I think there should be three level of our mind:
The term, “You”, should be consciousness while “the rest” should be sub consciousness. Since our sub-consciousness convert and filter the signals from the physical world. If it functions in a wrong way, we will get false information. What we should to is to fool or guide it, or extract information from it.
Visual illusion is very interesting. If we understand the principles of illusion, it is cool. But it will be fantastic if we make practical use of them. Personally I don’t like the illusions shown by slides because they need projectors or screens. So why don’t we use animations instead? They will have a better effect. What really interests me is the “Illusory Motion”. This kind of illusion can create a moving picture with a totally stationary image. This can be painted or printed with a fairly low cost in comparison to screens. Also it never needs batteries. So it is suitable to cards and large art pieces to draw people’s attention.
The most famous Illusory Motion figure should be Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s “Rotating snakes“:
Many of the paints using the same principle just copy one of the circles from the above image and paste it on their own works. When I went to MoMA last week, I found a painting using the circles as the flowers in the banquet. This method is simple, but it may not fit the style of the paint well.
What I concerns is how to generate such an image that meet our needs. After Googling, I found a very interesting paper: “Self-Animating Images: Illusory Motion Using Repeated Asymmetric Patterns”. They used their algorithm to generate a picture.
In their paper, they provide both the algorithm to form the patterns and the way to pick up colors. Due to the time limit, I did not implement their algorithm. Instead I created a simpler image with processing based on another image.
Original: “Moving Heart illusion”
It is a preliminary work and needs polishing. The best viewing distance to screen is half the width of the image.
When talking to consciousness, I don’t think the philosophical consciousness has anything to do with our work. It is true that consciousness isn’t many things. But it doesn’t matter. David Chalmers, a philosopher at theAustralianNationalUniversity, has a theory about the “Zombie planet”. The zombies he is referring to are the ones that are physically and behaviorally identical to human beings, but lack any conscious experience. Actually we can not distinguish whether a user is a human or a zombie. So we should focus on attention. Although it is not consciousness, it is the rest of “the rest of you”. What else can we obtain aside the attention, is the most important information.
The illusion of rationality is also an interesting point. I think the most practical use of it is to guide users to the options than we want them to choose. Just as the “Economists” do. This trick is intelligent to fool most of us. So it is very useful in marketing and survey. With such a dirty trick we can control the preference of the customer without being noticed by them.
And: changing grayscale with the potentiometer.