In my ongoing study of how certain visual compositions can evoke certain experiences I came across a field of research called affective neuroscience. One idea in this research is that facial expressions can cause emotional experiences1.
This brought me back to an interest in the relationship between biomorphic (in this case facial2) and geometric forms. It also prompted me to develop another study … this time, on the ability of people to discern very subtle changes in visual arrangements. Points on the corners of the mouth, lines between the eyebrows, and planes of the cheek muscles all relate to one another in the same way that visual elements are related in a composition.
Like a seasoned art critic, I’m often tempted to immediately put words onto a visual experience. But I see that when my word is found my experience is lost. How can I listen to the color and scalar relationships in another person’s painting — or to the expressions on my son’s face — with all of these words hovering around me?
1 footnote #1
2 source for photo-image: http://vi.sualize.us/