System 2 - Introduction

The series “System 2” is an investigation of what we see when we see – and what we unconsciously choose not to see.
The title refers to the behavioural researcher and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman’s model for the perceptual systems of the brain: System 1 and System 2. The automatic System 1 has the function of quickly and directly giving us an idea of the context we are in – based on our earlier experiences. System 1 enables us to act intuitively and energy efficiently in the world. “That notice means ‘closed’ – I am familiar with the meaning of ‘closed’ – so I do not expend more thinking activity / energy on that shop”…
The conscious, but much smaller System 2 comes into play when we encounter the unknown, deficient or complex. System 2, it is true, is much slower than System 1, but it has the ability to analyse, focus and create new knowledge that System 1 can use in future. “This chair looks very lopsided – let me see whether if it has other indications of abnormality that mean one should not sit on it.”
By obstructing System 1’s automatic features I try to get us to look at what we overlook at first glance.
When I took the pictures for the System 2 series, my keyword was “Nodak Moments”. A “Kodak moment” is the obvious beautiful motif we typically point our camera at. A “Nodak moment is the opposite – Places we find to uninteresting to bother about. I did not specifically search for them because they are everywhere around us. So for half a year I practically shot everything saw on my way that I normally wouldn’t shoot.
Out of that base of 20.000+ pictures, I chose a handful and removed all the “System 1 tags” that I subconsciously judged them by, to give them another chance of beeing seen.