Contents (PVS)

1. Introduction
2. Binocular rivalry and stereoscopy in bioptical art
3. Bioptical effects, definitions
4. Bioptical means for psychotherapy
5. Laboratory hall for visual therapy
6. Aspects relative to the applications of plastic arts in psychotherapy
7. Psychodrom
8. About interpretations or exegeses by means of bioptics
9. About a didactic experiment in bioptical art
10. Space - time - colour
11. Contributions
12. Visual-sense-storming
13. Visual binarity
14. Some additions and resumptions on the bioptical composition
15. Psychical satiety in affectivity

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Fine Art, binocular rivalry and stereoscopy in bioptical art

The Paired off Visual Signal   Liviu Iliescu

Binocular rivalry is the perceptual response for images of dissimilar forms that occur separately through the two retinas; one eye looks at something, the other eye looks at something else. The modalities of bioptical art make it possible to introduce tests in compositions of plastic arts like those experimented in binocular rivalry.
Monocular rivalry is the ambiguous perceptual response with alternating interpretation. It was used in compositions of plastic arts.
In my publications, I have used the somewhat traditional terms retinal rivalry and colour fusion, borrowed from the studies of Herman von Helmholtz, published in Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik (Leopold Voss, Leipzig, 1867). They were translated in 1925 as Treatise on Physiological Optics (editor J.P. Southall, Dover, New York).
Binocular rivalry is a field which has aroused the researchers` interest in the last three decades, especially in psychology and neurology.
Randolph Blake lists more than 140 references in his study A Primer on Binocular Rivalry, Including Current Controversies, published in "Brain and Mind" in 2001. Sixty percent of the titles were published after 1975. [Figure 2.1 of this chapter is reproduced from Blake`s article.] Blake briefly reviews the main contributions, starting with J.B. Porta`s De Refractione. Optices Part. Libri Novem of 1593, quoted by N.J. Wade in 1998 in A Natural History of Vision.
In order to follow up the historic itinerary of studies on binocular rivalry, I will also refer to Wade�s monograph.
- Le Clerk (1712) pointed to the binocular rivalry with colours.
- Dutour (1760, 1763) clearly describes the binocular rivalry of two colours with contour. He also describes the fusion with the naked eye, by eye convergence or divergence. This modality of observation was resumed in 1990 by Christopher Tyler in the autostereograms invented by him and popularly called "Magic Eye".
- C. Wheatstone (1838) describes for the first time the binocular rivalry and invents the mirror stereoscope.
- Herman von Helmholtz (1867) publishes his Handbuch der Physiologischen Optik.
- B.B. Breese (1899, 1909) develops the theory and points to monocular rivalry.
- F.W. Campbell (1972) rediscovers monocular rivalry.
Researchers have also described variants of binocular rivalry resulting from the main ones.
As I intend to introduce them in plastic arts, I also add stereoscopy. This is a limit-rivalry, since the pair of images evince acceptable disparities, that lead to the fusion of the stereoscopic perception.
Some forms wich induce ambiguities were called monocular rivalry: the Necker cube (1832); the Robin vase - figure 2.2 - and others.
The Necker effect is met in plastic arts. Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) created several compositions where the Necker effect prevails. Figure 2.3 represents Cheyt-M by Vasarely.
Figure 2.4 shows a photo of a mosaic floor from Antioch, second century A.D., where the Necker effect is obvious. It is reproduced from E.H. Gombrich, Art and Illusion.
It should be noticed that the tests and effects of binocular rivalry are much more numerous than those of monocular rivalry, which is far too limited as to artistic expression.

Binocular modalities to apply tests of binocular rivalry in plastic arts

Salvador Dali expresses his yearning for space by the extreme depths existing in his paintings. In Metamorphosis of Narcissus (figure 2.5 (a)), he places a man's fingers in the foreground and barely recognizable figures in the distance. In the seventies, he experimented stereoscopy as a corollary, creating works such as Golden Fleece (figure 2.5 (b)). The compositions comprise two paintings in stereoscopic correspondence, placed at a distance, and a stereoscope (specially created by Roger de Montebello), to help obtain the spatial image. This scheme might be applied to introduce tests of binocular rivalry into plastic arts. I suggest other beneficial modalities.
As early as the fifties, I studied the applications of optics in plastic arts. In 1974, I succeeded in patenting my Method for Model Making, mentioned in [6], with details in figure 2.6. The patent includes simplified calculations, adapted to compositions of plastic arts, with spatial transposals.


Fig 2.1 R. Blake
Binocular rivalry


Fig 2.2 Robin Vase


Fig 2.3 V. Vasarely, Cheyt M


Fig 2.4 Mosaic, Antioch, 2nd ct. A.D.


Fig 2.5 (a) S. Dali,
Metamorphosis of Narcissus


Fig 2.5 (b) S. Dali,
Golden Fleece. (Stereoscopic pair)

Under the title Bioptical Art, I grouped my experiments regarding the introduction of binocular rivalry tests in plastic art compositions. I may briefly point out several peculiarities.
The composition extends in two fields or in two areas placed one under the other (on a vertical), for effects of binocular rivalry combined with stereoscopic effects. In some cases signs are introduced on the vertical, either in another field or in another area. These are conceived only for effects of binocular rivalry, occurring in combination with signs from a field or from an area of the other two. I highlight several advantages:
-Several types of binocular rivalry may be introduced in compositions, in combination with stereoscopic effects, in a single painting or in a single spatial form.
- Both bioptical resultants and the components from which they originate are present in the visual field.
- The binocular fusion is more precisely adjusted, since intercalations of optical elements between the observer and the composition are limited as much as possible. Thus two mirrors mounted periscope-like are placed in front of one of the eyes (figure 2.7). When the device is placed in front of the other eye, different perceptions are obtained also as concerns the director eye. When the fields of the composition are placed on a horizontal line, much higher efforts occur in the eye muscles at vision with the naked eye than is usual. This is due to the modification of the correlation between eye convergence and adjustment, which is higher than when using the proposed optic device or the stereoscope. The limitation of these efforts is a must when applying bioptical effects to psychotherapy.
- The composition may be developed on a horizontal line. The fresco-type preserves the vertical arrangement of the two fields in bioptical correspondence. Successive bioptical effects appear and a certain relation may be chosen between them.
- Wide-angle field compositions may be created. Rivalry effects are obtained between a central bioptical composition and conventional composition elements placed at the periphery of the field (towards the blind margin of the visual field). A rivalry of the visual field is emphasized.
On the other hand, I underline the importance of introducing tests of binocular rivalry, combined with stereoscopic forms, in plastic art compositions. In this case, the efficiency of the psychic influence considerably increases and that is why I suggest to use these bioptical modalities in psychotherapy. Primitive sensations and perceptions are thus triggered, independent of the level of intellectual training (ranging from the age of children perceptually stable up to any other age).
I provide as illustration some of my compositions of bioptical art, to prove the possibility for artists to introduce rivalry effects of any type - including stereoscopic ones - into plastic arts.
The sketch of figure 2.8 illustrates the application of colour rivalry: (a) visual perception with the naked eye, (b) perception using the optical device. In case (b), composed colour hues are presented informatively, since the effect of rivalry cannot be materialized. Field (Fd) contains stimuli for one of the eyes and field (Fs) contains the corresponding stimuli for the other eye.
To a sign in field (Fd), there corresponds a sign in field (Fs) and together they form the paired off visual signal of binocular rivalry or of stereoscopy.
The advantage of using bioptical art compositions in psychotherapy for the therapist is that he has a wide range of available compositions, with different types of binocular rivalry, from which he may select the series which is beneficial for the patient.
The rivalry stimuli introduced in plastic art compositions seem to exert a much higher psychic influence than in the case of independent tests.


Fig 2.6


Fig 2.7


Fig 2.8

Figures 2.9 and 2.10 show the following effects: colour fusion with marks; metallic glints (in the central form); colour rivalry; dynamics of space depth; binocular harmony.
Figures 2.11 and 2.12 show the following effects: colour binocular rivalry; substance dematerialization; stereoscopy (forms in space). Several bioptical effects are present in the picture but the composition is centered on the di-oval (in translated correspondence) which circumscribes the stimuli that trigger transcoloric pulsations in perception. They are called so as the fluctuating colours perceived cannot be compared to the normally perceived colours from stimuli in the environment. They are placed on that border where the indescribable begins - colours with "breezes", colours of hallucination. This effect is "imposed" by the main black oval, the wall of the enclosure, to which the floating effect, due to the spiraloid black strip that surrounds the oval, is added.
Figure 2.13 shows a bioptical composition with three fields.
If we look with crossed eyes at figure 2.14, we notice that the petals of the flower mbe the iungs of a ladder in space. Other rivalry effects occur.
Figure 2.15 illustrates the rivalry of forms.
Figures 2.16 and 2.17 show a composition with three fields, effects of colour fusion and hyperrealism, with glints in space.


Fig 2.9 L.Iliescu, Study M, 1987.
Oil on cardboard, 65x90 cm


Fig 2.10 Detail of figure 2.9
Stereogram (arranged for crossed-eye viewing)


Fig 2.11 L. Iliescu, Study H. Tempera on cardboard, 70x75 cm


Fig 2.12 Detail of figure 2.11
Stereogram (arranged for crossed-eye viewing)


Fig 2.13 L. Iliescu, Study K, oil on cardboard, 65x90 cm


Fig 2.14 Details of figure 2.13
Stereogram (arranged for crossed-eye viewing)


Fig 2.15 Details of figure 2.13
Stereogram (arranged for crossed-eye viewing)


Fig 2.16 L. Iliescu, Study A, tempera on cardboard, 65x85 cm


Fig 2.17 Detail of figure 2.16
Stereogram (arranged for crossed-eye viewing)


Fig 2.18 L. Iliescu, Study in wide-angle field,
oil on canvas, 800x220 cm

Figure 2.18 shows a bioptical composition with a field binocular rivalry. In the centre of the field, forms in binocular correspondence are painted - effects of rivalry and stereoscopy. At the periphery, conventional forms are painted in bright hues. When viewing the centre attentively, peripheral forms are perceived to be blurred, at the margin of the visual field. Attention oscillates between the centre and the margins of the field, in succession, at intervals of several seconds (when looking ahead, all the time).


Fig 2.19

Fig 2.20

Figure 2.19 shows a bioptical composition in space (bioptical sculpture). The forms in bioptical correspondence are placed in two tiered spaces. When viewing through the bioptical device, there occur bioptical and steroscopic images. Stereoscopic effects create a superspace. The composition elements placed in space seem to move in another space, with depths up to several scores of metres, penetrating other objects from the space. Figure 2.19 shows the photo of a model of a bioptical sculpture. It was used to prove the effects of binocular rivalry and colour fusion, combined with stereoscopic effects (transposition into hyperspace of a sculpture already made up of forms in space). In that photo some colours were retouched, which points to the possibility of introducing stimuli of binocular rivalry. In the case of a bioptical sculpture, the forms are set in two superposed areas Vd and Vs. In one of the areas the theme is developed with some restrictions for the component forms, while in the other area, other restrictions are added, namely those resulting from the stimulation of some bioptical effects.


Fig 2.21

In figure 2.21, the sculpture, viewed from a distance Do, may develop up to a certain depth limit Ps, to which there corresponds a limit observation area So. Viewed from outside the observation area, some forms are not bioptically correlated any longer (there occur image divisions for certain components, which are disturbing).
The photo in figure 2.19 was taken from outside area So. When the extracts of figure 2.19 (figure 2.20) are viewed with crossed eyes, spatial effects may be noticed only for the left forms.
The bioptical sculpture may be achieved only by accepting the tolerances for deviations from eye convergence, prescribed for binocular optical devices. By taking into account those tolerances, one may scale the limits of characteristics in figure 2.21. It is possible to diversify the forms of the sculpture not correlated bioptically, forms free of restrictions, viewed from outside area So. Thus sculpture may appear as a conventional composition, when viewed with the naked eye.