Saturday 1 September 2012, 17.00-18.30
Jan Koenderink (University of Leuven (K.U.L.), and πLab, Delft University of Technology) will give a plenary lecture:
Experimental Phenomenology: Art & Science
Visual awareness is known through first person accounts. Its "convincing arguments" are ad oculos. Arguments are persuasive when the audience shares the intended experience. Both visual artists and scientists depend upon this creative aspect. Both book progress through experiments only. Of course both their audiences and their goals are generally different. So is their concept of "understanding". This largely involves the extent, and the way to which one is prepared to transform aspects of visual awareness into reflective thought, necessarily discarding emotive and qualitative aspects. In both cases progress is measured by the increased control over the visual awareness of oneself and – especially! – others through optical manipulations. Success is measured through the overt fascination of the intended audiences. Whereas scientists tend to focus on formal clarity (hence their obsessive fascination with perspective), artists tend to value the suggestiveness of obscurity (hence their common reference to poetry). I discuss pros and cons of either approach in both fields of endeavor.