Perception, Image, and Manipulation in Visual Communication
Copyright © 2000-2007 Isabel Pedersen
Barry draws heavily on Gestalt psychologists throughout her analysis of images, television, and film. She refers to Rudolph Arnheim as well as others. She often mentions the Gestalt Law of Pragnanz” that states that “psychological organization will always be as good as the prevailing conditions allow.” Perception always attempts simplicity, regularity, symmetry. And later she states that it is the "instantaneous moment that gives meaningful sense of whole to something disparate” (204).
Eyesight is insight.
She introduces the work with a lengthy analysis of the biology of sense development arguing that the basic development of the human proves the intelligence of perception (not just conception) and the human subject grows its senses into maturation, rather than just engages in social constructivity. She wants to stand on both sides of the nature/nurture argument.
She gives evidence of visual naiveté and explains that we learn to see in the same fashion that we learn to do anything. One who has never seen a photograph may not be able to see it or understand what he is seeing. She studies blind people who gain sight late in life and are unable to cope with this sense because they did not gain visual intelligence. The perception was not developed. Seeing and perceiving are not the same.
· She analyzes television and suggests that it is akin to dreams in terms of subject perception. 173 Powers of selectivity rule for television.
· She studies the montage – the ordering of spliced shots in film.
· She analyzes advertising.