The Use of Vision: Illusion or Truth

29 Apr

A famous saying says that “seeing is believing”. However, in today’s high-tech driven world, can we actually believe or trust what we see? Taking magic performance as an example, all the audiences know it is the tricks of the magician, it is not real, however, it looks real and immersive. Actually it is the use of the weaknesses of our vision so as to create illusion. In the contemporary society, it is similar to the magic performances that the advanced technologies make the most use of the weaknesses of our vision to create illusion, which people sometimes regard illusion as reality.

Visualisation can be the artifice for advertiser to increase the incentive of consumers to buy the commodities. Sometimes it’s the use of the visual illusion. From one of the theories of vision, “visual experience is seen as overwhelming powerful, especially if it involves the technical, fundamentally untrustworthy, or both”
(ARTS 2090 Lecture notes for week 8, pp.10) This theory directly make me think of the updating advanced softwares and applications, such as Photoshop, Fireworks, AfterEffects etc., which are the tools that transform the original actual visual experience to an illusive one or create a new vision with certain purposes. Therefore, advertisers can apply “techniques” in their advertisement to create the illusive qualities of their products, which makes the invisible qualities of the products visible and add visible non-existed qualities as the persuasion of purchase to achieve the potential good selling.

“The world is relative to our ability to see it” (ARTS 2090 Lecture notes for week 8, pp.9). Reality depends on the variations of the species. As a result, the functions of visualization vary from one species to another. How we perceive the world through “vision” firstly depends on what kind of living-beings we are. Look at the pictures below: the comparison of vision between human and bee.

“A: Flower seen through the human eye.

B: Bees can see ultra-violet rays.

C: Bees have different trichromatic

colour vision. Image seen through

a bee’s simulated compound eye.

D: A bee’s hypothetical colour perception.”

(Picture and Capture Source: Dyer,

Dyer A., ‘Through the Eyes of a Bee’, Interview with Adrian Dyer,

Murphie, A 2011, Lecture notes for week8, ARTS2090
Publics and Publishing in transition, UNSW, pp.9-pp.10,


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