See <em>IRISIRIS</em> for an all-encompassing introduction to EMDR.
See IRISIRIS for an all-encompassing introduction to EMDR. Courtesy of Jack Straw New Media Gallery/Julia E. Freeman
You're going to want to close all your blinds and get out your good headphones for this one. Because Julia E. Freeman's IRISIRIS, which is currently "hanging" online at the Jack Straw New Media Gallery, benefits from complete concentration and heightened awareness.

IRISIRIS is composed of eight online looping videos, each corresponding to a phase of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) treatment. EMDR is a type of therapy that tries to reprogram your brain's response to a traumatic memory by triggering biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. It often involves external stimuli like sound and images, reforming neural pathways to reduce or eliminate anguish associated with that trauma.

Each video in IRISIRIS artfully mimics the processes involved with EMDR, varying in length, soundscape, and visuals. The results are entrancing. The images are colorful, both visually and sonically symmetric. Objects move from eye to eye, while sounds move from ear to ear. Freeman's videos incorporate facets of her life—they were made in quarantine and in response to facing her own renewed grief over her father's death. From the sounds of her son ripping up paper in "Phase 3: Assessment" to the images of irises her late father loved in "Phase 7: Closure."

You can view the videos in any order, with the sound on or off (though I recommend sound on for the full immersive effect). Check out the videos and a critical essay on the piece by Julia Greenway here. IRISIRIS is not a stand-in for therapy, but I'm taking anything I can get these days.

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