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The artist without eyes
August 30, 2008 7:50 AM   Subscribe

The artist without eyes
posted by konolia (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was awesome, best of the web for sure.
Thanks for the post.
posted by anifinder at 8:03 AM on August 30, 2008


Well, I'll be damned. Now that... that's something. Damn.

One thing I wonder about, though, that the clip doesn't address: Esref Armaga's drawing shows 5 sides of the octagon building. Of course, those sides are there, but they are not visible from the front. Only three sides are visible from the front, looking straight on. This, of course, in no way diminishes the amazing-ness of what Armaga is doing (and I quite liked some of the other paintings of his shown in the doco), but it might've been interesting to have heard more about this point from, say, the professor who set this experiment up.

It would seem the correct spelling of his name is Armagan. Google image results. Surprise! He also does portraiture! Here's his Bill Clinton.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:23 AM on August 30, 2008


Only three sides are visible from the front, looking straight on. This, of course, in no way diminishes the amazing-ness of what Armaga is doing (and I quite liked some of the other paintings of his shown in the doco), but it might've been interesting to have heard more about this point from, say, the professor who set this experiment up.

Yeah, that's the sort of thing I was wondering... Also, did he actually intuitively work out the rules of perspective or did he read/was told them? Still amazing achievement, and an interesting segment (despite the cheesy 'Heroes' framing)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:47 AM on August 30, 2008


Very interesting. The scientist drew the wrong conclusion I think, though. He said something like "we used to think perspective was available only through vision, but now we know it's available through touch as well". I would argue that perspective is hardwired in.

Just like optical illusions reveal assumptions that our eyes/brains make, this guy reveals that our brain makes certain assumptions about, or has certain innate understandings of, perspective. This guy has figured out a way to express those assumptions/understandings well enough that they can be processed by OUR visual systems.

(The fact that sighted people can get perspective wrong is a red herring. Just because something is innate doesn't mean it's infallible or incapable of being overridden by other inputs.)

Also, there's a testing problem here for either theory: How do we know Esref didn't learn about perspective through being told certain rules?

(Wow, his Bill Clinton is even recognizable! That's incredible!)

(Side rant about Discovery Channel: It took 1:20 of hyperbole and hackneyed mood setting before we saw the first actual painting. Another full minute for the second one. One of the best channels out there and they still suck horribly.)
posted by DU at 8:59 AM on August 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Previously.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:44 AM on August 30, 2008


Ah, this answers my question on how he learned the rules of perspective... fascinating stuff re his thinking shadows are coloured.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:57 AM on August 30, 2008


Pity it's a double.
I'm just curious as to how we can be certain he didn't have eyes at some point in his life, only to lose them... er... somehow?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 12:34 PM on August 30, 2008


I don't think it's a double. Not based on my link above anyway.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 12:59 PM on August 30, 2008


the rest of the program that clip was taken from is worth a watch, it can be found on youtube if you search extraordinary people, there's the ice man, the human calculator and a woman with synethstesia. I think some of them have found there way here before
posted by chelegonian at 1:04 PM on August 30, 2008


I'm stupefied. How did he learn? By feeling paintings?
posted by autodidact at 1:56 PM on August 30, 2008


How did he learn?

Probably taught himself. You of all people should know that, autodidact!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:01 PM on August 30, 2008


Thanks, reading about Esref was a good anodyne for Kipling's The Light that Failed, which I remember with faint sadness on occasion even decades after last reading it.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:51 AM on August 31, 2008


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