One of the faces I knew before I was born.

Face I Knew Before I Was Born

85% of the time newborn infants pay attention to face-like images versus other visual stimuli. -news release circa 1987

Are we born with the ability to recognize the human face? There are obvious survival benefits associated with such a trait. And it is possible that what is being assumed to be recognition may just be accelerated learning. But the possiblities are intriguing.

    Since "to recognize" means: to know again, it follows that the ability to recognize anything means that that which is being recognized has been seen before. Could it be then that the faces and face-like images which we appear to recognize when we are infants might be a reminder of something that we knew before? Could it be that there is a Face We Knew Before We Were Born, a face that is somehow genetically coded in our consciousness?

    In the late 1980's, I became consumed me with the desire to find out if in fact there is a face we know before we are born. So I set out to see if I could find it. I decided to use reverse recognition.

    I reasoned that if I made enough face-like images eventually I would stumble onto something that I could re-recognize. I did lots of drawings in search of that face. But never found anything that I felt certain about.

    Then on October 24, 1987 I had a very simple dream in which two men approached me. Each one held a different mask-like face in his hands. As I accepted the faces, I felt that my dreaming was giving me the face I had been seeking.

    As soon as I awoke, I began drawing what I had seen in the dream. And very quickly turned the drawings into physical objects in order to give the dream faces real presence in the world with me. Presented here are the faces I saw.

One of the faces I knew before I was born.