Alexander Pilis is a Canadian artist whose work has a theatrical edge. Given a situation (usually a gallery, museum, outdoor site), Pilis installs his props (binoculars, microscopes, disposable flash cameras) , shepherds the viewers to certain points (seats) and then instructs them to look. The audience, in one scenario, may have to look through binoculars which have been specifically "refurbished" so that they have become a bi-viewer. In Pilis's exhibition at the Museo del Chopo in Mexico City (1995) photomontaged images were inserted within all the binoculars; one montaged image for each eye piece
As part of the International Artist-in-Residence Programme in Guernsey Pilis constucted, from 2000 already-used disposable cameras, a "column" and this project continued a series of work entitled Architecture Parallax: Perceptual Apparatus. As Pilis himself says "This work is a technologically constructed instrument, an architectural machine, built by the multiplication of the Recyclable Cameras as if they were building bricks. When the participating observer interacts with each architectural construct the cameras nearest to the body(ies) will flash triggered by a heat sensor. Upon the triggered flash, the eye encounters a rapid change of light and it needs time to make perceptual adjustments. During this adjustment period the retina creates a specific fluid and when light enters the eye through this fluid, the individual begins to see a spectrum of colours and forms which are constantly changing within the eye. This is what I call the retina's drawing. In general when we observe and study art; painting, sculpture, photography and film we are experiencing what is already there, what is given to us. The Architectual Parallax gives an opportunity for the individual to create their own cultural experience by his and hers unique interaction with the camera's flash and through the workings of their own eye"