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Eye contricks

Authors
Journal
i-Perception
2041-6695
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Volume
2
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1068/i0442aap
Keywords
  • Art And Perception

Abstract

Pictorial images are icons as well as eye-cons: they provide distillations of objects or ideas into simpler shapes. They create the impression of representing that which cannot be presented. Even at the level of the photograph, the links between icon and object are tenuous. The dimensions of depth and motion are missing from icons, and these alone introduce all manner of potential ambiguities. The history of art can be considered as exploring the missing link between icon and object. Eye-cons can also be illusions—tricks of vision so that what is seen does not necessarily correspond to what is physically presented. Pictorial images can be spatialised or stylised; spatialised images generally share some of the projective characteristics of the object represented. Written words are also icons, but they do not resemble the objects they represent—they are stylised or conventional. Icons as stylised words and spatialised images were set in delightful opposition by René Magritte in a series of pipe paintings, and this theme is here alluded to. Most of visual science is now concerned with icons—two-dimensional displays on computer monitors. Is vision now the science of eye-cons?

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