Liminal Perspective: Still-Life and Interactive 3D Animation

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Virginia Tech


Liminal Perspective refers to an alternative theoretical framework for understanding the interpretation of pictorial space in visual art when influenced by new technologies. Creating the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface has relied on the theory of linear perspective created in the renaissance. Leon Battista Alberti, in his landmark work De Pictura, created a geometric system for the illusion of deep space that uses orthogonals and a vanishing point to allow objects to diminish as they move backwards in space. This theory placed humans at the center of perception and the singular vantage point of pictorial space. Alberti's theory marked a huge philosophical shift from a god-centric worldview to a human-centric one.

Technology, however, is rapidly changing our functional relationship to perspective and allows an expanded understanding of perception. Humans are no longer single vantage points but rather exist in tandem with technological augmentations like smart phones. The body of work discussed in this paper imagines alternative artwork-viewer relationships to what have been historically proposed by still-life painters in classical history such as those in the Dutch Golden Age. Using 3D animation in combination with computer vision and physical computing, Liminal Perspective explores new interpretations of pictorial space and how our perceptual philosophies might evolve to keep up with technology's evolution.



art, technology, still-life, 3D animation, computer vision, physical computing, perception, painting, perspective