Esther Aarts - When Animals Take the Night Shift
Extension week reference point
Pareidolia: Seeing Faces in Unusual Places
To some observers, it looked like an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich. But to the Miami woman who put it up for sale on eBay, and to some people who viewed it, there was an image of the Virgin Mary seared on this seemingly run-of-the-mill snack.
The psychological phenomenon that causes some people to see or hear a vague or random image or sound as something significant is known as pareidolia (par-i-DOH-lee-a).
The word is derived from the Greek words para, meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of, and the noun eidōlon, meaning image, form or shape. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, which is a more generalized term for seeing patterns in random data.
Some common examples are seeing a likeness of Jesus in the clouds or an image of a man on the surface of the moon.
Famous examples of pareidolia
A prime example of pareidolia and its connection to religious images is the Shroud of Turin, a cloth bearing the image of a man — which some believe to be Jesus — who appears to have suffered trauma consistent with crucifixion. The negative image was first observed in 1898, on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited in the Turin Cathedral.
Some visitors to St. Mary's in Rathkaele, Ireland, say a tree stump outside of the church bears a silhouette of the Virgin Mary.
Damage to the Pedra da Gávea, an enormous rock outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, created an impression that many interpret as a human face.
Many people thought images taken in 1976 by the Viking 1 mission showed a face on Mars that could have been the remnants of an ancient civilization. [Gallery: Mars Illusion Photos: The 'Face on Mars' and Other Martian Tricks]
In September 1969, conspiracy theorists claimed some Beatles records contained clues to Paul McCartney's supposed death. Many heard the words "Paul is dead," when the song "Strawberry Fields Forever" was played backwards, a process known as backmasking. This is a common urban legend often repeated to this day.
In 1977, the appearance of Jesus Christ on a flour tortilla set the international standard for miracle sightings. It happened in the small town of Lake Arthur, New Mexico, 40 minutes south of Roswell.
Diane Duyser of Miami sold a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich, which she said bore the image of Jesus, for $28,000 on eBay in 2004.
In 2004, Steve Cragg, youth director at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, discovered a Cheeto that looked like Jesus.
Donna Lee of Toledo, Ohio, saw an image of Jesus on a pierogi she was preparing on Palm Sunday in 2005.
In 2007 in Singapore, a callus on a tree resembled a monkey, leading believers to pay homage to the "Monkey god.
A cinnamon bun bearing a likeness of Mother Teresa was first discovered at the Bongo Java Café in Belmont, Tenn. It was on display for about 10 years, until it was stolen on Christmas day in 2007.
In 2012, many people made a pilgrimage to a tree at 60th Street and Bergenline Avenue in West New York, N.J., to see a scar on the tree that some believed looked like the image of the Our Lady of Guadalupe depiction of the Virgin Mary.
Why pareidolia happens
There are a number of theories as to the cause of this phenomenon. Experts say pareidolia provides a psychological determination for many delusions that involve the senses. They believe pareidolia could be behind numerous sightings of UFOs, Elvis and the Loch Ness Monster and the hearing of disturbing messages on records when they are played backwards.
Pareidolia often has religious overtones. A study in Finland found that people who are religious or believe strongly in the supernatural are more likely to see faces in lifeless objects and landscapes.
Carl Sagan, the American cosmologist and author, made the case that pareidolia was a survival tool. In his 1995 book, "The Demon-Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark," he argued that this ability to recognize faces from a distance or in poor visibility was an important survival technique. While this instinct enables humans to instantly judge whether an oncoming person is a friend or foe, Sagan noted that it could result in some misinterpretation of random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces.
Leonardo da Vinci wrote about pareidolia as an artistic device. "If you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills," he wrote in a passage in one of his extensive notebooks.
Sometimes artists use this phenomenon to their advantage by embedding hidden images in their work. Observers often view other objects in Georgia O'Keeffe's flower paintings, for example.
In 1971, the Latvian writer and intellectual Konstantīns Raudive detailed what he believed was the discovery of electronic voice phenomenon (EVP). EVP has been described as "auditory pareidolia." The allegations of hidden messages in popular music have also been described as auditory pareidolia.
The Rorschach inkblot test uses pareidolia in an attempt to gain insight into a person's mental state. Since the cards have been designed without any specific image in mind, this is an example of "directed pareidolia."
I thought this scientific concept/theory was relevant to my extension week project as the illustration project works around hiding a letter or number in an image by combining it within the whole illustration, this reminded me of pareidolia as in a way it is the reverse of it. I also never really thought about how Rorschach's inkblot test uses this and that its present in Georgia okeefes paintings. I remember when I first encountered pareidolia when I was younger as I'd gone out for dinner with my family to the pub and I started to notice little hidden polar bears, giraffes, tigers and other animals hidden in the patterned fabric of the booth we were sitting in.
Giant African land snail - Likrot
Piper Ellis @d6rkangel
Studio Ghibli - spirited away
Happy99 x Juliana Horner
Happy99 / Nathalie Nguyen
Go to the Instagram page @happy99.online and you'll find a slew of red-hot footwear. Most pieces come in the form of ’90s club kid sneakers with a hint of dorky dad. There are shoes that seem like they were made by cyberpunks—or maybe NASA?—adorned with miniature skis and teeny jets. There are lime-green rollerblades that come complete with a standard plastic buckle and with wheels that are embellished monster truck–style spikes. There are also sexy going-out shoes in the mix: stripper heels fashioned with a spring coil. Underneath all of the photos are a trail of swooning comments and questions like, “where that online shop?” Fans will have to wait: Nothing on @happy99.online is for sale. In fact, Happy99 the label doesn’t actually exist outside of Instagram. Instead, these are digitally rendered creations from artist Nathalie Nguyen, aka “3D sorceress.”
Nguyen came up with the idea of creating a nonexistent shoe line nine months ago, just as she was beginning a relationship with her boyfriend, Dominic Lopez. “We started dating and we really need to be invested in something beyond wanting to be together,” she says. “So Happy99 was a way to get our designs out.” Nguyen has had a page of her own (@spicy.obj)—a mix of off-kilter modeling and 3D renderings of herself (sometimes both appear in a single Instagram). In one image, Nguyen wears a Jean Paul Gaultier “optical illusion” while modeling nails that resemble a Swiss Army knife, complete with a two-prong fork and spindly corkscrew. The personal page was made to attract followers. “I started doing the beauty and makeup stuff because I was looking at Instagram as a whole. Engagement is what spreads my work, and I need more exposure [for it],” says Nguyen. “So I was looking at things that get a lot of exposure. Nails, makeup, and shoes are some of the highest-ranking in engagement.”
While Nguyen’s creations are trippy, her trajectory into the world of 3D was fairly traditional. She grew up in a family that stressed the importance of pursuing a career in technology and computers. “My dad was like, ‘You can’t be an artist; you have to work in computers,’ so I was like, ‘What about 3D? He was like, ‘Is it computers?’ Then he said I could do it.” Eventually, Nguyen attended the Academy of Arts in San Francisco and later moved to New York. She then began creating the footwear in 3D programs and would Photoshop the designs onto friends. From there, Happy99 was born.
So will we ever see Nguyen’s designs in the flesh? Otherworldly as they may be, she does have a real-life collaboration in the works. “It is a crossroads between tech and art and it is totally happening right now,” she says. “People are putting real tech into self-lacing shoes, it is really cool, and we are just doing our own approach to it.”
Guillaume Delvine - Panier perce
Structure and form - Guillame Delvine
The cross stitched bowls by Guillaume Delvigne really stood out to me due to their beautiful design and the thought behind it, I like how the design could be so easily changed and how Delvigne managed to make an ordinary object into something much more beautiful and intricate looking. It definitely mixes functionality and thoughtfulness.
I found this article by Zoe blacker
"In Collaborations, the show moves on to commissioned designs for leading ceramic manufacturers. Among the more successful are...Ionna Vautrin and Guillaume Delvigne’s Panier Perce would be any young girl’s dream. It’s a simple porcelain pot, pierced with a grid of small holes to act like an embroidery cloth and comes with coloured wool and needle."
Looking at this secondary research has helped me gain insight into what the inspiration may have been behind the idea as well as how the artist would have displayed it, rather than it being something that is actually sold and used it'd been placed in a museum. This is interesting to me as it makes it more of an art piece rather than an actual functional product or design that would fall under the 'product design' category. Regardless, I still think its very beautiful and I'm a big fan of the idea behind it.
I think its still too early for me to know what pathway I would be interested in going down, whilst I enjoyed the sculpture day the most this week, I don't think it has as many job prospects and wouldn't be very well suited to me, however this has confirmed that I do tend to find myself as more of a maker and working in 3d rather than drawing or painting in 2d. `hopefully over the coming weeks ill find a field that would fit my interests, skills and preferences when designing.
return of Saturn - Juliana Horner
Piper Ellis @d6rkangel
Sculpture by Calla Man @_berrykid_
Calla mav @_berrykid_
Yayoi Kusama - Infinity room
Kusama is a Japanese painter and sculpture artist, I've visited multiple of her exhibitions at the, including the Forever Museum of Contemporary Art in Kyoto Japan and the Victoria miro in London. I particularly am drawn to her sculptures and infinity rooms with her use of light and colour, she manages to trick the mind into perceiving a larger space. I also love that she has an obsession with dots and pumpkins, her eccentric personality definitely comes through in her work!
Jeff Koons - Balloon Dog
Lucy Mcrae - Morphe
Ideas Factory - Lucy Mcrae
"Commissioned by Aesop, short film ‘Morphe’ depicts a liquid–tech world, where super-sensory beauty treatments deliver health via the skin and hair."
This video depicts a possible future of the beauty world through visualising different treatments in a lab like setting.
I found this piece really interesting to watch and the video captivated me, the colour palette, audio and imagery shown all work together to create a very serene atmosphere out of what could be very cold and medical seeming. Overall I found the film beautiful and intriguing, it made me more interested in the possibility of future treatments due to the way Mcrae created the film. Each shot felt purposeful and elegant despite the very clinical setting. Film as a specialism interests me as a possible future career because I like how it combines so many different creative aspects to create an idea and the different possibilities, I could go into set design, props, editing, sound etc.. all which can help to build a film, this is what makes it so interesting to me, and due to advancements in technology the area will be forever growing and a practical area to go into work, with no fear of it dying out like print is beginning to.
Ideas Factory - Hans Ulrich
"Through the 89plus research we learned that many are critically addressing the phenomenon of the so-called “filter bubble.” This is an algorithmic mechanism used by companies through which a user’s online experience becomes a static, ever-narrowing version of their own pre-existing preferences. It is a tool by which algorithms select online content that a user might want to see based on pre-existing data harvested from the same user, such as location, search history, and personal information. It guards users against exposure to any content that might contradict their viewpoints, therefore isolating them within a coherent, restricted ideological environment"
Hans Ulrich talks about how the future and technological advancements will have an effect on what we make and view as creatives, which can cause issues of being stuck in little groups, unable to see things outside of what an algorithm deems as relevant or preferable for us to view. His approach and ideas is interesting to me and I'm inclined to agree as it feels as if there would be lots of limitations on creating things as everything slowly becomes online and our ideas all merge into one. However I slightly disagree because I think the internet is actually expanding our viewpoints and what we have access to rather than eventually confining it. However Ulrich is a curator rather than creating work himself which may be why he takes this stand point, I don't think this would be an ideal career for me in this sense especially if the field is struggling.
3,000 miles - Sean wang
Amalia Ulman - Excellencies and perfections
Language and interaction - Amalia Ulman
Amalia Ulman is a 4D artist who created a whole online Instagram hoax of her life, fooling thousands of followers in 2014 with her "excellencies and perfections" project. I really like this because its not how id typically perceive art maybe, which makes 4D a very interesting pathway as its completely different from what I know, and seems to entail so many possibilities. What I like about unmans work is that its almost a social experiment, political statement and art piece showing the cultural impact of social media. She showed so much of her 'life' only for it to turn out she didn't reveal anything at all, which really highlights how the artist controls what the audience does and doesn't perceive or understand from the work. It also makes it a very personal experience depending on how individuals reacted and interacted with Ulman, only adding to her work and 'story'.
I found this Article by Sophie rugrok in which she explains why Ulmans work was a hit due to the nature of social media and its affects on our lives and how Ulman managed to perfectly mimic this with her own creation.