Introduction to Bioptical Terminology

Bioptical Art - Liviu Iliescu

AD-HOC EDUCATIONAL ATMOSPHERE Means by which the recipient subjects are educated and brought closer to the meanings and techniques of an artistic current.

ALEATORY STATE State of uncertainty in thought, emotions and early creations (e.g. in visual arts) oriented to an idea or subject before reaching organized statements (or the pre-axiomatic domain).

ANTISPACE IN ART Pseudoscopic techniques (e.g. the reversal of stereopairs in stereoscopic vision), which introduce retinal dispa- rities accepted by binocular vision, resulting in the perception of spaces that contradict the currently seen surrounding space, for instance, reversal of the colour perspective and association of contradictory vanishing lines. E.g.: a sequence of similar triangles, which are bigger towards the horizon, coloured in blue, then in green, then in red towards the horizon (reversal of daylight chromatic perspective). As against conventional painting, in bioptical pictures triangles are perceived as actually placed in a different space, with apparent depths up to 100 metres. This perception is based only on a psychophysical response to unconventional stimuli, different from those used by conventional painting to render known objects, in naturalistic perspective.

AXIOMATIC DOMAIN Domain that comprises axioms as well as statements on reproducible findings (in psychology, physical and chemical phenomena, in sociology, etc.).

BIOPTICAL ART Name of a new domain in art. It is the result of a great many experiments related to binocular vision, performed by the author. Each eye in part receives certain stimuli, from compositions designed so as to obtain special effects in normal vision and then in vision with a periscope-like device placed in front of one eye.

BISPACE IN ART Group of stimuli (lines and colour patches) evoking different images for either eye in part. In bioptical vision, one successively perceives a series of forms or another, representing a system of two coexisting spaces. For instance, one may alternatively perceive a series of triangles and then a series of squares, as a result of "retinal rivalry" (tests performed by Hermann von Helmholtz).

COLOUR FUSION Notion used in the physiology of vision by Hermann von Helmholtz. Perception resultant when seeing a colour with one eye and a different colour with the other eye.

DYNAMICS OF SPACE DEPTH Stereoscopic effects in bioptical art, by which composition elements are perceived as being placed in a space which becomes deeper with visual accommodation, within a lapse of time ranging to a few minutes. Elements leading to accom- modation with time succession may be designed. The artist also acquires a role of "stage director".

ENTROPY IN ART State of uncertainty, of vagueness in emo- tional channels, involving: the artist who cannot express his feelings accurately; the work of art which does not materialize the artistís intention; the recipient-subject who has not received the emotional message or who has no adequate psychic structure to receive it. For the recipient-subject, the "uncertainty" of informatics changes its meaning from "I donít know what I see" into "What I see does not make me feel something special".

HIATUS IN ART Surfaces or spaces (proposed for visual arts) devoid of composition elements, interposed between the elements in the centre of the composition and the elements of the margins. When attention is focused to the centre, the influence of the margins may be reduced and their perception is unclear.

HYPERREALISTIC EFFECTS Effects which emphasize the realism of images by placing in a stereoscopic way reflections, glitters and shadows in the vicinity of forms and by rendering the structure of transparent bodies. Conventional painting uses perspective means to reproduce well-known forms (glass vases and tumblers, objects of polished metal, etc.).

Since reflections and refractions actually result in spatial images, separated from the surfaces which produce them, bioptical techniques permit their placing at depth and artistically enhance those effects. (Hyperrealism is an art movement which aims at not interfering with the modification of reality. In painting, the artist "selects" a fragment of real life, which he "photographically" reproduces, with surprising effects. To be sure, this goal cannot be attained using perspective alone. Account should be taken of the spatial relationships, which are to be effectively perceived as such).

HYPERSPACE IN ART Spatial representation by extrapolating the psychic space. As is known, the latter is formed through the agency of perception mechanisms, in contact with the surrounding space. By extrapolation I understand the artistic creation of a space meant for perception, in which, using bioptical means, new relationships are established among composition elements or component elements of an object are transformed, contradicting the logical "datum".

E.g.: a cart wheel appears as a whole in normal vision. In bioptical vision (with one eye looking through the periscope device and a naked eye), the felloe, the spokes and the hub are seen at relatively great depths, being transferred to another space, with different relations among components as against the normal representation.

METAPHORIC DEVELOPMENTS Statements and compo- sitions resulting from new findings of psychophysical investigations, standing apart from the metaphoric plane and widening its horizon. Bioptical art is a metaphoric development, thanks to its techniques.

METAPHORIC- LEVEL Statements and compositions in the preaxiomatic domain resulting from the taking over and recombining of well-known statements, previously voiced following findings of psychophysical investigations. Creations on a metaphoric level are bringing important contributions to culture but, nevertheless, they have a tendency to tautology and satiety.

METAVIRTUAL IMAGE The psyhofizyc answer at the observation of bioptical compositions when retinal disparity (the diferences between images on the left eyes retinal and the right eyes retinal) are different then the normal answers, when nature is observed.

PERISCOPE-LIKE DEVICE A system of two small parallel mirrors, placed like in a periscope, used in bioptical vision.

PRE-AXIOMATIC DOMAIN Domain comprising statements relative to thought, emotions, existence, metaphysics, transcendence, etc. with relatively uncertain validity. These statements refer, however, to organized sequences.

PSYCHIC CYCLE Psychic states resulting from contemplating bioptical compositions first with the naked eye, then with a periscope device before one eye, and then again with the naked eye. These sequences may occur at intervals of a few minutes, up to tens of minutes.

PSYCHOPHYSICAL MIXTURE OF COLOURS Psychic response to the projection of different colours on the two retinas, known as "colour fusion". The response is fluctuating since one perceives now a colour, now another one. However, if lines or spots of the same colour are placed on differently coloured backgrounds, the psychic response is largely constant: a different colour with hazy nacreous hues seems to stand apart from the background. A cloisonné-like contour is the result of my bioptical experiments.

REDUNDANCE IN ART Composition techniques which reduce the entropy (state of emotional non-stimulation) between the artist and the recipient.

RESIDUAL IMPRESSIONS Impressions that persist after biop- tical observation, at the end of the psychic cycle, when looking with the naked eye, hence "with a different eye". Impressions last for long.

RETINAL "COOPERATION" Psychophysical synthesis of some elements from bioptical compositions (pictures or sculptures). Despite differences in line or colour and in spite of retinal disparities, these elements are perceived as a whole, by stereoscopic effects, colour fusion, antispace, hyperspace, etc.

RETINAL RIVALRY Psychophysical response to different colours and forms, separately and differently received by the two retinas (Hermann von Helmholtz).

SPACE AND TIME IN BIOPTICAL ART The definitions of these categories in physics refer to relationships in the surrounding space, starting from that in front of the eyes (Werner Heisenberg).

Bioptical art allows us to perceive the transformation of space within a lapse of time necessary for eye adjustment (convergence relative to eye accommodation) to look at the elements of specially designed compositions. Space and time are generated by static stimuli, placed on a surface which interferes with the "psychic cycle" by means of psychic mechanisms. After looking through the bioptical device and returning to normal vision, impressions are not revertible (the same as in physical cycles), and the composition is seen "with a different eye" by the subjects.

SPATIAL DISHARMONY Perception of double images, formed on the two retinas around the yellow spot, for objects placed at different distances. In normal vision, these double images are inhibited. In bioptical art, it is generally necessary to avoid them and to use them only for artistic effects.

SPATIAL HARMONY Group of elements in bioptical compositions placed stepwise from the left to the right, so as to induce bioptical effects, accepted by binocular bioptical vision (one eye looking through the periscope-like device), without the occurrence of double images. In normal vision, the observed object is surrounded by secondary images (projected on the retina around the yellow spot), which are inhibited. In the case of bioptical compositions, perception is more selective and double images are sometimes disturbing.

VISUAL GRADIENT Visual perception, whose acuity decreases from the centre of clearest vision to the margins of the visual field.