This project is an artistic research which started from the question about how visual elements involve with human perception. To get close to the answer of the question, I synthesized different objects into the one image, then asked people how they feel about them.
The basic visual components of an object;
shape, color and texture
I justified three components above as 'Visual Ingredients'.
Which Visual Ingredient is a key that lead us to recognize what we've seen? Is it a shape of an object? Is it a color or texture?
Which object would viewers recognize when they see the mixture of Visual Ingredient from various objects?
Before the full-scale survey, I did a quick test. I selected visual images of 7 different objects;
a rat, a brick, an almond, a sock, a trout, a tire and a pillow
And I deconstructed those images into Visual Ingredient
After that, I randomly choose Visual Ingredient from different objects and reassemble them into one single object.
The interesting lesson from this quick test was that the synthesized images are read in different ways.
I was able to recognize the shape, color and the texture at once with the first image.
In case of the second one, shape was the most powerful Visual Ingredient.
And I was rarely conscious of the color with the third image.
For the full-scale survey, I chose "a slice of bread" as a main object, because it would rarely bring out prejudice or personal experience from most people. And I switched a Visual Ingredient from original image to the one from other chosen images; a leather bag, sliced beef, human skin, carpet, surface of the water, jeans, a bacon, peacock feather, a fish, a pneumocyte cell, a ping-pong ball and an alphabet "U"
Only a single Visual Ingredient of each image was replaced to another Visual Ingredient of other objects. (Some of them are easily distinguishable and some others are not)
Common feelings about the original image, 'a slice of bread';
delicious, tasty and/or toasty
The final feedbacks from 104 participants disclose which element mostly affects on people’s visual perception. The survey was broadly carried out in various conditions such as; at the art studio, bus stop, cafes, university campus, and online survey via Facebook, Amazon Turk, and Qualtrics.
With some images, even though one of the Visual Ingredient has been replaced, people still thought it as a delicious, tasty and/or toasty object. However, some other images are considered as a disgusting object that extremely contrast with the recognition of original image.
Test results are interesting in some points. In some cases, one image brought out completely against impressions in viewers, but sometimes viewers got almost same impressions of different images. More in detail, with image c, some viewers answered that it looks very tasty, however others said that it is totally disgusting. Image b and image k were synthesized with different ingredients, however, the spreads of positive and negative impressions about them are almost same.
Results could be read differently depends on what readers would focus on. It was clear that there is no fixed relationship between our perception and Visual Ingredients. However it doesn’t work like it is in a chaos. It almost looks like there was a rhythm once they were laid on the diagrams. I would say there is an organic system on how the Visual Ingredients works with us.
How you think about them? Are you still hungry?