Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Musings on the Brain, Optical Illusions, and Membrainchain

Lea Anderson: Membrainchain, 2010, detail
As you can see in the photo on the right, the hundreds of links that make up Lea Anderson's installation, Membrainchain, currently on display at Offramp Gallery, are transparencies, each derived from the same MRI image of the brain.

With brains and intense visual experiences on my mind, I went web surfing looking for interesting new info on brain research. As often happens, I got sidetracked -- by some very interesting optical illusions that I thought I would share with you. Some of them you may have already seen, but if you haven't they're worth a look.

Here's a test for schizophrenia called the mask test. While relieved to find that I am not schizophrenic, I was determined to see the rotating mask the way a schizophrenic would: no luck, no matter how many times I tried. Let me know if you can bypass the illusion.

Next I looked for artists who used optical illusions in their work. I came across
this video of Roy Lichtenstein's House I at the National Gallery of Art's sculpture garden.

That reminded me of another work I had seen a while back at a gallery in Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. Here's a shaky video of it at Art Basel Miami 2008. I can't remember the name of the artist or the gallery at Bergamot, so if any of you know who it is, let me know. 

My all-time favorite is a Mental Acid Optical Illusion. Be sure to look at this one full-screen and stick with it to the end -- it's worth it for an amazing visual experience!
After the intensity of the "acid trip," I was happy to find this calming little video of Animated Optical Illusions.
Lea Anderson
Magnetic Resonant Imagining 11, 2010
drawing on digital print on Mylar
14" x 18" image size, 22" x 26" framed

But back to Membrainchain . . . I just posted a slide show of Lea Anderson's drawings on Offramp's website. Click here, then scroll down on the left until you see the thumbnails. Click on one to start the slide show and have yet another intensely visual experience!

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