Monday, December 30, 2013

Figure-Ground and Art

English: A white cup or two black faces?
English: A white cup or two black faces? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The gestalt notion "figure-ground phenomenon" refers to the characteristic organization of perception into a figure that 'stands out' against an undifferentiated background. What is figural at any one moment depends on patterns of sensory stimulation and on the momentary interests of the perceiver. Figure-ground relationship is an important element of the way we organise reality in our awareness, including works of art. Poets may rely on our habitual figure-ground organisations in extra-linguistic reality to exploit our flexibility in shifting attention from one aspect to another so as to achieve certain poetic effects by inducing us to reverse the habitual figure-ground relationships. This flexibility has precedent in music and the visual arts. Works by Escher, Mozart, Beethoven, Dickinson, Sidney, Shelley and Beckett are examined.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Andy Rutledge - Gestalt Principles of Perception - 1: Figure Ground Relationships

English: Gestalt psychology - perception Magya...
English: Gestalt psychology - perception Magyar: Gestalt-pszichol├│gia alapelvei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gestalt principles of perception help to take the guesswork out of design. For instance, once the page content is defined and the communicative objectives are known, Gestalt principles make clear how to distribute elements on the page, when and why to use line delineation, background shading, a gradient, or when and why to group things in an enclosure (or not). Once you understand Gestalt principles, design becomes much simpler and your creative ideas will enjoy a far more effective articulation.

These principles are:

  • Figure Ground Relationship:  Elements are perceived as either figures (distinct elements of focus) or ground (the background or landscape on which the figures rest).
  • Law of Pr├Ągnanz:  Humans tend to interpret ambiguous or complex images as simple and complete.
  • Uniform Connectedness:  Elements that share uniform visual characteristics are perceived as being more related than elements with disparate visual characteristics.
  • Good Continuation:  Elements arranged on a line or curve are perceived to be more related than elements not on the line or curve.
  • Closure:  When looking at a complex arrangement of individual elements, humans tend to first look for a single, recognizable pattern.
  • Common Fate:  Humans tend to perceive elements moving in the same direction as being more related than elements that are stationary or that move in different directions.
  • Proximity:  Things that are close to one another are perceived to be more related than things that are spaced farther apart.
  • Similarity:  Things that are similar are perceived to be more related than things that are dissimilar.

Figure ground in Art

Intersting slide presentation on figure ground imagery in art.  Lots of interesting slides.