Exploring notions of observation, distance, and perception, Atlas is sited around a specific physical object in the history of optics and vision. This object is the first accurate ‘map' of the retinal surface, traced using a camera lucida by Richard Liebreich, and published as the Atlas of Ophthalmology in 1863. The Atlas of Ophthalmology itself represents a desire to discover, to record, and to navigate the visible, the invisible, and the unknown. The film explores in close-up detail the landscape of the original drawings, exaggerated and distorted through an undefined optical device. Through the act of observing and documenting this fragile, parabolic, paper-thin terrain, emerges a parallel encounter with a phenomenological unknown. ‘In total darkness, a curtain lowers and rises’; the layers of glass readjust, a crescent is burned onto the retina.