Perception Seminar – Archaeologies Of The Unseen

Perceiving the World

Seminar 2 4-2-16


“The world is as I expect it;

Imagination, Ambiguity and Perception”


Attention video from Simons and Chabris 1999


The aim of the seminar is to think about the statement above


How our imagination plays a constructive role in how we perceive the world as well as informing us


Imagine there is no life here except that which you give to it


Theory on comics

You give life to the comic by reading the book


A double reality of pictures

Drawing, paintings and photographs are objects in there own right (Gregory, 1970, p32)


The great divide for paradigms of perception is whether for example it is a passive reaction of the world of object or actively constructing it


Realist Vision 1903 Ernst Mach

Picture of the Visual World 1903 – Known as the Machian Snap-shot theory


The field is constructed briefly from snap-shots

At each end of the eyes there is continual movement (Gregory p209)

30-70 Hz of rapid eye movement of your eye

Eyes have blind spots


John Lock

Primary qualities – objective

Secondary qualities – subjective

Kg – weight does not exist in this world as it does not have a primary objective quality

Physical properties are always relational to the organism looking at it


Colour does not appear in the world as we know it

“Perception as a hypothesis”

Perception is a matter of selecting the most likely object

Seeing the present with shared objects of the past


Use of ink-blot

You need a form of reference to read it

Human apprehension of the present world is always indirect – constructed by history of our experience (Gregory 1970)


Neurological Model of Perception

Our history and development of our individual neurological system determines perception


But are we “meat sticks” or is there something more?

Page 2

What about the imagination?

Construction Theory 1901


The minds-eye

Metaphor’s, ideas, description


Retinal images eventually selected stored images from the brain – (Gregory)



The picture mysteriously transfers to the mind (Jastrow)


Imagination – (Jastrow 1899 p32)

Not all neurological structure must be something more


We see what we expect to see only partial aspects of what our imagination allows us


Ernst Gombrich

What we imagine can be very real


How do styles change in time?

Warburg cited in Gombrich1970, p217

“Much of what we think we speak or read comes from memory”


Perception is Projection

We always relate to what is familiar to us

Our drawings reveal the way the imagination (our memories) shapes our perception of the world

Gombrich (1960) 1974 p64


Copying is a process of schema and constructions

Bartlett 1932


For next week

Ambiguity – find an object from your own practice

Economy of line and brushwork – pre-selection of one form or another


Use of white-screen


Use of un-noticed or invisible


Trace and describe image or object, is it ambiguous

Describe an active relationship between the work and the viewer

Describe it in such a way as to learn how to write/talk about the artefact


Author: lawrenceaaronmaker

Studying a BA Hons in Artist, Designer; Maker at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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