Perception Shift Image – 2

Image

Perception Shift Image - 2

Progression controlled by opacity of the sides of the cube.

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In search of a question

The first approximation to the research question was “How does brain process art?” We agreed during the first meeting that the question should be narrowed. This series of posts examines possible ways of narrowing the question.

Suzanne Coley suggested narrowing the “art” first. For example, do we intend visual art or performance art. For the moment, I will go with “theatre” because this seems most relevant to the project. So the question becomes “How does brain process theatre?”

The next part is to specify what do we mean by theatre, for the purpose of this project. (The definitions one finds in the dictionaries offer a wide range of meanings.) I will take the definition offered by David White. Theatre is an organism created when live performers are on stage. Let’s see what we get now: “How does brain process an organism created when live performers are on stage?”

Well, this sounds a bit jarring, but it is close to what we intend:

How does brain process the totality of stimuli generated during a live performance?

Typically, the next step for researchers is to answer the following questions: “Why should we care?” and “Do we have the tools to get to the answer (or, at least, to other interesting questions)?”  Answering these questions is likely to narrow the question even further.

stripped of universal truth…

Quote

In his emphasis on the historical context in which the art emerged and the importance of the beholder’s participation for the completion of a painting, Riegl stripped art of its pretension to achieve a universal truth and placed it into its proper context as a material object that derives from a particular time and a particular place.

“The age of insight” by Erik Kandel, p. 104.

Some notes/musings while watching Charlie Rose Brain Series: The Perceiving Brain

The eye is not a camera.

  • How do you present visual images onstage for the eye and not the camera?
  • How to you simulate other parts of the brain through the eyes?

Faces are not easily recognizable upside down.

  • Possible uses, reduce a face to a b/w 2D image and flip it, slowly rotate back to reveal a familiar face.

Places (ie: locations, landscapes), Faces and Bodies have specific, localized receptors in brain.

  • Man with damage to both places sensors can get around in the world, but never knows where he is.

The brain makes guesses, as result it can be deceived.

  • Brain brings to the forefront, discarding the incidental.
  • Could we purposely deceive the beholder’s brain (play with time lapse photography with shifting, processed images)

The elementary beginnings of the creative process is at work in everyone’s brain every time we see.  We constantly “create” our world.

Getting the word out to WordBRIDGE playwrights

As we continue to develop our conversation with how the brain perceives art and why we create art, we are taking a step to get others involved in the conversation.

This January/February, Generous Company, the producing organization behind WordBRIDGE, is presenting a festival focused on how the brain responds to art from January 31st – February 10th at the Baltimore Theatre Project:  Generous Company’s Gumbo: a gumbo of art, music, theatre, mathematics, food, science and conversations.  We will be showing a series of workshop evenings from our development of the beholder’s share, as well as play readings, music, visual art, and a conversation series all curated and focused on the connections between art and perception.

Yesterday we decided to extend an invitation to all WordBRIDGE Playwrights to participate in a one-month hothouse to nurture and generate artistic responses, not finished works, but sketches, to some recent conversations about the brain, perception, and creativity.  The responses will be 1 and 30 minutes in length.  We’re humbled by the talented group of playwrights that have already replied and are excited to have all of their voices involved.  Thank you to the playwrights who we’ve heard from, we hope to hear from even more.

We will announce soon the playwrights who will be showing featured as part of Gumbo.

Stay tuned.

If this project succeeds, it is our hope that these works will be anthologized or made available online so that others may be able to join in on the discussion or contribute their own response and any future proceeds will go to benefit WordBRIDGE Playwrights.

Why THE BEHOLDERS SHARE?

  • our memory plays a huge role in what we see:  we don’t see so much as we remember.
  • one work of art can lend understanding to another work of art.  art is a conversation.  works of art appeal to an audience member based on her initial sensory perception of the work or event, the work’s relationship to other pieces of art that the viewer has seen or been told about, and the personal history and memories of the viewer.    
  • we like to think that we think like an artist thinks when we look at their work of art.  a work of art can create empathy that helps us understand something about the work of art, the artist, and therefore ourselves.
  • there are certain brain functions that increase or decrease in activity based on visual indicators.  what happens if some of these ideas are employed during the generative process?