This book celebrates binocular vision by presenting illustrations that require two eyes to see the effects of cooperation and competition between them. Pictures are flat but by printing them in different colours and viewing them through similarly coloured filters (included with the book) they are brought to life either in stereoscopic depth or in rivalry with one another. They are called anaglyphs and all those in the book display the ways in which the eyes interact. Thus, the reader is an integral element in the book and not all readers will see the same things. The history, science and art of binocular vision can be experienced in ways that are not usually available to us and with images made specifically for this book. The study of vision with two eyes was transformed by the invention of stereoscopes in the early 19th century. Anaglyphs are simple forms of stereoscopes that have three possible outcomes from viewing them - with each eye alone to see the monocular images, with both eyes to see them in stereoscopic depth or rivalry, or without the red/cyan glasses where they can have an appeal independent of the binocularity they encompass. Through the binocular pictures and the words that accompany them there will be an appreciation of just how remarkable the processes are that yield binocular singleness and depth. Moreover, the opportunities for expressing these processes are explored with many examples of truly binocular art.
Beyond Vision is the first English-language collection of essays on art by Pavel Florensky (1882–1937), Russian philosopher, priest, linguist, scientist, mathematician – and art historian. In addition to seven essays by Florensky, the book includes a biographical introduction and an examination of Florensky’s contribution as an art historian by Nicoletta Misler. Beyond Vision reveals Florensky’s fundamental attitudes to the vital questions of construction, composition, chronology, function and destination in the fields of painting, sculpture and design. His reputation as a theologian and philosopher is already established in the English-speaking world, but this first collection in English of his art essays (translated by Wendy Salmond) will be a revelation to those in the field. Pavel Florensky was a true polymath: trained in mathematics and philosophy at Moscow University, he rejected a scholarship in advanced mathematics in order to study theology at the Moscow Theological Academy. He was also an expert linguist, scientist and art historian. A victim of the Soviet government’s animosity towards religion, he was condemned to a Siberian labor camp in 1933 where he continued his work under increasingly difficult circumstances. He was executed in 1937.
How can we “know”? What does “knowledge” mean? These were the fundamental questions of epistemology in the 17th century. In response to continental rationalism, the British empiricist John Locke proposed that the only knowledge humans can have is acquired a posterior. In a discussion of the human mind, he argued, the source of knowledge is sensual experience – mostly vision. Since vision and picture-making are the realm of art, art theory picked up on questions such as: are pictures able to represent knowledge about the world? How does the production of images itself generate knowledge? How does pictorial logic differ from linguistic logic? How can artists contribute to a collective search for truth? Questions concerning the epistemic potential of art can be found throughout the centuries up until the present day. However, these are not questions of art alone, but of the representational value of images in general. Thus, the history of art theory can contribute much to recent discussions in Visual Studies and Bildwissenschaften by showing the historic dimension of arguments about what images are or should be. “What is knowledge?” is as much a philosophic question as “What is an image?” Visual epistemology is a new and promising research field that is best investigated using an interdisciplinary approach that addresses a range of interconnected areas, such as internal and external images and the interplay of producer and perceiver of images. This publication outlines this territory by gathering together several approaches to visual epistemology by many distinguished authors.