Plasticity of Seeing

Bahar Akgün, Hanna Brinkmann


The process of creation behind the abstract geometric ornamentation from the 13th century Anatolian Seljuk architecture starts as a grid of circles. Through the forming process of the material surface, a rhythmic organization of the circles and straight lines is translated into an overall geometric composition which guides the eyes of the viewer and offers visual layers for the viewer to discover. "Plasticity of Seeing" is an eye-tracking study aiming at developing an empirical approach that would allow a rigorous examination of the decoding processes of a specific Seljuk geometric pattern by an observer. What is the relationship between perceptual organization of the subject and structural organization of the geometric composition? The study (in collaboration with Hanna Brinkmann) is designed as part of a PhD dissertation (supervised by Prof. Dr. Mine Özkar) which seeks to formulate a grammar for the geometric patterns similar to how artists such as Gygory Kepes in early 20th century were inspired by the then-new science of psychology to formulate a "Language of Vision" in art based on basic elements of point, line and plane, and how their spatial relations are perceived.