[visionlist] geometrically ambiguous images

Lewis Griffin l.griffin at cs.ucl.ac.uk
Tue Feb 14 17:45:10 GMT 2006

There is a sculpture by Anish Kapoor, exhibited at the Hayward Gallery in
London last decade, which provokes a tri-stable perception.

>From memory, the sculpture is of a large (1m+) smooth greyish boulder, with
a roughly hemispherical hole (30cm diameter) excavated into it. The interior
of the hole has been meticulously painted with light-grey pigments of
varying lightness. Three percepts are possible:

	As a light-grey painted patch on the boulder's surface
	As a translucent window into the boulder's interior, which is lit.
	As a hole.

Lewis Griffin

Computer Science
University College London

>I wonder if you may be able to help me with a brief query. I am a PhD 
>student in the History and Philosophy of Science Department at 
>Cambridge University. I have recently become interested in the Necker 
>Cube as it provides an interesting analogy for certain cases in 
>philosophy. I am trying to find out two things with respect to the Necker
>(1) are there any geometrical images which are TRIPLY ambiguous in the 
>way that the Necker Cube is doubly ambiguous, where the transitions 
>between ambiguities are obvious, regular, and spontaneous (i.e. not 
>dependent upon "effort")?
>(2) is there a name (or names) for the CLASS of geometrically ambiguous 
>images which includes Necker Cubes as well as some other nameless 
>geometrically ambiguous forms I have encountered in the past? If there 
>is such a term for this class, I would be interested in finding it out 
>as I may be able to mutate it into a philosophical "-ism" which would 
>express the sort of position I am developing in my thesis.
>Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you might be able to help!

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