Tag Archives: science

Optical Illusions and our Perception of Color

A fun and mind-boggling TED Talk,  that will interest anyone who thinks they can see color- especially artists and synesthetes!

“Color enables us to see the similarities and differences between surfaces, according to the full spectrum of light that they reflect. But what you’ve just done is, in many respects, mathematically impossible. Why? Because, as Berkeley tells us, we have no direct access to our physical world, other than through our senses. And the light that falls onto our eyes is determined by multiple things in the world — not only the color of objects, but also the color of their illumination, and the color of the space between us and those objects. You vary any one of those parameters, and you’ll change the color of the light that falls onto your eye.

This is a huge problem because it means that the same image could have an infinite number of possible real-world sources.”

“Color tells us… that the brain didn’t actually evolve to see the world the way it is. We can’t. Instead, the brain evolved to see the world the way it was useful to see in the past. And how we see is by continually redefining normality.”

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Art Made of Storms

Artist Nathalie Miebach takes weather data from massive storms and turns it into complex sculptures that embody the forces of nature and time. These sculptures then become musical scores for a string quartet to play. (Via TED).

 

“Weather is an amalgam of systems that is inherently invisible to most of us. So I use sculpture and music to make it, not just visible, but also tactile and audible.”

“This piece here is read very differently depending on where you place it. You place it in an art museum, it becomes a sculpture. You place it in a science museum, it becomes a three-dimensional visualization of data. You place it in a music hall, it all of a sudden becomes a musical score. And I really like that, because the viewer is really challenged as to what visual language is part of science versus art versus music.”

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Symphony of the Universe

For anyone who is intrigued by the concept of “Music of the Spheres,” this TED Talk by Honor Harger is fascinating. Via TT, she “tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including ‘the oldest song you will ever hear,’ the sound of cosmic rays left over from the Big Bang.” As an artist, Harger uses technology to connect her audience to the universe, including the collaboration Radio Astronomy  which makes it possible to broadcast sounds from space on the internet for anyone to listen to! 

 

“There is geometry in the humming of the strings. There is music in the spacing of the spheres.”

-Pythagoras

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