PSYC54 Simon Hayhoe
in Axel and Levent, on HISTORY: Condensed NOTES
of Research into the Psychology of Visual Impairment in the Visual Arts."
Pages 84--95In sum: Very critical start! Sets limits on progress so far.
Aims high at end.
- Alas, mostly to
do with perception, in clinics. Not in subjects settings, on their
art, nonintrusively. In the field, just about communication.
- Parts: 1= Perception.
2= Education in visual arts. 3=On communication
- Perception: On
Molyneuxs question (1690): new vision can tell cube from sphere?
Berkeley: No, distance not seen at first. Many accepted this.
- Overthrowing Berkeleys
NO: To Von Senden TOUCH has no clear distance percept! Revesz: Yes,
blind do have spatial percepts. But no "beauty" or "artistic
images," no "diversity of nature
rich and various appearances
of objects." No "new forms of expression," and no "free
fantasy arising from the symbolic comprehension of nature." Von
Senden studied recovery of sight from surgery on cornea.
- Advance: Gregory
and Wallace: regaining sight, SB drew (despite being "doubtful
of his ability to draw") and saw distances albeit mistaking far
things as nearby. But saw no depth in perspective drawings. Gregory
theorized cross modal "transfer" occurred. (Like Sacks
case, with similar operation, vision proved distracting and depressing.)
- ART: In Austria,
Lowenfeld taught Camilla (blind and deaf) to sculpt. Touch arm, touch
modeled clay, touch arm, touch modeled clay
insight that A resembles AND represents B, i.e. with intention?
- Helen Keller: touch
is "potent," has "delights" and ministers to growth,
strength and balance.
- Benson: hundreds
of words depend on touch: hot, cold, sharp, smooth, soft, rough
Ordinary words are often about nonvisual things (eg buzz). Technology
can reduce or eliminate differences, and allow full participation in
work and daily life, and in integrated schools.
- Project Zero deems
the arts cognitive (seeking equivalents for ideas and experiences, inventive,
insightful, attention demanding, symbolic). Kennedy tested communication
via tactile drawings, and found outline apt. See also Hinton, Pring
and Heller. They move to practicality. But are obsessed with touch.
The research could move into creativity, motivation, inclusion, greater
contexts, way beyond this "good start."