Introductions and Illusions
Hello world. My name is Ryan and I’ll be one of the regular contributors to this mad endeavour.
A brief introduction: I’m Canadian, I’m a grad student, I’m an artist and I’m a huge nerd. I love visual art and spend a great deal of time creating, studying and absorbing it. I was basically born a skeptic and I love the idea of the skeptical community finding an artistic voice.
The sort of things that I’m going to be blogging about as much as possible are art that encourages critical thought, futurism, and art that has been created or made possible by science and technology.
For my first post I thought that I’d illustrate what I mean by art that encourages creative thought. Have a look:
Clearly based on M.C. Escher’s Waterfall, this is a brilliant piece of optical wizardry. Sadly, my German is weak so all I can tell you about the creator is that he called himself mcwolles and he studied design at Fachhochschule Trier. Any polyglots out there that could get more detail would be much appreciated.
What does this sculpture have to do with skepticism?
Illusions like this force us to question our perceptions. They require the viewer to accept that their perceived reality can be flawed and exploited. This is the easiest way that I know of to demonstrate to someone that they can be fooled and get them to engage in critical analysis to figure out what cognitive trick is being played on them. The best part is that most people do this reflexively on interacting with an obvious illusion and enjoy the experience.
I put forward that there is no other way of getting someone to admit that they are fundamentally flawed and have them be excited by the experience. Everyone suddenly becomes a good skeptic when engaging with an illusion… as soon as they realize that it is one (Check out the viewer comments).
Unrelated note: Suggestions are always welcome; the world is a big place and I can’t find all the coolest stuff on my own.