art and visual perception


[Photo descriptions:  The first three photos are photographs taken from under my hair facing the sun coming through my window.  Each set of four images has increased image saturation.  The fourth and mage is a picture of me somewhere between 1.5 and 3 years old.   We were in the woods and my mom had picked wildflowers in my hair, and wanted a picture.  My fingers on my left hand are playing with my hair.  My face has what nonautistic people would usually consider a blank expression.  My parents always called that expression “thoughtful”.  I know because they said “thoughtful…..” a lot and I eventually  (in adulthood) realized it was linked to my facial expression.  My mother now says she always knew there was something important going on when my face looked like that, she just didn’t know what.  For me, usually when my face goes like that it means I’ve dropped all “normal” processing if I had it in the first place, and am more likely to be experiencing the world through sensing.  In the fifth image I appear to be pulling a ridiculous face, but I’ll talk about that laer.]

Wow that melatonin really worked fast, I didn’t even get all the way through the image description before I fell asleep.  I just wish it worked all night.  Emailing my doctor about that.

Anyway, the picture at the bottom is put in because often when i looked like that, I was seeing the world like the pictures above it.  My hair, with sunlight filtering through it, turns a whole rainbow of colors and always has no matter what color my hair was at the time.  I went from bald to brown to blond to all sorts of shades of brown including reddish brown, to black, and now it is brown or black depending on length and lighting.  But no matter what color it is, it’s always had this iridescent quality.  The only way I have altered the above pictures at all, is saturation, and maybe brightness.   The first set are unaltered.

So that’s what my hair looks like when it’ between me and the sun and other bright light.  And this is one reason I don’t want to cut it no matter how aggravating the upkeep can get.  It’s a perfect place to hide behind.  And it’s a perfect place to find rainbows no matter what the weather is.

I wonder how many other auties discover this about our own hair.  I have memories of being the age in this photograph, and looking up through my iridescent bangs.  This is one of my favorite pictures of myself, and one of my favorites of my mom’s, too.  It seems we actually have similar taste in early chlldhood pictures.  She says she likes the ones where she was most able to capture who I was in a candid way, and she certainly did so here.  

here is a photo taken shortly after the last one, never fails to make family laugh:

[Image description:  Taken shortly after the last image, I’m sticking my lower lip and tongue out, and my head is facing the camera but my eyes are facing off to the side.  I’m still in the woods, and it’s dark all around me.  I’m wearing denim overalls and a yellow shirt.  And, of course, the wildflowers in my hair.]

It looks like I’m just pulling a ridiculous face at my mom.  But if you look closer, my head may be facing the camera, but my eyes are turned away.  My lower lip is sticking out because I’d discovered how to blow my bangs upwards that way, which I must have been doing or about to do that.  And when I did that, I’d look upwards through my bangs and see rainbows.

This isn’t just about how my bangs looked when they were backlit, though.  At this age, most of the time, my visaul system was not something I used to get meaning out of the world.  Oh, I could stare at the hillside, as I am doing in the first picture, and totally disappear myself into the reddish dirt until we were the same time. But I couldn’t reliably use my eyes to see with.  I saw visual patterns, I played with my eyes like a toy, I blinked them repetitively, I pressed on them, I focused and unfocused them, I crossed anduncrossed them.

A later psychiatrist’s report said something like “She played with her unuusal visual perceptions the way a normal chlid would play with toys.”  And he wasn’t half wrong.  Even when i began to be less meaning-blind, I still had all the visual distortions, fragmentation, tiled patterns, blotches of colored light, possible status migraine aura (which can do really strange things to visual perception), and all these things both made it hard for me to see things “as they should be”, and easier to just get lost in the neverending light show.

So the other thing about the above photographs, is that’s kind of how I saw the world visually all the time.  Not necessarily through my hair.  But I saw it as patterns of visual texture.  That’s still how I see the world if I don’t put a lot of effort (and assistive tech) into seeing the world with more conventional meaning to it.  But for a long time, this textured, patterned visual world was all I saw, or close to it.

All of the phoos are the way I actually saw my hair depending on lighting, what my eyes were doing that day, what my brain was doing that day etc.  And I see absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying what I can out of that, even if it makes other things harder.  

Also, I understand why some auties don’t want their art pigeonholed as autistic art.  Or disability art.  Because the words become distorted.  You get a huge bolded AUTISTIC and a teeny tiny set of letters barely visible saying “artist”.

But I feel like my art – photography, poetry, writing, painting, crochet, knitting, whatever – is heavily influenced by being disabled, and especially by the perceptual patterns of being autistic (for me, not necessarily for other auties), and sensing (which isn’t required to be autistic, nor is autism required to be sensing, but they go together quite often).  And my art ofen tries to depict how I see or feel things.  Even when I’m not trying, it does that.anyway.  Additionaly, the way I approach creativity reminds me of a lot of autistic people I know, and I haven’t met many nonautistic or nondisabled people who create things in the same manner.  So “autistic artist” doesn’t bother me, but “AUTISTIC (artist)” does, immensely.


Ambigrams Revealed: A graphic Designer’s Guid To Creating Typographic Art Using Optical Illusions, Symmetry, and Visual Perception by Nikita Prokhorov.

Typography, when coupled with unbridled creativity, craftsmanship, and obsession, can take the mesmerizing form of an ambigram. Ambigrams are typographic designs that combine optical illusion, symmetry, and visual perception. The resulting word or phrase can be read in any number of orientations, viewpoints, or directions.

Here is your master class in the art and craft of the ambigram! Curated by graphic and ambigram designer Nikita Prokhorov, this book offers a thorough introduction to the esoteric artistic movement made popular by Dan Brown’s novel Angels & Demons. You’ll find insightful introductions to the ambigram from an allstar panel of design judges, including Scott Kim, John Langdon, Maggie Macnab, Cheryl Savala, Jessica Hische, Stefan G. Bucher, and Scot Morris. Next comes a series of case studies that includes sketches and the thought process behind the creation of some fascinating ambigrams. Finally, the showcase section presents numerous curated artworks from ambigramists around the world. Equipped with the expert techniques and inspiring examples found in these pages, you’ll be ready to start creating your own ambigrams!

Get it here:

anonymous asked:

I love reading all of the analysis's you do, but I've never done any media or film studies or anything like that, so I don't understand a lot of the terms you use (blocking, meta, frames, etc.). Within the context of the words I sort of understand, but would you mind going through some of the key terms and explaining them? Thanks :)

Hi! I’m glad you’re enjoying what I’m putting out, and that you asked that question. FULL DISCLOSURE: I draw quite a bit from my more in depth knowledge of theater, as a visual performance art, in my overall perception and approach to character and show analysis. I took an elective course in Film Studies in college because it’s always been an area of interest, and I’ve always sought to understand and interpret film, personally, as I’ve done with any art form. So I’ll do my best to go over some of the basic terms, but I just wanted to let you know that my knowledge is mostly amateur-ish (I’m not very familiar with the technical aspects; I had good friends who took care of that whenever we decided to pick up the camera). The beauty of it though, is that once one pays attention and initiates that mindshift of actually looking, we don’t really need the jargon to start understanding how the film medium communicates to us as a viewer without words (although it’s handy when you’re trying to explain it).

So here it is, it’s the furthest thing from comprehensive , but I hope it helps:

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