"...an image may be without being perceived--it may be present without being represented-and the distance between those two terms, presence and representation, seems just to measure the interval between matter itself and our conscious perception of matter...[Nonetheless,] the representation of an image [is] less than its presence [and it suffices] that the images present should be compelled to abandon something of themselves in order that their presence should convert them into representations... Representation is there, but always virtual-being neutralized, at the very moment when it might become actual, but the obligation to continue itself and to lose itself in something else. To obtain this conversion from the virtual to the actual, it would be necessary, not to throw more light on the object, but, on the contrary, to obscure some of its aspects, to diminish it by a greater part of itself, so that the remainder, instead of being encased in its surroundings as a thing, should detach itself from them as a picture. Now, if living beings are, within the universe, just 'centers of indetermination,'; and if the degree of this interdetermination is measured by the number and rank of their functions, we can conceive that their presence is equivalent to the suppression of those parts of objects in which their functions find no interest. They allow to pass through them, so to speak, those external influences which are indifferent to them; the others isolated, become 'perceptions' by their very isolation."
Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, 1896
BW Facebook Profile with Context, b/w print, digital scan, digital image. October 2009.