Swimming Pool is a piece by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich that gives the illusion of people walking and breathing underwater in an ordinary swimming pool. Video from the MoMA PS1 installation. [more inside]
World's Oldest Optical Illusion Found? A 15,000 year old piece of an atlatl (spear chucker) shows definite signs of being a Gestalt shift optical illusion (as demonstrated here, here, and in the classic duck/rabbit picture). Although not as well defined as modern optical illusions (like the really tripped out Neave Strobe), it likely demonstrates a stage of cognitive awareness in human psychological development.
Art as Visual Research: Art and neuroscience combine in creating fascinating examples of illusory motion.
The Mighty Optical Illusions website contains a ton of things to mess with your visual cortex, from 3D chalk drawings to impossible objects; spot-the-object games, tests, and the just plain spooky, among many other categories. Or you can just keep hitting the Random Illusion button until you lose yourself.
Surreal photographic Foodscapes by photographer Carl Warner. Strawberry hot air balloons, towers of cheese, potato boulders, green pea boats on seas of salmon, spice roads, and sugar beaches populate these intricate and luscious scenes. More dishy foodscapes (the plate rainbow = ♥!) and other wonderful visual tricks at his Flash site in the "Fotographics" section (look for the fabulous forest of boots and the white cotton winter wonderland!). [more inside]
Garbage + illumination = art? Various artists carefully pile rubbish on a gallery floor, or meticulously assemble a collection of ordinary items, plug in a light source, and create incredibly detailed and surprising shadows on the wall. Meanwhile, blog commenters cry "Fake!" and "Photoshop!". I guess they didn't see any of the Quicktime movies of Shigeo Fukuda linked here.
The Death of Perspective. Among the greatest achievements of the renaissance artists was the perfection of the art of perspective: Giving the appearance of depth to a flat surface. Felice Varini uses perspective to do the opposite.
hand paintings by Guido Daniele that apparently are not photoshopped; 3D sidewalk art using clever long-distance perspective; and some cool art samples created by hand or mouth, from paralyzed folks of The Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists.
Julians Beever draws on sidewalks with chalk. His drawings range from insects to commercial objects to self portraits. I don't know if he designs them on a his laptop, but as with LCD screens, viewing angle is critically important.