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Perception and representation : the visual cortex and landscape art, an investigation

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Henskens, AS (2008) Perception and representation : the visual cortex and landscape art, an investigation. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This project investigates artistic perception and
representation of landscape as a means to determine how
we construct a concept of what is real. It finds that the
visual cortex perceives data in the form of light and that
this data is translated by processes throughout the brain to
arrive at a concept of reality. It posits these processes as
being further influenced by the prevailing culture and
technology. The conceptual base is grounded in a
combination of present day neuro-physiological studies of
the visual cortex, quantum physics and digital technology.
Supporting theoretical material by physicists Paul Davies,
Brian Green and various academic papers offer the view
that what we experience as reality is determined by what
filters through our sensory systems, and that the world is
not what we take it to be as revealed by these sensory
systems alone. The project takes the position that we tend
to think of the world outside the self in terms of classical
landscape; terms which are chiefly relevant to a different
mindset and earlier stage of industrialised society. These
ideas drive the project and are contextualised through the
artworks of Georges Seurat, Bridget Riley, Geoff Parr,
David Hockney, and Leigh Hobba, who explore self and
the world in highly individual ways with a unique attitude
to vision. Selected academic writings by Karl Popper,
C.H.Waddington and StevenJohnson add strength to
questioning orthodox realities and display certain parallels
within the disciplines as to the value of apparent
paradoxes, (see bibliography).
Through a range of studio works the project pursued a
visual exploration of landscape that reflects how we move
through the world, scanning as we go, and building up a composite image from selected fragments. The imagery is
based on the structure and action of the visual cortex
reacting to natural forms. The processes used imitate
viewing processes such as cellular edge-recognition,
conveyed, for example, by laying down alternate sharp
edges through spray-painting. The outcome is a series of
works presented for exhibition on canvas, MDF board,
paper and video, which encompass developments
encountered in the course of the investigation. These
artworks are presented in the thesis exhibition as
perceptions of reality still in the process of resolution.
The focus on the visual cortex as instrumental in
apprehension presents a view of society as being
inescapably animal in origin, evolutionary in its physical
being, superficially overlaid by a drive to socialisation, and
subject to modification.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Visual perception in art, Visual perception, Landscapes in art, Landscapes
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2008 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

DVDs and CD-ROMs contain images of works. Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2008. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2014 02:52
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2016 22:33
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