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ART/SCIENCE FORUM From Knowledge to Visual Creation: Some Information about the Department ofVisual Knowledge at the Academy ofFine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland Janusz Grzonkowski The Department ofVisual Knowledge , a unique institution in Poland, was organized in 1971 as an interfaculty unit conducting research, didactic and artistic activities at the Higher State School of Fine Arts in Wroclaw. Its interdisciplinary character deals mainly with selected problems of psychophysiology , physics and aesthetics, with work conducted in the areas of creative practice, visual structures and experimental visual creation. The department consists of a Visualistics section with a psychophysical laboratory and a studio of technical media of visual transmission: photography, film, video and microcomputer. The primary objective of the department's research program is the exploration and rationalization of the rules in the sphere of visual transmission and experimentation with nonconventional methods. Fundamental research is being done in different areas of interest : for example, the relationship of physical measurements in defining elementary visual performance. The department also has the Studio of Visual Knowledge for students in their junior year and the Studio of Visual Creation for the senior year. From its beginning, the department has been the only one designed to deal with the specific features of the phenomenon ofvisualism, to integrate various branches of science and art, to study theory and nonconventional artistic practice and to elevate students' artistic awareness. In order to attain these goals, the department Janusz Gnonkowski (artist. designer), Artysta Plastyk,ul. B'ci Gierymskich 127.51-640 wroclaw. Poland. Received 3 February 1989. e 19911SAST Pergamon Press pic.Printed inGreat Brttain. oo24004X/91 $3.00+0.00 uses not only traditional means of representation (painting, graphics, sculpture ) but also technical media such as photography, film, video and microcomputer , studying their visual characteristics and applying them, both individually and in combination, to creative activities. At present, the social role of visual media is steadily growing in importance . The concept of visual knowledge emphasizes the necessity of educating all of society about the nature of visual perception, taking into account properties of human eyesight. Visual knowledge is mainly concerned with visual structures and their interaction. By means of physical and artistic analyses of a visual structure, it is possible to examine and determine overall relations and functions among its elements and their interdependence in visual performance. Students and faculty are studying cognitive theory and problems of visual creativity in order to define phenomena and visual notations. An attempt is being made to formulate rules governing visual mediation so as to improve it through rationalization and the most desirable conditions. Visual knowledge also means artistic and investigatory experiments, combining theories of vision in art, physics and psychology with the aim of establishing aesthetic rules in those relationships and thus obtain interdisciplinary understanding of visual phenomena. The concept of visual knowledge, understood in such terms, accepts the use of models, i.e. simplified forms of the experimental objects. Such figures or shapes allow physical analysis of structure, revealing interdependence of the elements; geometric, photometric and colormetric indicators ; and their equal or unequal character in terms of the degree of their irregularities. Those rules can be discovered and recognized by students who either take part in the research programs conducted by individual workers in the department or handle their own tasks or projects. Frequently such works have turned out to be valuable artistic forms. The fact that our students have proved very creative in their attitudes and methods resulted from good theoretical preparation and the clever use of new technical media (mainly photography, film and, recently, video and computer). Obviously, the Wroclaw Department ofVisual Knowledge recognizes that the analytical approach to the problem ofvisualism is only a first step toward a more comprehensive view of the whole process of visual transmission. Although working with models inevitably leads to the simplification of the phenomena examined, it gives at the same time a clear picture of the existing conditions. A theory that is based on new audiovisual media provides a good starting point for visual creation. Leonardo's Art/ScienceForumfeatures conference and meeting reports, reoietos of groupart and techrwlogy shows, coonedescriptions of interdisciplinary univmity teachingprograms and descriptions of organizationsdedicated totheinteraction of art, science and technology...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
p. 75
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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