Title: Literal visions

Authors: Nicholas J. Wade

Addresses: School of Psychology, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK

Abstract: The languages of art and science differ but they share a common concern with representing concepts visually – they both employ images. The uses to which images are put also distinguish the two endeavours. The images of art are typically extended and often bear some spatial relationship to their referents. We often overlook the fact that written language communicates by images, too. One of the attractions of the term is its appeal to the spatial dimension both in pictures and in their internal representations, as well as in describing them verbally. Pictorial images provide allusions to spaces they do not occupy; they refer indirectly to the objects they represent. Images in art refer, in the first instance, to the marks made on a surface. The term image is also used to convey the impact that the pictorial image has on the viewer. Written words also have a spatial dimension but it has often been neglected. Here, the interplay between written words and vision is explored both theoretically and graphically.

Keywords: art images; language images; words; literal pictures; vision; allusions; illusions; concrete poetry; perceptual portraits; visual representation; written language; pictorial images.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2010.032567

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2010 Vol.3 No.2/3, pp.251 - 274

Published online: 07 Apr 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article