How we Perceive Art
Why can some artworks leave us awestruck? While others leave us cold? And how far is art determined by cultural bias? Bridget Kendall asks novelist Okey Ndibe, cultural sociologist Tiffany Jenkins, and cognitive neuroscientist Arthur Shimamura to try and pinpoint what happens when we perceive art.
Photo Illustration by Shan Pillay
Arthur Shimamura is professor of psychology at the University of California in Berkeley. His most recent research explores how the brain experiences art, particularly in relation to painting and film. He is particularly interested in the way knowledge and memory can control our sensory input through top down processing. He explains how this is especially evident in film if you look at the editing process and how it directs our reactions. He is the author of Experiencing Art: In the Brain of the Beholder.
60 Second Idea to Change the World: a Memorable Introduction
In our Sixty Second Idea to improve the world, the Nigerian born novelist Okey Ndibe suggests we find a new way of introducing ourselves to others through our favourite artworks or objects. So rather than just telling someone your name, adopt a piece of art or even just a tree or a flower, and explain what it reveals about you.