This is an attempt to recreate a perceptual illusion that I noticed while I was running on a crosstrainer in a room on the second floor.
In front of me is a big window that looks over an open field.
As I am running my head is directed towards the window and I focus on the movement of my body.
A playful thought pops up; Am I moving or is the room moving?
(An illusion that is similar to the one that you can experience when you are sitting in a stopped train while the train next to you starts to move )
First I shift my focus of attention from my body(1) to a point outside(2), and then to a point on the horizon(3).
I notice that the point where I focus my attention becomes a rotational point or axis.
In a way, shifting my attention to a different reference point changes the way the world moves.
Is this the same image schema that is responsible for shifting cognitive frames of reference?
An analogy between the process behind this drawing and the socalled ‘surprise’ version of the 20 questions game told by the physicist John Wheeler:
“We had been playing the familiar game of twenty questions.
Then my turn came, the fourth to be sent from the room so that Lothar Nordheim's other fifteen after-dinner guests could consult in secret and agree on a difficult work. I was locked out an unbielvably long time. On finally being readmitted, I found a smile on everyone's face, a sign of a joke or a plot. I nevertheless started my attempt to find the word.
"Is it animal?"
"Is it a mineral?"
"Is it green?"
"Is it white?"
These answers came quickly. Then the questions took longer in the answering. It was strange. All I wanted from my friends was a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Yet the one queried would think and think. "yes or no", "no or yes", before responding. Finally I felt I was getting hot on the trail, that the word might be cloud. I knew I was allowed only one chance at the final word. I ventured it:
"Is it cloud?" "Yes," came the reply, and everyone in the room burst out laughing. They explained to me that there had been no word in the room. They had agreed not to agree on a word. Each one questioned could answer as he pleased -- with one requirement that he should have a word in mind compatible with his own response and all that had gone before. Otherwise, if I challenged, he lost. The surprise version of the game of Twenty Questions was therefore as difficult for my colleagues as it was for me.
(..)I, entering, thought the room contained a definite word. In actuality the word was developed step by step through the questions I raised(..)Had I asked different questions or the same questions in a different order I would have ended up with a different word (..)(1)
i.e. Every line in the improvised, objectless black on white drawing is an intuitive answer to a proposition evoked by the temporal state of the drawing.
And every answer moved the drawing closer to a more or less unique final shape unknown beforehand.
Wheeler J.A. (1980): Beyond the black hole.
In Some Strangeness in the Proportion:
A Centennial Symposium to Celebrate the Achievements of Albert EinsteinEd. by H. Woolf, Addison-Wesley, Reading
Labels: negative 20 questions
|Portrait Gallery (1)|
| Phase portrait gallery |
A 'phase portrait' is not a portrait of a person.
A phase portrait is a portrait of a state.
In the situation above, a phase portrait is the portrait of a state that is the outcome of a sequence of actions.
Every action sequence stopped more or less before any next action would overwrite a previous action,
i.e. every action sequence stopped before it erased parts of its own memory.
(1) left: Giovanni Paolo Panini, Interior of a Picture Gallery with the Collection of Cardinal Silvio Vale
Right: Above; Peterhof palace.
Below; Hermitage portrait gallery.
Labels: phase portrait gallery