17 March 2015 Visual perception and stereoscopic imaging: an artist's perspective
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Abstract
This paper continues my 2014 February IS and T/SPIE Convention exploration into the relationship of stereoscopic vision and consciousness (90141F-1). It was proposed then that by using stereoscopic imaging people may consciously experience, or see, what they are viewing and thereby help make them more aware of the way their brains manage and interpret visual information. Environmental imaging was suggested as a way to accomplish this. This paper is the result of further investigation, research, and follow-up imaging. A show of images, that is a result of this research, allows viewers to experience for themselves the effects of stereoscopy on consciousness. Creating dye-infused aluminum prints while employing ChromaDepth® 3D glasses, I hope to not only raise awareness of visual processing but also explore the differences and similarities between the artist and scientist―art increases right brain spatial consciousness, not only empirical thinking, while furthering the viewer’s cognizance of the process of seeing. The artist must abandon preconceptions and expectations, despite what the evidence and experience may indicate in order to see what is happening in his work and to allow it to develop in ways he/she could never anticipate. This process is then revealed to the viewer in a show of work. It is in the experiencing, not just from the thinking, where insight is achieved. Directing the viewer’s awareness during the experience using stereoscopic imaging allows for further understanding of the brain’s function in the visual process. A cognitive transformation occurs, the preverbal “left/right brain shift,” in order for viewers to “see” the space. Using what we know from recent brain research, these images will draw from certain parts of the brain when viewed in two dimensions and different ones when viewed stereoscopically, a shift, if one is looking for it, which is quite noticeable. People who have experienced these images in the context of examining their own visual process have been startled by the effect they have on how they perceive the world around them. For instance, when viewing the mountains on a trip to Montana, one woman exclaimed, ”I could no longer see just mountains, but also so many amazing colors and shapes”―she could see beyond her preconceptions of mountains to realize more of the beauty that was really there, not just the objects she “thought” to be there.

The awareness gained from experiencing the artist’s perspective will help with creative thinking in particular and overall research in general. Perceiving the space in these works, completely removing the picture-plane by use of the 3D glasses, making a conscious connection between the feeling and visual content, and thus gaining a deeper appreciation of the visual process will all contribute to understanding how our thinking, our left-brain domination, gets in the way of our seeing what is right in front of us. We fool ourselves with concept and memory―experiencing these prints may help some come a little closer to reality.
© (2015) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Steve Mason, "Visual perception and stereoscopic imaging: an artist's perspective", Proc. SPIE 9391, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XXVI, 93910C (17 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2076529; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2076529
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