To blink or not to blink is a reflection on the active role that the (supposedly) passive spectator plays in post-editing and censoring visual media. To give an example: it may take a whole day to generate five seconds of a stop motion movie; this means that blinking for a fraction of a second equates to skipping several hours of hard work. Were the creators of the movie conscious of the possibility of this disrespectful intervention in the first place? Most likely not, but unless one straps the spectator to a chair, with his eyes artificially held open as Alex’s in A Clockwork Orange, blinking will be inescapable: it’s a natural feature of the act of seeing with human eyes.
Perhaps blinking is not the meanest form of disrespect that our body can show towards the filmmaker’s hard work (going to the toilets in the middle of a movie is certainly worse), but it’s symbolically much more powerful: blinking introduces random cuts in a carefully edited film.To blink or not to blink seeks to amplify the consequences of blinking, and make them clear to the spectator himself. The idea is that the spectator will pay these moments of fleeting disinterest by losing track of whatever he was seeing. The spectator, now aware of this trade will be left facing a dilemma: if he is truly interested on what he is seeing, he will force himself to maintain the eyes wide open as long as he can (which is the only way to avoid disruptions producing significant gaps in the story).
However, the more attention he puts on the video, the less conscious he becomes of his natural body attitudes, and he may blink inadvertently. If, on the contrary, he succeeds in abstaining from blinking for a sufficiently long time, he will still create gaps in the story, this time attentional gaps because of the effort that this unnatural attitude suppose.After a while, the spectator is forced to conclude that his organic body plays a fundamental role in modulating the visual content, and that he, as an observer is neither innocent nor passive. After this experience, he may look at the world with different eyelids.