Spatiality in Games the Real, the Fictional and the Virtual. Spaces, Visualization and Mental Maps. Visualization is an act of cognition, a human ability to develop mental representations that allow the identification of patterns and to create or impose order.
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Calvino’s ”Invisible Cities” is a collection of surreal short stories about cities visited by the traveller Marco Polo, places where people act, depict and consider things that make no sense or are impossible.It is written as of a succession of dialogues - meditative conversations between Kublai Khan, the emperor and Marco Polo, the traveller and visitor to Khan’s Empire. Marco Polo is describing to Kublai Khan various fantastic cities he saw on his travels in order for the Emperor to comprehend the sheer size of his own empire.
- Kublai: Maybe when I will know all the emblems of the cities, I will finally possess all my empire?
This collection of stories provide the background to speculate on different issues:- visitor versus inhabitant, - home vs. non-home, - outsider vs. insider, - foreign languages vs. mother tongue,- communication vs. incomunicability- language as symbol vs. language as process
”Thus an image useful for making an exit requires the recognition of a door as a distinct entity, of its spatial relation to the observer, and its meaning as a hole for getting out. These are not truly separable. The visual recognition of a door is matted together with its meaning as a door. It is possible, however, to analyze the door in terms of its identity of form and clarity of position, considered as if they were prior to its meaning.”
Paths, edges, nodes, districts and landmarks can be used at different scales:
A person's perception of the world is known as a mental map. A mental map is an individual's own map of their known world. Mental maps of individuals can be investigated:- by asking for directions to a landmark or other location, - by asking someone to draw a sketch map of an area or describe that area, - by asking a person to name as many places as possible in a short period of time.
Bachelard: Poetics of Space
Bachelard’s theory of poetic images: emotional anchoring to spaces happens if aesthetic elements consistently interplay with each other to create “resonance-reverberation doublets”
Connotations awakened by an image, no causal relation to the image that elicited them, but it is led by "the outpourings of the mind". Resonance Suggests the possibility of understanding and making connections with other feelings and echoes.
Through resonance, we find confirmation of knowledge we already possess: relation of the aesthetic image to “an archetype lying dormant in the depths of the unconscious”.
Reverberation is rapture, ecstasy, it “brings about a change in being" through a transformation of consciousness and of the deepest aspects of our being.
Its effects reach the “profundities of the soul”. Reverberation challenges our existing knowledge and opens the gate for change.
“The character I am representing not only was born here, but spent some of his first years in this environment and used to play with that toy… that was MY trickey”.
Oblivion: critiques compare it with Morrowind, procedurally generated goes against imageability, look at Imperial City, apply 5 elements and suggest improvements.
The seven primary Archetypes of Psyche and Civilisation :- the sensitive chaos: world of the Great Spirit- the great round: world of the Goddess- the four quarters: world of the Hero- the pyramid: world of the God-King- the radiant axes: world of the Emperor- the grid: wolrd of the Technocrat- the network: world of the Infonaut
- heritage buildings
- urban squares
- mixed usage spaces
- mixed living
- urban art
- potential for tourism
- neighbourhood identity
Imagine you're training a rat to discriminate a square from a rectangle. So every time it sees a particular rectangle you give it a piece of cheese. When it sees a square you don't give it anything. Very soon it learns that the rectangle means food, it starts liking the rectangle - although you're not supposed to say that if you're a behaviourist. And it starts going towards the rectangle because it prefers the rectangle to the square. But now the amazing thing is if you take a longer skinnier rectangle and show it to the rat, it actually prefers the longer skinnier rectangle to the original rectangle that you taught it.
Human artists through trial and error, through intuition, through genius have discovered the figural primitives of our perceptual grammar. The uber-version of the real thing that make neurons fire up.
Imagine your primate ancestors scurrying up in the treetops trying to detect a lion seen behind fluttering green foliage. What you get inside the eyeball on the retina is just a bunch of yellow lion fragments obscured by all the leaves. What's the likelihood that all these different yellow fragments are exactly the same yellow simply by chance? Zero. They must all belong to one object, so let me link them together. Oh my God, it's a lion - let me out of here!" And as soon as you glue them together, a signal gets sent to the limbic system saying: "AHA, there's something object-like, pay attention here". So there's an arousal, and an attention which then titillates the limbic system, and you pay attention and you dodge the lion.
And such "AHAs" are created, I maintain, at every stage in the visual hierarchy as partial object-like entities are discovered that draw your interest and attention. What the artist tries to do is to generate as many of these "AHA" signals in as many visual areas as possible by more optimally exciting these areas with his paintings or sculptures than you could achieve with natural visual scenes or realistic images.
Refers to "the need to isolate a single visual modality before you amplify the signal in that modality". Example: an outline drawing, it is more aesthetically pleasing than a photograph, because it isolates one visual modality, in this case form, which allows for the allocation of more attention to that modality.
There are obvious constraints on the allocation of attentional resources to different visual modules. Isolating a single area (such as ‘form’ or ‘depth’ in the case of caricature or Indian art) allows one to direct attention more effectively to this one source of information, thereby allowing you to notice the ‘enhancements’ introduced by the artist. (And that in turn would amplify the limbic activation and reinforcement produced by those enhancements).
Presumably any visual modality (e.g., color, depth, luminance, etc.) could be isolated to produce a stronger aesthetic experience. A single work of art need not highlight only one modality, but the more attention we can allocate to any given modality, the more pleasurable the experience should be.
LESS IS MORE
As anyone knows a nude seen behind a diaphanous veil is much more alluring and tantalizing than a full-colour Playboy photo or a Chippendale pinup - or a Page Three girl, is that what you call it? Why? As I said our brains evolved in highly camouflaged environments. Imagine you are chasing your mate through dense fog. Then you want every stage in the process - every partial glimpse of her - to be pleasing enough to prompt further visual search - so you don't give up the search prematurely in frustration. In other words, the wiring of your visual centres to your emotional centres ensures that the very act of searching for the solution is pleasing, just as struggling with a jigsaw puzzle is pleasing long before the final "AHA". Once again it's about generating as many "AHAs" as possible in your brain.
It's well known that both facial and body symmetry are generally considered attractive, though the role of symmetry in attractiveness may not be as large as previously thought.In fact, symmetry can give us a great deal of information about the environment, such as the presence of biological forms (which are usually symmetrical) and human-created artifacts. It's not surprising, then, that we find symmetry appealing in art.
Since most biologically important objects — such as predator, prey or mate are symmetrical, it may serve as an early-warning system to grab our attention to facilitate further processing of the symmetrical entity until it is fully recognised. As such, this principle complements the other laws described in this essay; it is geared towards discovering ‘interesting’ object-like entities in the world.
Thus, much as with grouping, contrast, and perceptual problem solving, art that uses symmetry (like the Escher drawing below) takes advantage of the fact that symmetry itself is rewarding in order to motivate us to allocate more resources to objects that exhibit it.
The human visual system is a Bayesian deduction machine. This means, among other things, that out of all of the possible interpretations of a particular visual input, the visual system will pick the most likely. This has two implications, which Ramachandran uses to formulate another principle of art: we prefer generic viewpoints, and we abhorr coincidence.
We automatically intepret Figure A as depicting one figure partially occluding another, instead of the two objects in B. This is because, while there are multiple viewpoints from which the image in A might be produced through occlusion, the objects in B could only produce it from one viewpoint.
In A, the palm tree's placement is suspiciously coincidental with the positioning of the pyramids, while B seems much more natural, with the palm and pyramids offset. Suspicious coincidences are suspicious because they are highly unlikely, and therefore our visual system tends not to like them. Thus, they and unique viewpoints are less rewarding.
Whether metaphor is purely a device for effective communication, or a basic cognitive mechanism for encoding the world more economically, remains to be seen. The latter hypothesis may well be correct. There are many paintings that instantly evoke an emotional response long before the metaphor is made explicit by an art critic. This suggests that the metaphor is effective even before one is conscious of it, implying that it might be a basic principle for achieving economy of coding rather than a rhetorical device.
Much like the visual system is designed to notice groupings, contrasts, and to be excited by exaggeration, our cognitive system is designed, at all levels (including the perceptual) to notice connections between inputs. You might say that we have "analogical minds." It's likely that in order to facilitate the search for such connections, finding them is itself rewarding, and thus may contribute to the pleasureable experience that many visual metaphors elicit. However, metaphor and analogy (of which metaphor is likely a special case) also allow the artist to activate a wide range of images, concepts, and experiences, sometimes vivid ones, which carry with them their own affective appeal. There is evidence, for instance, that poetry using vivid perceptual metaphors is more appealing than poetry using less vivid metaphors.
The basic syntax in a visual composition consists primarily of four types of relationship:- contrast, - rhythm (visual pattern), - balance (visual symmetry),- proportion (CRBP) they enable us to create harmony or unity within a work.