This excerpt from Aaron Rose’s documentary Become A Microscope shows Corita Kent with her students, using what she called “finders” to learn how to see with fresh eyes. “You have to look at the world [in] small pieces at a time,” she said. “Look at it. Just a small part of the world.”
The Finders are described in the wonderful book based on her teachings, Learning By Heart:
[The finder] is a device, which does the same things as the camera lens or viewfinder. It helps us take things out of context, allows us to see for the sake of seeing, and enhances our quick-looking and decision-making skills.
An instant finder is an empty 35mm slide holder. Or you can make your own by cutting a rectangular hole out of a heavy piece of paper or cardboard—heavy enough so that it won’t bend with constant use. You can then view life without being distracted by content. You can make visual decisions—in fact, they are made for you.
When I visited the Corita Art Center yesterday, I was delighted to find out that they use Finders as their business cards: