The purpose of artistic practice has frequently been to translate human visual experience into pictures. By viewing these pictures we can retrospectively share something of the world the artist saw, and the way he or she saw it. Over the centuries artists have evolved highly refined
methods for depicting what they see, and the works they produce can provoke strong emotional, aesthetic, and perceptual responses. Looking at a painting by Vincent van Gogh of a vase of sunflowers, for example, can be more thrilling and memorable than seeing a real vase of sunflowers, or even
a photograph of the same scene. Why do we respond so strongly to artistic depictions of everyday scenes? The hypothesis considered here is that artists do not attempt to faithfully record reality. Rather, they select and manipulate visual information in ways that are tuned to our subjective
experience. I will discuss some of the techniques artists have used to achieve this, and consider how they might be relevant to those designing new forms of imaging technologies in order to improve how they represent visual experience.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 29, 2017
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