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Main Topics Psychology of Art 1 How to Read the composition of a painting 2 How the composition relates to the emotional expression The composition inspires emotions in the viewer 3 What is the survival function of art Main goal Train our eyes train you 3 Way Correspondence Composition Emotions Survival People worship art because it brings out emotion Compostion The composition is an organization created by shapes o The shape structure produces a tension o The tension gives the emotion stored in the artwork o We will go deeply into how the artist achieves this o How does the shape store the emotional tension o The shapes gives us dynamic information i e information about movement The word emotion means E outward Motion movement Shapes show movement which shows emotion So the shapes in the painting give us information about the E MOTIONS OUTWARD MOVEMENTS of the art So the shapes have acted as a STORE for those movements o Shapes store the emotions and viewers grasp them So to understand how a painting works we have to understand how the viewer can RECOVER from the shapes The E MOTION of the artists The shapes are acting as a memory store for those E MOTIONS o Shape is equivalent to memory storage Leyton s book has developed o New foundations to geometry o In which the fundamental claim is SHAPE is equivalent to MEMORY STORAGE o This goes against the foundations of geometry that have existed from Euclid to modern mathematics o In his new foundations Leyton has argued ART WORKS ARE MAXIMAL MEMORY STORES This is why art works are so highly valued 1 3 The World as History We will define Memory Information about the past Consequently define Memory Store Any object that yields information about the past Leyton argues the entire world around us is memory storage And we extract this information from the objects we see Leyton also argues Many sources of memory Examples 1 Scars A scar on a person s face is in fact a memory store acts as memory store b c it gives us info on the past It gives us information about the past It tells us that in the past the surface of the skin was cut a b c Therefore process history is stored in a scar 2 Dents A dent in a car is also a memory store i e it gives us information about the past It tells us that in the past the door underwent an impact from another object a b Therefore process history is stored in a dent 3 Growths Any growth is a memory store i e it yields information about the past a For example the shape of a person s face gives us information about the history of growth that produced it b E g the nose and cheekbones grew outward the wrinkles folded in etc c The shape of a tree gives us very accurate information about how it grew d Both a face and a tree inform us of the past history Each is therefore an example of a memory store 4 Scratches A scratch on a piece of furniture is information about the past It informs us that in the past the surface had contact with a sharp moving object a b Therefore a scratch is a memory store 5 Cracks A crack in a vase is a memory store i e it yields information about the past It informs us that in the past the vase underwent some impact a b Therefore process history is stored in the crack Leyton argues The world is Layers and Layers of memory storage info about the past Examples One can see this for instance by looking at the relationship between the examples just listed For instance consider item 1 above a scar on a person s face o This is memory of scratching o And this sits on a person s face item 3 which is memory of growth So the history of scratching a scar sits on the history of growth a face Another Example Consider item 5 a crack in a vase The crack is due to the history of hitting but the vase in which it occurs is the result of formation from clay on the potter s wheel Indeed the shape of the vase tells us much about how it was formed The vertical height is memory of the process that pushed the clay upwards The outline of the vase curving in and out is memory of the changing pressure of the Therefore the crack on the vase is the history of hitting which sits on top of a history potter s hands of clay manipulation According to this theory The entire world is history Each object around us is memory of the history of processes that formed it We shall now see how to extract this history from the objects This will show us how to extract the emotional tension stored in an artwork 1 4 The Reconstruction of History Fundamental Laws History can be recovered from many different types of sources e g scars dents growths scratches etc In fact there are probably infinitely many types of sources However Leyton showed that on a deep level all sources have only one form FIRST FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF MEMORY STORAGE Memory is stored in asymmetries Correspondingly SECOND FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF MEMORY STORAGE Memory is erased by symmetries Begin with simple example Consider the sheet of paper shown on the left in figure 1 2 page 7 in the book Even if you had never seen that sheet before you would conclude that it had undergone twisting The reason is that asymmetry in the sheet yield information about the past That is From the asymmetry you can recover the process history Now un twist the paper thus obtaining the sheet shown on the right in figure 1 2 Show this straight sheet to any person on the street Would they be able to infer that the sheet had once been twisted No The reason is that the symmetry of the straight sheet has wiped out the ability to recover the preceding history This means that symmetry is the absence of information about the past In fact standardly one assumes from symmetry that it had always been like this For example when you take a sheet of paper from a box of paper you have just bought you don t assume that it had once been twisted or crumpled etc Its very straightness symmetry leads you to conclude that it had always been like this The two diagrams in figure 1 2 illustrate the two fundamental laws of memory storage given above These two laws are the very basis of Leyton s new foundations to geometry He formulates these two laws in the following way LAW 1 ASYMMETRY PRINCIPLE An Asymmetry in the present is understood as having originated from a past symmetry And LAW 2 SYMMETRY PRINCIPLE A symmetry in the present is understood as having always existed The way to use these two laws PROCEDURE FOR RECOVERING THE PAST 1 Partition the situation into its …

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Rutgers PSYCHOLOGY 250 - Psychology of Art

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