Re: Seeing The Big Picture

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Posted by Steve Price on December 20, 1998 at 09:03:33:

In Reply to: Seeing The Big Picture posted by R. John Howe on December 20, 1998 at 07:49:32:

Dear John,

I don't know think one "perceptual style" is better or worse than the other, but I believe that they are different, and that this difference accounts for some, perhaps most, of the differing reactions people have to things like fragments.


Steve Price

: Hi Steve -

: I think I'm finally getting it. While some of us might be reasonably observant about details, it takes a person like yourself to see the big picture. :-)

: Regards,

: R. John Howe

: : Dear Friends,

: : The divergent reactions to fragments reminds me of a subject that came up in an earlier Salon, that I suspectt is relevant. It is that there are differences in people's perceptual styles. What I mean by that is that some tend to perceive details, others tend not to.

: : Let me illustrate. I have little trouble recognizing faces, but would be of no help whatsoever to a police sketch artist because I am simply not aware of facial details. Other people can see a person and then pick out individual features if presented with photos of, say, noses, eyes, eybrows, etc. I almost never see resemblances of babies to either parent, some people see them easily. My guess si that the people who see those resemblances are what we might call "detail perceivers", while I am more enarly an "entirety perceiver".

: : Regarding fragments, "detail perceivers" probably see a lot to love in fragments, since some of the desirable details are present. "Entirety perceivers" need to have more, some sort of minimal entirety.

: : Alberto Boralevi had a recent exhibition of fragments, and I found my reactions to the pieces falling into several categories. Some were historically interesting, but not beautiful to my brain. Some were truly aesthetically pleasing to me, probably because they had enough "entirety" for me to perceive it. Some msytified me, particularly a Turkmen piece that consisted only of part of a gul. I couldn't understand what attraction it might have, but I think now that "detail perceivers" can probably find much to enjoy about it.

: : Is anyone out there knowledgable enough about this matter to enlighten us?

: : Steve Price

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