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This programme draws the distinction between perspectival appearance and cognitive appearance. Professor Gombrich talks about the development of perspective in painting from earliest times, using p...aintings and experimental constructions to develop his point. Professor Vesey demonstrates an experiment in perception too illustrate his points. The programme includes demonstrations of several illusions and concludes with an example of an illusion created electronically by television.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A101, An arts foundation course
Item code: A101; 15
First transmission date: 31-05-1978
Published: 1978
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:23
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Producer: Paul Kafno
Contributors: Ernst Gombrich; Godfrey Norman Agmondisham Vesey
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Perception; Perspective; Philosophy
Footage description: The programme opens with a studio discussion between Vesey and Gomhrich. They briefly distinguish between perspectival and cognitive appearance. Vesey reads from Bertrand Russell's Problems of Philosophy to explain his ideas on the perspectival appearance of objects. Shots of a table illustrate the argument. Gombrich comments on Russell's ideas and uses a studio drawing on glass to show how perspective shifts with movement in the viewer. Stills of works by Durer and Masaccio are used to show early use of perspective. Vesey quotes Russell's ideas on the dichotomy between the perspectival appearance of an object and its real form. Gombrich argues that reality can be represented in painting by methods other than perspectival. He uses a variety of ancient, medieval and early modern paintings to show the gradual evolution of perspectival representation. Vesey defines cognitive appearance. He uses an animated diagram of the Muller-Lyer figure to explain cognitive appearance, and quotes examples of optical illusions. He applies the terms subjective and objective to cognitive and perspectival appearance respectively. Gombrich uses a line of mode ltrees in the studio to show how perspective can hide objects. Vesey demonstrates the subjectivity of cognitive appearance by means of the optical illusion created by a revolving metal vane. Gombrich describes his reaction to this illusion. Vesey explains why this effect is an example of cognitive appearance. Vesey explains the importance of these experiments in perception for the philosopher. He argues that the existence of cognitive appearance in addition to perspectival appearance is crucial for explaining perceptual belief. Gombrich explains the importance of these concepts for the student of art. He uses a variety of perspectival and illusionistic images to explain the importance of understanding that objects are often not what they appear to be. The studio cameracreates the illusion of Gombrich walking in a fantastic landscape, and he makes the point that television images are a kind of illusion.
Master spool number: 6HT/72485
Production number: 00525_3253
Videofinder number: 2605
Available to public: no