NOTICE: Posting schedule is irregular. I hope to get back to a regular schedule as the day-job allows.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NEAT STUFF: Seeing what is really there. [Full link to blog for email clients.]

In recent posts (Illusion and Fooling the Brain) I demonstrated that the visual system is very good at making inferences and allowing a person to "see" things that are not really there. Today's post is about an art form that fools the brain using objects and images that really are there!

Copyright 2012, Delae C. Noctra, used with permission
I sometimes think that my friend Delae C. Noctra must be seeing the world using different eyes and brain than the rest of us.  He calls his pen-and-ink art "hydroliptic" - hydro because it is free flowing, and [el]liptic for deliberate obscurity.  His signature piece is shown in the two images embedded here, but I highly recommend you check out the samples at his website -  The first image is a cat with characteristic ears, eyes and furry chin.  The second image is clearly a butterfly with narrow body, smiling face and wide wings superimposed on a sunrise.

The surprise is that these are the same image, simply rotated 180 degrees.  The art is similar in concept to the "ambigrams" popularized by the Dan Brown book and movie "Angels and Demons" - except that instead of the same images from just two directions, Noctra's work uses all possible angles, as well as images and words.

Copyright 2012, Delae C. Noctra, used with permission
Go to the Hydroliptic site - click on "See the Art" and check out the first panel: 32 Team Scramble.  There you will see Noctra's complex blending of text - and the other 3 samples show just a few of the possibilities of this unique style of art.  My favorite is unfortunately not shown online, as I understand that it is still a work in progress - but the art blends images of the human brain with words.  It is called "Neuro-minded," and I hope to someday have a print of it hanging in my office.

Noctra's first-ever gallery showing (discounting a couple of stealth gallery ambushes - this is his first official showing) is this Friday, Sept. 7, from 7-10 PM at the Woodland Moth Studio in Winston-Salem, NC.  If you are in Central NC, I highly recommend this showing.  Noctra has made masks for the kids featuring his cat/butterfly and will present the world debut of his 9/11 tribute - a 5 x 6 foot print featuring imagery of the World Trade Center Towers that reveals a different scene every 90 degrees of rotation.  I have seen it as an original in small format, and can assure readers that there are indeed 4 unique scenes (plus embedded symbology) that completely meld into the background of the other 3 scenes.

I plan to be there, and I will continue to report on the rise of this talented artist - in fact, I hope to convince him to bring his art to Science Fiction/Fantasy conventions throughout the Southeast.

Until next time - look carefully, and you will see what is really there!

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