Rhodopsin 3.0


The Filmatic Festival presents visionary artists who transform traditional film-going into active and immersive experiences. The first of its kind in California, Filmatic invites visitors to experience the excitement of merging traditional cinematic storytelling with the latest digital technologies and science. 

RHODOPSIN is an original light and sound installation organized by WSOHOIDPS (A SHIP IN THE WOODS) which first premiered at ARTSD’14 and for the WoW Festival at La Jolla Playhouse in 2015. This project is an ongoing collaboration between WSOHOIDPS, Salk Institute neurobiologist John Reynolds, sound artist Greg Smaller and vision scientist Patrick Cavanagh. Rhodopsin aims to encourage visitors to think about the process of perception and consider the brain’s role in actively constructing, rather than simply relaying, reality.  

Our perceptual experience is not the direct experience of the world around us. Rather, it is the result of a constructive process, in which the brain formulates an ongoing hypothesis about the external world. Visual perception transforms the two tiny movies that constantly dance across the retinal screens on the back of each eye into the rich world we feel we inhabit. Opsins are biological pigments that reside in the photoreceptor cells of the retina, the cells that are responsible for the first events in the perception of light. Rhodopsin is the most sensitive opsin. It resides in the 120 million rod photoreceptors that sit in each of our retinae, enabling us to see in low illumination. In this exhibit, a flash of light will expose the observer to an afterimage as we create very unusual sensory conditions that will allow observers to experience the unfolding process of perceptual construction, from the photoreceptors to conscious awareness. Participants will experience a series of rich visual percepts that emerge through the interplay that takes place between our proprioceptive bodily sense and a visual system that is activated in total darkness. - John Reynolds (Salk Neurobiologist)





Rhodopsin (performance times)  1-130pm, 4-430pm, 6-630pm, and 930-10pm

Location: in the RML at QI

Directions: Calit2 Building

  • Take the Interstate 5 freeway
  • Exit La Jolla Village Drive
  • Head west on La Jolla Village Drive
  • Turn right at the first light past the freeway on Villa La Jolla Drive
  • Turn right at the second light on Gilman Drive
  • Turn left at the stop sign on to Voigt Drive
  • At the intersection past Canyonview Pool, turn right (still on Voigt Drive)
  • Continue on Voigt Drive, and then turn left on Engineers Lane into parking lot P503