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.
The question of human consciousness has intrigued philosophers and scientists for centuries: its nature, how we perceive
our environment, how we think, our very awareness of thought and self. It has been suggested that stereoscopic vision is
“a paradigm of how the mind works” 1 In depth perception, laws of perspective are known, reasoned, committed to
memory from an early age; stereopsis, on the other hand, is a 3D experience governed by strict laws but actively joined
within the brain―one sees it without explanation. How do we, in fact, process two different images into one 3D module
within the mind and does an awareness of this process give us insight into the workings of our own consciousness?
To translate this idea to imaging I employed ChromaDepth™ 3D glasses that rely on light being refracted in a different
direction for each eye―colors of differing wavelengths appearing at varying distances from the viewer resulting in a 3D
space. This involves neither calculation nor manufacture of two images or views.
Environmental spatial imaging was developed―a 3D image was generated that literally surrounds the viewer. The
image was printed and adhered to a semi-circular mount; the viewer then entered the interior to experience colored
shapes suspended in a 3D space with an apparent loss of surface, or picture plane, upon which the image is rendered. By
focusing our awareness through perception-based imaging we are able to gain a deeper understanding of how the brain
works, how we see.
By adding an additional dimension to the traditional two dimensional art we make, we are able to expand our visual
experience, what we see, and thus what we might become. This visual expansion changes or adds to the patterns that
produce our thoughts and behavior. As 2D artists see and create in a more three dimensional space, their work may
generate within the viewer a deeper understanding of the thought processes in themselves and others.
This can be achieved by creating images in three dimensional. The work aligns more closely with natural physiology,
that is, it is seen with both eyes. Traditionally, color and rules of perspective trick the viewer into thinking in three
dimensions. By adding the stereoscopic element, an object is experienced in a naturally 3D space with the use of two
eyes. Further visual expansion is achieved with the use of ChromaDepth glasses to actually see the work in 3D as it is
being created. This cannot be done with other 3D methods that require two images or special programming to work.
Hence, the spontaneous creation of an image within a 3D space becomes a new reality for the artist. By working in a
truly three dimensional space that depends on two eyes to experience, an artist gains a new perspective on color,
transparency, overlapping, focus, etc. that allows him/her new ways of working and thus seeing: a new form of