pieper, "Learning How to See Again," Only the Lover Sings (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990), p. 33:
There does exist something like "visual noise", which just like the acoustical counterpart, makes clear perception impossible. One might perhaps presume that TV watchers, tabloid readers, and movie goers exercise and sharpen their eyes. But the opposite is true. The ancient sages knew exactly why they called the "concupiscence of the eyes" a "destroyer". The restoration of man's inner eyes can hardly be expected in this day and age — unless, first of all, one were willing and determined simply to exclude from one's realm of life all those inane and contrived but titillating illusions incessantly generated by the entertainment industry.

Filippo Abbiati, Trompe-l'oeil con stampe (c. 1690)